Baza, Granada

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Coat of arms of Baza
Coat of arms
LocationBaza (municipality).png
Baza is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 37°29′N 2°46′W / 37.483°N 2.767°W / 37.483; -2.767Coordinates: 37°29′N 2°46′W / 37.483°N 2.767°W / 37.483; -2.767
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Andalusia
Province Granada
Comarca Baza
Judicial district Baza
Founded Between 1810 and 500 BC
 • Alcalde Pedro Fernández Peñalver (2007) (PSOE)
 • Total 545 km2 (210 sq mi)
Elevation 844 m (2,769 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 23,287
 • Density 43/km2 (110/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Bastetano, na
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 18800
Dialing code (+34) 958
Website Official website

Baza is a town in the province of Granada in Andalusia (southern Spain), twice a former Catholic bishopric and now a Latin Catholic titular see.

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.


Town hall of Baza.

The sculpture of the Lady of Baza is a prehistoric artifact discovered in this area on 22 July 1971. The city was founded by the Iberians in the 4th century BC 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 [1]and an early bishopric.

Under Islamic rule (713 – 1489), the cathedral, founded by the Visigoth king Reccared in about 600, and whose traditional site is occupied by the ancient church of San Máximo, was converted into a mosque[1] and the bishopric was doomed.

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 Granada War, the city fell to Queen Isabella I of Castile, after a stubborn defense lasting seven months. The cannons still adorn the Alameda. On 10 August 1810, French forces under Marshal Soult defeated a large Spanish force near the town.[1]

Ecclesiastical History[edit]

The bishopric of Basti was in existence by 306, the date of the Council of Elvira, which was attended by its bishop Eutychianus. The names of other bishops of Basti also are known through their participation in various Councils of Toledo. The cathedral was founded by the Visigoth king Reccared in about 600; its traditional site is occupied by the ancient church of San Máximo[1]

The diocese survived for some time the Moorish conquest but was suppressed in the 8th century, perhaps with errant bishops, while under Islamic rule (713 – 1489), the cathedral was converted into a mosque[1] and the bishopric disappeared in the 13th century, but was restored in 1306.

After the Reconquista, the territories of the two historical sees of Basti and Ancient Acci were united on 21 May 1492 as the modern Diocese of Guadix. A collegiate church, the Colegiata de Nuestra Señora Santa María de la Encarnación, Baza, was established at Basti/Baza. This was reluctant to accept rule from Guadix. As a compromise, the collegiate church was given authority, under the bishop, over twelve parishes, and the name of the diocese was changed to that of Guadix-Baza, indicating a union of two dioceses under a single bishop. This continued until 1851, when the collegiate church became a simple parish church and the diocese resumed the name of Diocese of Guadix.[2][3][4]

Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

(all Roman Rite)

Pre-Moorish Bishops of Baza
  • Saint Bishop Tesifón (? – ?)
  • Eutiquiano (? – ?)
  • Teodoro (589? – ?)
  • Eterio I? (? – ?)
  • Eusebio (633? – 638?)
  • Siervo de Dios (653? – 655?)
  • Eterio II? (675? – ?)
  • Antoniano (681? – 684?)
  • Basilio (688? – 693?)
Bishops of refounded Baza
  • Beltrán de Boyria (1484? – ?)

Titular see[edit]

No longer a residential bishopric, Basti (alias Baza) is listed by the Catholic Church as a titular bishopric, suffragan of the Archdiocese of Toledo,[5] nominally restored in 1969 as Titular See of Basti (Curiate Italian) / Basticen(sis) (Latin adjective).

It has had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank :

  • Martien Antoon Jansen (1970.01.02 – resigned 1970.11.29), on emeritate as former Bishop of Rotterdam (Netherlands) (1956.03.10 – 1970.01.02); died 1983
  • Sándor Klempa, Norbertines (O. Praem.) (1972.02.08 – death 1985.12.19) on emeritate as former Apostolic Administrator of Veszprém (Hungary) (1959 – 1972.02.08)
  • Mario Lezana Vaca (1986.05.17 – resigned 1998.03.07) awarded while [[Military Vicar of Bolivia (Bolivia) (1986.05.17 – 1986.07.21) restyled Military Ordinary of Bolivia (1986.07.21 – 2000.04.14); died 2006
  • Jesús García Burillo (1998.06.19 – 2003.01.09) as Auxiliary Bishop of Orihuela–Alicante (Spain) (1998.06.19 – 2003.01.09); later Bishop of Ávila (Spain) (2003.01.09 – ...)
  • Antonio Marino (2003.04.11 – 2011.04.06) as Auxiliary Bishop of La Plata (Argentina) (2003.04.11 – 2011.04.06); later Bishop of Mar del Plata (Argentina) (2011.04.06 – ...)
  • David William Valencia Antonio (2011.06.15 – ...), Auxiliary Bishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia|Nueva Segovia]] (Philippines), Apostolic Administrator sede plena of Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose in Mindoro (Philippines).

Cultural references[edit]

The 1489 siege of Baza is described in Washington Irving's book The Conquest of Granada.


  1. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Baza". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 559. 
  2. ^ Bibliothèque sacrée, ou Dictionnaire universel, t. XI, Paris 1823, pp. 356–361
  3. ^ Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 2, p. 162; vol. 3, p. 206; vol. 4, p. 198; vol. 5, p. 214; vol. 6, p. 230
  4. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, pp. 3–4
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838

Sources and external links[edit]