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Doors of Ubeda and Baeza

A montage of doors and gateways from the neighbouring UNESCO World Heritage towns of Úbeda and Baeza in northeast Andalucía.

Most people don’t make it up here on trips around Andalucía. The hordes head to the beaches. Hikers head to the sierra around Ronda. History buffs are spoilt for choice in the cities: Granada and the Alhambra, Sevilla, Córdoba to name but a few… But the best thing about Andalucía is that you could skip the top ten sites – if not the top 50 – and still be blown away by the history, architecture and frankly the raw beauty of the place and all it has to offer.

Not that Úbeda and Baeza are unknown. An unknown UNESCO site is like a hidden 3-star Michelin restaurant. They don’t exist. But they’re not on the circuit, so to speak, and they’re all the better for it.

I wandered around the two towns and was, among other things, struck by the doorways. If you want the history, I’m afraid you’d do better to turn to the Michelin guide, as I would murder the ins and outs of the murders that have made it. Instead, above is a simple collection of photos of gates, lintels and doors – from the grand to the humble, all from Úbeda and Baeza. I could have taken a thousand more. But I was too busy buying pottery, eating platefuls of tiny shrimps from Cadiz cooked in salt water, and perusing antiques stores.

Here’s where to stay:

The Parador de Úbeda
Hotel Campos de Baeza

Jack Dancy is currently on a jaunt around Andalucía heading down all the dead-end alleyways and knocking on all the doors he can find.

But the best thing about Andalucia is that you could skip the top ten sites—if not the top 50—and still be blown away.

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