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La Carolina

La Carolina is a Municipality located in the province of Jaén, Spain. According to the 2014 census, the municipality has a population of 15,808 inhabitants.HistoryLa Carolina was formerly the capital of the Intendencia of the Nuevas Poblaciones de Andalucía y Sierra Morena founded in this formerly remote and desolate area of the Sierra Morena in 1767 by King Carlos III. The object of the plan, drawn up by his minister Pablo de Olavide, administrator of Andalucia, was to populate the area around Despeñaperros gorge. Known as "the gateway to Andalucia"; this pass was a notorious point on the Cadiz-to-Madrid royal highway for bandits. Other towns of note in this plan were La Carlota and La Luisiana. The Intendencia administrative division was wrapped up in 1813.Six thousand Catholic settlers arrived from Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland to take advantage of the generous offers of land and livestock being made to colonizers (five chickens, five goats, five sheep, two cows, and a sow per family). With a few years, about half of them had died from illness or gone home: the rest gradually lost their national identities over the years, and took on the language and customs of their host country. One can still find people in this area with Germanic surnames such as Eisman, Minch, Smidt and Kobler.The town's relatively recent history, as well as its northern European target population, explains its unusually regular, colonial-style grid layout, with wide avenues, as opposed to the more common winding narrow streets typical of the Moorish-patterned towns in Andalusia.
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