Puerta de Jaén and Arco de Villalar
The so-called Puerta de Jaén (or Jaén Gate) was part of the ancient Baeza wall demolished in 1476 on orders of Isabel La Católica after several clashes between local nobles. During the time of Charles I, the gate was rebuilt and decorated with the emperor’s coat of arms to commemorate his visit to the town after his bride and groom’s journey with Isabel of Portugal in 1526. The Puerta de Azacaya (or Azacaya Gate), commonly called Jaén, was the forced exit passage to Jaén and also the place from where troops left to take the last Muslim stronghold at the end of the Reconquest. The Arco de Villalar (or Arch of Villalar) is also in the Plaza del Pópulo or Los Leones. It was built to commemorate the victory of Charles I over the Comuneros de Castilla at the Battle of Villalar (Valladolid). The Baeza Carvajales family, very partisan of the king, ordered the raising of this pointed and crenellated arch. The communal revolt was not overly significant in Andalusia, although it had a presence in cities such as Jaén, Ubeda and Baeza. As in the rest of Spain, the movement was crushed after the decisive battle of Villalar, a turning point that settled the reign of Charles I in the Peninsula. Other emblematic buildings in this same square are the Antigua Carnicería (or Former Butcher’s) and Audiencia Civil y Escribanías Públicas (or Civil Courthouse and Public Scribes building) which is now the present Baeza Tourist Office. An ideal place to make a small detour and jump back into the 16th century.