Baza - Encyclopedia




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BAZA, a town of southern Spain, in the province of Granada; in the Hoya de Baza, a fruitful valley of the Sierra Nevada, not far from the small river Gallego, and at the terminus of a railway from Lorca. Pop. (1900) 12,770. The dome-shaped mountain of Javaleon (4715 ft.) overlooks the town from the north-west. The ancient collegiate church of San Maximo occupies the traditional site of a cathedral founded by the Visigothic king Reccared about 600, and afterwards converted into a mosque. There is a brisk local trade in farm produce, and in the linen, hempen goods and pottery manufactured in Baza. The town nearly doubled its population in the last quarter of the 19th century. Sulphurous springs exist in the vicinity.

Baza is the Roman Bashi, the medieval Basta or Bastiana; and numerous relics of antiquity, both Roman and medieval, have been found in the neighbourhood. Its bishopric was founded in 306. Under Moorish rule (c. 713-1489) it was one of the three most important cities in the kingdom of Granada, with an extensive trade, and a population estimated at 50,000. In 1489, after a stubborn defence lasting seven months, it was captured by the Spaniards under Isabella of Castile, whose cannon still adorn the Alameda or public promenade. On the 10th of August 1810 the French under Marshal Soult defeated a large Spanish force close to the town.

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