by Saskia Mier
The origin of Osuna goes back until about three thousand years ago, when the Turdetani inhabit the city that would later be known as Urso. In the year 44-43 BC, fulfilling an earlier forecast of Julio César, the town was re-founded by Marco Antonio with veterans of the last civil wars, creating a colony of Roman citizens, officially being named, Colonia Genetiva Iulia. A century later, Pliny the Elder renames it, Colonia Genetiva Urbanorum Urso.
The exact location of the important Roman Battle of Munda (17 March 45 BC) has long been a matter of debate. Some Spanish historians asserted that Munda was the Roman name for modern-day Ronda, where the battle of Munda may have been fought. Other early researchers localized the battle in various other places, e.g. near Monda or Montilla. At the outset of Hispanist Prosper Mérimée's novella Carmen, source of George Bizet's opera, the narrator clearly states that his research indicates that Munda was near Montilla. Other experts have asserted that Munda was fought just outside Ecija or Osuna, in the province of Seville. This was supported by ancient slingshot bullets that were excavated near La Lantejuela, halfway between Osuna and Écija. The theory is further supported by ancient inscriptions found in Écija and Osuna that honor the town of Astigi (Écija) for standing firmly on Caesar's side during the battle. The Battle of Munda may have taken place on the Cerro de las Balas (hill) and the plains of Llanos del Aguila near the village of La Lantejuela, between the towns of Ecija and Osuna.
The Moors called the town, Oxona, which was later conquered in 1239 by the Castilian armies of Fernando III of Castile. In 1264 it was handed over to the Order of Calatrava, who created the Encomienda de Osuna. Because of its strategic location, it became a crucial point for the defence of the border line with the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.
In the fifteenth century, the Calatrava Knights yielded Osuna to Pedro Téllez de Girón, whose descendants received the title of Dukes of Osuna during the reign of Felipe II. Osuna reached its moment of greatest splendour in the mid-sixteenth century thanks to Juan Téllez Girón, IV Count of Ureña, born in Osuna around 1494. He created the largest and most spectacular monumental set of the Sevillian Renaissance, with the construction of thirteen churches and convents, a hospital, the University and Collegiate.
THINGS TO SEE
When visiting Osuna, it's a good idea to stop first at the tourist office and also town museum on Calle Sevilla (Casa de los Hermanos Arjona y Cubas) and pick up a guide with map detailing the town's main monuments, many of which are built from sandstone quarried just outside the town.
The previous University of Osuna is one of the most emblematic buildings of Osuna. More >
The bullring became well known as Game of Thrones series recorded a scene there. More >
Located on the highest part of the town, at the end of Camino Buena Vista. More >
More things to see
Discover other sights and attraction in Osuna. More>>