The city appears to float amidst a sea of olive trees, whilst the Madonna de Araceli watches over the inhabitants from the balcony of her sanctuary.
The province’s second most important city after the capital renews the architecture of its central streets without blemishing a rich artistic heritage that peppers the urban relief with impressive cupolas and imposing towers.
Moreover, the oil lamp, the symbol of the city, sheds light on efforts and industrious character of the locality.
Archaeological remains are not present in sufficient quantity to establish present-day Lucena as the site of an ancient city.
The locality was first documented at the end of the 9th century, as a result of raids, carried out by the rebel Umar ibn Hafsun, on “the castles in the area of Cabra and al-Yussana, which were populated by Jews”.
Lucena remained within the cora [territorial division] of Cabra until the fall of the Caliphate in 1010, when it became part of the Zirid kingdom of Granada.
When it fell to the Almoravids in 1090, the Jewish inhabitants of Lucena handed the city over to their leader, Yusuf ibn Tashufin. According to Professor R. Córdoba, under Almoravid rule, the locality achieved economic prosperity and cultural splendour.
After conquering Lucena in 1240, Ferdinand III donated it to the Cathedral of Córdoba, which proved incapable of defending the border, and the locality once again came under Moorish control in ! 1333.
In 1371, Henry II ceded Lucena to Juan Martínez de Argote and his daughter, María Alfonso de Argote, subsequently relinquished the title of the estate to her husband, Martín Fernández de Córdoba, whereby the town became linked to this noble house, a branch of the Alcaide de los Donceles.
In 1483, Diego Fernández de Córdoba III defeated and captured Boabdil, the King of Granada, at the Battle of Lucena. Later, Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic Monarch, awarded Diego the title of Marquess of Comares.
In 1618, Lucena achieved the status of a city.
In the Modern era, Lucena was under the control of the Marqueses of Comares, who had ties with Dukedom of Medinaceli from 1680.
The demands and abuses of the title-holders precipitated discontent and protests amongst the inhabitants, and, after a long and drawn out legal dispute, they were granted their wish of having the city returned to the Crown in 1767.
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