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La Carolina

Jaén

Audioguide of La Carolina

What to see in La Carolina

There are many topics about Andalusia, and one of them refers the women with hair and eyes darker than the night. But, it turns out that in these lands in the past there were also people with pale skin and green eyes or blue, and all this has a lot to do with the population of La Carolina in Jaén.

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There are many topics about Andalusia, and one of them refers the women with hair and eyes darker than the night. But, it turns out that in these lands in the past there were also people with pale skin and green eyes or blue, and all this has a lot to do with the population of La Carolina in Jaén.

It was the second half of the eighteenth century; rationalism was breaking through and wanted a more luminous and less chaotic world. For an enlightened monarch like Carlos III, the bandits, who were overflowing the Sierra Morena and were plundering right, left and centre, were a terribly annoying problem and an unacceptable matter. There was still a long way to go before Romanticism painted and idealised images of those muggers with trigger-happy blunderbusses, so at the time they were nothing more than a nuisance that stopped the region from prospering.

The king and his trusted men took the bull by the horns and made a plan: they had to repopulate the vast empty areas of the region, and they had to do it well, with order and discipline, so that the territory ceased to be a great refuge for road bandits.

But there wasn't a lot of people in Spain, so they managed to attract a lot of colonists from Central Europe willing to cultivate the lands, raise cattle and take care of the hard work of the countryside under the Andalusian sun. This way, several villages were founded, and La Carolina became the most important of all.

Its name pays tribute to the enlightened sovereign who promoted the project, Carlos III, and taking a simple look at its streets makes it very clear what kind of era and mentality gave birth to a village like this. Its straight and logical layout, like a chessboard, opposite to the labyrinthine designs of Arab origin, fitted well with the ideas of His Majesty and those of so many others who believed that the world needed a new face.

Over time, the colonists took root. The severe working conditions claimed many lives, but things stabilised and all those colonies ended up becoming towns like the others, although with the trace of the recent past very visible in the aspect of its inhabitants.

So now you know: if you find someone around here looking like as if they were waiting for a train to Stockholm, do not trust appearances. They might be more Andalusian than the Giralda of Seville.


La Carolina

Plaza Ayuntamiento, 1 (Ayuntamiento)
23200 La Carolina
(+34) 953 66 00 34

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