Baeza - Encyclopedia


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BAEZA (anc. Beatia), a town of southern Spain, in the province of Jaen; in the Loma de Ubeda, a mountain range between the river Guadalquiver on the S. and its tributary the Guadalimar on the N. Pop. (1900) 14,379. Baeza has a station 3 m. S.W. on the Linares-Almeria railway. Its chief buildings are those of the university (founded in 1533, and replaced by a theological seminary), the cathedral and the Franciscan monastery. The Cordova and Ubeda gates, and the arch of Baeza, are among the remains of its old fortifications, which were of great strength. The town has little trade except in farm-produce; but its red dye, made from the native cochineal, was formerly celebrated. In the middle ages Baeza was a flourishing Moorish city, said to contain 50,000 inhabitants; but it was sacked in 1239 by Ferdinand III. of Castile, who in 1248 transferred its bishopric to Jaen. It was the birthplace of the sculptor and painter, Gaspar Becarra.

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