Fodor's Expert Review Jaén Cathedral
Looming above the modest buildings around it, the cathedral was begun in 1492 on the site of a former mosque and took almost 300 years to build. Its chief architect was Andrés de Vandelvira (1509–75)—many more of his buildings can be seen in Úbeda and Baeza. The ornate facade was sculpted by Pedro Roldán, and the figures on top of the columns include San Fernando (Ferdinand III) and the four evangelists. The cathedral's most treasured relic is the Santo Rostro (Holy Face), the cloth with which, according to tradition, St. Veronica cleansed Christ's face on the way to Calvary, leaving his image imprinted on the fabric. The rostro (face) is displayed every Friday 10:30–noon and 5–6. In the underground museum, look for the paintings San Lorenzo, by Martínez Montañés; the Immaculate Conception, by Alonso Cano; and a Calvary scene by Jácobo Florentino.