Úbeda, a monumental city and World Heritage by UNESCO, offers plenty of reasons to be visited (art, culture, history, landscape, gastronomy.).

All the more because of the fact that the death of Saint John of the Cross occurred here, when he was brought in to cure himself of some “fever” and because it is the hometown of the Planeta and Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras Awards, Antonio Muñoz Molina .

You have to come to Úbeda and walk on its streets and monuments and discover them through the eyes of these authors. Without a doubt, a different way to enjoy this monumental city.

Casa de las Torres
Palacio de los Orozco
Sacra capilla del Salvador
Torre del Reloj
previous arrow
next arrow

Located just eight kilometers from its sister city, Úbeda is the exponent of private and civil Renaissance architecture, especially from the 16th century, where its most important monuments were built, promoted by one of the most important figures of the time, Francisco de los Cobos, secretary of the Emperor Carlos V.

In Úbeda you will enjoy a tourist-literary itinerary that will mark you forever. Come and find out.

beda City Council Tourism Porta


Convent of the Immaculate Conception Discalced Carmelites

This Carmelite convent was founded in March 1595, with its first Prioress being the Reverend Mother Ana de la Encarnación, companion of Saint Teresa of Jesus. The lack of ornamentation prevails in the convent, in accordance with the austerity that reflects the spirit of the Order, but in the interior rooms there is a valuable permanent exhibition called “The Treasures of the Closing”, which has an important pictorial collection, with the primitive portrait of Saint John of the Cross, painted by Fray Juan de las Miserias, stands out. It also holds other important and interesting collections of sculptures, reliquaries, ornaments,…

Continue reading

Collegiate Church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares

La Colegiata de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares es Monumento Nacional y parte del conjunto Patrimonio de la Humanidad y recientemente declarada Basílica Menor, es la principal iglesia de Úbeda. Su vinculación con San Juan de la Cruz viene dada porque en la Colegiata se custodiaron y veneraron las reliquias de San Juan de la Cruz desde la exclaustración de los Carmelitas Descalzos en 1836 hasta su regreso en 1905. Este templo ha experimentado numerosas transformaciones a lo largo de su historia por lo que no tiene una única unidad arquitectónica definida, pero quizás eso la hace más atractiva.…

Continue reading

House of Surgeon Ambrosio de Villarreal

Ambrosio de Villarreal, a licensed surgeon, belonged to a family in Ubeda, the cradle of great and famous doctors. He is very important in the Saint John itinerary because he was the one who attended Saint John of the Cross when he fell ill and arrived at the Carmelite convent of Ubeda, certifying his death. The surgeon’s house was located on Las Parras street, which mixes the houses with white facades with the splendid 16th century palatial architecture, so the street is full of historical landmarks that are of great interest to the visitor, so we recommend a leisurely visit.…

Continue reading

Viewpoints of the wall

The scenes of his childhood, the landscape of his native Úbeda and the remoteness of the Guadalquivir valley, are continuously present in Muñoz Molina’s work, as the author himself reveals: “(…) I like many places, but I look at the landscape of the Guadalquivir valley from the walls of my city and that landscape moves me in a way that no other moves me. (…) ” Interview with Antonio Muñoz Molina. Librújula Magazine. February 25, 2016. An intimacy revealed in many of his novels and where the viewpoints of Úbeda serve as a watchtower to reveal the aesthetic qualities and…

Continue reading

Food Market

We will continue on the itinerary with a space constantly mentioned by Muñoz Molina in his novel The Polish Horseman, Mercado de Abastos( Food Market). Here his father used to come every morning to sell the products hard-harvested in the family garden. (…) “It should have dawned by now, his father would be in the market ordering the damp and shiny vegetables on the marble counter, maybe wondering from time to time where he was, where to of those cities he dreamt as a teenager would his stray profession of interpreter might have taken him. ” (…) Antonio Muñoz Molina.…

Continue reading

Church of San Isidoro

The Church of San Isidoro is a place that Muñoz Molina sometimes recreates in his novels, as he does in The Polish Horseman, where, in addition to capturing the “atmosphere” of Magina, he uses it to locate some of his peculiar characters, such as its bullfighting parish priest. (…) He recalled that there was no light in that narrow street, which lead to the San Isidoro clearing, with its fountain whose flow he heard at the same time as the splash in the mud of a horse’s hooves, which shaking his head, made the harness of a car rattle] ”(…)…

Continue reading

Old town hall houses

Former seat of the Town Hall, it is a magnificent example of Renaissance civil architecture. In the gallery on the upper floor there are two niches, one with the image of San Miguel Arcángel, patron of the city, and the other with Saint John of the Cross. Today it houses the “María de Molina” Conservatory of Music. In this place the restitution of the body of Saint John of the Cross to Úbeda was unsuccessfully managed. His mortal remains were secretly stolen two years after his death, at midnight, before the city noticed the theft and he was taken to…

Continue reading

House of the Méndez

You can find it in the historic center of the city, in the Plaza de López Almagro. Casa de los Méndez takes on special importance for the literary route of Saint John of the Cross in Úbeda because this is where his relics were venerated before being taken to the Collegiate Church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares.

Continue reading

Street San Juan de la Cruz

Úbeda pays homage to the Saint with a street named after him. This street, which was previously called Calle del Toril, is located at the confluence of Calle Carmen and right next to the Museo Oratorio de Saint John of the Cross, precisely where the mystical poet died, so the choice of the name of the street could not be more accurate.

Continue reading

Monument to San Juan de la Cruz

The monument to Saint John of the Cross stands very close to the museum, in the Plaza Primero de Mayo (First of May Square). A monument in the form of a sculpture, made of polished white marble and limestone, which is the work and donation of the Malaga native sculptor Francisco Palma Burgos. It was inaugurated on November 24, 1959, and in that year various events were held in honor of the Saint. The monument, in perfect harmony with the square and the Church of San Pablo, was not the original idea. There was another more ambitious project, whose model…

Continue reading

Museum of San Juan de la Cruz

The Museum of Saint John of the Cross, is the only existing one in the world dedicated to his figure, it was inaugurated in 1978 in the premises of the convent of San Miguel de los Carmelitas Descalzos, where the mystical poet went to get cured of the “fever” : (…) “I received here in La Peñuela the batch of letters that the servant brought me. I am very careful. Tomorrow I am going to Úbeda to heal from some fever, for which, (as there have been more than eight days that they give me every day and they do…

Continue reading

Statue of General Orduña

General Leopoldo Saro was a prominent military and politician in the first quarter of the 20th century. He had family ties with the province of Jaén, and was the promoter of numerous activities of a social, cultural and economic nature. He promoted in Ubeda the opening of the municipal library, various school groups, the Parador de Turismo, the reconstruction of the Casa de las Torres as the School of Arts and Crafts and the Ideal Cinema Theater. He also contributed to the development of the Baeza-Utiel railway line, although it never came into operation. It comes to no surprise that…

Continue reading

The clock tower

The Clock Tower is located in the Plaza de Andalucía, next to the Tourist Office. It has its origin in a tower belonging to the Arab wall, built in the 13th century and was part of the defense of the main entrance to the town. It was not until the middle of the 16th century when the tower was adapted to house the clock, and today it constitutes a symbolic element of the town and a magnificent place to see Úbeda from a bird’s eye view, apart from housing the oldest bells in the city. For Antonio Muñoz Molina, the…

Continue reading

Palace of the Orozco

Strolling around, we approach the Plaza de San Pedro, where the Palacio de los Orozco is located, the only example in Úbeda of 19th century palatial architecture, with French influence and modernist touches. The Palacio de los Orozco is one of the settings where Antonio Muñoz Molina develops the action of his novel Beatus Ille in Mágina. “The palace is older than the acacias and hedges, but the fountain was already there when they built it, brought from Italy four centuries ago by a duke who was very devoted to Michelangelo […]” Antonio Muñoz Molina. Beatus Ille.

Continue reading

La Casa de las Torres (House of the Towers)

Casa de las Torres is a palace in the style of an urban tower palace (hence its popular name) and currently houses the School of Arts and Crafts of Úbeda, with studies of Artistic Cabinetmaking, Engraving and Stamping Techniques, Projects and Direction of Decoration Works and Bachelor of Arts. The palace is a space widely mentioned by Antonio Muñoz Molina in his work The Polish Horseman, novelizing the legend of “The Immured”, a female corpse discovered at the beginning of the 20th century after renovation works on the palace. The remains are assigned to Lady Ana de Orozco. According to…

Continue reading

Residence of Antonio Muñoz Molina

The house where Muñoz Molina lived is located as the nerve center of the San Lorenzo neighborhood, within the analogous square, a location he used as a resource in different parts of the novel The Polish Horseman. The house, which is still family-owned, cannot be visited, but displays a plaque on the façade that recalls the uniqueness of being the home of such an illustrious author. “[…] and that night, in his bedroom, from whose window he could see in the moonlight the facade of the House of the Towers and the oblique shadows of the gargoyles […]” Antonio Muñoz…

Continue reading

San Lorenzo neighborhood

Going down Calle Cava, we find the peculiar neighborhood of San Lorenzo, a place where Antonio Muñoz Molina spent his childhood and which becomes another protagonist in his work, with its cobbled streets, white houses, churches and palaces … . The author recreates in this neighborhood a literary space that is a key element to understand and interpret the action of the story, identifying specific spaces in the neighborhood such as the Cava gardens (both in Full Moon and in The Polish Horseman), the Church of San Lorenzo, the Puerta de Granada, the cobbled streets or its viewpoints. The Cava…

Continue reading

Sculpture to the Fallen

The Town Hall square, also known as the Plaza de the Fallen for the sculpture it houses, stands between the Vázquez de Molina square, where you can find authentic Renaissance works such as the Sacra Capilla del Salvador and the San Lorenzo neighborhood. This is where Antonio Muñoz Molina lived his childhood and youth. A sculpture that is located in the center of the square and is dedicated to all those who died in the Spanish Civil War. It was made in 1951 by the Cadiz-born image master Juan Luis Vasallo. The Ubeda author makes mention of this square and…

Continue reading