Vitoria-Gasteiz is the seat of government and the capital city of the Basque Country and of the province of Araba/Álava in northern Spain. It holds the autonomous community's House of Parliament, the headquarters of the Government, the Lehendakari's official residency; the municipality — which comprises not only the city but the agricultural lands of 63 villages around — is the largest in the Basque Country, with a total area of 276.81 km2, it has a population of 242,082 people. The dwellers of Vitoria-Gasteiz are called vitorianos or gasteiztarrak, while traditionally they are dubbed babazorros. Vitoria-Gasteiz is a multicultural city with strengths in the arts, education, architectural conservation, vehicle industry and gastronomy, it is the first Spanish municipality to be awarded the title of European Green Capital and it is ranked as one of the 5 best places to live in Spain. The old town holds some of the best preserved medieval streets and plazas in the region and it is one of few cities to hold two Cathedrals.
The city holds well known festivals such as the Azkena rock festival, FesTVal, Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival, the Virgen Blanca Festivities. Vitoria-Gasteiz's vicinity is home to world-renowned wineries such as Ysios and the Marqués de Riscal Hotel. Beethoven dedicated his Opus 91 called the "Battle of Vitoria" or "Wellington's Victory", to one of the most famous events of the Napoleonic Wars: the Battle of Vitoria, in which a Spanish and British army under the command of General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army and nearly captured the puppet king Joseph Bonaparte, it was a pivotal point in the Peninsular War, a precursor to the expulsion of the French from Spain. A memorial statue can be seen today in Virgen Blanca Square; the official name of Vitoria-Gasteiz is a compound name of its traditional names in Spanish and Basque, respectively. By inhabitants, it is still referred to as either Vitoria or Gasteiz, depending on the language spoken. More it may be referred to by Basque speakers as Vitorixe, a Basque form of the Spanish name.
In 581 AD, the Visigoth king Liuvigild founded the city of Victoriacum, trying to emulate the Roman foundations, as a celebration of the victory against the Vascones near what is assumed to be the hill occupied by the primitive village of Gasteiz. This however is not sufficiently proven, some historians and experts believe that Victoriacum was located not on the site of present-day Vitoria-Gasteiz but nearby. Several possible locations have been proposed, the foremost of, the late Roman military camp of Iruña-Veleia. Veleia is located some 11 km north of modern Vitoria, on the banks of the same river. However, modern archeological studies of the site suggest that Veleia was last inhabited c.5th century AD, archeologists are still to find a 6th-century visigothic resettlement in the site. Another theory has suggested that Victoriacum was located at the foot of Mount Gorbea where there is a village called Vitoriano; the town of Armentia, nowadays in the outskirts of Vitoria, has been proposed as a possible location of Victoriacum.
In either case, Victoriacum vanishes from history shortly after its foundation. In 1181, Sancho the Wise, King of Navarre founded the town of Nova Victoria as a defensive outpost on top of a hill at the site of the previous settlement of Gasteiz; the existence of Gastehiz inhabited by vasconic people, can be traced back to the lower Middle Ages. It is assumed that Sancho the Wise gave the new city its name in memory of the old settlement of Victoriacum, which must had long since been abandoned. In 1199, the town was besieged for nine months and captured by the troops of Alfonso VIII of Castile, who annexed the town to the Kingdom of Castile; the town was progressively enlarged and in 1431 it was granted a city charter by King Juan II of Castile. In 1463, it was one of the five founding villas of the Brotherhood of Álava alongside Sajazarra, Miranda de Ebro and Salvatierra/Agurain; the Battle of Vitoria of the Peninsular War occurred near Vitoria-Gasteiz along the river Zadorra on 21 June 1813.
An allied British and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. The victory assured the eventual end of French control in Spain. There is a monument commemorating this battle in the main square of the city known as the Monument to Independence; when news came to Vienna in late July of that year, Johann Nepomuk Mälzel commissioned Ludwig van Beethoven to compose a symphony, the op. 91 Wellingtons Sieg oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria or Siegessymphonie. Work began on the Institute for Middle Education in 1843, with classes beginning during the 1853–54 academic year, it is now current headquarters of the Basque Parliament and the convent of Santa Clara. The Free University opened in the wake of the revolution of 1868; the University operated from 1869, to just prior to the 1873–1874 term because of the second Carlist War. Chief academ
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
Lagrán is a town and municipality located in the province of Álava, in the Basque Country, northern Spain. Its name comes from: larra-gran, its main webpage is: www.lagran.org It is located in the south part of Álava in a valley where the river Ega is born. It has an altitude of 756 m above the sea level and near the village, at only 3 km from there, are mountains with a heigh of 1,400 m. There is a huge variety of species of either plants. In this valley potatoes and different types of cereals are grown, for commercial purpose or for its direct consumption. In the border of this valley there are several forests. There can be seen hunters around this area, either major or minor hunting, because of its variety of fauna, it has 126 inhabitants, it is considered to be the oldest village in Alava, its age average is around 70 years old. There is little early evidence of this village, but the first documents using the name are from 1165, it was not considered a village then. In 1515, it started to be considered as a village.
In the 15th century, Lagrán was no longer an independent village when it became part of the kingdom of the Conde de Salinas and became part of the kingdom of the Duques de Híjar. When we speak about the demography of this village we can say that it has become to be a small village from being a big or normal village. There are few activities. There places to walk. Senda De Las Carboneras A-PR-50 - This path goes from Lagrán to Cruz del Castillo, before it served to communicate the Cantabrian Sea ports with the people of the Rioja and to trade with oil and wool in exchange for coal, potatoes, pickled fish etc. On this path you can see three representations that explain the process of making charcoal, one of the greatest cultural treasures of the valley, some tree species that contribute to enjoy of this walk. Senda Del Lavadero A-PR-51 - The path which goes from the laundry of Lagrán illustrates the walker a variety of flora and fauna posters, explanations of the valley. Can be seen an old site where lime was fabricated and the remains of a sawmill in the mountains.
Senda Del Monte Jaundel A-PR-52 - Along the way we will know some aspects of the landscape, artificial lakes which some farmers made for their animals and a mountain, between to villages and in the past was used for commercial purposes. We find some animals and plants species, a curious machine called "El Burro" which in the past was used to carry thin woods to where the charcoal was made. Senda De Lagrán A Pipaón A-PR-53 - This path connects the two rural villages covering part of the old existing road and crossing the old lake for watering "La Salmuera" and returning to the forest where many beeches can be found. Here are explanatory signs of different animals and plants species. You can see the remains of a clay quarry. There will be explained by some signs how the beeches were used for commercial purposes and an old hydroelectric generator, at the same time you will be able to use an observatory of birds. In the village you can visit the Pipaón " Ethnographic Museum " by the Usatxi Cultural Association of Dallas.
Senda De San Bartolomé A-PR-54 - A camping area for groups, with tables, barbecues and a shelter with berths, toilets, showers etc. But for its use the Lagrán hall must be consulted; this may be the most appropriate point for exploring all the paths. This route, although it can provide all kind of interesting aspects, it is designed for young people, because it is an unknown route, with many posters located around the area, which may come from different places. Senda De Lagrán A Villaverde A-PR-55 - This route shares its beginning with the Senda Del Lavadero A-PR-51, going through the Escuela de Golf and comes to Villaverde. In it you can see posters of the vegetation in the area, microfauna and other wildlife are explained. Official website of the Lagran council LAGRÁN in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
Valdegovía/Gaubea is a town and municipality located in the province of Álava, in the Basque Country, northern Spain. The town-hall is located in Villanueva de Valdegovía. There is a factory producing mantecadas in Tuesta; the municipal term includes 30 small villages, some of which are grouped in Concejos: Acebedo Astúlez Bachicabo Barrio Basabe Bóveda Caranca y Mioma, Concejo formed by Caranca and Mioma villages Karkamu Corro Espejo Fresneda Guinea Gurendes-Quejo, Concejo formed by Gurendes and Quejo Nograro Osma Pinedo Quintanilla Tobillas Tuesta Valderejo, Concejo formed by Lahoz, Lalastra and Villamardones Valluerca Villamaderne, includes Bellojín village Villanañe Villanueva de Valdegovía, main town VALDEGOVÍA / GAUBEA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
Legutio is a town and municipality located in the province of Álava, in the Basque Country, northern Spain
Añua is a village in Elburgo municipality, in the province of Álava, Basque Country, Spain. The population of Añua was 31 inhabitants in 2007 but now the population has grown consequently, it is 564 metres from the sea. A building, in the small village is the nativity church, built in the 13th century, because of this ancient monument many people from the localities nearby come to admire it. There are some old houses with architectural interest, some of rural style and others more modern from the 16th century. There is a mill, which has a mythological story, told every Saint John's Day to little kids; the story is about a man. One day it was raining so hard that he couldn't move from the mill because he was scared, but it was too dangerous to stay there. So he called the “Galtzagorris”, which are some small mythological creatures that lived in the woods; these special creatures showed the miller the way home. Nowadays it is common to see people from other villages coming to Añua to watch the show.
There are some special celebrations during the night of Hallowe'en. This is prepared by the whole council; the fiestas of the locality are the first weekend of September, the Nativity Day, the patroness of Añua. Añua is an old and small group of country houses which has inside it a parish temple which has a direct influence with the old Basque Santiago's way of the interior and of artistic interest thanks to its presbytery and its abside from the 13th century. Experts place its style in the transition between the Progothic; this combination presents a slender decoration based on little columns, blind sharp arches and splayed sharp windows, but with Romanic vices. They appear as vegetal and human carvings; the rest of the temple is subsequent, its different elements were built-in in the next centuries. The entrance door in Gothic, from the 15th century, the nave and the Otazu- Guevera's Chapel are Gothic-renaissance from the 16th century, the sacristy is baroque from the 17th century and the tower was rebuilt in the 18th century.
Inside what stands out are the mayor retable, from the baroque in the 17th century, the Saint Sebastian Triptych from the renaissance, the 16th century. Nowadays, there are some handmade representations of the nativity scene made by people from the whole council which some are impressive to see. Lots of tourists come every year to this small village in order to admire the old church and its surroundings and to know more about its history. Towns in Spain
Elciego is a town and municipality located at the southern end of the province of Álava, in the Basque Country, northern Spain. This town lies in the world-famous Rioja wine-production region, is home to the architecturally cutting-edge Hotel Marqués de Riscal, opened in 2006, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. ELCIEGO in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Hotel Marqués de Riscal website