Baena



The city is situated to the southeast of Córdoba alongside the C432 road.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Distance from Córdoba: 60 Km.
Altitude:
704 m.
Geographical Area: 363,3 Km2
Population: 20.402
Local Inhabitants: Baenenses.
Area code: 957
Townhall: Pl. de la Constitución,1. Tel.670000
Local Police: Pl. de la Constitución,10.Tel.670000
National Police: Avda. Padre Villoslada,s/n Tel.670385
Museums: Museo de Semana Santa
Casa de la Tercia.Santo Domingo Hernares,5
Tel.670000


HISTORY:

Present-day Baena was originally an Iberian town called Iponoba, situated in the nearby cerro del Minguillar. After its destruction by the Visigoths the inhabitants populated an old Roman town wich Arab invaders had occupied in the VIII Century, they fortified the site and gave it the name of Bayyana. In 1.241 it was conquered through a pact made by Fernando III. By 1394 Baena had become part of the feudal domain of Don Diego Fernández de Córdoba, the count of Cabra. This noble family, in 1520, obtained the Duchess of Sessa, Elvira Fernández de Córdoba.

PLACES TO VISIT:

A tour around Baena´s monuments should being in the plaza de España better known as El Llano. Nearby one finds the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, an old Dominican convent. The steep street Calzada takes us towards the central plaza del Coso also known as la Constitución, the town buildings found in the square display exquisite XVIII Century architecture. The most outstanding of these buildings La Casa del Monte erected in 1774, decorated in Rococo style.Continuing along Carrera street one finds the building called La Tercia constructed in 1795, it is presently being used as a cultural centre and the small museum of "Semana Santa" is housed here. Carrera street takes us up to the highest point in Baena, to the parish church of Santa María de la Mayor. This is a Gothic temple dating to the XVI Century. At the highest point in Baena stand the remains of some of the towers of the ancient Arabic castle which was later to be the residential palace of the nobility. The convent church of Madre de Dios, of the Dominican order, can be found at a short distance from here, its dates from the XVI Century. The streets Amador de los Ríos and Llana lead us to the church of El Colegio del Espiritu Santo dating to 1774. Not far away in San Bartolome street one finds the parish church of the same name, whose Gothic temple was erected between the end of the XV Century and the beginning of the XVI. Finally La Puerta de Córdoba leads us to the church of San Francisco which belonged to an old Franciscan convent,dating to 1694. The church displays a fine Baroque altarpiece dating around 1730 over which presides a contemporary image of Jesús Nazareno,Baena´s patron.

GASTRONOMY:

Traditional dishes include el revoltillo Baenaensa, Las habas en cazuela, las cachirolás de jamón con tomate, el pendejo, la chicharra a la brasa, el gazpacho known as pitraque, el pollo en salsa de almendras, el empedraillo, and el carnerete. Amongst desserts, famous specialities are los panetillos de cortijo, a variation of tortita de almendra which local pastry shops sell. Baena is also renouned for production of virgin olive oil.

FIESTAS:

The most important event on festive calendar is Easter week, consisting of some ten processions in wich up to thirty religious floats called "pasos" take part. the most unusual and celebrated event is that of the procession of Jewish drummers, who wear embroidered red jackets and golden helmets adorned with crests of feathers and black or white horse hair manes, forming the order of la Cola Negra otherwise known as "Colinegros" and the order of la Cola Blanca or "Coliblancos". The most outstanding paso is that of Jesús Nazareno which leaves the parish of San Francisco in the early hours of Good Friday morning.The performance ends with the arrest of Jesús by the Jews. The first wednesday in October, La Feria Real is celebrated.