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Iglesia de San Juan Bautista

, Los Villares

The original temple was arranged by Juan de Requena and Bastián Ruiz del Salto on April 22, 1539, giving its plant measures 50 yards long by 41 wide.

It was dedicated to San Juan Bautista and the first clergyman who served it was Miguel de Biedma. During the seventeenth century the need to expand that small temple was experienced, and even the famous architect Eufrasio López de Rojas came to carry out a simple project, which was not carried out due to lack of means.

In May 1785, the viceprior and factory manager Mr. Manuel de Arredondo requested the reform and expansion of the temple given its poor condition. In June of that year, the master builder Ramón Maroto issued a detailed report on the precise works to secure the old area and expand the temple. Its cost was estimated at 11,718 reais.

With the works authorized, it was started by the architect Miguel de Aranderas, who at that time was one of the most accredited in Jaén. The work involved, among others, the stonemasons Agustín Peinado, Manuel Caballero, Juan de Armenteros, Juan de Ortega and Pedro Caballero, the works were carried out slowly, interrupting several times. The new temple was opened to worship in 1798. In 1829 it was once again the object of some remodeling directed by the Jaen architect D. Manuel Paedilla. In the events of the Civil War, the parish was seized on August 3, 1936, proceeding to its dismantling and losing its small but interesting movable heritage.

In general, it preserves its primitive disposition typical of Mannerist religious architecture: a single nave with small niche chapels marked on the walls; short cruise covered with a half orange dome; Open chapel on the side for Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and choir at the foot of the temple.

It preserves images of Jacinto Higueras (Virgen del Rosario and Nuestro Padre Jesús) and a small but select collection of goldsmiths. The main facade is very simple and its lines are in harmony with that of the nearby Town Hall.

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