Pamplona or Iruña is the historical capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former Kingdom of Navarre. The city is famous worldwide for the running of the bulls during the San Fermín festival and this festival was brought to literary renown with the 1926 publication of Ernest Hemingways novel The Sun Also Rises. Pamplona is located in the middle of Navarre in a valley, known as the Basin of Pamplona. It is 92 km from the city of San Sebastián,117 km from Bilbao,735 km from Paris and 407 km from Madrid, the climate and landscape of the basin is a transition between those two main Navarrese geographical regions. Its central position at crossroads has served as a link between those very different natural parts of Navarre. The historical centre of Angelo is on the bank of the Arga. The city has developed on both sides of the river, the climate of Pamplona is normally classified as oceanic with influences of a semi-continental mediterranean climate. In the winter of 75–74 BC, the served as a camp for the Roman general Pompey in the war against Sertorius.
He is considered to be the founder of Pompaelo, which became Pamplona, actually it was the chief town of the Vascones, and they called it Iruña, the city. During the Visigothic period, Pamplona alternated between self-rule, Visigoth domination or Frankish suzerainty in the Duchy of Vasconia. During the beginning of the 6th century, Pamplona probably stuck to an unstable self-rule, circa 581, the Visigoth king Liuvigild overcame the Basques, seized Pamplona, and founded in the town of Victoriacum. After 684 and 693, a bishop called Opilano is mentioned again in 829, followed by Wiliesind, even in the 10th century, important gaps are found in bishop succession, which is recorded unbroken only after 1005. At the time of the Umayyad invasion in 711, the Visigothic king Roderic was fighting the Basques in Pamplona and had to turn his attention to the new enemy coming from the south. By 714-16, the Umayyad troops had reached the Basque-held Pamplona, the position was garrisoned by Berbers, who were stationed on the outside of the actual fortress, and established the cemetery unearthed not long ago at the Castle Square.
In 740, the Wali Uqba ibn al-Hayyay imposed direct central Cordovan discipline on the city, however, in 755 the last governor of Al-Andalus, Yusuf al Fihri, sent an expedition north to quash Basque unrest near Pamplona, resulting in the defeat of the Arab army. From 755 until 781, Pamplona remained autonomous, probably relying on regional alliances, to a considerable extent, that alternation reflected the internal struggles of the Basque warrior nobility. After the Frankish defeat at Roncevaux, Pamplona switched again to Cordovan rule, a Wali or governor was imposed, Mutarrif ibn-Musa up to the 799 rebellion. In that year, the Pamplonese-—possibly led by a certain Velasko-—stirred against their governor, following a failed expedition to the town led by Louis the Pious around 812, allegiance to the Franks collapsed after Enecco Arista rose to prominence
Kingdom of Valencia
The Kingdom of Valencia, located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia was formally created in 1238 when the Moorish taifa of Valencia was taken in the course of the Reconquista. It was dissolved by Philip V of Spain in 1707, by means of the Nueva Planta decrees, the boundaries and identity of the present Spanish Autonomous Community of Valencia are essentially those of the former Kingdom of Valencia. Shortly after, in 1233, Borriana and Peniscola were taken from the بلنسية Balansiyya taifa, a second and more relevant wave of expansion took place in 1238, when James I defeated the Moors from the Balansiya taifa. He entered the city of Valencia on 9 October 1238, which is regarded as the dawn of the Kingdom of Valencia. The Treaty of Almizra established the line of Aragonese expansion in the line formed by the villes of Biar and Busot.
Everything south of line, including what would be the Kingdom of Murcia, was reserved by means of this treaty for Castile. He led important rebellions in 1244,1248 and 1276, during the first of these, he briefly regained Muslim independence for the lands South of the Júcar, but he had to surrender soon after. During the second revolt, king James I was almost killed in battle, during the third rebellion, Al-Azraq himself was killed but his son would continue to promote Muslim unrest and local rebellions remained always at sight. James II called Jaume II el Just or the Just, a grandson of James I, the campaign under James II was successful to the point of extending the limits of the Kingdom of Valencia well south of the previously agreed border with Castile. His troops took Orihuela and Murcia, at the end of the process, four taifas had been wiped out, Alpuente and Murcia. The new territories would be only to the king. This development was part of a growing trend evident in the Middle Ages and it is by this historiographical approach that the repopulation of the Kingdom is assessed today.
The Kingdom was initially populated by Muslims and often subject to popular revolts. This fact marked the Christian colonization of the acquired territories. Finally the Aragonese nobles were granted several domains, but they managed to only the interior lands, mostly mountainous. These actions had consequences, The interior was mostly repopulated by speakers of the Aragonese language. The coastal lands were repopulated by speakers of the Valencian language from the Principality of Catalonia
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Sobrarbe is one of the comarcas of Aragon, Spain. It is located in the part of the province of Huesca. Many of its people speak the Aragonese language locally known as fabla, the administrative capital is Boltaña and the economic development capital is Aínsa. Sobrarbe was one of the Christian principalities of the Marca Hispanica, legend says there was a Kingdom of Sobrarbe, where a cross appeared upon a tree Latin, Supra Arbore. It became part of the County of Aragon, but in the early 9th century was held for five years by Amrus ibn Yusuf, Sobrarbe was joined to the County of Ribagorza in the early 10th century through marriage to an heiress. However, in the late 10th and early 11th century, a series of incursions from the left it disorganized and depopulated. This was reversed by Sancho the Great of Pamplona, who reconquered the region in 1015, whatever hereditary claim might have existed was subsequently brought to Sancho through his wife Muniadona of Castile, heiress to the Ribagorza counts.
Sancho divided the territories he had united, and his son, was given the counties of Sobrarbe. After the death of Gonzalo in 1038, his illegitimate half-brother Ramiro I of Aragon brought Sobrarbe and Ribagorza into his hands, portal Turístico de la Comarca de Sobrarbe Sobrarbe Geopark Folklore
Jaca is a city of northeastern Spain in the province of Huesca, located near the Pyrenees and the border with France. Jaca is an ancient fort on the Aragón River, situated at the crossing of two early medieval routes, one from Pau to Zaragoza. Jaca was the city out of which the County and Kingdom of Aragon developed It was the capital of Aragon until 1097, besides Jaca town, there are a number of outlying villages in Jacas municipality, including the ski resort of Astún. The origins of the city are obscure, but its name is apparently of Lacetani origin, Strabo adds that their territory lay on the site of the wars in the 1st century BC between Sertorius and Pompey. The coins show a bearded head to the right with an inscription to the left. The reverse side depicts a horseman carrying a spear to the right and it is unknown when the town was reconquered. Ramiro I of Aragon granted it the title of City, in 1063 it was the site of the Synod of Jaca. On December 12–131930 a mutiny, demanding the abolition of the monarchy, was suppressed with some difficulty and it was an early event that preceded the Spanish Civil War.
Jaca boasts several medieval walls and towers surrounding the 11th-century Romanesque Jaca Cathedral, the Jaca citadel, a fortification dating to the late 16th century, is home to a colony of rock sparrows. The Diocesan Museum of Jaca protects Romanesque and Gothic frescoes, some of which were found in the most remote locations in the Jaca district, Jaca is a tourist destination in the region for summer holidays and winter sports. Jaca was the host city of the 1981 and 1995 Winter Universiades, the city hosted the 2007 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Its popularity for winter sports has been a factor in the citys failed bids for the 1998 Winter Olympics,2002 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics. It was again the applicant city of Spain for the 2014 Winter Olympics, diocese of Jaca Official website Diocesan Museum of Jaca Jaca, Useful information about tourism and lodgings
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance, the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history, classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is subdivided into the Early, High. Population decline, counterurbanisation and movement of peoples, the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the seventh century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete. The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire survived in the east and remained a major power, the empires law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or Code of Justinian, was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became widely admired in the Middle Ages.
In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions, monasteries were founded as campaigns to Christianise pagan Europe continued. The Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty, briefly established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th, the Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation states, reducing crime and violence, intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, and by the founding of universities. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the conflict, civil strife. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages, the Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history, classical civilisation, or Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Modern Period.
Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the Six Ages or the Four Empires, when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being modern. In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua, leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People. Bruni and argued that Italy had recovered since Petrarchs time. The Middle Ages first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or middle season, in early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or middle age, first recorded in 1604, and media saecula, or middle ages, first recorded in 1625. The alternative term medieval derives from medium aevum, tripartite periodisation became standard after the German 17th-century historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods, Ancient and Modern. The most commonly given starting point for the Middle Ages is 476, for Europe as a whole,1500 is often considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date.
English historians often use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period
Ramiro I of Aragon
Ramiro I was the first King of Aragon from 1035 until his death. Apparently born before 1007, he was the son of Sancho III of Pamplona by his mistress Sancha de Aybar. He was called king by his vassals, the church and even his sons, likewise, in his two wills, he refers to his lands as having been given him in stewardship, in the first by García, and in the second by God. He is called regulus and quasi pro rege in charters from Navarre, due to his growing independence and the small size of his Pyrenean holdings, he is sometimes called a petty king, Aragon a pocket kingdom. Ramiro sought to enlarge his lands at the expense of both the Moors and his brother, García, the King of Navarre, shortly after the death of his father, he supported the emir of Tudela in an invasion of the Navarre. While he was defeated in the Battle of Tafalla, he still was able to gain territory, including Sanguesa, in 1043, apparently with the approval of García, he annexed Sobrarbe and Ribagorza, previously held by his youngest legitimate half-brother, Gonzalo.
This union created a pseudo-independent Aragonese state, with its capital at Jaca, before he was married, Ramiro had a mistress named Amuña with whom he had a natural son, Sancho Ramírez, in whom he confided the government of the county of Ribagorza. Ramiro wed his first wife, daughter of Bernard Roger of Bigorre and she changed her name to Ermesinda on marrying him. Ramiros second wife was Agnes, was perhaps a daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine, after annexation of Ribagorza and Sobrarbe, Ramiro began the advance from Aragon toward Huesca and Zaragossa. The first charter for the town of Jaca is attributed to him. It included well defined laws of protection even to non residents, Ramiro died at the Battle of Graus in 1063 while trying to take the city. He was buried at the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, in Santa Cruz de la Serós
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, the infirm and childless Charles II. Charles II had ruled over a vast global empire, and the question of who would succeed him had long troubled the governments of Europe, the English, the Dutch and the Austrians formally declared war in May 1702. By 1708, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy had secured victory in the Spanish Netherlands and in Italy, France faced invasion and ruin, but Allied unity broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain and with its casualties mounting and aims diverging and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference, and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, the Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Rastatt partitioned the Spanish empire between the major and minor powers. The European balance of power was assured, in the late 1690s the declining health of King Charles II of Spain brought to a head the problem of his succession, a problem which had underlain much of European diplomacy for several decades.
The empire was in decline, but remained the largest of the European overseas empires, unlike the French crown, the Spanish crowns could all be inherited by, or through, a female in default of a male line. The next in line after Charles II, were his two sisters, Maria Theresa, the elder, and Margaret Theresa, the younger, Maria Theresa had married Louis XIV in 1660 and by him she had a son, Dauphin of France. The testament of her father, Philip IV, reiterated this waiver and bequeathed the reversion of the whole of the Spanish dominions to his younger daughter, Margaret Theresa. However the French, using in part the excuse that the dowry promised Maria Theresa was never paid, nor was it clear whether a princess could waive the rights of her unborn children. Leopold I married Margaret Theresa in 1666, at her death in 1673 she left one living heir, Maria Antonia, who in 1685 married Max Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Shortly before her death in 1692, she gave birth to a son, if he chose, Louis XIV could attempt to assert his will on Spain by force of arms, but the Nine Years War had been an immense drain on Frances resources.
To seek a solution and gain support, Louis XIV turned to his long-standing rival William of Orange. England and the Dutch Republic had their own commercial and political interests within the Spanish empire, the Maritime Powers were in a weakened state and both had reduced their forces at the conclusion of the Nine Years War. Louis XIV and William III, sought to solve the problem of the Spanish inheritance through negotiation, based on the principle of partition, to take effect after the death of Charles II. However, the bulk of the empire – most of peninsular Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish Empire was now divided between the three surviving candidates. By this new treaty Archduke Charles would receive most of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the overseas empire. For Leopold I, control of Spain and its empire was less important than Italy
Huesca is a city in north-eastern Spain, within the autonomous community of Aragon. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name, in 2009 it had a population of 52,059, almost a quarter of the total population of the province. The city is one of the smallest provincial capitals in Spain, Huesca celebrates its main festival Fiestas de San Lorenzo from 9 to 15 August. Huesca dates from pre-Roman times, and was known as Bolskan in the ancient Iberian language. It was once the capital of the Vescetani, in the north of Hispania Tarraconensis, on the road from Tarraco, during Roman times, the city was known as Osca, and was a Roman colony under the rule of Quintus Sertorius, who made Osca his base. The city minted its own coinage and was the site of a school founded by Sertorius to educate young Iberians in Latin. After Sertorius, it is thought that it was renamed Ileoscan by Strabo and it appears to have been situated on silver mines. The Romanised city was made a municipium by decree of Augustus in 30 BC, the Arabs conquered the city in the late 8th century, and the city came to be called Washqah, falling within the Upper March of the Emirate of Córdoba.
In 1094 Sancho Ramirez built the nearby Castle of Montearagón with the intention of laying siege to Wasqah but was killed by an arrow as he reached the citys walls. It was conquered in 1096 by Peter I of Aragon, in 1354, King Peter IV of Aragon founded the University of Huesca, which initially had a faculty of theology. The school expanded, but by the end of the 16th century was eclipsed by the University of Zaragoza, the university was abolished in 1845. During the Spanish Civil War the Huesca Front was the scene of some of the worst fighting between the Republicans and Francos army, the city was besieged by the Republicans, George Orwell among them, but didnt fall. Huesca celebrates its most important annual festival in August, the festival of San Lorenzo, the anniversary of his martyrdom falls on August 10. The fiesta starts on 9 August and finishes on the 15, many of the inhabitants dress in green and white for the duration. San Lorenzo, born in Huesca, was a deacon in Rome, the grille is the symbol of San Lorenzo and can be seen in a number of decorative works in the city.
Huesca is the birthplace of film director Carlos Saura and his brother Antonio Saura, there is an international film festival held annually. The writer Oscar Sipan, winner of several prizes, was born in Huesca in 1974. The celebrated illustrator Isidro Ferrer, though born in Madrid, lives in the city, Huesca lies on a plateau in the northern region of Aragón, at an altitude of 488 m above sea level
The Carolingian Empire was a large empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards of Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to revive the Roman Empire in the west during a vacancy in the throne of the eastern Roman Empire. The unity of the empire and the right of the Carolingians continued to be acknowledged. In 884, Charles the Fat reunited all the kingdoms for the last time, but he died in 888 and the empire immediately split up. With the only remaining male of the dynasty a child, the nobility elected regional kings from outside the dynasty or, in the case of the eastern kingdom. The size of the empire at its inception was around 1,112,000 square kilometres, in southern Italy, the Carolingians claims to authority were disputed by the Byzantines and the vestiges of the Lombard kingdom in the Principality of Benevento.
Use of the term Carolingian Empire is a modern convention, the language of official acts in the empire was Latin. The empire was referred to variously as universum regnum, Romanorum sive Francorum imperium, Romanum imperium or even imperium christianum. Only the remaining Saxon realms, which he conquered, Lombardy. Further, Martel cemented his place in history with his defense of Christian Europe against a Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Iberian Saracens had incorporated Berber lighthorse cavalry with the heavy Arab cavalry to create a formidable army that had almost never been defeated. Christian European forces, lacked the powerful tool of the stirrup, in this victory, Charles earned the surname Martel. Edward Gibbon, the historian of Rome and its aftermath, called Charles Martel the paramount prince of his age, Pepin III accepted the nomination as king by Pope Zachary in about 751. Charlemagnes rule began in 768 at Pepins death and he proceeded to take control over the kingdom following his brother Carlomans death, as the two brothers co-inherited their fathers kingdom.
Charlemagne was crowned Roman Emperor in the year 800, the Carolingian Empire during the reign of Charlemagne covered most of Western Europe, as the Roman Empire once had. Prior to the death of Charlemagne, the Empire was divided among members of the Carolingian dynasty. These included King Charles the Younger, son of Charlemagne, who received Neustria, King Louis the Pious, who received Aquitaine, and King Pepin, Pepin died with an illegitimate son, Bernard, in 810, and Charles died without heirs in 811. Although Bernard succeeded Pepin as King of Italy, Louis was made co-Emperor in 813, Louis the Pious often had to struggle to maintain control of the Empire
Sancho III of Pamplona
Sancho Garcés III, known as Sancho the Great, was the King of Pamplona from 1004 until his death in 1035. He ruled the County of Aragon and by marriage the counties of Castile, Álava and he added the County of Cea in 1030 and the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagoza. He would intervene in the Kingdom of León, taking the capital city and he was the eldest son of García Sánchez II and his wife Jimena Fernández. The year of Sanchos birth is not known, but it is no earlier than 992 and his parents were García Sánchez II the Tremulous and Jimena Fernández, daughter of Fernando Bermúdez, count of Cea on the Galician frontier. García and Jimena are first recorded as married in 992, the first record of the future king is a diploma of his fathers granting the village of Terrero to the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla. The king describes Sancho merely as my son, the same diploma shows the future duke of Gascony, Sancho VI, at the court of Pamplona. His father last appears in 1000, while Sancho is first found as king in 1004, on his succession, Sancho initially ruled under a council of regency led by the bishops, his mother Jimena, and grandmother Urraca Fernández.
Sancho aspired to unify the Christian principalities in the face of the fragmentation of Muslim Spain into the taifa kingdoms following the Battle of Calatañazor, in about 1010 he married Muniadona of Castile, daughter of Sancho García of Castile, and in 1015 he began a policy of expansion. He displaced Muslim control in the former county of Sobrarbe. Raymond and Mayor annulled their marriage, creating a further division finally resolved in 1025 when Mayor retired to a Castilian convent and he forced Berengar Raymond I of Barcelona to become his vassal, though he was already a vassal of the French king. Berengar met Sancho in Zaragoza and in Navarre many times to confer on a policy against the counts of Toulouse. In 1016, Sancho fixed the border between Navarre and Castile, part of the relationship he established by marrying Muniadona, daughter of Sancho García of Castile. In 1017, he became the protector of Castile for the young García Sánchez, relations between the three Christian entities of León, and Navarre soured after the assassination of Count García in 1027.
He had been bethrothed to Sancha, daughter of Alfonso V, as García arrived in León for his wedding, he was killed by the sons of a noble he had expelled from his lands. Sancho III had opposed the wedding and the expansion of Leonese power to Castile. Sancho established relations with the Duchy of Gascony, probably of a suzerain–vassal nature, in consequence of his relationship with the monastery of Cluny, he improved the road from Gascony to León. This road would begin to bring increased traffic down to Iberia as pilgrims flocked to Santiago de Compostela, because of this, Sancho ranks as one of the first great patrons of the Saint James Way. Sancho VI of Gascony was a relative of King Sancho and spent a portion of his life at the court in Pamplona
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of 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 term Basque Country may refer to the cultural region, the home of the Basque people. The territory has three areas, which are defined by the two parallel ranges of the Basque Mountains. The main range of forms the watershed between the Atlantic and 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 cliffs and small inlets. The main features of the coast are the Bilbao Abra Bay and the Estuary of Bilbao, the Urdaibai estuary, between the two mountain ranges, the area is occupied mainly by a high plateau called Llanada Alavesa, where the capital Gasteiz is located.
The rivers flow south from the mountains to the Ebro River, the main rivers are the Zadorra River and Bayas River. From the southern mountains to the Ebro is the so-called Rioja Alavesa, some of Spains production of Rioja wine takes place here. Precipitation average is about 1200 mm, the middle section is more influence by the continental climate, but with a varying degree of the northern oceanic climate. This gives warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters, the Ebro valley has a pure continental climate, winters are cold and dry and summers very warm and dry, with precipitation peaking in spring and autumn. Precipitation is scarce and irregular, as low as 300 mm, almost half of the 2,155,546 inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community live in Greater Bilbao, Bilbaos metropolitan area. Of the ten most populous cities, six form part of Bilbaos conurbation, with 28. 2% of the Basque population born outside this region, immigration is crucial to Basque demographics. Over the 20th century most of this came from other parts of Spain, typically from Galicia or Castile.
Over recent years, sizeable numbers of population have returned to their birthplaces and most immigration to the Basque country now comes from abroad. Roman Catholicism is, by far, the largest religion in Basque Country, 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 autonomous community are set against the wider context of the Basque language, spoken to the east in Navarre