LOJA (formerly written Loxa), a town of southern Spain, in the province of Granada, on the Granada-Algeciras railway. Pop. (1900) 19,143. The narrow and irregular streets of Loja wind up the sides of a steep hill surmounted by a Moorish citadel; many of the older buildings, including a fine Moorish bridge, were destroyed by an earthquake in December 1884, although two churches of the early 16th century remained intact. An iron bridge spans the river Genii, which flows past the town on the north, forcing a passage through the mountains which encircle the fertile and beautiful Vega of Granada. This passage would have afforded easy access to the territory still held by the Moors in the last half of the 15th century, had not Loja been strongly fortified; and the place was thus of great military importance, ranking with the neighbouring town of Alhama as one of the keys of Granada. Its manufactures consist chiefly of coarse woollens, silk, paper and leather. Salt is obtained in the neighbourhood.
Loja, which has sometimes been identified with the ancient Ilipula, or with the Lacibi (Lacibis) of Pliny and Ptolemy, first clearly emerges in the Arab chronicles of the year 890. It was taken by Ferdinand III. in 1226, but was soon afterwards abandoned, and was not finally recaptured until the 28th of May, 1486, when it surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella after a siege.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)