Santo Tomé

Santo Tomé

by Saskia Mier

Santo Tomé is situated within the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas Natural Park. Among its attractions, it is the Torre del Vinagre Natural Interpretation Center that stands out, where visitors have the opportunity to get to know the Natural Park in depth. In addition, in the same place are the Botanical Garden and the Hunting Museum. It has about 2200 inhabitants.


The oldest archaeological remains found in the municipal area which reveal the earliest human presence in the area include various lithic tools such as arrowheads, sickle teeth and crushers, etc. More>


During the late Middle Ages, Santa Tomé was linked to the Archbishopric of Toledo and in the territory of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla fulfilled important strategic tasks against the enemy of Castile, the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. To meet the military objectives of the Christian conquest, a castle was built in the fourteenth century, of which only the keep remains, with a rectangular, almost square base about nine meters on each side. This tower avoided the fate of ruin and destruction that the rest of the castle experienced by becoming incorporated as a bell tower on the left side of the church. The tower, which preserves its Gothic features, is made of regular course masonry in its lower part and ashlar in the upper area. When its original military function was changed to a religious purpose, a stone belfry was added, alongside a cornice and a triangular pediment that houses another bell. In 1985 the tower was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. Located in Plaza Montemar.

Casa Grande 
The most significant example of the domestic architecture of Santo Tomé is preserved in the church square. This whitewashed masonry house, the Casa Grande, of Baroque lexicography, dates from the first half of the eighteenth century. On the lower floor, it presents an off-centred and linteled doorway with spilling voussoirs, ashlar jambs and wooden doors with trefoil nails. On it is exhibited a noble shield of the Lords of the town, Sánchez de Quesada. A cornice, on whose sides there are wrought iron bars that protrude from the line of the façade, gives way to the upper floor, which has four bars with rosettes. In 1997 it was included in the General Catalog of Andalusian Historical Heritage. Currently the building is a nursing home. Located in Plaza Montemar.

Iglesia de Santo Tomás Apóstol
The parish church is dedicated to Santo Tomás and was restored in 1966 under the direction of the architect, Pablo del Castillo. The façade is located at the foot of the church, finished in a gable end with a small circular barred window. Although the box plan is conditioned by the rectangular space occupied by the primitive church, its entire interior has been profoundly reformed. Its only nave has artificial stone flooring, it is separated from the access door by an iron grid and its walls are punctuated by six buttresses and illuminated by rectangular windows located in the upper parts of the walls. The ceiling is made of plaster forming diamond points and at the height of the main altar it presents a rhomboid indentation where the iconography of the Holy Spirit is represented. The murals in the header are striking. Its author, Marcelo Góngora, mixed the representation of the sacred with the mundane and the eternal with the temporal  portraits of authorities, locals and the parish priest of the moment, in addition to the Cathedral of Jaén, the town’s own church or the papal coat of arms. Located in Calle Montemar.

Things to see outside the town

Iglesia de la Agrupación de Santo Tomé
Near Santo Tomé, in the Agrupación de Santo Tomé, they have a simple church built in 1954 under the direction of Juan Piqueras. It has a rectangular plan articulated from four lowered arches that are supported by as many buttresses, with white walls both inside and outside. Located west of the town, off the JA-6108.


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.

In this recreational area, which is perfectly equipped on the banks of the Borosa River, you can practice fishing during the closed season. It is also the ideal starting point for various itineraries inside the Natural Park, for example, the Cerrada de Elías, the power station, the Salto de los Órganos or the Aguas Negras and Valdeazores lagoons. Located to the east of the town, in the heart of the Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park.

Centro de Interpretación Fluvial Río Borosa
The Fluvial Interpretation Centre provides a view of the species that inhabit the surrounding rivers and reservoirs. The centre has a diversity of didactic information including the importance of water, a model of the river and a series of panels that explain the water cycle. After this, the facilities focus on the study of the fauna and flora of the ecosystem, Cascada del Río Borosapeceras, that gather the most important species, illustrated and explained by panels. Finally, a simulation game allows visitors to make decisions related to rivers, their care and maintenance. Located south of the town, off the A-319.

Opening Times:
October-April, Thursday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-18:00hrs. 
October-April, Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
May, June and September, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-19:00hrs. 
May, June and September, Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
July and August, Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 18:00-20:00hrs. 
July and August, Sunday, 09:00-13:00hrs.
Free Entrance
Tel: 953 12 42 35

Las Ericas
Visitors can enjoy a beautiful waterfall and the typical riverside vegetation that surrounds the nearby stream. Located to the east of the town.


Visitors to Santo Tomé can try traditional dishes such as olla gitana (potato and bean stew), ajoharina (chickpea and potato stew), rustido tomaseño (raost vegeatbles) and potaje de pitillos (chickpea and bean stew). Sweet treats include caleñuelos (fried custard), flor de lis (sweet pastries in flower shapes), gachas dulces (porridge), roscos de la sarten (orange flavoured doughnuts) and torrijas (eggy bread).

Bus Service

There are bus services from Santo Tomé to Chilluévar and Úbeda. More>


Popular festivals in Santo Tomé are San Blas, Romería de San Isidro Labrador, Fiestas del Emigrante and Feria. More>


The weather forecast for the next few days for Santo Tomé. More>


The tourist office of Santo Tomé is located in the Town Hall. More>


The neighbouring villages to Santo Tomé are Chilluévar and Cazorla.