Bailén – Andalusia
Bailén has approximately 18.000 inhabitants, is located in the North –Western area of Jaén «Puerta de Andalucía». It has an area of 118 kilometres2 and is at a height of metres. It borders on Villanueva de la Reina, Baños de la Encina, Guarromán, Linares, Jabalquinto and Espeluy and it is to 40 kilometres from the capital.
Its geographical situation is characterized because it has an incomparable junction of communications. Because of its easy access through the Motorway of Andalucía and the roads N-322 from Córdoba to Valencia and the N-323 from Bailén to Motril, gives Bailén a great place in Jaén, from that, the hotelkeeper industry acquires a huge importance with numerous and care establishments that is useful to the traveller in all the services that has wanted. Bailén is a land with an extraordinary cultural wealth, based on its historic legacy, where we can observe the dynamism and creativity of the cultural movements in Andalucía.
Its origin comes from a Tartessus village called Baritto and in this way it would be known by Phoenicians. Greeks would call it Baikol and Romans Baécula-Caecilia or Baecula-Baetica. All these civilizations will work its mines of lead, silver, gold and copper.
During Roman age, in 208 B.C, it took place the defeat of a general called Asdrúbal Barca by the roman Publio Cornelio Escipión the African, and from then, part of the Peninsula was submitted to Rome. In al-Andalus period, the town was fortified with the building of the castle.
In 1349, the town was bought by Pero Ponce de León to Alfonso XI.
In 1349, due to the territorial delimitation, it was faced to Baeza. Fernando el Católico paid annually 2.000 fanegas (grain measure) of wheat, a payment that was maintained until the end of XIX century.
In Baeza took place the battle in which were faced the troops of Napoleón and the ones of the improvised army with Andalusia voluntaries of the general Castaños, during the War of Independence. This battle was the first defeat of French troops causing a sensation in all Europe, in which took part D. José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar who were future liberators of the Spanish America.
Church of Encarnación, XVI century. There are combined Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles and in it we can find the remains of the general Castaños.
Castle, IX century. It was built over an old Visigoth monastery.
Hermitage of Nuestro Padre Jesus.
Hermitage of El Santo Cristo, XVIII century.
Hermitage of La Soledad. The Gothic nave dates from XIV century and the side-chapel from XVIII century.
Hermitage of San Juan, from 1490.
Monument to the Héroes de la Batalla.
Potteries. There are many potteries where the clay is worked since ancient times.
Bailén, has had good places where the traveller has satisfied the hungry eating good potatoes with clear soup stewed with rabbit, or the delicious “Papas a lo pobre” where the potato is served with peppers and eggs and virgin olive oil from this area. We can taste dishes cooked with hunting meat (deer or wild boar). Food like the scrambled eggs with mushrooms or a baked leg of kid, the ajo blanco, loins of salmon and pickled partridge.
Another alternative is tasty in an informal and improvised way the famous «tapas» that offer the small bares and pubs located in the town. We cannot forget the variety of sweets made cooked by Sebastián Arance who comes from Bailen and he is settled down for years in Fuenterrabia (San Sebastián), the delicious «Papajotes» and the new creation of the «Pastel de Ma Bellido».
To continue with the tradition in Bailén has been set up the Local School of Catering. One of the most notable works that is being doing is the compilation of typical and traditional dishes: like «papas infladas», «pastel de sesos», «gazpacho frito», «pestiños de Bailen», «ternera con salsa de aceitunas», «caracoles morunos»…, and the ones from the War of Independence, specifically the one that were served in 1808 that collect the names which refers to historic characters. This work of compilation will be culminating in thegiving up of these receipts to the different restaurants of the town.
How to get there
Bailén has an easy access through the Motorway of Andalucía N-IV (Madrid-Cádiz) Km. 298 the one, with the N-322 (Córdoba -Valencia) communicates the area with West Andalucía and the rest of the Communities.
From Madrid, you will access through the Motorway of Andalucía or N-IV. The entrance to Andalucía, from the North of Spain, is carried out through the Parque Natural de Despeñaperros, and after you have covered 40 kilometres you have gotten Bailén
From the East of the Peninsula, you enter Bailén through the N-322 from Albacete
The nearer railway station is the one of (Linares-Baeza). From there leave buses towards Linares and Bailén every 30 minutes.
The airports of Granada and Málaga (this last with connection to international fights) are the nearest ones, linking this last town with Granada, and from here, in a direct way in buses of Alsina Graells with Bailén
The airport of Madrid-Barajas is at 300 kilometres from Bailén and there are direct buses from the South Station of Madrid, and trains from the station of Atocha.
Distances from Bailén
Jaén 40 km
Baeza 39 km
Úbeda 40 km
Linares 13 km
Andújar 28 km
Mengíbar 16 km
Las Viñas 34 km
Marmolejo 39 km
Guarroman 13 km
La Carolina27 km
Baños de la Encina 10 km
Villanueva de la Reina 20 km