Jaén, Spain

This article is about the city in Spain. For other uses, see Jaén (disambiguation).

View of Paseo de España in Jaén


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): La capital del Santo Reino
Motto: «Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Jaén, Guarda y Defendimiento de los Reynos de Castilla»
("Very Noble and Loyal City of Jaén, Guard and Defense of the Kingdoms of Castile")

Location in Spain

Coordinates: 37°46′0″N 3°46′16″W / 37.76667°N 3.77111°W / 37.76667; -3.77111Coordinates: 37°46′0″N 3°46′16″W / 37.76667°N 3.77111°W / 37.76667; -3.77111
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Andalusia
Province Jaén
Comarca Área Metropolitana de Jaén
Judicial district Jaén
  Alcalde José Enrique Fernández de Moya (2011) (PP)
  Total 424.30 km2 (163.82 sq mi)
Elevation 573 m (1,880 ft)
Highest elevation 815 m (2,674 ft)
Lowest elevation 330 m (1,080 ft)
Population (2009)
  Total 120,021
  Density 280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Jiennense o jienense, giennense o gienense jaenero, -ra, jaenés, -sa aurgitano, -na
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 23001–23009
Dialing code 0034 953
Website www.aytojaen.es

Jaén (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈen]) is a city in south-central Spain. The name is derived, with all probability, from the Roman name "villa Gaena" (village of Gaius), which the Arabs called Yayyan.[1] It is the capital of the province of Jaén. It is located in the autonomous community of Andalusia.

The inhabitants of the city are known as Jiennenses. Its population is 116,731 (2012), about one-sixth of the population of the province. Recently Jaén has had a great increase in cultural tourism, having received 604,523 tourists along the year 2015, 10% more than in 2014.[2] The city is also known as the World Capital of Olive Oil, because it is the biggest producer of the oil, known by locals as liquid gold.

The layout of Jaén is determined by its position in the hills of the Santa Catalina mountains, with steep, narrow streets, in the historical central city district. The city of Jaén is the administrative and industrial centre for the province. Industrial establishments in the city include chemical works, tanneries, distilleries, cookie factories, textile factories, as well as agricultural and olive oil processing machinery industry. On 1 April 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, the city was bombed by the Nazis.



The motto of the city is: (Spanish) "Muy Noble y muy Leal Ciudad de Jaén, Guarda y Defendimiento de los Reynos de Castilla", (English) "Very Noble and very Loyal City of Jaén, Guard and Defense of the Kingdoms of Castile". This title was given by King Enrique II of Castile to the city of Jaén, due to the privileges that the city had, and to the role that the city was playing in the defense of the kingdom of Castile against the Moors.


Jaén has a hot-summer mediterranean climate[3] with hot summers but cool winters for such a southerly parallel on the Iberian peninsula. Jaén has a July high of 33.7 °C (92.7 °F), with a very high average low of 21.4 °C (70.5 °F) with a mean temperature of 27.6 °C (81.7 °F).[4] This is just shy of the daily mean of Seville that has the hottest daily summer mean during summers in Western Europe with 28.2 °C (82.8 °F).[5]

Climate data for Jaén
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.3
Average high °C (°F) 12.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.6
Average low °C (°F) 5.1
Record low °C (°F) −7.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55
Source: [6][7][8]



Jaén Cathedral.

Saint Catherine's Castle (Castillo de Santa Catalina) sits on the top of a hill overlooking the city. Previously there had existed a fortress of Arabic origin (Abrehui's castle), of which some remains still exist. The current construction is of Christian origin, raised after the conquest of the city by Ferdinand III of Castile, called the Saint, in 1246.

Jaén Cathedral is one of the most important Renaissance-style cathedrals. Construction began in 1570 and was completed in 1802. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, and it was built to shelter the relic of the Holy Face, or Veil of Veronica, lodged at the major chapel and exposed to the public every Friday. Due to the length of time in its construction, different artistic styles can be appreciated, the most prominent being Renaissance; Andrés de Vandelvira the most important architect. He is the greatest exponent of the Andalusian Renaissance. It aspires to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Arab Baths, the most significant remnants of the Moorish era of Andalusia, are the largest Arab baths preserved in Spain. They can be visited under Villardompardo's Palace (another important monument in the city).

Other important monuments are the Museum of Arts and Popular Customs, the International Museum of Naïf Art, San Andrés's Chapel, the Provincial Museum of Jaén (which shelters an important collection of archaeological Iberian remains), Saint Ildefonso's church, etc.


The city has the University of Jaén, which nowadays consists of approximately 18,000 students and 27 degree courses. This university is present in the city, in the Campus "Las Lagunillas", but also is present in Úbeda and Linares with only some of the degree courses. The university is very modern, as it was founded in 1993, with a large foreign student population, as the University has signed international exchanges with The United States of America, Asia, several American countries and a great Erasmus experience within more than 15 European countries.


The language spoken in Jaén is the official language of Spain, Spanish. The variety of Spanish spoken in this province displays some of the characteristics of Andalusian speech, such as dropping of final -s in plural formation: gafa for gafas (and consequent final vowel opening) in the word "glasses", or dropping of /d/ in intervocalic position in regular participles of verbs: e.g. acabao for acabado. Some of these variants can be consulted in the Diccionario de Vocabulario Andaluz compiled by the local lexicographer Alcalá Venceslada, which was reprinted by the University of Jaén some years ago. This dictionary also compiles some other variants of Andalusian present in other parts of the autonomous community.

There are different expressions typical of the area, namely the interjection "¡ea!" (also present in other dialectal variants) which has no particular exact meaning or "¡lavística!" /la'vistika/, which is believed to be a contraction of the expression "la Vírgen de Tíscar", a popular virgin of the province, although there are no exact data to confirm the origin of the last expression which is, nevertheless, widespread among speakers of the province.


Jaén Tram.


Jaén has 26 service lines that connect the various neighborhoods of the capital, being able to use the metro card consortium. Buses are characterized by their yellow color. Jaen has frequent connections to Granada, Malaga, Cordoba and other Spanish cities from its central bus station, placed in the city center. Jaen Bus Station has been declared "Bien de Interes Cultural" due to its modern representative arquitecture.

Jaén Tram

The tram system in Jaén opened in 2011 and within two weeks was stopped. The tranvía has yet to resume services.


Jaén is served by the Jaén railway station, terminal of the Madrid–Jaén high speed railway line. Jaen is also connected to Cordoba and Sevilla by train.

Leisure and entertainment


Feria de San Lucas: On 18 October Jaen celebrates his biggest festivity. It lasts more than a week where jienenses and visitors can enjoy music, Sevillanas dancing, gastronomy, culture and tradition.

Romeria de Santa Catalina: Procession in the hill with the same name where the Castle is located to honour the Saint Patron of the City. It is typical to eat sardines and barbecue in the forest around the Castle.

San Anton: The 16 January it is celebrated the fires of San Anton. In the different neighbourhoods there are built bonfires and people eat and sing around them celebrating the beginning of the year. Also the International Urban Race of San Anton takes place that night, the fifth in the Spanish Ranking of Athetism.

Virgen de la Capilla: The 11 June Jaen celebrates the appearance of the Virgin Mary in the city. A weekend where there are flower offerings and a Virgin procession, as well as traditional activities to show the culture of the city.

Holy Week: The tradition of celebrating the Holy Week in the city started in the Middle Ages, and nowadays it has been declared "Bien de Interés Turístico-Cultural Andaluz" since 2006 and "Fiesta de Interés Turístico Nacional de Andalucía". From Palm Sunday until Resurrection Sunday 17 catholic brotherhoods carry out their processions through the most beautiful streets of Jaen.


Holy week in Jaén.

The gastronomy of Jaen is very varied, emphasizing local dishes such as the pipirrana (tomato, green peppers, breadcrumbs, garlic shoots, olive oil, vinegar, salt and hard-boiled egg); "spinach a la Jaén" (garlic, croûtons, spiced sausage, bayleaf, egg, orange zest and vinegar); "rice a la Jaén" (very weak), "veal with chopped garlic", "trout from the rivers of Jaén" (trout, butter, chunks of ham with bacon, parsley, white wine and salt), "ajo blanco a la Jaén" (raw almond, olive oil, eggs, garlic, salt, vinegar and water).

Among the most well-known confectioneries of Jaén is "rice pudding", "gachas of Jaen" (a sort of porridge), "pestiños", "gusanillos" and "ochíos".

In Jaén the eating of tapas is very common; numerous bars exist where, for the price of a beer (around €1.50), one can purchase a tapa, which consists of a small plate of food for one person.


The city's soccer team is Real Jaén, who play in the Nuevo Estadio de La Victoria.

The city has two major sporting facilities: the Fuentezuelas and the Salobreja, together with the university sports facilities. Trekking and climbing associations also exist, such as El Lagarto and Jabalcuz.

A Green Route called Vía Verde del Aceite corresponds to an ancient tracing of the iron seam from the beginning of the 20th century that united Jaén with Puente Genil (Córdoba province) known as "The Oil Train".

There are various competitions which have a great international importance, for example, those related to chess and athletics.


The most important event is the International Piano Competition Premio Jaén (in Spanish: Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio Jaén) that is the oldest and most important piano competition in Spain. It started in 1953 with Pablo Castillo García-Negrete, an architect who began to donate the first cash prizes of only some thousands of pesetas. Nowadays the prize consist of €57,000 and the recording of classical music albums in professional studios. The last winner of this significant competition was the Chinese pianist Yin Yu Qin, in 2008, in the fiftieth competition.

There are other events such as the Ciclos de Rock and the Lagarto Rock Festival.


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