Castle of Santa Catalina

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Castle of Santa Catalina

Saint Catalina Castle is known as Castle of Santa Catalina is a Spanish castle, styled in Moorish revival, built-in 1932 and overlooks the city of Jaén. Saint Catalina’s Castle is now known as one of the best castle hotels in Europe.

The old fortress that was built on the Cerro de Santa Catalina was made up of three fortifications, the old fortress the Alcázar Viejo was built during the reign of King Alhamar and the new fortress the Abrehui Castle and the Alcázar Nuevo, which was built-in the 13th Century by Fernando III, out of the three fortresses, only the Alcázar Nuevo survived, the other fortresses were torn down in the mid 20th century as part of the Parador Nacional de Turismo, state-owned hotel. which was built in their place and is now known as one of the best castle hostels in the World.

On top of the hill where the castle is situated, there’s a monument cross that recalls the cross that Ferdinand III had built there and on the foot of the cross, there is an engraving in the rock, that says “Sonnet to the Cross” which was written by the poet Almendros Aguilar.

Napoleon’s Troops turned the fortress into a stronghold, which they went on to control over the province from the castle, used the castle fortresses as storage facilities and a fifty-bed hospital. to this day the changes made by the Napoleon’s Army are still visible. There are six towers which defend the castle. The Torre del Homenaje stands at 40 meters height, next to it, is the Torre de las Damas, known as the ladies towers, which protects the entrance to the castle gates. The two defensive towers, one which houses the chapel of Santa Catalina and the Torre de la Vela is a watchtower, both had flat roofs which were lit to signal other defensive ports in the surrounding area. The Torre de las Troneras, which is known as the Embrasure Tower and was used as a latrine since the middle ages.

A number of excavations were carried out to reveal the hidden and forgotten secrets about the castle, it revealed that the castle was a palace or even a royal household quarters inside the Arab fortress and even showing traces of different transformations the castle went throughout the centuries.

The stunning Medieval Arabic Castle is currently being used as a tourist attraction, which has a visitors center that recreates large part of its evolution and the history of Jaén and the castle itself offers the perfect phenomenal views of the province and the city of Jaén.

Castle of Santa Catalina
Castle of Santa Catalina Photography By Flickr user: PROdamian entwistle

Telephone: +34 953 19 04 55 | Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube |

How to get there

The castle is reachable via the ring road on the west side of Jaén.

  • By Car: from Barrio Peñamefecit to the castle the journey should take around 16 minutes, 6.3 km away.
  • By Train: the nearest train station is the Jaén train station, located 20 minutes drive or 1 hour and 15 minutes by foot.
  • By Foot: the Catedral de Jaén is 3.3 km away from the castle, the journey should take 53 minutes. the Iglesia de la Magdalena is situated 3.0km from the castle, the journey will take 48 minutes by foot.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Please note during holidays and other special occasions opening hours may vary


More Photography’s

Castillo de Jaén Photography By flickr user: Aivark
jaen castle of santa catalina view Photography By flickr user: damian entwistle
The Castle of Santa Catalina Photography By flickr user: ccpixel



Address: Cerro Santa Catalina, s/n, 23003 Jaén, Spain

Latitude: 37.767373
Longitude: -3.799535

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