CARMONA, a town of south-western Spain, in the province of Seville; 27 m. N.E. of Seville by rail. Pop. (1900) 17,215. Carmona is built on a ridge overlooking the central plain of Andalusia, from the Sierra Morena, on the north, to the peak of San Cristobal, on the south. It has a thriving trade in wine, olive oil, grain and cattle; and the annual fair, which is held in April, affords good opportunity of observing the costumes and customs of southern Spain. The citadel of Carmona, now in ruins, was formerly the principal fortress of Peter the Cruel (1350–1369), and contained a spacious palace within its defences. The principal entrance to the town is an old Moorish gateway; and the gate on the road to Cordova is partly of Roman construction. Portions of the ancient college of San Teodomir are of Moorish architecture, and the tower of the church of San Pedro is an imitation of the Giralda at Seville.
In 1881 a large Roman necropolis was discovered close to the town, beside the Seville road. It contains many rock-hewn sepulchral chambers, with niches for the cinerary urns, and occasionally with vestibules containing stone seats (triclinia). In 1881 an amphitheatre, and another group of tombs, all belonging to the first four centuries A.D., were disinterred near the original necropolis, and a small museum, maintained by the Carmona archaeological society, is filled with the mosaics, inscriptions, portrait-heads and other antiquities found here.
Carmona, the Roman Carmo, was the strongest city of Further Spain in the time of Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.), and its strength was greatly increased by the Moors, who surrounded it with a wall and ornamented it with fountains and palaces. In 1247 Ferdinand III. of Castile took the city, and bestowed on it the motto Sicut Lucifer lucet in Aurora, sic in Wandalia Carmona (“As the Morning-star shines in the Dawn, so shines Carmona in Andalusia”).
For an account of the antiquities of Carmona, see Estudios arqueologicos e historicos, by M. Sales y Ferré (Madrid, 1887).