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Badajoz ( , formerly written Badajos in English) is the capital of the Spanishmarker province of Badajozmarker in the autonomous community of Extremaduramarker, situated close to the Portuguesemarker border, on the left bank of the river Guadianamarker, and the MadridmarkerLisbonmarker railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257.

Badajoz is the see of a bishopric. It occupies a slight eminence, crowned by the ruins of a Moorish castle, and overlooking the Guadiana. A strong wall and bastions, with a broad moat and outworks, and forts on the surrounding heights, give the city an appearance of great strength. The river, which flows between the castle-hill and the powerfully armed fort of San Cristobal, is crossed by a magnificent granite bridge, originally built in 1460, repaired in 1597 and rebuilt in 1833. The whole aspect of Badajoz recalls its stormy history; even the cathedral, built in 1238, resembles a fortress, with massive walls.

The association football teams in the city are Cerro Reyes, who play in the Segunda División B and Club Deportivo Badajoz, who play in Tercera División.

History

Alcazaba de Badajoz, was built in the XII century.
Castle of Los Altamirano.


Owing to its position the city enjoys a considerable transit trade with Portugal; its other industries include the manufacture of linen, woollen and leather goods, and of pottery.

It is not mentioned by any Roman historian, and first rose to importance under Moorish rule. It was founded by the Galicianmarker Muslim Ibn Marwan around 875 and after 1022 it became the capital of a small Moorish kingdom (Taifa of Badajoz), and, though temporarily held by the Portuguese in 1168, it retained its independence until 1229; when it was captured by Alfonso IX of Leon. It was known as Batlabus and Batalyos during Moorish rule.

As a frontier fortress it underwent many sieges. It was beleaguered by the Portuguese in 1660, and in 1705 by the Allies in the War of the Spanish Succession. During the Peninsular War Badajoz was unsuccessfully attacked by the French in 1808 and 1809; but on March 10, 1811, the Spanish commander, José Imaz, was bribed into surrendering to a French force under Marshal Soult. A British army, commanded by Marshal Beresford, endeavoured to retake it, and on May 16, 1811 defeated a relieving force at Albueramarker, but the siege was abandoned in June.

The Storming of Badajoz, 1812

Siege of Badajos Watercolour en grisaille by Richard Caton Woodville Jr. (1856–1927).


main article Battle of Badajoz

In 1812, Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) again attempted to take Badajoz, which had a French garrison of about 5,000 men. Siege operations commenced on March 16, and by early April there were three practicable breaches in the walls. These were assaulted by two British divisions on April 6, 1812.

The attacks were pressed with great gallantry for five hours, but repeatedly beaten back with heavy loss. Meanwhile the castle, and another section of undamaged wall, had been attacked by escalade and successfully taken by the British. At the cost of some 5,000 casualties, Wellington had succeeded in taking Badajoz. He wrote to Lord Liverpool"The capture of Badajos affords as strong an instance of the gallantry of our troops as has ever been displayed, but I anxiously hope that I shall never again be the instrument of putting them to such a test as that to which they were put last night"(However, the storming of San Sebastiánmarker in 1813 was much like Badajoz)

The Badajoz Cathedral, built between 1230-1276.
La Giralda and the Fine Arts Museum, in Badajoz.
In the Siege of Badajoz, a detachment of the 45th Regiment of Foot (later amalgamated with the 95th to form Sherwood Foresters Regiment) succeeded in getting into the castle first and the red coatee of Lt. James MacPherson of the 45th was hoisted in place of the french flag to indicate the fall of the castle. This feat is commemorated on the 6 April each year when red jackets are flown on Regimental flag staffs and at Nottingham Castlemarker.

With the town taken, military discipline largely disappeared, and the town was subjected to two days of pillage, murder, rape and drunkenness by the British survivors. The only way to restore order was to erect the gallows and flog many soldiers.

(Sir Harry Smith undertook to protect two young ladies from any insult during the sack of Badajos, one of whom he married. In consequence Ladysmithmarker is named after a former inhabitant of Badajoz, Juana Maria Smith)

Modern history

A military and republican rising took place here in August 1883, but completely failed.

During the Spanish Civil War, Badajoz was taken by the Nationalists in the Battle of Badajoz.

Climate

Chemin de ronde of the Alcazaba de Badajoz.
Aereal view of the Gardens of La Galera.

Famous residents

Badajoz is the birthplace of the statesman Manuel de Godoy, the Duke of Alcudia (1767–1851), and of the painter Luis de Morales. Five pictures by Morales are preserved in the cathedral. The conqueror Pedro de Alvarado (c.1495–1541) was also born in Badajoz. Cristóbal Oudrid (1825–1877), one of the founding fathers of Spanish musical nationalism, was born here, son of the resident military bandmaster.

Colonization América


Villages

Alburquerque is a small village in the province of Badajoz. Its name was given (with a minor spelling change) by the Spanish conquerors to the city now known as Albuquerque, New Mexicomarker in the United Statesmarker.

Town twinning



Gallery

File:Badajoz Ibn Marwan.jpg|Walls of Alcazaba.File:Badajoz_Torre_Albarrana.jpg|Albarrana Tower in the Alcazaba de Badajoz.File:Badajoz_Abarlongada_1.JPG|Abarlongada Tower as seen from Plaza Alta.File:Torre del Alpéndiz o de Espantaperros.JPG|Alpéndiz Tower, of Alcazaba de Badajoz.File:Puente11.jpg|Old bridge.File:Puerta Palmas.JPG|Puerta de Palmas.File:La Giraldilla.jpg|View of the Giralda de Badajoz.File:Plaza Alta.JPG|View of Plaza Alta de Badajoz.File:Ayuntamientobadajoz.JPG|Principal facade of the Ayuntamiento of Badajoz.File:Jardines de la Galera Badajoz.jpg|Gardens of La Galera.File:Castelar.jpg|Castelar Park.File:Badajoz panoramica.jpg|View of the city of Badajoz from the Guadianamarker River.

References




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