1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cordova (province)

CORDOVA (Span. Córdoba), an inland province of southern Spain, bounded on the N.E. by Ciudad Real, E. by Jaén, S.E. by Granada, S. by Málaga, S.W. and W. by Seville, and N.W. by Badajoz. Pop. (1900) 455,859; area, 5299 sq. m. The river Guadalquivir divides the province into two very dissimilar portions. On the right bank is the mountainous region of the Sierra Morena, less peopled and fertile than the left bank, with its great plains (La Campiña) and slightly undulating country towards the south and south-east, where the surface again becomes mountainous with the outlying ridges of the Sierra Nevada. The Guadalquivir, flowing from E.N.E. to W.S.W., waters the richest districts of Cordova, and has many tributaries, notably the Bembezar, Guadiato and Guadamellato, on the right, and the Genil and Guadajoz on the left. The northern districts (Los Pedroches) are drained by several small tributaries of the Guadiana. The climate is much varied. Snow is to be found for months on the highest peaks of the mountains; mild temperature in the plains, except in the few torrid summer months, when rain seldom falls. The peasantry are chiefly occupied in various branches of husbandry; sheep-farming and the culture of the olive employ large numbers. The agricultural wealth of Cordova is, however, not fully exploited, owing to the conservatism and backward education of the peasantry. There are no great manufacturing towns, but mining is an industry of some importance. In 1903 coal was obtained in considerable quantities in the Belmez district; argentiferous lead and zinc near Pozoblanco and elsewhere; iron ore at Luque, near Baena. A small amount of bismuth is also obtained. Mining is facilitated by a fairly complete and well-kept system of communication by road and railway. The main line Madrid-Lináres-Seville follows the Guadalquivir valley throughout the province, passing through the capital, Cordova. Here it meets the line from Almorchón, on the north, to Málaga, on the south, which has three important branches—Belmez-Fuente del Arco, Cordova-Utrera, and Puente Genil-Jaén. After the capital, the principal towns are Aguilar de la Frontera (13,236), Baena (14,539), Cabra (13,127), Fuente Ovejuna (11,777), Lucena (21,179), Montilla (13,603), Montoro (14,581), Pozoblanco (12,792), Priego de Cordoba (16,904) and Puente Genil (12,956). These are described under separate headings. Other towns of less importance are Adamuz (6974), Belalcázar (7682), Belmez (8978), Bujalance (10,756), Castro del Río (11,821), Hinojosa del Duque (10,673), Palma del Río (7914), Rute (10,740) and Villafranca de Córdoba (9771).