Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc'h to the Spanish border, the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal; the south area of the Bay of Biscay washes over the northern coast of Spain and is known as the Cantabrian Sea. The average depth is 1,744 metres and the greatest depth is 4,735 metres; the Bay of Biscay is named after Biscay on the northern Spanish coast standing for the western Basque districts. Its name in other languages is: Asturian: golfu de Biscaya Basque: Bizkaiko golkoa Breton: pleg-mor Gwaskogn French: golfe de Gascogne Galician: golfo de Biscaia Gascon and Occitan: golf de Gasconha Latin: Sinus Biscaiensis Spanish: Golfo de Vizcaya Parts of the continental shelf extend far into the bay, resulting in shallow waters in many areas and thus the rough seas for which the region is known. Large storms occur in the bay during the winter months; the Bay of Biscay is home to some of the Atlantic Ocean's fiercest weather.
Up until recent years it was a regular occurrence for merchant vessels to founder in Biscay storms. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bay of Biscay as "a line joining Cap Ortegal to Penmarch Point"; the southernmost portion is the Cantabrian Sea. The main rivers that empty into the Bay of Biscay are Loire, Garonne, Adour, Bidasoa, Urumea, Urola, Artibai, Oka, Nervión, Agüera, Asón, Pas, Nansa, Sella, Nalón, Esva, Eo, Landro and Sor. In late spring and early summer a large fog triangle fills the southwestern half of the bay, covering just a few kilometers inland; as winter begins, weather becomes severe. Depressions enter from the west frequently and they either bounce north to the British Isles or they enter the Ebro Valley, dry out, are reborn in the form of powerful thunderstorms as they reach the Mediterranean Sea; these depressions cause severe weather at sea and bring light though constant rain to its shores. Sometimes powerful windstorms form if the pressure falls traveling along the Gulf Stream at great speed, resembling a hurricane, crashing in this bay with their maximum power, such as the Klaus storm.
The Gulf Stream enters the bay following the continental shelf's border anti-clockwise, keeping temperatures moderate all year long. The main cities on the shores of the Bay of Biscay are Bordeaux, Biarritz, Nantes, La Rochelle, Donostia-San Sebastián, Santander, Gijón and Avilés; the southern end of the gulf is called in Spanish "Mar Cantábrico", from the Estaca de Bares, as far as the mouth of Adour river, but this name is not used in English. It was named by Romans in the 1st century BC as Sinus Cantabrorum and Mare Gallaecum. On some medieval maps, the Bay of Biscay is marked as El Mar del los Vascos; the Bay of Biscay has been the site of many famous naval engagements over the centuries. In 1592 the Spanish defeated an English fleet during the eponymous Battle of the Bay of Biscay; the Biscay campaign of June 1795 consisted of a series of manoeuvres and two battles fought between the British Channel Fleet and the French Atlantic Fleet off the southern coast of Brittany during the second year of the French Revolutionary Wars.
USS Californian sank here after striking a naval mine on 22 June 1918. In 1920 SS Afrique sank after losing power and drifting into a reef in a storm with the loss of 575 lives. On 28 December 1943, the Battle of the Bay of Biscay was fought between HMS Glasgow and HMS Enterprise and a group of German destroyers as part of Operation Stonewall during World War II. U-667 sank on 25 August 1944 in position 46 ° 00 ′ N 01 ° 30 ′ W. All hands were lost. On 12 April 1970, Soviet submarine K-8 sank in the Bay of Biscay due to a fire that crippled the submarine's nuclear reactors. An attempt to save the sub failed, resulting in the death of forty sailors and the loss of four nuclear torpedoes. Due to the great depth, no salvage operation was attempted; the car ferries from Gijón to Nantes/Saint-Nazaire, Portsmouth to Bilbao and from Plymouth and Poole to Santander provide one of the most convenient ways to see cetaceans in European waters. Specialist groups take the ferries to hear more information. Volunteers and employees of ORCA observe and monitor cetacean activity from the bridge of the ships on Brittany Ferries' Portsmouth to Santander route.
Many species of whales and dolphins can be seen in this area. Most it is one of the few places in the world where the beaked whales, such as the Cuvier's beaked whale, have been observed frequently. Biscay Dolphin Research monitored cetacean activity from the P&O Ferries cruiseferry Pride of Bilbao, on voyages from Portsmouth to Bilbao. North Atlantic Right Whales, one of the most endangered whales, once came to the bay for feeding and for calving as well, but whaling activities by Basque people wiped them out sometime prior to 1850s; the eastern population of this species are considered to be extinct, a
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country the Basque Autonomous Community is an autonomous community in northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava and Gipuzkoa; the Basque Country or Basque Autonomous Community was granted the status of nationality within Spain, attributed by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The autonomous community is based on the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country, a foundational legal document providing the framework for the development of the Basque people on Spanish soil. Navarre, which had narrowly rejected a joint statue of autonomy with Gipuzkoa, Álava and Biscay in 1932, was granted a separate statute in 1982. There is no official capital in the autonomous community, but the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the province of Álava, is the de facto capital as the location of the Basque Parliament, the headquarters of the Basque Government, the residence of the President of the Basque Autonomous Community; the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country has its headquarters in the city of Bilbao.
Whilst Vitoria-Gasteiz is the largest municipality in area, with 277 km2, Bilbao is the largest in population, with 353,187 people, located in the province of Biscay within a conurbation of 875,552 people. The term Basque Country may refer to the larger cultural region, the home of the Basque people, which includes the autonomous community; the following provinces make up the autonomous community: Álava, capital Vitoria-Gasteiz Biscay, capital Bilbao-Bilbo Gipuzkoa, capital Donostia-San Sebastián The Basque Country borders Cantabria and the Burgos province to the west, the Bay of Biscay to the north and Navarre to the east and La Rioja to the south. The territory has three distinct areas, which are defined by the two parallel ranges of the Basque Mountains; the main range of mountains forms the watershed between the Mediterranean basins. The highest point of the range is in the Aizkorri massif; the three areas are: Formed by many valleys with short rivers that flow from the mountains to the Bay of Biscay, like the Nervión, Urola or Oria.
The coast is rough, with small inlets. The main features of the coast are the Bilbao Abra Bay and the Estuary of Bilbao, the Urdaibai estuary and the Bidasoa-Txingudi Bay that forms the border with France. Between the two mountain ranges, the area is occupied by a high plateau called Llanada Alavesa, where the capital Vitoria-Gasteiz is located; the rivers flow south from the mountains to the Ebro River. The main rivers are the Zadorra Bayas River. From the southern mountains to the Ebro is the so-called Rioja Alavesa, which shares the Mediterranean characteristics of other Ebro Valley zones; some of Spain's production of Rioja wine takes place here. The Basque Mountains form the watershed and mark the distinct climatic areas of the Basque Country: The northern valleys, in Biscay and Gipuzkoa and the valley of Ayala in Álava, are part of Green Spain, where the oceanic climate is predominant, with its wet weather all year round and moderate temperatures. Precipitation average is about 1200 mm; the middle section is influenced more by the continental climate, but with a varying degree of the northern oceanic climate.
This gives cold, snowy winters. The Ebro valley has a pure continental climate: winters are cold and dry and summers warm and dry, with precipitation peaking in spring and autumn. Precipitation is irregular, as low as 300 mm. Half of the 2,155,546 inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community live in Greater Bilbao, Bilbao's metropolitan area. Of the ten most populous cities, six form part of Bilbao's conurbation, known as Greater Bilbao. With 28.2% of the Basque population born outside this region, immigration is crucial to Basque demographics. Over the 20th century most of this immigration came from other parts of Spain from Galicia or Castile and León. Over recent years, sizeable numbers of this population have returned to their birthplaces and most immigration to the Basque country now comes from abroad, chiefly from South America. Roman Catholicism is, by far, the largest religion in the Basque Country. In 2012, the proportion of Basques that identified themselves as Roman Catholic was 58.6%, while it is one of the most secularised communities of Spain: 24.6% were non-religious and 12.3% of Basques were atheist.
Bilbao-Bilbo Vitoria-Gasteiz San Sebastián-Donostia Barakaldo Getxo Irun Portugalete Santurtzi Basauri Errenteria Spanish and Basque are co-official in all territories of the autonomous community. The Basque-speaking areas in the modern-day autonomous community are set against the wider context of the Basque language, spoken to the east in Navarre and the French Basque Country; the whole Basque speaking territory has experienced both expansion in its history. The Basque language experienced a gradual territorial contraction throughout the last nine centuries, severe deterioration of its sociolinguistic status for much of the 20th century due to heavy immigration from other parts of Spain, the virtual nonexistence of Basque language schooling, national policies implemented by the different Spanish régimes. After the advent of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Countr
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Elgoibar is an industrial town located in the province of Gipuzkoa, in the Autonomous Community of Basque Country, northern Spain. Located in a valley, it is traversed by the Deba river. Elgoibar is nicknamed the "capital city of the Machine tool"; the town was called Villamayor de Marquina, but it had been founded in a place called before Elgoibar field. The town came to be known by this name a few centuries of its foundation; until the mid-fifteenth century it appears in the documentation as Villamayor de Marquina, but in the statutes of the Brotherhood of Gipuzkoa of 1457 and 1463 years appears with the Elgoibar name and it has prevailed until today. Elgoibar name has been used in Basque in order to refer to the small town; the unique difference is that in Spanish the name Elgoibar has an accent mark in its "o". Elgoibar etymologically comes from the Basque language and is composed of the word meaning elge field and safely by ibar word which means valley and plain. Therefore, "elge ibar" would be a similar term to vega or plain cultivated field and would have resulted in Elgoibar.
The etymology would remain quite well with the mention of Elgoibar field that appears in the settlement charter of the town. Since the beginning of the establishment of the Ville, the industrial nature was relevant; the king kept for himself the strip mining of the minerals such as gold or silver, the ironworks production. As Tómas López described in 1800 " The industrialization transformed that protoindustry, on a machinery tools factories network. Main companies The following list includes companies that are located in Elgoibar, that have at least an staff of 50 people according to the Basque Industry catalog: Alcorta Brockhaus, S. A.: Manufacturer of components of forged steel for the automotive industry. AVS Added Value Solutions: Designing and manufacturing equipment for the industry of science and machine tool industry. Bernardo Ecenarro, S. A.: Manufacturing paints and special covers for the automotive industry Doimak: Manufacturing rectifier machines Engranajes Grindel, S. A.: Manufacturer of gears.
Etxe-Tar, S. A.: Machine Tool Industry Elgoibar celebrates festivity in honor of its patron. The latter is the patron of the villa. In addition, there are a number of celebrations that are celebrated in unison of the region or the country such as San Blas, Carnivals or the Eve of St. Agatha. There is cattle fair the last Saturday of each month and specially the last Saturday of the year, Gabon Zahar Feria. San Anton festivity, second landlord of the town, on 17 January. San Bartolome, the patron of Elgoibar, on 23 August. San Juan festivity, on 23 June. There are smaller celebrations in the rural districts and the hermitages like the pilgrimage of Santiago Sargoate day. Militaries and Governors Martin Iñiguez de Carquizano: sea man that took part in the Garcia Jofre de Loaisa expedition. Gabriel de Crucelegui: governor of Philippines. Religious people Domingo de Alzola 16th century: Guadalajara's archbishop. Francisco Aguirre: missionary priest in China. Industrial people Eulogio Estarta: industrial.
Fundator of the local company "SIGMA". Bernando Ecenarro: industrial. Writers Pedro Miguel Urruzuno: priest and basque writer. Jasone Osoro: journalist and basque writer. Gotzon Garate: basque writer, philosopher and Jesuit. Hasier Etxeberria: journalist and writer. Broadcaster of the literary TV program Sautrela in ETB Uxue Alberdi: journalist and improviser of basque verse. Pelota Players Roque Echave, Echave II Ignacio Cortabitarte Javier Arriola Lizarralde, Arriola IVFootball players Jose Luis González: footballer who played as a goalkeeper in the Real Sociedad and Valencia C. F, among others. Tiburcio Beristain: footballer. Fernando Ansola: international football player who played in the Real Oviedo, Real Betis, Valencia C. F and Real Sociedad. Juan Cruz Sol: international footballer who played in the Real Madrid and Valencia CF. Markel Bergara: football player, playing in the Real Sociedad. Ricardo Suarez: football player who played in the Real Sociedad and Granada C. F, among others. Joseba Etxeberria: international football player who played in the Real Sociedad and Athletic Club.
Itziar Gurrutxaga: international football player who played in the Athletic Club EFT. Zuhaitz Gurrutxaga: football player who played in the Real Sociedad. Elisabeth Ibarra: international football player who plays in the Athletic Club EFT. Other sports Juan Muguerza: athlete. Jose Maria Benavides: yachtsman. 11 times Spanish champion and twice olympique winner. Bullfighter Luis Mazzantini Politicians Jaime Arrese: Mayor of Elgoibar in the 1970s. Murdered by Comandos Autonomos anticapitalistas Francisco Javier Ansuategui: conservative politician. Arnaldo Otegui: Basque national politician, Sortu's chief of staff. Official Website Information Basque. ELGOIBAR in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Information available in Spanish
A river mouth is the part of a river where the river debouches into another river, a lake, a reservoir, a sea, or an ocean. The water from a river can enter the receiving body in a variety of different ways; the motion of a river is influenced by the relative density of the river compared to the receiving water, the rotation of the earth, any ambient motion in the receiving water, such as tides or seiches. If the river water has a higher density than the surface of the receiving water, the river water will plunge below the surface; the river water will either form an underflow or an interflow within the lake. However, if the river water is lighter than the receiving water, as is the case when fresh river water flows into the sea, the river water will float along the surface of the receiving water as an overflow. Alongside these advective transports, inflowing water will diffuse. At the mouth of a river, the change in flow condition can cause the river to drop any sediment it is carrying; this sediment deposition can generate a variety of landforms, such as deltas, sand bars and tie channels.
Many places in the United Kingdom take their names from their positions at the mouths of rivers, such as Plymouth and Great Yarmouth. Confluence River delta Estuary Liman
Gipuzkoa is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is Donostia-San Sebastián. Gipuzkoa shares borders with the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques at the northeast, with the province and autonomous community of Navarre at east, Biscay at west, Álava at southwest and the Bay of Biscay to its north, it is located in the Bay of Biscay. It has 66 kilometres of coast land. With a total area of 1,980 square kilometres, Gipuzkoa is the smallest province of Spain; the province has 89 municipalities and a population of 720,592 inhabitants, from which more than half live in the Donostia-San Sebastián metropolitan area. Apart from the capital, other important cities are Irun, Zarautz, Mondragón, Hondarribia, Oñati, Tolosa and Pasaia; the oceanic climate gives the province an intense green colour with little thermic oscillation. Gipuzkoa is the province of the Basque Country where the Basque language is most extensively used: 49.1% of the population spoke Basque in 2006.
The first recorded name of the province was Ipuscoa in a document from the year 1025. During the following years, in various documents, several similar names appear, such as Ipuzcoa, Ipuçcha, among others; the full etymology the word Gipuzkoa has not been ascertained, but links have been made with the Basque word Giputz, containing the root ip-, related to the word ipar and ipuin. According to this, ipuzko might refer to something "to the north" or "in the north". Gipuzkoa is the Basque spelling recommended by the Royal Academy of the Basque language, it is used in official documents in that language; the Basque spelling is mandatory in official texts from the various Spanish public administrations in documents written in Spanish. It is the spelling most used by the Spanish-language media in the Basque Country, it is the spelling used in the Basque version of the Spanish constitution and in the Basque version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. Gipuzkoa is the only official spelling approved for the historical territory by the Juntas Generales of the province.
Guipúzcoa is the spelling in Spanish, it has been determined by the Association of Spanish Language Academies as being the only correct use outside official Spanish documents, where the use of the Basque spelling is mandatory. It is the Spanish spelling used in the Spanish version of the Constitution and in the Spanish version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. At 1,980 km2 Gipuzkoa is the smallest province in Spain; the province has 88 municipalities and 709,607 inhabitants, a quarter of whom live in the capital, San Sebastián. Other important towns are Irun, Zarautz, Arrasate, Oñati with an old university, Tolosa, the provincial capital for a short time, Pasaia, the main port and Hondarribia, an old fort town across from the French Atlantic coast. Gipuzkoa is hilly and green linking mountain and sea, populated with numerous urban nuclei that dot the whole territory; the conspicuous presence of hills and rugged terrain has added to a special leaning towards hiking and mountains on the part of Gipuzkoans.
Some mountains have an emblematic or iconic significance in the local tradition, their summits being topped with crosses and mountaineer postboxes. In addition, pilgrimages which have lost their former religious zeal and taken on a more secular slant are sometimes held to their summits; some renowned mountains are Aiako Harria, Txindoki and Izarraitz, amongst others. The Aralar Natural Park is a conservation area on the border of Gipuzkoa and Navarre in the Aralar Range; the rivers of Gipuzkoa are distinctly different from other Bay of Biscay rivers. They arise in the hilly Basque inland landscape, flow in a south- north direction, forming close, narrow valleys before joining the ocean; the rivers extend for a short length with only a small fluctuation in the volume of water thanks to the stable rainfall all year round, they show an abrupt drop between origin and mouth as far as the length of the river is concerned. From west to east the rivers are the Deba, Oria, Urumea and Bidasoa. Except for a narrow strip extending east from the hamlet Otzaurte and the tunnel of San Adrian, the province drains its waters to the Atlantic basin.
The region's communication layout is in step with its geographical features, with the main lines of infrastructure along a north -south axis up to recent times along the rivers heading to the ocean. Accordingly, the inland Way of St. James, i.e. the Tunnel Route penetrated the province via Irun and turned south-west along the Oria River towards the provincial limits at the tunnel of San Adrian. This stretch was in operation up to 1765. A minor St. James route crossed Gipuzkoa east to west along the coast; the main road cutting through Gipuzkoa follows that layout, i.e. the N-1 E-5 from Irun to Donostia and on to Altsasu all along the Oria River for the most part. The major Irun-Madrid railway runs close to the river up to its origin on the slopes of Aizkorri at train stop Otzaurte in Zegama. By 1973 engineering works for the Bilbao-Behobia A-8 E-70 motorway had been completed, with the new road cutting across the valleys east to west and turning into the main axis between Donostia and Bilbao, beside
Álava or Araba Araba/Álava, is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Álava, former medieval Catholic bishopric and now Latin titular see. Its capital city, Vitoria-Gasteiz, is the seat of the political main institutions of the autonomous community, it borders the Basque provinces of Biscay and Gipuzkoa to the north, the community of La Rioja to the south, the province of Burgos to the west and the community of Navarre to the east. The Enclave of Treviño, surrounded by Alavese territory, is however part of the province of Burgos, thus belonging to the autonomous community of Castile and León, not Álava, it is the largest of the three provinces in the Basque Autonomous Community in geographical terms, with 2,963 km2, but the least populated with 328,868 inhabitants. Built around the Roman mansion Alba located on the road ab Asturica Burdigalam, it has sometimes been argued the name may stem from that landmark. However, according to the Royal Academy of the Basque Language, the origin may be another: The name is first found on Muslim chronicles of the 8th century referring to the Alavese Plains, laua in old Basque with the Arab article added, developing into Spanish Álava and Basque Araba.
The province numbers 51 municipalities, a population of 315,525 inhabitants in an area of 3,037 km2, with an average of 104.50 inhabitants/km2. The vast majority of the population clusters in the capital city of Álava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, which serves as the capital of the Autonomous Community, but the remainder of the territory is sparsely inhabited with population nuclei distributed into seven counties: Añana. Álava is an inland territory and features a transitional climate between the humid, Atlantic neighbouring northern provinces and the dry and warmer lands south of the Ebro River. According to the relief and landscape characteristics, the territory is divided into five main zones: The Gorbea Foothills: Green hilly landscape; the Valleys: Low valleys, sparsely populated. The Plains: Heartland of Álava comprising Vitoria and Salvatierra-Agurain, with a central urban area and crop landscape prevailing around and bounded south and north by the Basque Mountains; the Alavese Mountains: Higher forest lands.
The Alavese Rioja: Oriented to the south on the left bank of the Ebro River, perfect for vineyards. Ayala: The area clustering around the Nervión River, with Amurrio and Laudio as its major towns; the region shows close bonds with an industrial landscape. Unlike Biscay and Gipuzkoa, but for Ayala and Aramaio, the waters of Álava pour into the Ebro and hence to the Mediterranean by means of two main waterways, i.e. the Zadorra and Bayas Rivers. In addition, the Zadorra Reservoir System harvests a big quantity of waters that supply not only the capital city but other major Basque towns and cities too, like Bilbao. While in 1950 agriculture and farming shaped the landscape of the territory, the trend shifted during the 60s and 70s on the grounds of a growing industrial activity in the Alavese Plains, with the main focus lying on the industrial estates of Vitoria-Gasteiz and, to a lesser extent, Salvatierra-Agurain and Araia. At the turn of the century, only 2% of the working Alavese people was in agriculture, while 60% was in the tertiary sector and 32% in manufacturing.
Industry associated with iron and metal developed earlier in the Atlantic area much in tune with Bilbao's economic dynamics, with droves of people flocking to and clustering in Amurrio and Laudio, which have since become the third and second main towns of Álava. List of rulers: Eylo, up to 866 Rodrigo c. 867–870, count of Castile Vela Jiménez 870–c. 887 Munio Velaz c. 887–c. 921 Álvaro Herraméliz c. 921–931 count of Cerezo and Lantarón Fernán González 931–970 count of Castile, Álava feudatary of Castile until 1030 García Fernández 970–995 Munio González 1030–1043 Fortunio Íñiguez 1043–1046 Munio Muñoz 1046–1060, Álava feudatary of Navarre, 1046–1085 Sancho Maceratiz 1046–1060 Ramiro 1060–1075 Marcelo 1075–1085 Lope Íñiguez 1085–?, Álava feudatary of Castile until 1123 Lope Díaz the White?–1093 Lope González 1093–1099 Lope Sánchez 1099–1114 Diego López I 1114–1123 Ladrón Íñiguez 1123–1158, Álava feudatary of Navarre until 1199 Vela Ladrón 1158–1175 Juan Velaz 1175–1181 Diego López II 1181–1187 Íñigo de Oriz 1187–1199 Diego López de Haro I 1199–1214, Álava feudatary of Castile until personal union of 1332 Lope Diaz de Haro I 1214–1240 Nuño González de Lara 1240–1252 Diego López de Haro II 1252–1274 Fernando de la Cerda 1274–1280 Lope Díaz II de Haro 1280–1288 Juan Alonso de Haro 1288–1310 Diego López de Salcedo 1310–1332The title is attributed to the Castilian kings after 1332.
The Arab invasion of the Ebro valley in the 8th century, many Christians of the Diocese of Calahorra sought refuge in areas further north free of Arab rule. The diocese called Álava or Armentaria was established in 870 on terrirory split off from the Diocese of Calahorra. From until the 11th century the names of several bishops of this see are recorded, the best known being the last, Fortún, who in 1072 went to Rome to argue before Pope Alexander II in defence of the Mozarabic Rite, which King Alfonso VI of León and Castile had decree