I am a German girl, living in Andalusia.
I would like to present my city, Ubeda, because I think it is really worth a visit, situated between Granada and Cordoba and surrounded by 3 mountain natural parks.
Úbeda is a city which has known how to evolve into the most important economic centre of the region with respect to its past. A city of contrasts, a safe city but with an attractive nightlife.
It has all types of shops: its old, colourful market, department stores, clothes shops, shoe shops, antique shops, interior decoration shops, etc.
Together with Almería and Granada, Jaén is the only province in Spain where the free tapa culture has been preserved. In addition, Úbeda has a supply of tapas particularly adapted to local food: e.g. ochíos, picadillo, andrajos, all prepared with delicious olive oil. In September, you can also visit the Tapa Fair which is held only a few metres from the school.. And as the Spanish people sit down from time to time to eat too, there is also a wide variety of restaurants: from those serving excellent local cuisine to the new creators who have based their innovations on traditional cuisine, using excellent local and Mediterranean products.
Renaissance cuisine also has an important place. Between the months of January and March, the city holds its Renaissance Food Festival, with lunches and evening meals in emblematic restaurants, sometimes accompanied by shows. There is also the possibility of organising Renaissance meals throughout the year for groups, with theatre and music. For more information, contact the school office.
Here you will find cinema, theatre, exhibition halls, museums and concerts throughout the year. Of particular importance is the Hospital de Santiago cultural centre's programme. Going to a concert in its Chapel, particularly if it is a classical or flamenco concert, is an unforgettable experience because of the magnificent acoustics.
The city also holds its International Music and Dance Festival “Ciudad de Úbeda” in the spring, a short story festival in June, the Chamber Music Season between October and April, the Úbeda and Baeza Early Music Festival in winter.
The Town's Annual Fiestas begin in the spring in the different neighbourhoods, although the most important festivals are those of the Virgen de Guadalupe (8th September) and those of San Miguel (28th September), with an important bullfighting season, theatre, children's programme and cultural activities.
Also important are the religious processions (“romerías”) in spring and summer, carnival in February and the Fiesta of San Antón.
With one of the largest concentrations of craft workshops in Spain, local craftspeople work hard towards keeping the best traditions of the past alive: pottery, woodwork, reedwork, wickerwork, palmwork, stonework, ironwork, etc.
Going to a good flamenco show is very easy in Úbeda thanks to the Flamenco Activo Association, which discerningly schedules performances throughout the year. In addition, at the Casa Museo Andalusí flamenco tablao, you can see the artists Vicente Fernández and Rosario Valera, magnificent dancers and teachers who can teach you this magical art at their flamenco school only a few steps away from Abadat.
Without doubt, Holy Week is Úbeda's largest festival. In fact, Úbeda is one of the few places in Spain where the Holy Week processions are organised in chronological order. The general procession on Good Friday in which all the brotherhoods take part is a unique experience.
If you want more information or need help on how to get here or accommodation, I will help you.
[ Edit: sorry, no emails in the forums please. ]