The port city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. Located east of Gijón and west of Bilbao, the city has a population of 172,000. Santander houses the headquarters of multinational bank Banco Santander, is the location of the founding of the namesake company; the origin of the earliest human settlements in the current Santander is not easy to establish because there is little written and archaeological data. However, there would appear to be good practical reasons for ancient settlers to have chosen the north side of the bay, sheltered from it and safer from the storms of the Bay of Biscay, on the north side of the promontory of Somorrostro and along the ancient Becedo estuary. Moreover, the hillside provided good visibility for spotting potential attackers, making this the ideal place for the foundation of a stable settlement, to evolve throughout the Middle Ages. Although it is mentioned for the first time in 1068, in a draft document made by King Sancho II, in the 9th century Alfonso II the Chaste founded the Abbey of the Holy Bodies in the existing chapel on the hill of Somorrostro, housing as holy relics the heads of Saint Emeterius and Saint Celedonius and the graves of other unknown martyrs, giving the abbey its name.
During the 12th and 13th centuries the population was contained within the walls of two different pueblas. La Puebla, the oldest, on the hill overlooking the city facing the bay, included the old castle, the Abbey of the Holy Bodies and the cloister, it had three rows of houses, separated by Rua Carnicerias and Rua Mayor, where the homes of prominent people of the town were, as well as those of the Abbot's canons. Meanwhile, the Puebla Nueva contained the convent of Santa Clara and San Francisco, which gave its name to one of the main streets; the two pueblas were joined by a bridge over the river that divided Becedo and flowed down to the shipyards, which were ordered by the king to take timber from the Cantabrian forests for shipbuilding. The villa was required to give the monarchy a ship per year; the city owes its existence to the excellent harbour of the Bay of Santander. Santander was an important port for Castile in the Middle Ages, for trade with the New World, it became a city in 1755.
See also: Incendio de Santander Santander fell victim to a great fire in 1941. Fanned by a strong south wind, the fire burned for two days; the fire started in Cádiz Street, next to the Cathedral and the medieval quarter. The fire destroyed the Old Town Hall, Jesús de Monasterio and Vargas streets and Atarazanas square buildings, it led to a major change in the architecture of Santander, away from the older small stone and wood buildings with balconies to the enormous blocks of flats built during the reconstruction. There was only one casualty of the fire, a firefighter from Madrid killed in the line of duty, but thousands of families were left homeless and the city was plunged into chaos; the fire destroyed the greater part of the medieval town centre and gutted the city's Romanesque cathedral. The city is located on the northern side of the Bahia de Santander; the city of Santander has an oceanic climate, the annual thermal oscillation of the average monthly temperatures reaching around 10°C.
The maximum temperature reached in Santander Airport was 37.8 °C on 27 June 2009, the minimum temperature −5.4 °C on 21 January 1957. The warmest maximum daytime average for a month was in August 2003, with 27.1 °C. Warm months are however rare. Sunshine hours are low by comparison with the rest of mainland and southern Spain. Compared with other areas of northern Spain, such as Galicia, which have much more sunshine hours in coastal cities such as Vigo or Pontevedra. With just around 1650 hours of sunshine, Santander is about as sunny as London and Paris, quite a bit less sunny than most of England's south coastal regions; the bars and restaurants of the old town are popular with tourists, as well as the El Sardinero beach a couple of kilometres away. The Cathedral of Santander: The lower temple, called "cripta del Cristo" was built around 1200 on other earlier Roman buildings, it is 18 wide, organised into three naves. Its style is a transition from romanesque to gothic; the Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor presides over the entrance to the Bay of Santander.
Parque de la Vaguada de las Llamas is one of the largest parks in northern Spain, covering 11 hectares of the city. Santander is pilot for a Smart city, it is embedded with 12,000 sensors. The PP were the leading party in the municipal elections of 1999, 2003 and 2007; as a service centre at the regional level, Santander contains important public institutions and private organisations with a large number of employees, including Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, the University of Cantabria and Grupo Santander. Activities related to culture and tourism are an important part of the city's economy, the regional and municipal authorities look to augment the summer tourist trade with additional offerings, including conventions, cultural festivals and cruises. Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank and corporation, is headquartered here, it has a ferry service from Plymouth operated by Brittany Ferries. University of Cantabria is the largest university in Cantabria. European University of the Atlantic is a private university founded in 2013.
Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo specializes in teaching S
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
Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona; the capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, it is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions; the eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, were called Catalonia.
In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon; the de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts, constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was reconquered by the Spanish army.
Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; this led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended. In the 19th century, Catalonia was affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation; as wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government.
After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum; the Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries.
The name Catalonia—Catalunya in Catalan, spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia in Medieval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans in the late 11th century and was used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia Launia, since the origins of the Catalan counts and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothlan
Burgos is a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile. It is situated on the confluence of the Arlanzón river tributaries, at the edge of the Iberian central plateau, it has another 20,000 in the metropolitan area. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of León. Burgos was once the capital of the Crown of Castile, the Burgos Laws or Leyes de Burgos which first governed the behaviour of Spaniards towards the natives of the Americas were promulgated here in 1512, it has many historic landmarks, of particular importance. A large number of churches and other buildings from the medieval age remain; the city is surrounded by the Fuentes Blancas and the Paseo de la Isla parks. Castilian nobleman, military leader and diplomat El Cid Campeador is a significant historical figure in the city, as he was born a couple of kilometres north of Burgos and was raised and educated here; the city forms the principal crossroad of northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago, which runs parallel to the River Arlanzón.
It has a well-developed transportation system, forming the main communication node in northern Spain. In 2008, the international Burgos Airport started to offer commercial flights. Furthermore, AVE high speed trains are planned to start service in the near future, stopping at the newly-built Rosa de Lima train station; the Museum of Human Evolution was opened in 2010, unique in its kind across the world and projected to become one of the top 10 most-visited museums in Spain. The museum features the first Europeans. Burgos was selected as the "Spanish Gastronomy Capital" of 2013. In 2015 it was named "City of Gastronomy" by UNESCO and has been part of the Creative Cities Network since then. There are several possible origins for the toponymy; when the city was founded, the inhabitants of the surrounding country moved into the fortified village, whose Visigothic name of Burgos signified consolidated walled villages. The city began to be called Caput Castellae. Early humans occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago.
When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos, the site had been a Celtic city. In Roman times, it belonged to Hispania Citerior and to Hispania Tarraconensis. In the 5th century, the Visigoths drove back the Suebi the Berbers occupied all of Castile in the 8th century, though only for a brief period, left little if any trace of their occupation. King Alfonso III the Great of León reconquered it about the middle of the 9th century, built several castles for the defence of Christendom, extended through the reconquest of lost territory; the region came to be known as Castile, i.e. "land of castles". Burgos was founded in 884 as an outpost of this expanding Christian frontier, when Diego Rodríguez "Porcelos", count of Castile, governed this territory with orders to promote the increase of the Christian population; the city began to be called Caput Castellae. The county of Castile, subject to the Kings of León, continued to be governed by counts and was extended. In the 11th century, the city became the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burgos and the capital of the Kingdom of Castile.
Burgos was a major stop for pilgrims on the French Way the most popular path to Santiago de Compostela and a centre of trade between the Bay of Biscay and the south, which attracted an unusually large foreign merchant population, who became part of the city oligarchy and excluded other foreigners. Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, Burgos was a favourite seat of the kings of León and Castile and a favoured burial site; the consejo or urban commune of Burgos was in the hands of an oligarchic class of caballeros villanos, the "peasant knights" of Burgos, who provided the monarchs with a mounted contingent: in 1255 and 1266 royal charters granted relief from taxes to those citizens of Burgos who owned horses and could arm themselves, provided that they continue to live within the city walls. The merchant oligarchy succeeded the cathedral chapter as the major purchasers of land after 1250. A few families within the hermandades or confraternities like the Sarracín and Bonifaz succeeded in monopolising the post of alcalde, or mayor.
By the reign of Alfonso X, the exemption of the non-noble knights and religious corporations, combined with exorbitant gifts and grants to monasteries and private individuals, placed great stress on the economic well-being of the realm. In the century following the conquest of Seville on the Moors, Burgos became a testing ground for royal policies of increasing power against the consejo, in part by encouraging the right to appeal from the consejo to the king. In 1285, Sancho IV added a new body to the consejo which came to dominate it: the jurado in charge of collecting taxes and overseeing public works; the city perceived that danger to its autonomy came rath
Club de Rugby Cisneros is a Spanish rugby union club. The club competes in the Division de Honor, the top-flight competition of Spanish club rugby; the club is based in Spain. División de Honor: 2 Champions: 1975–76, 1984–85 Copa del Rey: 4 Champions: 1967, 1969, 1979, 1982 Source: Federación Española de Rugby 33 seasons in División de Honor Rugby union in Spain CR Cisneros Official Website Spanish Rugby website
Guernica and Basque name Gernika, is a town in the province of Biscay, in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain. The town of Guernica is united in one municipality with neighbouring Lumo, as Gernika-Lumo; the population of the municipality is 16,224 as of 2009. Gernika is best known to those residing outside the Basque region as the scene of the April 26, 1937, Bombing of Guernica, one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe, it inspired the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso. This village is situated at 10m altitude, in the region of Busturialdea, in the valley of the Oka river, its mouth is known as Urdaibai's estuary's heart. Gernika borders on the following townships: North: Forua and Arratzu. East: Ajangiz South: Muxika West: Errigoiti The town of Guernica was founded by Count Tello on April 28, 1366, at the intersection of the road from Bermeo to Durango with the road from Bilbao to Elantxobe and Lekeitio; the strategic importance of the site was increased by the fact that it lay on a major river estuary, where vessels could dock at the port of Suso.
In time, it took on the typical shape of a Basque town, comprising a series of parallel streets and a transverse street called Santa María, with a church at each end of the built-up area. Life in the town became rigidly structured, with the aim being to preserve the privileges of the dominant middle classes; this pattern continued unaltered until the late 17th century. On a small hillock in the town, stands the Meeting House and the famous Tree of Gernika. By ancient tradition and indeed other peoples in Medieval Europe, held assemblies under a tree an oak, to discuss matters affecting the community. In Biscay, each administrative district had its appointed tree, but over the centuries, the Tree of Guernica acquired particular importance, it stood on a site known as Gernikazarra, beside a small shrine. The laws of Biscay continued to be drawn up under this tree until 1876, with each town and village in the province sending two representatives to the sessions, known as General Assemblies; this early form of democracy was recorded by the philosopher Rousseau, by the poet Wordsworth, by the dramatist Tirso de Molina and by the composer Iparragirre, who wrote the piece called Gernikako Arbola.
When the Domain of Biscay was incorporated into the kingdom of Castile, the king of Castile visited Guernica and swore an oath under the Tree promising to uphold the fueros or local laws of Biscay. The oath of King Ferdinand, known as the "Catholic Monarch", on June 30, 1476, is depicted in a painting by Francisco de Mendieta popularly known as El besamanos. On July 3, 1875, during the Carlist Wars, the pretender to the throne Don Carlos of the house of Hapsburg visited Guernica and swore the oath. Throughout the 19th century, there were frequent meetings under the Tree, including both General Assemblies and other political events. By the 18th century, there was a square at the centre of the town, flanked by the town hall, a public gaol housing prisoners from all over the Lordship of Biscay, a hospital and a poor-house for local people. Day-to-day life comprised agriculture and trade; this was a time of continual conflicts with the neighbouring parish of Lumo over disputed land. These disputes were not settled until 1882, when the two parishes joined together to form Gernika-Lumo.
The first industrial concerns were set up in the early years of the 20th century. This encouraged population growth, the town grew from 4,500 inhabitants in 1920 to 6,000 in 1936. On April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica was the scene of the Bombing of Guernica by the Condor Legion of Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria. According to official Basque figures, 1,654 civilians were killed, but German sources report a round figure of 300 civilians killed in the bombing, according to the German Bundeswehr Magazine; the raid was requested by Francisco Franco to aid in his overthrowing the Basque Government and the Spanish Republican government. The town was devastated, though the Oak of Guernica survived; the Bombing of Guernica is considered to be the beginning of the Luftwaffe doctrine of terror bombing, where civilian targets were selected to demoralize the enemy. Pablo Picasso painted his famous Guernica painting to commemorate the horrors of the bombing and René Iché made a violent sculpture the day after the bombing.
The bombing went on continuously for three hours. Celebrations were staged in 1966 to mark the 600th anniversary of the founding of the town; as part of these celebrations, a statue of Count Tello, made by local sculptor Agustín Herranz, was set up in the Fueros square. At present, Gernika-Lumo has 16,244 inhabitants, it is a town with a prosperous service sector, is home to industrial companies, as well as good cultural and educational amenities. Guernica is the seat of the parliament of the province of Biscay, whose executive branch is located in nearby Bilbao. In prior centuries, Lumo had been the meeting place of the traditional Biscayan assembly, Urduña and chartered towns like Guernica were under the direct authority of the Lord of Biscay, Enkarterri and the Durango area had separate assemblies. All would hold assemblies under local big trees; as time passed, the role of separate assemblies was superseded by the single assembly in Guernica, by 1512, its oak, known as the Gernikako Arbola
Estadio Nacional Complutense
The Estadio Nacional Complutense, is a rugby union stadium in the Spanish capital Madrid and located on the main campus of the Complutense University of Madrid. The stadium is used by the Spanish national rugby union team who competes in the European Nations Cup, it is home to Olympus Rugby XV Madrid, CD Arquitectura and CR Cisneros. The plans for the construction of the University City, thus of rugby stadium, began on 17 May 1927, when the King Alfonso XIII awarded the construction contract; the official architects of the venue were Luis Lacasa Navarro, Javier Barroso and the famous Civil engineer Eduardo Torroja. The opening ceremony of the sports facilities and the stadium was on 12 October 1943, on the Spanish national holiday; the stadium was built for university sports, but in 1954 the Spanish national rugby union team used the stadium for a home match against Portugal, Spain won 23-0. Following the high number of spectators, the stadium was made the home stadium for the men's rugby team, hosting all home matches in the European Nations Cup and any friendly's that occur during the Mid-year rugby union tests or the End-of-year rugby union tests.
Rugby union in Spain Spanish Rugby Federation