Lucena is a town in the Subbetica region of Cordoba, after the capital, it is the most numerous in terms of inhabitants. It is surrounded by a sea of olive trees and vineyards, having a historical and artistic heritage inherited from its Arab, Christian and Jewish past. Like the capital, Lucena is said to be the city of three cultures.
In its day it was known as the Pearl of Sepharad, it had a great splendour just like Cordoba and Granada during the Arab period of the Taifa kingdoms. Do you want to know this town and what to see in Lucena? join us …
Chapel of the Sagrario de San Mateo
If you come to Lucena you cannot miss the Sagrario Chapel in the church of San Mateo. This work was carried out in 1772 following the design of Leonardo Antonio de Castro, a local architect. This chapel is considered to be one of the jewels of the Cordovan Baroque style. It has a completely masterful façade of black, white and red jasper. It is also noted as one of the most important sculptural works of Andalusian Baroque.
Sanctuary of the Virgin of Araceli
In Lucena, one of the most venerated virgins is that of Araceli, which is located at the top of the Sierra de Aras a few kilometres from the town. The sanctuary of María Santísima de Araceli also has an impressive natural viewpoint, from which you can see up to 5 different provinces and numerous nearby towns.
Next to the sanctuary there are several places to rest, picnic areas, terraces, a reception room and a typical inn where you can sample the local gastronomy.
Due to the construction of a ring road in the area, a medieval cemetery was discovered in which 346 tombs were discovered. After several studies, it has been concluded that the remains date from 1000 to 1050 AD, when the Jewish religion was at its height in Lucena.
Today you can visit the site, as the visit is included in the Perla de Sefarad tourist activity. Along with the burial sites, several tombs have been recreated to show the public in an educational way the types of burials that have been found in this cemetery.
Cave of Ángel Archaeological Site
The archaeological site of the Cavel of Ángel is a Neanderthal Palaeolithic settlement. It is between 4000 and 5000 centuries old. It is a vertical cavity that was used as a waste dump. This gives us approximately 70 metres of geological fill and material discarded by humans of the time, making it very beneficial for study and analysis.
Early Christian basilica of Coracho
This is one of the first Constantinian basilicas in Hispania, which is currently being studied and is open to the public for visits. This site is helping to shed light on the origin of Christianity on the peninsula.
In 2008 the interpretation centre of the Basilica was inaugurated and is open to the public for tourist visits as part of the Lucena Artesanal activity. A must for lovers of history and archaeology, as well as another attraction to see in Lucena.
Churches in Lucena
There are many churches, parishes and chapels to visit in this municipality in the south of Cordoba. Some of them are the parish church of San Mateo, the parish church of Santiago, the church of San Pedro Mártir de Verona, the parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán …
Each one of them has its own unique characteristics. Lucena has a great architectural heritage, some of which was built and maintained during its Catholic era.
If you are visiting Lucena, you cannot miss the Castillo del Moral, a medieval fortress that has now been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. It is believed to have been built in the 11th and 12th centuries, during the Jewish period of greatest splendour in Lucena.
Some of the most important areas of this fortress are the Torre del Homenaje, where it is thought that Boabdil the boy may have been imprisoned. The history of this castle tells that it was transformed by the lords of Lucena into a residential palace.
Later it was inhabited by the Marquises of Comares and later became the castle of the Medinaceli family. What is now in the Castillo del Moral is the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Lucena, where in the different rooms you can see the life on earth, its physical and cultural evolution by the human being.
Typical festivals in Lucena
The typical festivities of Lucena are mostly related to the Holy Week and the different pilgrimages of the Virgen de Araceli. The fair of San Francisco, also known as the Feria de los Novios, is held every year at the end of July. As a curiosity, in this town the world’s largest Roscón de Reyes is made every year, with the aim of raising funds for social work.
Now you have many reasons to visit this town, tourist and cultural attractions to see in Lucena throughout the year.