Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Úbeda and Baeza

Úbeda - just plain pretty!

Nearby Baeza is linked with Úbeda by history and architecture. A town of over 16,000 people, it dates to Roman times and from 656 and 675 was a bishop's seat. It grew rich on textiles in the 16th century, which led to the construction of beautiful Renaissance buildings, but that trade collapsed in the 17th century, ironically preserving all that construction as there was no money to do anything else. The economy is grounded in olive production now, so after a breakfast of freshly made hot churros and dense hot chocolate, we set out to see about all that.

The olive grower

There are 60 million olive trees in the region, many of them, like this one, quite old, upwards of 100 years and beyond.

It's not the season for picking, but when it is, huge nets are spread under the trees, which are then shaken to make the olives fall on the ground into the nets

Old style olive presses

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