by Saskia Mier

Quesada is a must for cultural tourism when visiting the Jaén province. Unsurprisingly, it encompasses various historical monuments, in addition to the Natural Monument of the Cueva del Agua and the set of caves with cave paintings of the Sierra de Quesada, which are declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has about 5200 inhabitants.


In the Sierra de Quesada, there are numerous shelters with cave paintings, including the Encarejo cave, the Cerro Vitar shelter, the Hiedra cave and the Cabrera cave, in which in addition to the paintings, materials were found including ceramics and lithics that have allowed us to date the first human occupation of these lands to the III millennium BC. During the Bronze Age (II millennium BC), with the arrival of the first Argaric populations, the same shelters and caves of the previous phase were reoccupied, and others, such as the town and necropolis of “Corral de Quiñones”. More>


Arco de los Santos
A Gothic gate built in the fourteenth century, located at an entrance to the old walled enclosure. It has continued to fulfil the original function for which it was built, allowing access to the villa from the east. From here you can access the narrow streets of Cinto, Alcaidía, Las Posadas or La Casa sin Puerta and the old part of the city that ends in the Lonja neighbourhood, where the Iglesia de San Pedro y San Pablo is located. Declared a Cultural Interest in 1985. Located on Calle de los Arcos.

Arco de la Manquita de Utrera
The Arco de la Manquita de Utrera constitutes one of the access doors that are still standing from what was the fortress of Quesada. It was also called “Arco del Mesón” before taking its current name. It is not easy to determine this type of space chronologically, since it has undergone modifications over the centuries. In the specific case of this Arco de la Manquita de Utrera, it is believed that its origin is not Muslim given its proximity to the aforementioned Puerta del de los Santos, and because its location does not conform to the urban layout. Located on Calle de los Arcos.

Iglesia de la Purificación o “Chica”
The Church of the Hospital de la Purísima Concepción was built in the seventeenth century in  the Baroque style. It is also known as the Iglesia del Hospital, due to the old hospital that was located in its vicinity. The interesting altarpiece that presides over its main altar was built in the second third of the following century. Its façade, with very simple lines, is made of brick in the traditional Mudejar style, later whitewashed. It is covered by a barrel vault, topped towards the altar in a half dome. Located on Calle Hospital.

Iglesia de San Pedro y San Pablo
The church dates from the eighteenth century and was built on the remains of a previous mosque. It has a Latin cross floor plan with three naves, highlighting the oval transept vault and the chapel that is located under the tower preserving its traditional Gothic style. It received the name of San Pedro and San Pablo to commemorate the conquest of Quesada, which occurred on June 29, 1310. Its external appearance is highly transformed and does not show any specific stylistic traits. Its main façade presents a vertical development, topped with a gabled eave and its corner tower rises in four bodies, the first two of masonry and the rest of ashlars. Located in Plaza de la Lonja.

Museo Rafael Zabaleta
The Rafael Zabaleta Museum is dedicated to the artist, Rafael Zabaleta, who was born in Quesada. The museum was founded in 1963, although its current site was opened on December 1, 2008. The artistic works that are in the museum are the result of a voluntary transfer of the rights of the painter’s heirs, who after his death without a will, wanted to respect his will, although legally nothing obliged them to do so. The museum is built on a 2,000 square meter plot, it has three floors and an annex building which is used for workshops. A sample of the more than 1,000 works by Zabaleta, consisting of watercolours, oil paintings and drawings, are exhibited. There are an additional six more exhibiting rooms: the Zabaleta Friends’ Room, with 125 paintings by Picasso, Juan Gris or Miró; the Rafael Zabaleta Awards Room; the Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera Room with 50 works belonging to the art critic’s private collection; the María Angeles Dueñas Room with 24 works; the José Luis Verdes Room; and the temporary exhibition hall, as well as a library, bookstore and restoration workshops. Located in Plaza Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera.

Opening Times:
31st March - 26th October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
31st March - 26th October, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00-14:30hrs.
27th October - 29th March, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-29:00hrs. 
27th October - 29th March, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00-14:30hrs.

General: €4.00
Over 65 and Students: €2.00
Ages 6-18: €1.00
Groups (over 20): €3.00
Free audio guide service.

Museo Miguel Hernández-Josefina Manresa
The Miguel Hernández-Josefina Manresa Museum contains a large part of the legacy of Miguel Hernández. It offers a journey through the work and life of the poet and his wife, Josefina Manresa, a love story full of passion and emotion in six exhibition rooms. The reception and welcome hall illustrate the importance of the author and his personal and literary evolution through his chronological stages, linked to his books: The “Sala del Poeta Pastor”: Perito en Lunas (January 1933), adolescence poetry, hermetic verses of pastoral and religious inspiration, nature and innocence; The “Sala del Poeta Enamorado”: El Rayo Que No Cesa (January 1936), love-themed sonnets, a stay in Madrid, personal and literary change and a break with the church; The “Sala del Poeta Soldado”: Viento del Pueblo (September 1937), El Hombre Acecha (1938), literature and social commitment, a stay in Jaén, trip to the USSR and the beginning of the pessimistic accent and intimacy; The “Sala del Poeta Mártir”: Cancionero y Romancero de Ausencias (1939-41), prison stage, intimate and nostalgic poetry for lost freedom and songs of hope in a context of defeat; The “Sala del Poeta Mito”: Postmortem, tributes, publications and translations of Hernández’s work abroad, the role of singer-songwriters, the poet and his current cultural and didactic dimension. Located on the ground floor of the Rafael Zabaleta Museum, in Plaza Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera.

Opening Times:
31st March - 26th October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
31st March - 26th October, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00-14:30hrs.
27th October - 29th March, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-19:00hrs. 
27th October - 29th March, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00-14:30hrs.

General: €4.00
Over 65 and Students: €2.00
Ages 6-18: €1.00
Groups (over 20): €3.00
Free audio guide service.

Centro de Interpretación del Patrimonio Arqueológico de QuesadaCIPAQ 
The Archaeological Heritage Interpretation Center, CIPAQ, opened its doors in September 2015 to join the extensive cultural offer of this picturesque town in Jaén, the cradle of the Guadalquivir. The objective is to show the extraordinary history, both prehistoric and Roman, that Quesada treasures. The first floor is dedicated to one of the most important sets of Levantine and schematic rock art in the province of Jaén, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1998. On the ground floor the theme revolves around the Roman villa of Bruñel, with a surprising group of mosaics in an excellent state of conservation. The tour is set with the exhibition of interesting objects, recreations, audiovisual, interactive and a didactic classroom for even the youngest visitors. The Quesada tourist information office is also located here, as well as a recreation of the most interesting points of the Villa Romana de Bruñel. Located in Plaza de la Coronación.

Opening Times:
Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-19:00hrs.
Sunday and Holidays, 10:00-14:30hrs.

Free Entrance.

Things to see outside the town

Abrigo del Arroyo de Tíscar
The site is located within the limits of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park. In this place there are two shelters, one of them oriented to the West-Northwest, which presents schematic carmine red anthropomorphs and zoomorphs. In the declaration as a world heritage of humanity of rock art in the Mediterranean basin in the Iberian Peninsula, UNESCO states that it is the largest group of rock art sites in Europe, providing an exceptional image of human life in a critical phase of human development which is depicted vividly and graphically in paintings that are unique in style and subject matter. Declared a Cultural Interest in 1985. Located south of the town.

Villa y Mosaicos Romanos de Bruñel 
The site constitutes an archaeological complex formed by a late Iberian necropolis and a Roman phase that extends from the second to the fourth century AD. Made known by the residents of the town, it has had systematic excavations throughout eight archaeological campaigns and various phases of cleaning and consolidation of the structures. There are three phases that define the town, which correspond to the second, third and fourth centuries AD. Of these three phases, the second, probably dating from the third century, corresponds to a large, well-preserved villa where the atrium with the impluvium and the peristyle stand out, around which most of the rooms are distributed with mosaics, the compositions of the latter being generally geometric, sometimes with swastika bands or braids of different ends or combinations of these with medallions enclosing human figures. Declared a Cultural Interest in 2005. Located north of the town, off the A-322. 

Castillo de Tíscar
A small  castle of probable Muslim origin, in which remains of a keep till stand. In reality, the true Torre del Homenaje or Alcazarejo del Castillo was the Peña Negra, a rugged rock formation with steep walls that rise up the central, constituting a point of almost impregnable defence. Declared a Cultural Interest in 1985. Located south east of the town, off the A-6206.

Ermita de San Sebastián
A small chapel of extremely simple construction, which dates back to the 1940s. Its interior is accessed through a simple opening finished in a semicircular arch, and crowning the whole can be seen a light and sober body of a belfry that appears topped by an iron cross. This chapel, whitewashed on the outside and devoid of any type of ornamentation on its exterior, is dedicated to the patron saint of the town of Quesada, San Sebastián, from whom it takes its name. Located 1km north of the town.

Santuario de la Virgen de Tíscar
Originally a small sanctuary built after the Christian re-conquest to receive worship in thanksgiving to the Virgin for delivering victory. It still preserves the large door with a propped arch and ornamental jambs as well as remains of the Granada tile, although at first this sanctuary was Gothic in style with Mudejar elements, in the mid-twentieth century it was definitively replaced by the building that can be seen today. Its interior consists of a single nave made of stone, with a doorway and atrium from the fourteenth century, a font from the sixteenth century and an inlaid door from the seventeenth century. Among its furniture heritage, a series of small terracotta images of the Virgin stand out. Located south east of the town.


Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas 
With a total surface area of 209,920Ha and covering almost a fifth of Jaén province, this is Spain’s largest protected area and one of its most extensive forested zones. Located in eastern Jaen province, it connects the Sierra Morena and the Subbética mountain ranges. The highest peak in this immense park is Pico Empanada at 2,107m and the entire park is higher than 600m.

Recognising its exceptional ecological importance, it was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1983 and it was deemed a natural park in 1989. First impressions of the park may consist of barren rocky crests and vast pine forests, but the area’s botanical importance within Andalusia is matched only by the Sierra Nevada, with a fifth of the vascular plants in the Iberian peninsula being found in the Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park. It is also home to 51 species of mammals, 185 birds, 21 reptiles (including an endemic lizard), 12 amphibians, 11 fish and one of the highest number of butterfly species in the Iberian peninsula, with 112 varieties found here.

Also worth visiting are the four viewpoints; Mirador Peña de Quesada, Mirador de la Alcantarilla, Mirador de Guazalamanco and Mirador del Lirio.

Nacimiento del Río Guadalquivir
The source of the most important river in Andalucia, Río Guadalquivir, situated in the Cañada de las Siete Fuentes, where black pines and holm oaks accompany the river along with curious geological formations. At an altitude of 1,450m, the Guadalquivir makes its way between the rocks and begins an exciting and precipitous journey through the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas. Three kilometres away stands the Puente de las Herrerías and legend has it that it was built in a single night so that Isabel la Católica could cross it on her way to Baza. Cañada de las Fuentes has a recreational area that is frequently visited by deer. 

Tejo Milenario
Situated a few kilometres from the source of the Guadalquivir we find the yew valley, one of the most emblematic formations of the Natural Park with a total of 16 yew trees, among which is one of the plant relics of Europe, the Tejo Milenario (Millennial Yew), standing at more than 2000 years old and at trunk that exceeds nine meters in diameter.

Cueva del Agua
The Cueva del Agua, declared a natural monument of Andalucia, is located between the villages of Tíscar and Belerda. It is a natural limestone cave through which the Tíscar River runs between the rock of Monte del Caballo. The peculiarity of this rock has created a narrow formation with a deep throat, with capricious rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and impressive waterfalls, cascades, pylons and fountains that come together in Pilon Azul.

Countryside Walks

Quesada has various hiking routes available:
Sendero GR-7 (Etapa 1) Quesada-Cazorla
Sendero Cueva del Agua
Sendero Pico Cabañas
Sendero Tejos Milenarios
Ruta Nacimiento
Ruta Guadiana
Ruta Tíscar


Visitors to Quesada can try traditional dishes such as gachamiga (similar to polenta, served with chorizo, bacon, fried peppers or melon), ajoharina (gachas served with anchovies and clams), andrajos (meat, vegetable and wild cep stew) and talarines (pasta stew served with wild hare, partridge or wild ceps). Sweet treats include pan de higo (fig bread) and borrachuelos (liqueur sponge cake).

Bus Service

There are bus services from Quesada to Jaén, Jódar, Mancha Real and Úbeda. More>


Popular festivals in Quesada are Feria, Romería de la Virgen de Tíscar, Fiesta de San Sebastián and San Antón. More>


The weather forecast for the next few days for Quesada. More>


The tourist office of Quesada is located in the Centro de Interpretación del Patrimonio Arqueológico de QuesadaCIPAQ. More>


The neighbouring villages to Quesada are Huesa, Hinojares, Cazorla and Peal de Becerro.