Úbeda, the queen

Green olive groves mark the edge of this beautiful historic town, giving way to façades of carved stone amidst whitewashed houses.
The most outstanding feature of the city is unarguably the monumental Vázquez de Molina Square, surrounded by imposing Renaissance buildings such as the Palacio de las Cadenas (named after the decorative chains which once hung from the façade).
The Chapel of the Saviour or Capilla del Salvador was built to house the tombs of local nobility. Both the interior and exterior are ornately decorated with elaborate metalwork by the famed ironworker Bartolomé de Jaen.
The Hospital de Santiago, designed by Vandelvira in the late 16th century, with its lovely square bell towers and graceful Renaissance courtyard, is now the home of the town’s Conference Hall.Úbeda also has a Parador hotel, housed in a 16th-century palace which was the residence of a high-ranking churchman of that period.There are 48 monuments in the city, and more than a hundred buildings of interest, almost all of Renaissance style.

Baeza, the lady

Neighbouring Baeza compares with Úbeda in its historic and artistic wealth but here, religion is the key element. Baeza is a charming town with an incredible Renaissance heritage, whose most notable treasures are gathered around the cathedral, a markedly Plateresque building with its diamond-shaped designs, flower ornamentation, braids and pinnacles.
Not to be missed: the haltingly beautiful facades of the Palace of Jabalquinto and the Seminary of San Felipe Neri.
The Plaza del Pópulo, framed by the Casa del Pópulo and the Fuente de los Leones fountain, should not be missed either, nor should the old abattoir.
Many other palaces and ancestral homes will surely enchant you in Baeza, the ancestral birthplace of nobles and aristocrats.

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