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
. This town gives its name to the Sierra de Baza
. The dome-shaped mountain of Jabalcón
overlooks the town from the north-west.
The area around Baza has been settled since prehistoric times. It was there that the 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
in about 600 A.D.; the cathedral was converted into a mosque
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 I 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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