Baza was founded by the Iberians in the 4th century B.C., and it is famous for its history, cultural heritage and natural wealth. Its monumental and archaeological legacy, spanning the centuries from antiquity until the Christian era, is considered to be a true jewel of Spanish heritage. Also of interest are its typical cave-dwellings or cave-houses, the beautiful scenery of the badlands, the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada, the Cascamorras festival, classed as National Tourist Interest and one of Spain’s most bizarre celebrations.
For its contrasting landscapes, the district of Baza and its municipalities have become one of the most popular destinations for lovers of adventure sports and active tourism. The natural scenery includes the Sierra de Baza Natural Park, a protected area of great ecological importance, the huge reservoir of El Negratin, the Rivel Castril, and the high peak of the Cerro Jabalcón, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
The history of the Baza district dates back to the early Neolithic period, and since then it has been populated by a succession of different cultures and peoples (Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, etc.). Baza’s Archaeological museum houses some important remains of those civilizations, such as the Dama de Baza, a sculpture used as a funerary urn, and the Warrior’s Torso. During the muslim period, the city regained its former importance, and the present layout of the municipalities was developed. Dating from this period are the remains of the Moorish Alcazaba (fortress) and the La Marzuela Arab Baths, which are considered to be some of the best preserved in Spain. We can still find the true flavour of the Islamic past in the narrow alleyways of the Barrio de Santiago, the old Jewish quarter. After the conquest by the Catholic Monarchs in the XVth century, many churches, shrines and palaces were built over mosques and buildings. Some of the finest examples of buildings from this period are the Cathedral Church of La Encarnación, from the 16th century, which features a combination of baroque, gothic and renaissance styles, the 16th century Palace of Los Enríquez, and the Old Slaughterhouses, dating from the 16th century too.
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