Both Úbeda and Baeza have been witnesses of the birth of some of the most important personalities of our history. Moreover, some historical personalities decide in any moment of their life to settle their residence in one of these two Renaissance cities.

Nobles

Francisco de los Cobos y Molina (Úbeda, 1477-1547). 

Son of Diego de los Cobos de la Tovilla, councilor of ÚBeda, and Catalina de Molina y Arquellada, Francisco de los Cobos was born in a noble family with many economic problems. On the contrary, he became in one of the most influential and rich personalities of his period when he held the charge of State Secretary of the Emperor Charles I and V of Germany and the Knight Commander of Castile. We owe him the majority of the monuments we find in Úbeda since those were built under his mandate, as the Sacred Funerary Chapel of the Saviour, which was erected to be the family pantheon.

Charles I and V of Germany (of Austria or Habsbourg) (Ghent, 1500-Monastery of Yuste, 1558). 

He was king of Spain with the name of Charles I (1516-1556) and during his mandate he joined the Crowns of Castilla, Aragón and Navarra. He was also the Emperor of the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire as Charles V (1520-1558). This is the consequence of being the son of Joanna I of Castilla (daughter of the Catholic Kings) and Philip the Handsome (son of Maximilian I of Austria and Maria de Borgoña). In this way, the inherited Castile, Navarra, the Canary Islands, the Indies, Naples, Sicily and Aragón.

During his mandate, he visited some many times Úbeda, a situation given by the fact that his State Secretary, Francisco de los Cobos, lived in this city. As a souvenir of one of his visits, a marble tombstone was made, placed in the Clock Tower of the Square of Andalucía, which says "in front of this ancient image of Our Lady of the Remedies (Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios), the Emperor Charles V the 17th of November 1526 and the king Philip II the 3rd of June 1570, visiting our city, swore to protect their exemptions and privileges (…)". 

Juan Vázquez de Molina (Úbeda, around the 1500-1570). 

Nephew of Francisco de los Cobos, he also was the Secretary of Charles I and V of Germany in connection with the crown of Castile and Flanders. After the death of his uncle Francisco, he became State Secretary of the Emperor. The same as his predecessor, he also was one of the most influential people of Spain.

In the middle of the XVI century, he ordered to build one of the most beautiful palaces of Úbeda, which has his name, the Palace Vázquez de Molina or popularly known as the Chains Palace.

Francisco Vela de los Cobos (Úbeda, between 1520 y 1530-1575). 

Francisco de los Cobos was councillor of Úbeda, Gentleman of the House of his Majesty and Captain of Cavalry and he fought against the Moorish in Granada. He lived in the Palace, which has his name, built by Andrés de Vandelvira.

Artists

Pedro de Vandelvira (Alcaraz, last third of the XV century-1562). 

Architect and sculptor, he studied in Italy the work of Michelangelo. He participated in the construction of some of the most important buildings in Úbeda and Baeza. The design of the chapel of the Sacred Funerary Chapel of the Saviour and the design of the Hospital of Santiago in Úbeda, the façade of the Palace Juan Vázquez de Molina in Úbeda and the doors of the city in Baeza called Doors of Córdoba and of Úbeda, but also the main chapel of Saint Francis in Baeza and the Cathedral of Jaén.

Andrés de Vandelvira (Alcaraz, 1509-Jaén, 1575). 

Son and disciple of Pedro de Vandelvira, he was one of the most famous stonemason and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. He invented the sailor vault (bóveda vaída) and other architectural solutions and most of his works were located in the province of Jén, under the patronage of the family Molina.

Between his works, it is important to highlight the lateral façades and the Sacristy of the Sacred Chapel of the Saviour in Úbeda, the chapel of the Benavides in the convent of Saint Francis in Baeza or the Hospital of Santiago in Úbeda. In the same way, the majority of the palaces there are in Úbeda were designed and built by him as the one called Vázquez de Molina, the one of Vela de los Cobos or the Palace of the Dean Ortega.

Regarding the cathedrals, he left his traces in the one of Baeza or in the one of Jaén, and in the Church of the Trinity and in the sacristy of the Church of Saint Nicholas.

Diego de Siloé (Burgos, 1495-1563). 

Just like Andrés de Vandelvira, he was one of the first artists of the Renaissance in Spain. He was more than an architect; he was also sculptor, especially in his first phase. His work is really characteristic because he combines perfectly the Italian Renaissance style (he studied it during one visit to Naples) with the Gothic Spanish style influences and the Arab art.

His professional career is placed especially in Granada, where he participated in the construction of its cathedral and, at the same time, in other important buildings as the Monastery of Saint Hieronymite (San Jerónimo). Regarding to Úbeda, he participated in the works of the Sacred Chapel of the Saviour.

Master Bartolomé. 

Artist and smith maker, he made the Plateresque grille in Úbeda of the Sacred Chapel of the Saviour and the grilles of the chapels of the Collegiate of Saint Mary of the Royal Fortresses. He also worked in the Royal Chapel of Granada.

Alonso de Berruguete (Paredes de Nava, 1490-Toledo, 1561). 

Son of the famous painter Pedro Berruguete, he is one of the references of the Renaissance imagery of Spain. This is the result of the study he made in Italy of the work of the Renaissance artists. The work made in Úbeda was the Transfiguration of Christ placed on the altar piece of the Sacred Funerary Chapel of the Saviour.

Francisco Palma Burgos (Málaga, 1918-1985). 

Painter and, especially, sculptor, he was disciple of Mariano Benlliure. He was educated in Spain, but also in the Italian school and he was one of the most important makers of religious images of the Holy Week of Andalucía and his traces are seen especially in those of Málaga and Úbeda. His work highlights thanks of the Baroque aesthetic, characterized by a theme based on the religion and the body and sensitive beauty.

In Úbeda, Palma Burgos made some of the sculptural ensemble and processional floats of different Brotherhoods as the images of the Holy Burial (Santo Entierro)- placed in the Collegiate of Saint Mary of the Royal Fortresses), the Lord of the Column (Señor de la Columna)- Church of Saint Isidoro) and the float of Jesus Nazarene or the Christ of the Expiration.

Ginés Martín de Aranda (Baeza, 1556-1620). 

His artistic career is focused, especially, in Andalucía and concretely his hometown, Baeza. There, the design of the famous Fountain of Saint Mary can be pointed out and his participation in some works of the Cathedral of Baeza.

Juan Bautista Villalpando (Córdoba, 1522-Roma, 1608). 

Architect, mathematician, writer and Jesuit theologian, he studied with Juan de Herrera, architect of the Monastery of El Escorial. In Baeza, he designed for the Society of Jesus the Cathedral. Regarding the literature, his most famous work was the triple volume about the Temple of Solomon, written with the collaboration of the Jesuit Jerónimo de Prado from Baeza; this work consists in a solid architecture treaty.

Antonio Machado (Sevilla, 1875-Colliure, 1939). 

One of the most recognised Spanish poets at all times. He was a member of the Generation of the 98 and his work is placed inside the literary movement named the Modernism.

His connection with Baeza took place between 1912 and 1919, years when he was a teacher of French Grammar at the Secondary School placed at the Former University.  Being in the locality of Baeza, he published in 1912 Campos de Castilla, a work where the author separates himself from the modernist characteristics of his previous works and gets closer to the patriotic curiosity from the Generation of '98 authors. At the same time, he starts writing Los complementarios, a notebook which will be edited after his death. Moreover, in 1917, a poetic work anthology and his first edition of Poesías completas, a complete poetry book were published. This same year, he met Federico García Lorca in Baeza, appearing a great friendship between them.

Joaquín Ramón Martínez Sabina “Joaquín Sabina” (Úbeda, 1949). 

Without any doubt, he is one of the most famous artists from Úbeda. Singer-songwriter and poet, his professional career has been full of many successes. He has published fourteen studio records, four live records and three compilations. In addition, he has collaborated with some of the most important artists of the music world as Joan Manuel Serrat, Rocío Dúrcal or Fito Páez. He also composes songs for other artists as Ana Belén or Miguel Ríos, among others. In his literary facet, he has published nine books with compilations of songs’ lyrics or poems.

The success of the music of Sabina lies in the lyrics of his songs and his husky voice, without any doubt. After suffering a minor brain attack in 2001, he leaves the stages for several years. His last records published are Dímelo en la calle (2002), Alivio de luto (2005) and Vinagre y rosas (2009), which has sold 200 thousand copies in just one month after its release, and giving the artist three platinum records.

Antonio Muñoz Molina (Úbeda, 1956). 

Writer. He is considered one of the literary authors of Spain whose books are the most widely read. Moreover, he held the work of director at the Instituto Cervantes in New York (Cervantes Institute). He started writing really early, concretely when he was 16. His first text is a theatre piece entitled La Academia (The Academy), which was censored due to the existentialist and protesting hints.

His studies go from the Journalism until the Geography and History. In Granada, where he lived for more than 20 years, he wrote his first stories, articles and novels. During this period Beatus Ille came out. After this one, many other were published as El Robinson Urbano, Beatus Ille y Arturo, El invierno en Lisboa, Beltenebros y Elena, and a lot more besides.

In 1991 he wone the Planeta Award for El jinete polaco. In 1993 he moved to the United States to teach at the University of Virginia and, in 2004, he was appointed director of the Instituto Cervantes in New York. His last novel is entitled La noche de los tiempos. At the same time, he has been writing articles for different newspapers.

Without any doubt, the work of Antonio Muñoz Molina has been characterized by the episodes of his life in Úbeda because, in most of his stories, many places of this city can be identified easily.

Antonio Millán Díaz “Carnicerito de Úbeda” (Úbeda, 1947-1976). 

Bullfighter known for his success at the bullring of Madrid, Las Ventas, three times as apprentice bullfighter in 1967 and other three times as matador in 1971.

Trained in the Matadero of Úbeda, he wore for the first time the bullfighter's costume in 1964 in the bullring of Úbeda, getting two bull ears as prize. After this bull festival, he participated in many bullfights, even in a novillada (bullfight with young bulls and novice bullfighters) with picadors. But it will be in Las Ventas when he was with Paco Camino and Francisco Rivera "Paquirri", godfather and witness of the ceremony respectively. About his bullfighting, his natural pass, his front bullfighting and the luck he had in order to kill the bull.

Religious People

Diego de los Cobos y Molina (Úbeda, 1516- Jaén, 1565). 

Brother of Juan Vázquez de Molina and nephew of Francisco de los Cobos, he was born in a distinguished family of Úbeda. He studied jurisprudence and theology at the University of Salamanca. After finishing his studies, he became prior of Marmolejo (Jaénn), deacon of Coria (Sevilla), member of the Chancery of Valladolid and the Council of the Inquisition. Afterwards, he was bishop of Ávila and of Jaén. He was patron of the Hospital of Santiago in Úbeda, place where he is buried, and of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Úbeda.

Alonso Suárez de la Fuente del Sauce (Fuente el Saux, ?-Jaén, 1520). 

Bishop of Jaén between 1500 and 1520, he was known as the Bishop constructor due to the many works he ordered and paid. At the province of Jaén, he was patron of the Bridge of the Bishop (Puente de Obispo) upon the Guadalquivir river (between Begíjar and Baeza), the Main Chapel of the Cathedral of Jaén, the main façade of the Church of Saint Paul of Úbeda and the Parish Church of Saint Andrew in Baeza.

San Juan de la Cruz / Saint Jean of the Cross (Fontiveros, 1542-Úbeda, 1591). 

Even if his original name was Juan de Yepez Álvarez, he changed it when he entered in the Carmelite Order. Apart from being a religious person, he is also known thanks of his literary facet since he was one of the most important mystic poets of the Spanish Renaissance. He was a reformer of the Order of the Carmelite and cofounder of the Order of the discalced Carmelite with Saint Theresa of Jesus. After suffering a long illness, he died in the Convent of Úbeda. His relics are placed between Segovia and Úbeda.

 
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