Jimena, Comarca de Sierra Magina
Jimena is located at the foot of the Aznaitín, one of the highest peaks of the mountain mass in Mágina. Jimena is a town around the Castle that preserves its Homage Tower. From its height it is discerned the open country of the Guadalquivir covered with olive trees, and the vegetable gardens, next to the town, with fig trees. Like most of the towns in the Comarca, it has had a continuous emigration in the last decades, and it nowadays has 1700 inhabitants.
Jimena has a rich legacy from the Prehistoric Age, we can mention a group of cave paintings, in the Cave of La Granja, that show up the culture of the groups of shepherds who between IV and III millennium B.C inhabited the Southern Mountain Range. In this age it has been counted several settlements in its municipal district, among we can emphasize the Cerro Alcalá, a fundamental reference for the Prehistory and History in this town the same way as for the Medieval Age.
During the Iberian Age Cerro Alcalá will be one of the oppida from VI B.C. that will continue occupied during the following centuries until the Roman Age. Some historians have connected Cerro Alcalá to Ossigi.
Many epigraphic and constructive finds prove that this settlement would hold some kind of Roman status such as Municipium.
During the Arab Age it took place in Jimena an intense settlement carried out by small rural towns or farmhouses. These towns had many fortifications like refuge, Fuente del Moro, Cerro Alcalá or the one mentioned in the chronicles such as San Istibin or San Astabin, place name that had left in a near place to Jimena, Santisteban. According to the chronicles this was one of the castles where the Banu Habil was rebelled against the power of the emir from Córdoba. Jimena (Xemena) could be another of these castles or a fortified farmhouse after the Christian conquest.
Jimena was conquered in 1234 by Fernando III the day of Santiago and it was incorporated in the lands of Baeza. In 1284 it was the property of Pedro Ruy de Berrio. During XIV and XV centuries it was a small lordship until in 1434 the king Juan II gave it to the Orden de Calatrava that established the Encomienda de Torres, Canena, Jimena and the inheriting of Recena.
In XVI century Jimena, next to Baeza, took part in the joint owner of land conflict in the Castilla of Carlos V, even it served like a secret stronghold to the joint owners of land. When these events finished it was sold by the Emperor Carlos V to his secretary Francisco de los Cobos. From this moment Jimena was lordship of Francisco de los Cobos and later it belonged to his descendants the marquis of Camarasa, until the extinction of the feudal privileges in 1812.
Parish Church of Santiago el Mayor.
Hermitage of Cánava.
Cave of La Granja.
Peñón del Concejo.
Pilar Fuente de la Estrella (A cut piece in a single stone)
Pilar de los siete caños.
Pilar de la Plaza.
Pilar de las Machorras (an ancient washing place from the beginning of XX century)
The gastronomy in Jimena is linked to its traditional economy, such as the pork slaughter products: chorizos, black pudding, pickled loin of pork, etc. We can emphasize the game and cultivations of vegetable gardens, especially its delicious figs and early figs. We can also mention the comistrajo, beans with tomato, peppers, fried breadcrumbs, fricassee chicken, wheat, marrococo…Recently; we can mention the tinned marmalade.
The town is part of the production area of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
How to get there
The best way to get the municipal districts from the park is by car. From Jaén, the shorter way is by the road N-321 turning off to Mancha Real, from where you can follow through regional or local roads to Jimena, Pegalajar or Torres, towns that belong to the park. From Granada and Almería the main road is the N-324 from which you get Huelma. From here you have to take the regional road C-325 and you get Belmez de la Moraleda or following the N-324 to Cambil, but it is more convenient if you take the Motorway of Granada. From the north and once in Úbeda, the regional road C-325 takes, after cross the nature reserve called Alto Guadalquivir, to Jódar in which castle is the centre of reception and Interpretation of the Park. From this town you can get Bedmar taking the road C-328, and from there to Jimena and Albanchez de Úbeda.
To Jaén 42 km
To Bedmar 8 km
To Mancha Real 17 km
To Pegalajar 26 km
To Cambil 46 km
To Huelma 42 km
To Jódar 18 km