This is undoubtedly the finest church in Úbeda and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture because it was erected by the Renaissance master of Spain - Andrés de Vandelvira. It has a dazzling façade featuring a carving of the Transfiguration of Christ flanked by intricate statues of St Peter and Paul. The theme of the Transfiguration of Christ is continued inside with a brilliantly animated retablo.
The Capilla del Salvador is located on the Plaza Vázquez de Molina (opposite the Palacio de las Cadenas)in Úbeda.
Entry fee is 2.25 euros.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-2pm & 5-7.30pm, Sun 10.45am-2pm & 4.30-7.30pm.
This tremendous Renaissance square is the main focal point of Úbeda's social life with cafés and curio shops around it. It was also designed to show off the 16th century Renaissance buildings of Andrés de Vandelvira (who designed the cathedrals and Baeza and Jaén). It compares well to the Plaza Mayor/Plaza de Leones in Baeza.
From the bus station in Úbeda follow the brown tourist signs to the 'Zona Monumental' and you'll eventually reach the square.
Úbeda is the beautiful twin sister of Baeza with it's Renaissance buildings and churches. Even though it is a larger town with modern suburbs it still retains a charming village atmosphere. The most notable sights are: Plaza Vazquez de Molina, Palacio de las Cadenas, Capilla de San Salvador and San Pablo church.
Úbeda lies just 9km east of Baeza on the main road to Castilla-La Mancha. 14 daily buses depart from Jaén and almost all buses with the destination of Baeza continue on to Úbeda as there is no train station in the town.
This grand palace (now a seminary) is a monumental mansion famed for it's "Isabelline" façade which contains a Moorish influence. The patio is a great place to rest.
A 15 min walk from the Plaza Mayor in Baeza. It is clearly signposted from there. Entry is free (tip recommended)
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 10am-1pm and 4-6pm
Baeza's cathedral is probably the most under-appreciated in
Andalucía, which in a way is a shame as the façade is so intricately designed. Inside the building itself are brillianely painted 16th century rejas (iron screens) created by Maestro Bartolomé - the master of this craft. Part of the old mosque over which the cathedral was built can be seen in the cloister.
Plaza Mayor, Baeza
Entry is free (a tip is optional)
Opening hours: daily from 10.30am-1pm and 4-6pm (April-Sept closes 7pm)
Baeza is a tiny treasure jewel a mere 30 mins from Jaén buried in the hills of the Cazorla national park. It is crammed full of Renaissance masterpieces and is definitely my second most favourite of Andalucía's sleepy little towns (after Alcalá la Real). The most beautiful sights to see are: Plaza Mayor/Plaza de Leones, Palacio de Jabalquinto and the Cathedral. The best thing is that all of Baeza's great monuments are free to get into (although a tip to the guardian is recommended) and the spectacular views cost nothing!. It is basically a great town to get lost in and absorb it's splendour.
Baeza is situated 28km to the east of Jaén and is served by 14 daily buses from Jaén. There is also the combined train station of Linares-Baeza (14km from Baeza) which is served by frequent trains from Seville, Córdoba and Granada, there is a connecting bus to Baeza for most trains, (except on Sun) or it's 14 euros in a taxi.
The 16th century cathedral in Almeria is unique because of its appearance as a fortress built to defend the city against raiding Turkish and North African pirates. Its corner towers once held cannons. The interior is just like the inside of any other cathedral though - but is no less disappointing for that.
Plaza de la Catedral
Entry fee is 2 euros.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sat 10am-1pm
The synagogue is unique in itself because it is only one of three which survive in Spain (the other two are in Toledo). Forunately, this synagogue built in 1316 survived the Jewish expulsion of 1492 and so it is a testament to the revered religious mix of Córdoba. It has some fine stucco work and a womens' gallery.
C/Judíos in Córdoba's Jewish district.
Entry is free to EU citizens (passport needed)
Opening hours are Tues-Sat 9.30am-2pm and 3.30-5.30pm.
This imposing palace has fine mosiacs excavated from the Roman areas of Córdoba as well as relaxing gardens - a good spot for getting your breath back after seeing the overwhelming delights of the mosque. You wouldn't have thought that it was the site of the Spanish Inquisition between 1428 and 1821!
Ronda de Isasa, Córdoba
(just around the corner from the mosque).
Entrance fee is normally 2 euros - but go on a Friday and it costs nothing to get into the palace.
Opening hours are Tues-Sat 10am-2pm and 5.30pm-7.30pm.
The Baños Arabes are regarded as amongst the finest Moorish hammams in Spain. It feels light and airy because of its horseshoe arches and brickwork ceilings with their famous star-shaped windows. Admittedly it is sometimes hard to appreciate its beauty because of its neglected and ruined appearance in parts, but on the whole it has been wonderfully restored. It's still a good introduction to Moorish social life and architecture.
Palacio de Villardompardo, C/San Andrés, Jaén
The baths are free to visit and are open from 9am-8pm between Tuesdays and Fridays and from 9.30am-2.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Jaén is not the most spectacular provincial capital of Andalucía but it does have some beautiful attractions which are worthy of a day trip from nearby Granada or Córdoba. The most inspirational monument is the city's cathedral. There is also the Baños Arabes and the Museo Provincial.
Jaén lies 98km to the north of Granada just off the N323 motorway to Madrid. 12 buses depart daily from Granada. The journey takes 2 hours - look out for the famous olive groves creeping down the mountains alongside the motorway.
This stupendous church has a peaceful atmosphere with its low columns and gold altar. Sometimes the priests will allow you to climb up to the 42 metre tower to see the views of the town.
Abbey church is located within the original city walls and a 15 min walk from the bus station.
The Roman citadelle is open from 9.30am-11.30am and 2pm-5.30pm (6pm in July and August). The citadelle is an extremely rare example of Romanesque palatial architecture and is a powerful symbol of the power of the Adhémar de Monteil family.
The views from the towers take in the Alps to the east and the flatter valley of the Rhone river to the north and to the south.
If you are staying in BA for more than 4 days, use one of them to go to Colonia in Urugauy. You catch a ferry that takes you up the River Plate. It takes about 90 minutes.
Colonia is a World Heritage listed town and you can see why as soon as you get there. Cobbled street, picture perfect houses and a natty little light house to climb.
For lunch go to the yatch club and get a table outside. Sit back and enjoy whatever Chef recommends.
Colonia could easilly be the most charming town in the world I can't recommend it enough.
The hiking in this part of County Kerry is incredible. We’ve seen many beautiful sights on the Beara Peninsula, especially Gleninchaquin; we’ve walked over to Sheen Falls and hiked the hills and valleys around the resort.
With the help of a local taxi driver we’ve discovered countless antiquities, from stone circles and dolmens to passage tombs. We’ve walked to and from Galway’s Bridge on the Old Killarney Road, and next year intend to walk all the way to Torc Waterfall and Muckross House. As we return home each evening, to a fine glass of wine, a roaring fire, and a cascading river just beyond the patio, we know we are truly where our hearts are.
Bonane Heritage Park is well worth a visit with lots of well preserved sites including a ring fort stone circle and standing stone to name but a few. And the cup of tea and apple crumble with Stevie and Francies in Molly Gallivans Open Farm is a must.
I also found in Bonane the chocolate factory, Advanced videos studio that will record your trip or any occasions for you. The Weaver shop, and Nicks recording studio, what a wonderful community with so much to offer.
I have also joined friends of Bonane to suport the work they're doing in the Herritage Park (15 Euro a year - you can get information on www.bonane.com).
You should add Bonane to your holiday list - thanks to all that made me so welcome on my trip. I will be back.
When in Kenmare you follow the N71 to Glengariff. Bonane is about 10km this will also join the ring of Beara more information to be found at www.bonane.com.
If you fancy an adventure on the high seas, take a trip out to Cape Clear Island. These are waters haunted by the ghosts of pirates from the sixteen hundreds, principal among them O’Mahony whose clan ravaged vessels along this coastline. The sad remains of his castle sit grimly at the water’s edge of Hare Island while he paid the ultimate price for piracy in Cork Gaol.
Cape Clear Island is beyond the jurisdiction of the mainland as far as road tax and traffic regulations go. The result of this is a motley assortment of noisy vehicles in various stages of decay but still driving. Those that have succumbed to the inevitable lie around the island. These silent testimonies to abandonment are the most appalling eyesores on an island that is one of the most beautiful
on the south west coast.
Cape Clear lies just 8 miles off the West Cork mainland and can be reached by a 45 minutes boat journey from Schull.
Most tourists to the Cape only stick with the tried and tested routes and experiences. !Khwa ttu is one of the very few GENUINE San Bushmen-led initiatives in southern Africa. It's set on stunning hillside overlooking the coast and Table Mountain and here you can meet the San, learn about hunting, gathering, tracking, take a trailer ride, see all of the amazing game and other animals, go on hikes, enjoy the restaurant or stay in their amazinginly peaceful accommodation (cottage or tents). There is a museum, art gallery, training centre, conference facilities and shop too.
I recommend it because I lived and worked with the San in southern Africa until recently and this is the BEST thing I have seen out there, that really, practically helps the San and teaches tourists about some of the real issues still alive in South Africa today...
What's more it's as cheap as chips if you are coming from Europe!
www.khwattu.org email - email@example.com
It's just 70 km drive north of Cape Town - takes 40 minutes and just a short drive from the historic village of Darling and the beautiful beaches of Yzerfontein.
This Palace dates back to the 1400s AD and has real Roman mosaic floors. All of the furniture is left untouched, giving it an authentic grandeur.
8 Calle Cuna, on the northern edge of the Santa Cruz district;
tel: 954 227 802;
Entry is free - but beware there is a fee to pay if you want a tour of the top floor (used during the winter).
Externally the facade of the Stadhuis is decorated with 49 statues representing Royal and Biblical figures.
The original statues where destroyed in 1792 and replaced in 1862, however, the inferior masonry used meant that the statues had to be replaced again in the 20th century.
If you visit the Gothic Hall you are also given a guide to the statues telling you who is who and expanding on some in more detail.
We particularly liked “Baldwin with the Iron Arm” and the wonderfully named “Philip the Beautiful”.
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