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Baeza

Trip Planner Europe  /  Spain  /  Andalucia  /  Province of Jaen  /  Baeza
Baeza is a town of approximately 16,200 inhabitants in Andalusia, Spain, in the province of Jaén, perched on a cliff in the "Loma de Úbeda", a mountain range between the river Guadalquivir on the south and its tributary the Guadalimar on the north. It is chiefly known today as having many of the best-preserved examples of Italian Renaissance architecture in Spain. UNESCO added Baeza and Úbeda to the World Heritage Sites list in 2003.HistoryThe town has existed since Roman times, when it was called Beatia. It became the seat of a bishop between 656 and 675, when the see of Castulo was transferred to Beatia, and remained such until the 13th century, when the see was transferred to Jaén. No longer a residential bishopric, Beatia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.In the Middle Ages Baeza was a flourishing Moorish city, said to contain 50,000 inhabitants, but it fell to the forces of Ferdinand III of Castile in 1227. The Jaén and Úbeda gates, and the arch of Baeza, are among the remains of its Moorish fortifications.In the 16th century, Baeza and nearby Úbeda grew rich from the production of textiles, and local nobles hired important architects, such as Andrés de Vandelvira, to design new palaces, churches and public squares in the fashionable Italian style. The economy collapsed in the 17th century, which had the fortunate side effect of preserving Baeza's Renaissance architectural legacy, because few newer structures were built.
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