Located on the road that takes you to the historical inland town of Sant Mateu, the interior town of La Jana lies perfectly placed between the mountains and the coast. Embraced by a gently undulating landscape, the town historically played its part as a passage along the Via Augusta.
Branching out from its main square, are a variety of streets all of which make up its old town. The old quarter of La Jana features buildings from the Baroque, Medieval and Renaissance periods. In the main square you can see the 17th-century church of St Bartholomew, which is impressive, especially given the size of the town.
Located in the comarque of the Bajo Mastrazgo (Baix Maestrat), La Jana is conveniently located for the Castellon airport, which is 46 km, going via the CV-10. La Jana is around a 20-25 minutes drive to the coast, to Vinaros, which is 23 km (14 miles) on the N-232a.
In 2014, the town had a population of 733. As is rather typical of this area, its economy is predominantly based on agriculture, that is easy to notice as you drive surrounded by olive and almond trees.
A gathering of curious old village men peer at me, a female foreigner, wandering around with a camera. They say hello to me, in a way that makes me feel that they are wondering if I know enough of the lingo to reply. I reply, and get a broad grin or two. This is the type of place that is for those who want the real Spain, and don’t want a fast paced life for sure. Loli’s café on the main square is an authentic spot to have a café con leche, or a beer.
Things To Do
Roman coins and other artifacts from this era have been found in the town itself. Also there is a milestone from the Via Augusta situated in the main square.
Other archaeological remains sure that there are bars a proto-historic habitat, that would date to between the 7th to 5th centuries BC, in the fields known as Vilarroig and Els Castellets.
Church of St. Bartholomew – Iglesia de San Bartolomé
Built between 1622 and 1633, the church of St Bart Tamiflu has a Baroque facade, with a nave and side chapels. Designed by the Renaissance master Juan Tell, the interior has some interesting evidence of craftsmanship, and other highlights.
I know churches aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that the stonework is rather impressive, especially given the size of La Jana!
Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels – Capilla de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles
There is a tradition which can be dated back to the 14th century apparently, that has led to the devotion of the “Janencs” (people from La Jana) to Our Lady of the Angels. Apparently a statue of our lady was en route from Levante, being brought by a mule and carriers destined Sant Mateu, and the Janencs wanted to buy it. They weren’t successful, and the mule carried on in the direction of San Mateo (Sant Mateu). However when the mule came to the first olive trees, he refused to go on and apparently turned back to return to La Jana.
This is how the venerated shrine and statue came to be where it is today. The Chapel itself is a rare example of classical Valencia in Baroque architecture.
Hermitage of St. Joseph of Carrascal – La Ermita de San José del Carrascal
This hermitage was built in 1587, and is apparently waiting on a restoration project to go ahead. There’s a single nave, divided into three sections by ribbed arches.
Hermitage of St. Anne – La Ermita de Santa Ana
The construction of this Hermitage dates back to 1627, and restoration work was carried out which was due to be completed in 1994.
Natural Museum of Millenial Olive Trees- Museo Natural de Olivos Milenarios
Google Maps Location 40°30’54.0″N 0°14’03.4″E
Located just by the Via Augusta, is where you can find amongst numerous olive trees, the one that won the AEMO Award in 2014, for being the best monumental olive tree in Spain. In fact La Jana has 938 monumental olive trees, with a number of amazing looking trunks, both for their size and scope should shapes.
If you wish to buy olive oil find in the area you should go to the cooperative listed below. By the way they also sell online.
Cooperativa Les Alboredes (La Jana), Calle Valencia, 81, 12340 La Jana, Castellón, Spain