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A doughty symbol marking the Christian reconquest of Jaén from the Moors, complete with imposing towers (and latrines!)

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Santa Catalina Castle

Jaén's 13th-century castle looms over the city and its history

Built by King Ferdinand III in 1246 after the city's reconquest from the Moors up on the hill overlooking Jaén, the imposing Santa Catalina Castle is visible from practically any street in the city. You can reach it on foot, of course, by bus or car might be more recommendable. Either way, at the top you're rewarded with sweeping views over the city, the Guadalquivir River valley, and as the sun goes down, the lights from towns including Baeza, Úbeda, and Linares. Inside the castle you'll see the 40-metre (131-foot) Torre del Homenaje (Homage Tower); the Torre de las Troneras (Tower of the Little Windows), which housed the palace latrines (unusual in the Middle Ages); and the Castle Cross, situated on an outcropping as a symbol of Christianity's triumph in reconquering Jaén.



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