La Guardia de Jaén
La Guardia de Jaén Municipality
La Guardia de Jaén is a town located to the south-east of the capital, in an area with rough mountain ranges, over the hill from which you have a beautiful view on the surrounding lands, mainly inhabited by olive trees.
In this town, near the capital of the province, there are many testimonies about the human presence 2.000 years B.C. During the Iberian Age probably was the Mentesa Bastia, but it was during the Roman control when the town reached a privileged status, like we can observe in the texts of Plinio and in the epigraphic inscriptions that were found.
During the Visigoth Age the town turned into a see of an Episcopal diocese. Some of the eleven bishops that we have proofs took part in the Concilios de Toledo between the years 380 and 858.
Mentesa was the capital of La Cora during the first years of the Islamic occupation until the emirate of ´Abd al-Rahman II, that moved the capital to the town of Yayyan (Jaén) opening the progressive decline.
Fernando III conquered it in 1244, two years before seizing Jaén. Owing to the fact that it was border land, became a strategic important, hence its present name.
In 1331 was set up the lordship of La Guardia in favour of Ruiz de Baeza family, who started the restructuring of the Islamic fortress. In 1556 the lordship was turned into marquisate by order of Felipe II, in favour of Gonzalo Messia Carrillo, a family to whom he bound until his definitive extinction in XIX century. The founding of this marquisate inaugurated a stage of a great constructive activity and urban renovation that marked in the town the Renaissance stamp that is kept. The Moorish castle was the residence of the marquis, the Dominican convent was built, the church in which Andrés de Vandelvira worked and the fountain of Isabel II that has five bronze spouts.
The news of the Guardia during the Modern Age show it immersed in a vegetable gardens and fruit trees agriculture together with the production of wheat, maize, barley, flax, cannabis plant, legumes or wine. In XIX century started to join like the main commercial activities the derived from the flour and oil mills. During these dates the oil was exported to the interior of Reino and Levante.
Monuments in La Guardia de Jaén
Parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. A Vandelvira building work.
Ancient convent of Santo Domingo.
Hermitages of Santa María Coronada, San Pedro and San Sebastián.
Ruins of the Arab castle.
Many Neolithic Sites in the area around.
Urban area. Historic Site.
Public fountain of Isabel II. Restored in 1556.
La Guardia de Jaén Gastronomy
The gastronomy of Guardia is a varied and original cuisine, that besides it keeps Moorish influences and has tasty dishes such as the following:
* Guiñapos, a kind of flat cakes, known in other towns with the name of andrajos. It is a stew similar the rice, but cooked with flour flat cakes, cod and clams.
*Stew of potatoes with garlic.
* Dried beans.
* Oatmeal porridges.
* Breadcrumbs fried with garlic and pomegranates.
* Encebollao, a typical dish made during the Lent, and Holy Week fiestas, specially during “Good Friday” day, in order to keep the catholic tradition of not eating meat during Lent Fridays (look also Lent).
* Bread Roll of Pumpkin (Bollo de calabaza), a typical dish during Las Lumbres de San Antón fiesta, January 16.
*Hornazos, a traditional sweet during Easter, that is eaten “Resurrection” day, and that it is known like The Easter day of the Easter Pies. This sweet consists on oil flat cakes with raisins, almonds, walnuts and a boiled egg. (Look also La Pascua de los Hornazos).
* Gusanillos, a traditional sweet in the confectionery of Guardia.
* Gachas dulces, it is cooked for the celebration of November 1, Día de todos los Santos.
* Roscos fritos, a traditional sweet.
How to get there
You have to exit Jaén and continue in J-14 then take the Motorway A-316. Turn left in the road E-902 / A-44 towards Granada – Motril. Then take the exit towards Salida 46 – La Guardia de Jaén. You get La Guardia de Jaén.
Distances from La Guardia de Jaén
Jaén 12 km
Cambil 19 km
Carchelejo 19 km
Pegalajar 7,5 km
Mancha Real 16 km
Puente Nuevo 7,5 km
Puente de la Sierra 16 km
Campillo de Arenas 28 km