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1808. El camino de la contienda (The battle trail)

Without a shadow of a doubt, the historic event of the Battle of Bailén of 1808 is crucial to the town’s history.

So much so that, with this itinerary, we will rewind two hundred years to make the same journey that the Spanish troops made to the battlefield to face Napoleon’s powerful army.

We will find all of the items in the Museo de la Batalla de Bailén (Museum of the Battle of Bailén), situated in the place where the blood hospital was located during the battle, and from where we will start our journey. It will end as we reach the spot where the historic battle took place.

On one of the floors of this striking building, built relatively recently, a giant piece of artillery has been recreated: the cannon, a clear allusion to the key weapon of the conflict. In its adjacent gardens, two joined domes simulate ammunition in this unique building.

Once inside, and via its Permanent Exhibition, visitors can relive an event that would clearly change Europe’s direction.

Once inside, in a fun and educational way, its rooms show the beginnings and causes of the War of Independence, the embattled armies, their weapons, political organisation, most noteworthy characters and, of course, the decisive role that Bailén and its inhabitants played in such a commemorated battle. An explanatory discourse always done from a neutral perspective which, far from being an apology for the events of the war, seeks an objective analysis, through virtues such as solidarity, coexistence, tolerance, democracy and freedom.

As we walk up calle Pérez Galdós, we will come across the Ermita de la Limpia y Pura (Hermitage of the Clean and Pure), witness to the events of Tuesday, July 19th, 1808 in Bailén. The Spanish troops paraded by its side until reaching the place from where they defended themselves from French attacks.

Guarding it, we can find the famous Paseo de las Palmeras, with the Commemorative Monument of the Battle of Bailén, in memory of the historic event.

Our walk will take us through calle Andújar to reach the end of the journey, where we will see the Huerta de San Lázaro o Huerta del Sordo orchard, an Asset of Cultural Interest in the category of “Historic Site”. Here we can also find the old waterwheel, which will reveal the secrets to what happened.