ÚBEDA, 9km east of Baeza and built on the same escarpment overlooking the valley of the Guadalquivir, looks less promising when you reach it. Don’t be put off by the modern suburbs, though, for hidden away in the old quarter is one of the finest architectural jewels in the whole of Spain, and perhaps even Europe. Follow the signs to the Zona Monumental and you’ll eventually reach the Plaza de Vázquez de Molina, a tremendous Renaissance square and one of the most impressive of its kind on the peninsula. Most of the buildings round the square are the late sixteenth-century work of Andrés de Vandelvira, the architect of Baeza’s cathedral and numerous churches in both towns. One of these buildings, the Palacio de las Cadenas, originally a palace for Felipe II’s secretary, houses Úbeda’s ayuntamiento and features a magnificent facade fronted by monumental lions.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Spain features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Forget package holidays: Palma is far more than just the gateway to Mallorca’s beach resorts. The Balearic capital is a dynamic city of stylish restaurants, c…

28 Feb 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month