Mountain ranges affect climate, the network of rivers, soils and their erosion, bioregions, and even human economies insofar as they rely on natural resources. Lower Andalusia, the Baetic Depression , the basin of the Guadalquivir, lies between these two mountainous areas. Throughout history, this has been the most populous part of Andalusia. Andalusia has rivers that flow into both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The rivers of the Atlantic basin are characteristically long, run through mostly flat terrain, and have broad river valleys.
In contrast, the rivers of the Mediterranean Basin are shorter, more seasonal, and make a precipitous descent from the mountains of the Baetic Cordillera. Their estuaries are small, and their valleys are less suitable for agriculture. Also, being in the rain shadow of the Baetic Cordillera means that they receive a lesser volume of water. The following hydrographic basins can be distinguished in Andalusia.
On the Mediterranean side is the Andalusian Mediterranean Basin and the upper portion of the basin of the Segura. The Sierra Morena, due to its morphology and the acidic content of its rocks, developed principally relatively poor, shallow soils, suitable only for forests. In the valleys and in some areas where limestone is present, deeper soils allowed farming of cereals suitable for livestock.
The more complicated morphology of the Baetic Cordillera makes it more heterogeneous, with the most heterogeneous soils in Andalusia.
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In particular, the alluvial soils of the Guadalquivir valley and plain of Granada have a loamy texture and are particularly suitable for intensive irrigated crops. In other zones, the whiter albariza provides an excellent soil for vineyards. Biogeographically, Andalusia forms part of the Western Mediterranean subregion of the Mediterranean Basin , which falls within the Boreal Kingdom. Five floristic provinces lie, in whole or in part, within Andalusia: along much of the Atlantic coast, the Lusitanian-Andalusian littoral or Andalusian Atlantic littoral; in the north, the southern portion of the Luso-Extremaduran floristic province; covering roughly half of the region, the Baetic floristic province; and in the extreme east, the Almerian portion of the Almerian-Murcian floristic province and coinciding roughly with the upper Segura basin a small portion of the Castilian-Maestrazgan-Manchegan floristic province.
These names derive primarily from past or present political geography: "Luso" and "Lusitanian" from Lusitania , one of three Roman provinces in Iberia, most of the others from present-day Spanish provinces, and Maestrazgo being a historical region of northern Valencia. In broad terms, the typical vegetation of Andalusia is Mediterranean woodland , characterized by leafy xerophilic perennials , adapted to the long, dry summers. The dominant species of the climax community is the holly oak Quercus ilex. Also abundant are cork oak Quercus suber , various pines , and Spanish fir Abies pinsapo.
Due to cultivation, olive Olea europaea and almond Prunus dulcis trees also abound. The dominant understory is composed of thorny and aromatic woody species, such as rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis , thyme Thymus , and Cistus. In the wettest areas with acidic soils , the most abundant species are the oak and cork oak, and the cultivated Eucalyptus. In the woodlands, leafy hardwoods of genus Populus poplars, aspens, cottonwoods and Ulmus elms are also abundant; poplars are cultivated in the plains of Granada.
The Andalusian woodlands have been much altered by human settlement, the use of nearly all of the best land for farming, and frequent wildfires. The degraded forests become shrubby and combustible garrigue. Extensive areas have been planted with non- climax trees such as pines. There is now a clear conservation policy for the remaining forests, which survive almost exclusively in the mountains. The biodiversity of Andalusia extends to its fauna as well.
More than of the vertebrate species extant in Spain can be found in Andalusia. Spanning the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins, and adjacent to the Strait of Gibraltar, Andalusia is on the migratory route of many of the numerous flocks of birds that travel annually from Europe to Africa and back. The Andalusian wetlands host a rich variety of birds. Some are of African origin, such as the red-knobbed coot Fulica cristata , the purple swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio , and the greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus.
Others originate in Northern Europe, such as the greylag goose Anser anser. Birds of prey raptors include the Spanish imperial eagle Aquila adalberti , the griffon vulture Gyps fulvus , and both the black and red kite Milvus migrans and Milvus milvus. Among the herbivores , are several deer Cervidae species, notably the fallow deer Dama dama and roe deer Capreolus capreolus ; the European mouflon Ovis orientalis musimon , a type of sheep; and the Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica , which despite its scientific name is no longer found in the Pyrenees.
The Spanish ibex has recently been losing ground to the Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia , an invasive species from Africa, introduced for hunting in the s. Among the small herbivores are rabbits—especially the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus —which form the most important part of the diet of the carnivorous species of the Mediterranean woodlands.
Stocks of the wild boar Sus scrofa , on the other hand, have been well preserved because they are popular with hunters. More abundant and in varied situations of conservation are such smaller carnivores as otters , dogs, foxes, the European badger Meles meles , the European polecat Mustela putorius , the least weasel Mustela nivalis , the wildcat Felis silvestris , the common genet Genetta genetta , and the Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon.
Other notable species are Acherontia atropos a variety of death's-head hawkmoth , Vipera latasti a venomous snake , and the endemic and endangered fish Aphanius baeticus. Andalusia has many unique ecosystems. In order to preserve these areas in a manner compatible with both conservation and economic exploitation, many of the most representative ecosystems have been given protected status.
RENPA consists of protected spaces, consisting of two national parks , 24 natural parks , 21 periurban parks on the fringes of cities or towns , 32 natural sites, two protected countrysides, 37 natural monuments, 28 nature reserves, and four concerted nature reserves in which a government agency coordinates with the owner of the property for its management , all part of the European Union's Natura network.
In total, nearly 20 percent of the territory of Andalusia lies in one of these protected areas, which constitute roughly 30 percent of the protected territory of Spain. The geostrategic position of Andalusia in the extreme south of Europe , providing along with Morocco a gateway between Europe and Africa, added to its position between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea , as well as its rich deposits of minerals and its agricultural wealth, have made Andalusia a tempting prize for civilizations since prehistoric times.
Battle of Bailén
The first settlers, based on artifacts from the archaeological sites at Los Millares , El Argar , and Tartessos , were clearly influenced by cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean who arrived on the Andalusian coast. With the fall of the Phoenician cities, Carthage became the dominant sea power of the western Mediterranean and the most important trading partner for the Phoenician towns along the Andalusian coast. Andalusia was the major staging ground for the war with Rome led by the Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Romans defeated the Carthaginians and conquered Andalusia, the region being renamed Baetica.
The Vandals moved briefly through the region during the 5th century AD before settling in North Africa, after which the region fell into the hands of the Visigothic Kingdom. The Visigoths in this region were practically independent of the Visigothic Catholic Kingdom of Toledo. This is the era of Saints Isidore of Seville and Hermenegild. They established Spania , a province of the Byzantine Empire from until Though their holdings were quickly reduced, they continued to have interests in the region until it was lost altogether in When the Muslim invaders seized control and consolidated their dominion of the region, they remained tolerant of the Christian religion, but they also needed a place for their own faith.
The mosque's hypostyle plan, consisting of a rectangular prayer hall and an enclosed courtyard, followed a tradition established in the Umayyad and Abbasid mosques of Syria and Iraq. However, the dramatic articulation of the interior of the prayer hall was unprecedented. The system of columns supporting double arcades of piers and arches with alternating red and white voussoirs is an unusual treatment that, structurally, combined striking visual effect with the practical advantage of providing greater height within the hall.
Alternating red and white voussoirs are associated with Umayyad monuments such as the Great Mosque of Damascus and the Dome of the Rock.
Their use in the Great Mosque of Cordoba manages to create a stunningly original visual composition even as it emphasises 'Abd al-Rahman's connection to the established Umayyad tradition. In this period, the name " Al-Andalus " was applied to a much larger area than the present Andalusia, and in some periods it referred to nearly the entire Iberian peninsula. The Muslim rulers of Hispania were economic invaders and interested in collecting taxes; social changes imposed on the native populace were mainly confined to geographical, political and legal conveniences.
Byzantine architecture is an example of such cultural diffusion continuing even after the collapse of the empire. By the 10th century, the Christians of northern Spain had begun what would eventually become the Reconquista : the reconquest of Spain for Christendom. Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman suffered some minor military defeats, but often managed to manipulate the Christian kingdoms to act against each other's interests.
Al-Hakam achieved military successes, but at the expense of uniting the Christian kings of the north against him. The main Taifas therefore had to resort to assistance from various Muslim powers across the Mediterranean.https://tavencastryphamis.tk
La batalla de Bailén. El surgimiento de una nación (Spanish Edition)
A number of different Muslim dynasties of North African origin—notably Almoravid dynasty and Almohad dynasty —dominated a slowly diminishing Al-Andalus over the next several centuries. After the Muslim victory at the Battle of Sagrajas put a temporary stop to Christian expansion, the Almoravid dynasty constructed a unified Al-Andalus with its capital in Granada, ruling until the midth century. The various Taifa kingdoms were assimilated.
The Christian victory at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa marked the beginning of the end of the Almohad dynasty. The weakness caused by the collapse of Almohad power and the subsequent creation of new Taifas , each with its own ruler, led to the rapid Christian reconquest of the valley of the Guadalquivir. The fall of Granada in put an end to Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula. On 3 August Christopher Columbus left the town of Palos de la Frontera , with the first expedition that resulted in the Europeans learning of the existence of the Americas. Contacts between Spain and the Americas , including royal administration and the shipping trade of Spanish colonies for over three hundred years, came almost exclusively through Andalusia.
However, Habsburg ambitions elsewhere in Europe diverted much of the colonial wealth to war. In the first half of the 16th century plague was still prevalent in Spain. According to George C. Kohn, "One of the worst epidemics of the century, whose miseries were accompanied by severe drought and food shortage, started in ; by , about , people had died in Andalusia alone Andalusia was struck once again in Following the Second Rebellion of the Alpujarras in —, the Moorish population—that is, unconverted Moriscos —were expelled from Kingdom of Castile and Aragon.
However, by order of the Spanish crown , two Moorish families were required to remain in each village in order to demonstrate to the new inhabitants, introduced from northern Spain, the workings of the terracing and irrigation systems on which the district's agriculture depends. In —12 the people strongly resisted the French occupation during the Peninsular War part of the Napoleonic Wars. Andalusia profited from the Spanish overseas empire, although much trade and finance eventually came to be controlled by other parts of Europe to where it was ultimately destined.
In the 18th century, commerce from other parts of Spain began to displace Andalusian commerce when the Spanish government ended Andalusia's trading monopoly with the colonies in the Americas. The loss of the empire in the s hurt the economy of the region, particularly the cities that had benefited from the trade and ship building.
The construction of railways in the latter part of the 19th century enabled Andalusia to better develop its agricultural potential and it became an exporter of food. While industrialisation was taking off in the northern Spanish regions of Catalonia and the Basque country, Andalusia remained traditional and displayed a deep social division between a small class of wealthy landowners and a population made up largely of poor agricultural labourers and tradesmen.
Andalusia was one of the worst affected regions of Spain by Francisco Franco 's brutal campaign of mass-murder and political suppression called the White Terror during and after the Spanish Civil War. The Nationalist rebels bombed and seized the working-class districts of the main Andalusian cities in the first days of the war,  and afterwards went on to execute thousands of workers and militants of the leftist parties: in the city of Cordoba 4,;  in the city of Granada 5,;  in the city of Seville 3,;  and in the city of Huelva 2, killed and 2, disappeared.
Paul Preston estimates the total number of victims of deliberately killed by the Nationalists in Andalusia at 55, Andalusia is one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain. The Autonomous Community of Andalusia was formed in accord with a referendum of 28 February  and became an autonomous community under the Statute of Autonomy known as the Estatuto de Carmona.