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Spain Inland Locations-Guide

Information about Lucena

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(34.786 inhabitants) Còrdoba province

History
From long ago and at least until XII century, Lucena has been a village clearly Jude, although in it lived the biggest differences between Judes, Arabs and Christians. During the cordovan caliphate it formed an independent Jude republic, what allowed the creation of the Academy of Talmudic Studies, where poets and Jude intellectuals gathered, between them Ishaq ibn Gayyat, Ibn Llana, Isaac ibn Chiquitilla or Joseph ibn Migash ha-Levì.
Between 1090 and 1148, the almoràvides dominion meant for the village its most splendour during the Muslim ages, this circumstance finished up with the invasion of the intolerants almohades, who destroyed the aljama and provoked the escape of most of the Judes to Toledo. In 1240, Lucena was taken under the dominion of Fernando III. From XVI century it starts a strong economic growth based on the agriculture, adding later the industry. Nowadays is the most industrious and go-ahead village of Còrdoba province, including the capital city.

Gastronomy

It is a cooking rich in flavours and imagination, mainly with country products. Traditional dishes are the roña de habicholones, kidney beans left over form another stew, mashed and seasoned; the ensalada de colifror, the albòndigas de espinacas and the potaje de castañas. The hojaldre (puff pastry) and the turròn are its best desserts.

Craftsmanship

They keep making tinajas (large jars), lebrillos, and stained glassed ceramic càntaros (large pitcher), as well as the famous brass velones (large candles). Together with these, the industry of furniture has a large variety of artisan works.

Festivities

The Semana Santa is of great interest because of the quality of its images and the special way of carrying the pasos (thrones), with the bearers – here they call them santeros- at open view and walking at the rhythm of the drums. Around the first Sunday of May are celebrated the festivities of the Virgen de Araceli, patron saint of the city. They take down the image from its hermit situated in the mount Aras, 6 kms from the city, and it is taken around the village in a procession. During the festivities takes place the Semana Santa Infantil, carried out by children. From 8th until 10th September is celebrated the feria del Valle.

Urban life

Lucena is an active, commercial and deeply religious city. The Semana Santa, as a phenomenon of the santerìa, the devotion to the Virgen de Araceli, the liking of flamenco and the wine in its right amounts are part of the worries of the lucentinos.
In the last times it has developed too a strong tendency to culture, showed in the large variety of activities that go from a Festival Internacional de Piano ( International Piano Contest) to the Semanas de Teatro ( Theatre weeks), Festivales de Jazz or Certàmenes de Cortos Cinematogràficos ( Cinema Contests).
But first is work. Prove of the strong industry in Lucena is the fact that every day 3.000 new workers come from the surrounding villages.

Visit

The Plaza Nueva is the heart of the city. Here raises the parroquia de San Mateo, lucentinian jewel named the Cathedral of the Campiña. It is a work from XVI century, renaissance gothic of beautiful making, especially inside. By the square is the square del Coso, with very nice gardens close to the Castillo del Moral, where Boabdil was in jail, last king of Granada, which keeps the  Museo Arqueològico y Etnològico.In the square of San Pedro is situated the iglesia de San Martìn, that belongs to the convent of las Agustinas and finished in 1726. It is remarkable its monumental façade, the oval plant and the dome.
The Iglesia de Santiago, National Monument, is situated in the street of the same name. In the plaza de la Calzada is the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, with its superb baroque doorway.

Surroundings
At 6 kms we can find the santuario de Nuestra Señora de Araceli, patron saint of Lucena and of the andalusian country. It is worth to get up till here just for the view that can we can reach from here.