Thursday, November 22, 2012

Charles III´s colonies in Andalusia

The new populations in Andalusia and Sierra Morena

The colonization of new lands was one of the reforms made during Charles III´s rule. Charles III decided to repopulate some sparsely populated regions of Spain, such as Sierra Morena and the Guadalquivir Valley. He wanted to enlarge the cultivated areas and end with banditry. New settlements were created and the consequences of this repopulation are still evident in these places even today.

Pablo de Olavide, Charles III´s intendant for Andalusia, was in charge of this project. Villages such as La Carolina in Jaén, La Carlota in Córdoba, La Luisiana in Seville were created and around 6,000 colonists from Austria, Germany and France settled down there. Many of them were blond and blue-eyed. Every family of colonists received 50 fanegas of land, 5 hens, 5 goats, 5 sheep, two cows and a sow, were tax-exempt for ten years and protected by a special law until 1835.  The remains of this colonization are still evident at present: some of the people of these towns have blond hair, blue eyes, names such as Smith, Aufhinger, Ruff, Neff, Alpert and preserve some German traditions, such as the Fasnachto Karnevales in La Carolina or the painted eggs day in Cañada Rosal 

canasto huevos pintados

Painted Easter eggs, a German tradition in Cañada Rosal

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