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Basílica of San Ildefonso

This Basilica, declared a Minor Basilica in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, dates back to the 13th century and its temple is made up of three facades: the oldest, in the Gothic style, is the one at the back of the church; the lateral portal, in the Renaissance style and the main portal (the last to be built) in the neoclassical style.

What links this temple to the figure of the poet Miguel Hernández is that the damage caused by shrapnel can still be seen on the façade and it is an excellent place to contextualize why Miguel Hernández arrived in Jaén.

Residence of the poet and headquarters of the Speaker of the South Front

The space in the city that is most closely related to Miguel Hernández is the place where he moved to live when he arrived in the capital and where he lived with his wife Josefina Manresa.

This house is located at number 9 Calle Llana –today Francisco Coello, number 9–, Palacio de los Marqueses de Blanco Hermoso (there are several photographs where the couple is on the roof typing or doing other tasks).

It is interesting that the building, in addition to being his home, was also the headquarters of the Commissariat and where the Speaker of the South Front was located. Currently the building is a private home and cannot be visited. A plaque on the façade is the only thing that evokes the significance of this building.

There are many photographs, not only with his wife, but also others, both inside and on the roof where other members of the Commissariat appear, so it must have been a very busy place.

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Residence of the poet and headquarters of the Speaker…

El espacio de la ciudad que guarda mayor relación con Miguel Hernández es la morada donde reside cuando llega a la capital y donde convive con su esposa Josefina Manresa.

Esta vivienda se sitúa en el número 9 de la calle Llana –hoy Francisco Coello, número 9–, Palacio de los Marqueses de Blanco Hermoso (existen varias fotografías donde el matrimonio se encuentra en la azotea escribiendo a máquina o en otros quehaceres).

Se da la curiosidad de que el edificio, además de su vivienda, también era la sede del Comisariado y donde se localizaba el Altavoz del Frente Sur.

Actualmente el edificio es una vivienda particular y no se puede visitar siendo una placa en la fachada, lo único que evoca la importante trascendencia de este edificio.

Al igual que las fotografías con su esposa, existen otras tanto en el interior como en la azotea donde aparecen otros miembros del Comisariado, por lo que debió ser un lugar muy ajetreado.

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Plaza de Santa María (Cathedral of Jaén)

Going up Príncipe Alfonso Street, we access the Plaza de Santa María and the Cathedral of Jaén.

Due to the beauty of the environment, as well as its size, it is the best space to delve into the poet’s gaze on the bombing of Jaén, which he reveals through the articles published in Frente Sur in the following days.

The author was not in the city at that time as he was undertaking propaganda functions on the Extremadura front, but his wife was present, so the bombing must have affected him in a special way.

“(…) Jaén is bombed: the trinitrotoluene shakes and bursts even the deepest stones of the city, and the houses collapse, and the mothers do not know where to hide with their children, and the innocent dead, the shattered, are a bloody amount of heads, arms, and disconcerted flesh (…)

(…) Has Jaén already awakened from her incredulous and Moorish slumber? (…) “

Miguel Hernandez. South Front. “The bombed city”, no 7 – April 11, 1937-.

According to the historian Juan Cuevas Mata in his book “The bombardment of Jaén”, the squadrons of bombers deployed over the city, crossing it from south to north, leaving the Cathedral that was their main reference to the left (159 people died, the bombing that left the most deaths in a single action in the Spanish Civil War).

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The Orange Trees Square

Continuing in a straight line along Calle Maestra, we turn and climb slightly up Calle Colegio until we reach Plaza de los Naranjos, a beautiful corner brimming with citrus fruits that give it its name and the only space where you can enjoy a beautiful ceramic plate dedicated to Miguel Hernández and complemented with a nice and brief extract from the poem “The last corner”:


The orange trees tastes like life and the olive trees tastes like time.

And in between their grieving

My passions collide.(…)

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Air-raid shelter

After the bombing of the city of Jaén by Francoist troops on April 1, 1937, which caused 159 fatalities and considerable material damage, measures were taken to prevent and minimize future air attacks: sound warnings, night-time darkness by turning off lights and the construction of several public underground shelters scattered throughout the city.

Shelters that, at the end of the war, were abandoned and even forgotten, with significant physical deterioration. One of them, located in the Plaza de Santiago, was built using the old crypts of the Church of Santiago. A shelter that had a capacity to accommodate up to 1,040 people in its different corridors in the event of a possible bombing.

This refuge has been recovered as a space for interpretation of the Civil War and as a place of historical memory of Andalusia. In its corridors you can see various photographs of the bombing, the tragic consequences it caused, as well as other testimonies such as front pages of the Southern Front or various poems by Miguel Hernández. The refuge can also be seen through a virtual visit:

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Institute of Jaén Studies

Institute of Jaén Studies (Instituto de Estudios Giennenses – IEG) is an Autonomous Body of the Diputación de Jaén whose main function is the promotion and study of culture, science and art in the province of Jaén.

The IEG is introduced in this itinerary due to its work of documentation and custody of the Miguel Hernández Legacy. A legacy made up of 5,600 records and more than 26,000 images (collections of manuscripts, photographs, brochures, scores, historical press, sound recordings, etc.), with the intention of being a fundamental tool to promote studies and research on the figure and the work of the poet.

Although the Legacy can be consulted through the Internet: miguelhernandez, it is possible to consult part of it in this institution, which has its headquarters in the Old Hospital of San Juan de Dios de Jaén, a 15th century building.

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Jabalcuz hot springs

Although quite far from the proposed Hernandian urban itinerary, one of the places that are linked to Miguel Hernández and that deserve a visit are the Jabalcuz Hot Springs.

The hot springs were owned by the same owners as the building of his home and the Commissariat, so he may have known them for this reason. He used to walk or walk up there together with his wife, and sometimes bathed in a pool in the farm.

Josefina Manresa remembers these events in the book of her Memories: Memories of the widow of Miguel Hernández:

(…) We would go out for a while to the outskirts, to a party called Jabalcuz. There was a pool where Miguel bathed. Other times I typed. I wanted to teach myself. (…)

Currently, the Jabalcuz Hot Springs are in disuse, the historic garden being perfectly preserved, a place of incomparable beauty, while the building of the hot springs is in the process of restoration, improvement and enhancement. Not in vain, the historic garden is declared Asset of Cultural Interest.

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Miguel Hernández-Josefina Manresa museum

The Miguel Hernández-Josefina Manresa Museum is the main element that contextualizes the life and work of the Orihuela writer in the province of Jaén. Located on the ground floor of the building that also houses the Zabaleta Museum, it collects a large part of Miguel Hernández’s legacy.

The musealization responds to a chronological discourse that runs through the work and life of the poet and his wife, trying to convey the poetic sensitivity of Miguel Hernández and the depth of his life messages; the cultural value of his work and its social significance; the didactic dimension of the poet as an icon of the universal values ​​of the human being such as simplicity and constant personal effort, among others; and literature as a positive attitude towards life and as a tool for social and solidarity commitment.

This compendium of values ​​runs through six exhibition halls:

  • The reception area, where his main works are exhibited and a feedback panel synthesizes the life and work of the poet.
  • The “Perito en lunas” room, where aspects of his childhood and youth are exposed, as well as his first trip to Madrid and the influence that this causes in his work.
  • The “El Rayo que no cesa” (The Unending Lightning )room, where the museum discourse is marked by his relationship with Josefina Manresa, as a companion and poetic muse. The relationship with other poets and friends and the impact caused by the death of Ramón Sijé are also present.
  • The “Viento del pueblo”(The Village Wind) room, where the time that Miguel Hernández was in Jaén during the Civil War and the imprint it causes on his work is recreated. At this time he wrote the famous poem “Aceituneros”.(Olive Gatherers)
  • The room “Cancionero y romancero de ausencias”(“Songbook and ballads of absences”), where his dramatic prison via crucis is shown, illustrated with the recreation of a gloomy cell and where some of the beautiful verses he wrote during his captivity are exhibited, such as the famous “Onion Lullaby ”.

The tour ends in the room “The Poet’s Legacy”, a room for reading, workshops and audition, where you can see the impact of his work on a touch screen.

You can also enjoy the poet on the walls of the Museum, since there are different plaques with verses of his works on display that make the walk very enjoyable.

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Hernándian corners

Quesada has a medieval neighborhood with narrow streets embedded in the terrain, snowy facades and huddled with orchards of pots, which make this town one of the most beautiful towns in the province, and there is no better way to get to know it than through Miguel Hernández and Josefina Manresa.

The city council has had the pertinent and timely initiative to further embellish the town through different mosaics in different streets of the Historic Centre, where you can read and contemplate verses and drawings by Miguel Hernández or passages from the memoirs of Josefina Manresa in relation to the town or author. An excellent way to get to know Quesada and enjoy reading the poet’s work, since the setting is unique.


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Panels and mosaics by Miguel Hernández

The Quesada town hall also pays tribute to the poet and Josefina Manresa through panels that inform and invite you to visit the Museum and through large mosaics, where the relationship between both with the town is explained. The mosaics located in the Plaza de la Constitución stand out, where the spaciousness of the space and the presence of a music band invite to recite the poet’s verses.