A day trip to Úbeda and Baeza, twin cities in Renaissance style

Slightly off the beaten track, Úbeda and Baeza, two neighbouring cities at one and a half hours by car from the Cortijo, are considered as two of the best examples of Renaissance town planning in Spain. These cities lived in great prosperity during the 16th century that made them compete to reach better and purer Renaissance buildings.

In Úbeda, the aristocracy, exalted to the highest level of the imperial Spanish administration, behaved as real Renaissance patrons, and imitating Italian families such as the Medici from Firenze, they wanted to be surrounded by beauty and in the process filled Úbeda with extravagant palaces.

Baeza, on the other side, had a powerful town council, that decided to show its power with beautiful publics works, such as the pósito (public granary), the alhóndiga (corn exchange), the meat market, the prison, etc. The Catholic Church also decided to beautify its more important buildings, such as the Church of St. Mary in Úbeda, or the Cathedral of Baeza. The result was a so pure classicism that has been compared to Northern Italian cities.