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Baza, town (1990 pop. 21,123), Granada prov., S Spain, in Andalusia. It is a food-processing center for a fertile farm area noted especially for its cattle. Baza has flour and textile mills, tanneries, and cement plants. An important city of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, it fell to the Spaniards in 1489 after a year-long siege.
Baza is a town in the province of Granada in southern Spain. It has 21,000 inhabitants (2003). It is situated at 844 m above sea level, in the Hoya de Baza, a valley of the Sierra Nevada, not far from the Gallego River. The dome-shaped mountain of Javaleon (Now known as Mount Jabalcón ) overlooks the town from the north-west.


The area around Baza has been settled since prehistoric times. It was there that the impressive Lady of Baza was discovered on 22 July 1971. The city was founded by the Iberians in the 4th century B.C. and named Basti, the name by which it was known in Roman times. As part of the Roman province of Tarraco, it was an important commercial center. Its bishopric was founded in 306, and the ancient church of San Maximo occupies the traditional site of a cathedral founded by the Visigoth king Reccared in about 600 A.D.; the cathedral was converted into a mosque under Islamic rule (713-1489).

Under the Moors, Baza was an important frontier post along the border with the kingdom of Murcia. It was also a major commercial center, with a population upward of 50,000, making it one of the three most important cities in the Kingdom of Granada. In 1489, during the Reconquista, the city fell to Queen Isabella of Castile, after a stubborn defense lasting seven months. Her cannon still adorn the Alameda. On 10 August, 1810, French forces under Marshal Soult defeated a large Spanish force near the town.

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Cultural references

The siege of Baza is described in Washington Irvine's book The Conquest of Granada.


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