Jaén--Inner Paradise

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August 16th 2009
Published: August 16th 2009
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Although all the province of Jaen is pretty :P I show one of the most visited cities, Cazorla, where the second river of Spain has its origin.
For such a small town there are a surprising number of three and four star hotels and countless rural guest houses

Cazorla is the entry point and base for visits to the Natural Park of Sierras de Cazorla Segura y las Villas, a vast protected area of magnificent river gorges and forests. Spain's second longest river, the Guadalquivir has its source in the mountains to the south of the settlement.

The town is constructed around three main squares, the Plaza de la Constitución, the Plaza de la Corredera (or de Huevo, "of the Egg", because of its shape), and the Plaza Santa Maria. This last square is the oldest and is connected to the other two by narrow, twisting streets. It takes its name from the old cathedral which, damaged by floods in the seventeenth century, was later burnt by French troops. It is now in ruin. Above the square sits an austere, reconstructed Moorish castle tower called la Yedra. Still higher up on the rocky escarpment lie the ruins of still yet another ruined fortress.

A recommended excursion is to the nearby village of la Iruela which has a ruined Moorish fortress perched on a daunting rock peak. A number of battles were fought here during the Reconquest until Don Rodrigo Jimenez de Rada, archbishop of Toledo, reconquered it in 1231 and made it the seat of his archbishopric.

Winter nights can be cold due to the elevation but snow is infrequent. Summers are cooler than the low-lying plains to the west and the town fills with tourists during the summer months

Additional photos below
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Cazorla-The city-Cazorla-The city-
Cazorla-The city-

The Castle of Yedra

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