1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jaen (province)

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JAEN, an inland province of southern Spain, formed in 1833 of districts belonging to Andalusia; bounded on the N. by Ciudad Real and Albacete, E. by Albacete and Granada, S. by Granada, and W. by Cordova. Pop. (1900), 474,490; area, 5848 sq. m. Jaen comprises the upper basin of the river Guadalquivir, which traverses the central districts from east to west, and is enclosed on the north, south and east by mountain ranges, while on the west it is entered by the great Andalusian plain. The Sierra Morena, which divides Andalusia from New Castile, extends along the northern half of the province, its most prominent ridges being the Loma de Chiclana and the Loma de Ubeda; the Sierras de Segura, in the east, derive their name from the river Segura, which rises just within the border; and between the last-named watershed, its continuation the Sierra del Pozo, and the parallel Sierra de Cazorla, is the source of the Guadalquivir. The loftiest summits in the province are those of the Sierra Magina (7103 ft.) farther west and south. Apart from the Guadalquivir the only large rivers are its right-hand tributaries the Jándula and Guadalimar, its left-hand tributary the Guadiana Menor, and the Segura, which flows east and south to the Mediterranean.

In a region which varies so markedly in the altitude of its surface, the climate is naturally unequal; and, while the bleak, wind-swept highlands are only available as sheep-walks, the well-watered and fertile valleys favour the cultivation of the vine, the olive and all kinds of cereals. The mineral wealth of Jaen has been known since Roman times, and mining is an important industry, with its centre at Lináres. Over 400 lead mines were worked in 1903; small quantities of iron, copper and salt are also obtained. There is some trade in sawn timber and cloth; esparto fabrics, alcohol and oil are manufactured. The roads, partly owing to the development of mining, are more numerous and better kept than in most Spanish provinces. Railway communication is also very complete in the western districts, as the main line Madrid-Cordova-Seville passes through them and is joined south of Lináres by two important railways—from Algeciras and Malaga on the south-west, and from Almería on the south-east. The eastern half of Jaen is inaccessible by rail. In the western half are Jaen, the capital (pop. (1900), 26,434), with Andujar (16,302), Baeza (14,379), Bailen (7420), Lináres (38,245), Martos (17,078) and Ubeda (19,913). Other towns of more than 7000 inhabitants are Alcalá la Real, Alcaudete, Arjona, La Carolina and Porcuna, in the west; and Cazorla, Quesada, Torredonjimeno, Villacarillo and Villanueva del Arzobispo, in the east.