Online Encyclopedia

OSUNA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 364 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OSUNA, a town of southern Spain, in the province of Seville; 57 M. by rail E.S.E. of Seville. Pop. (1900) 18,072. Osuna is built on a hill, overlooking the fertile plain watered by the Salado, a sub-tributary of the Guadalquivir. On the top of the hill stands the collegiate church, dating from 1534 and containing interesting Spanish and early German paintings. These, however, as well as the sculptures over the portal, suffered considerably during the occupation of the place by the French under Soult. The vaults, which are supported by Moorish arches, contain the tombs of the Giron family, by one of whom, Don Juan Tellez, the church was founded in 1534. The university of Osuna, founded also by him in 1549, was suppressed in 182o; but its large building is still used as a secondary school. The industries are agriculture and the making of esparto mats, pottery, bricks, oil, soap, cloth, linen and hats. Osuna, the Urso of Hirtius, famous in the 1st century B.c. for its long resistance to the troops of Caesar, and its fidelity to the Pompeians, was subsequently called by the Romans Orsona and Gemina Urbanorum, the last name being due, it is said, to the presence of two urban legions here. Gsuna was taken from the Moors in 1239, and given by Alphonso X. to the knights of Calatrava in 1264. Don Pedro Giron appropriated it to himself in 1445. One of his descendants, Don Pedro Tellez, was the first holder of the title duke of Osuna, conferred on him by Philip II. in 1562. Estepa (pop. 8591), a town 6 m. E.N.E. is the Iberian and Carthaginian Astepa or Ostipo, famous for its siege in 207 B.C. by the Romans under Publius Cornelius Scipio. When further resistance became impossible, the people of Astepa set fire to their town, and all perished in the flames.
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