Leonese is a set of vernacular Romance dialects spoken in northern and western portions of the historical region of León in Spain and a few adjoining areas in Portugal. In this narrow sense, Leonese is distinct from the dialects grouped under Asturian, although there is no clear linguistic division. In the past, it was spoken in a wider area, including most of the historical region; the current number of Leonese speakers is estimated at 20,000 to 50,000. The westernmost fringes of the provinces of León and Zamora are in the territory of the Galician language, although there is dialectal continuity between the linguistic areas; the Leonese and Asturian dialects have long been recognized as a single language known as Astur-Leonese or Asturian-Leonese and known as Leonese. For most of the 20th century, linguists 2008? Discussed a Leonese language descending from Latin and encompassing two groups: the Asturian dialects on one hand, dialects spoken in the provinces of León and Zamora in Spain and a related dialect in Trás-os-Montes, Portugal, on the other hand.
Unlike Asturian, the Leonese dialects of Spanish are not promoted or regulated. Menéndez Pidal used "Leonese" for the entire linguistic area, including Asturias; this designation has been replaced by Ibero-Romance scholars with "Asturian-Leonese", but "Leonese" is still used to denote Asturian-Leonese by non-speakers of Asturian or Mirandese. In Leonese, any of five vowel phonemes, /a, e, i, o, u/, may occur in stressed position and the two archiphonemes /I/, /U/ and the phoneme /a/ may occur in unstressed position. Leonesa? Leonese has two numbers; the main masculine noun and adjective endings are - u for - os for plural. Typical feminine endings are - a for - as for plural. Masculine and feminine nouns ending in -e in the singular take -es for the plural. Adjectives agree with nouns in gender; the native languages of Leon, Zamora and the Terra de Miranda in Portugal are the result of the evolution of Latin introduced by Roman conquerors in the region. Their colonization and organization led to the Conventus Astururum, with its capital at Asturica Augusta.
The city of Astorga was sacked by the Visigoths in the 5th century, never regained its former prominence. The region remained unified until the seventh-century Islamic invasion. Around the 11th century, it began to be defined as Leonese territory corresponding to the southern conventus. In medieval León, the Romance Galician, Asturian-Leonese, Castilian languages evolved and spread south; the first known text in Asturian-Leonese is the Nodizia de Kesos, written between 974 and 980 AD, an inventory of cheeses owned by a monastery written in the margin of the reverse of a document written in Latin. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Leonese reached its territorial zenith as the administrative language of the Kingdom of León, a literary language, in the Leonese court, judiciary and organization. After the 1230 union of Leon and Castile, Leonese had greater written and institutional use, although at the end of the 13th century Castilian began to replace it as a written language. Leonese became an rural language with little literary development.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it survived in oral form only in mid-western León and western Zamora provinces. Its scientific study and a nascent cultural movement began in the province of Leon in 1906. During the 1950s and 60s, the number of Leonese speakers and the area in which it was spoken decreased. Although the Astur-Leonese linguistic domain covers most of the principality of Asturias, the north and west of the province of Leon, the northeast of Zamora, both provinces in Castile and León, the region of Miranda do Douro in the east of the Portuguese district of Bragança, this article focuses on the autonomous community of Castile and León. Julio Borrego Nieto, in Manual de dialectología española. El español de España, wrote that the area in where Leonese is best preserved, defined as "area 1", consists of the regions of Babia and Laciana, part of Los Argüellos, eastern Bierzo and La Cabrera. Borrego Nieto describes another geographical circle, which he calls "area 2", where Leonese is fading: "...
It is extended to the regions between the Ribera del Órbigo. In Zamora, the region of La Carballeda – with the subregion La Requejada - and Aliste, with at least a part of its adjacent lands; this area is characterized by a blur and progressive disappearance, greater as we move to the East, of the features still seen in the previous area. The gradual and negative character of this characteristic explains how vague the limits are". A "speaker of Leonese" is defined here as a person. There is no linguistic census of the number of Leonese speakers in the provinces of Leon and Zamora, estimates vary from 5,000 to 50,000. *Refers only to the county of EL Bierzo and the valleys of Ribas de Sil, Fornela and La Cabrera. Two sociolinguistic studies, in northern Leon and the entire province analysed the prevalence of Leonese and the linguistic attitudes of its speakers. According to the latter
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
Galician-Asturian or Eonavian is a set of Romance dialects or falas whose linguistic dominion extends into the zone of Asturias between the Eo River and Navia River. The dialects have been variously classified as the northeastern varieties of Galician, as a linguistic group of its own, or as a Galician dialect of transition to the Astur-Leonese group; the area where the dialects are spoken includes the Asturian municipalities of Boal, Coaña, Eilao, El Franco, Grandas de Salime, Pezós, San Martín de Ozcos, Santalla de Ozcos, Santiso de Abres, Tapia de Casariego, Taramundi, A Veiga, Vilanova de Ozcos, those of Navia, Villayón, Allande. Other terms used include gallego-asturiano, the official term in Asturias, meaning "Galician-Asturian language", a fala and Galego de Asturias; the term Eonaviego was first used by the linguist Xavier Frías Conde, who translated it as Eonavian in English, Éonavien in French, Eonavienc in Catalan. In 2007, the Academy of the Asturian Language accepted the term Eonavian to refer to the Galician-Portuguese dialect.
The set of dialects was traditionally included by linguists as Galician-Portuguese or Galician, with some characteristics of the Astur-Leonese group. That was the opinion of such linguists as Menéndez Pidal, Eugenio Coseriu, Luís Lindley Cintra, Dámaso Alonso, more recent ones such as Francisco Xavier Frías Conde and Xoán Babarro. Now, there is a political-linguistic conflict on the identity of the language between those who prioritise the mixed identity and those that continue to prioritise the Galician substratum. Supporters of the former in Asturias, identify Eonavian as a dialect continuum between the Asturian and Galician languages or a third language belonging to Portuguese-Galician group spoken only in that area. Supporters of the latter in Galicia, identify it as Galician and want the same protection as Galician in Castile and Leon, which protects the dialects of El Bierzo in cooperation with the Galician government. From a philological point of view, the origin of the language is in the Galician-Portuguese language family, the dominant language in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula in the Middle Ages.
That follows from an examination of the more than six hundred parchments preserved in the monastery of Villanueva de Oscos. An examination of the documents of the monastery, written from the late 12th to early 14th centuries, show a certain identity between this language and the Galician-Portuguese language. For the early stage, there are only documented translations of copies of ancient Latin deeds that were beginning to be unintelligible to the common people, there would not be until the mid-13th century that the first original deeds were written in the Galician-Portuguese language. In the early 14th century, the oddness of this language with the rest of the galacoifonía, was noticed; the most of these developments were the result of the Castilian language advancement in the urban centres of the River Eo: Revoredo and Castropol, such influence was more significant in the writings of the bishops' notaries of Oviedo in these villages, but if the influence of Castilian was growing in the urban centres, the manuscripts of the monastery notaries still kept the original features of this language, others were added that appeared.
The cartulary of Oscos is an essential landmark for understanding the evolution of the Galician-Portuguese language, but the monastery's influence was ended with the arrival of the Castillian congregation in 1511. That started another period of great economic and social growth of the monastery around the iron industries, but the installation of the reformed order ended the written language, until its re-emergence in the late 19th century; the lateral sound ʎ: Porcia River to Navia River. The lateral sound l: Eo River to Porcia River. Here is the evolution of the language, taking into account the Monastery of Oscos parchments: The system of stressed vowels is similar to Galician since there are seven in both languages, it does not find the alterations that can be observed by effects of metaphony in other regions of Galician phonetics. Here are the vowels obtained by García García in the El Franco village and Fernández Vior in Vegadeo: • ä Open central unrounded vowel: f1 =700 y f2 =1350 hz.
A keyboard layout is any specific mechanical, visual, or functional arrangement of the keys, legends, or key-meaning associations of a computer, typewriter, or other typographic keyboard. Mechanical layout is the keys of a keyboard. Visual layout is the arrangement of the legends. Functional layout is the arrangement of the key-meaning associations, determined in software, of all the keys of a keyboard. Most computer keyboards are designed to send scancodes to the operating system, rather than directly sending characters. From there, the series of scancodes is converted into a character stream by keyboard layout software; this allows a physical keyboard to be dynamically mapped to any number of layouts without switching hardware components – by changing the software that interprets the keystrokes. It is possible for an advanced user to change keyboard operation, third-party software is available to modify or extend keyboard functionality. A computer keyboard consists of alphanumeric or character keys for typing, modifier keys for altering the functions of other keys, navigation keys for moving the text cursor on the screen, function keys and system command keys – such as Esc and Break – for special actions, a numeric keypad to facilitate calculations.
There is some variation between different keyboard models in the mechanical layout – i.e. how many keys there are and how they are positioned on the keyboard. However, differences between national layouts are due to different selections and placements of symbols on the character keys; the core section of a keyboard consists of character keys, which can be used to type letters and other characters. There are three rows of keys for typing letters and punctuation, an upper row for typing digits and special symbols, the Space bar on the bottom row; the positioning of the character keys is similar to the keyboard of a typewriter. Besides the character keys, a keyboard incorporates special keys that do nothing by themselves but modify the functions of other keys. For example, the ⇧ Shift key can be used to alter the output of character keys, whereas the Ctrl and Alt keys trigger special operations when used in concert with other keys. A modifier key is held down while another key is struck. To facilitate this, modifier keys come in pairs, one functionally identical key for each hand, so holding a modifier key with one hand leaves the other hand free to strike another key.
An alphanumeric key labeled with only a single letter can be struck to type either a lower case or capital letter, the latter requiring the simultaneous holding of the ⇧ Shift key. The ⇧ Shift key is used to type the upper of two symbols engraved on a given key, the lower being typed without using the modifier key; the English alphanumeric keyboard has a dedicated key for each of the letters A–Z, along with keys for punctuation and other symbols. In many other languages there are additional letters or symbols, which need to be available on the keyboard. To make room for additional symbols, keyboards have what is a secondary shift key, labeled AltGr, it can be used to type an extra symbol in addition to the two otherwise available with an alphanumeric key, using it with the ⇧ Shift key may give access to a fourth symbol. On the visual layout, these third-level and fourth-level symbols may appear on the right half of the key top, or they may be unmarked. Instead of the Alt and AltGr keys, Apple Keyboards have ⌘ ⌥ Option keys.
The ⌥ Option key is used much like the AltGr, the ⌘ Cmd key like the Ctrl on IBM PCs, to access menu options and shortcuts. Macs have a Ctrl key for compatibility with programs, it is useful when using a terminal, X11 or MS Windows. The key can be used to produce a secondary mouse click as well. There is a Fn key on modern Mac keyboards, used for switching between use of the F1, F2, etc. keys either as function keys or for other functions like media control, accessing dashboard widgets, controlling the volume, or handling exposé. Fn key can be found on many IBM PC laptops, where it serves a similar purpose. Many Unix workstations keyboards placed the Ctrl key to the left of the letter A, the ⇪ Caps Lock key in the bottom left; this layout is preferred by programmers as it makes the Ctrl key easier to reach. This position of the Ctrl key is used on the XO laptop, which does not have a ⇪ Caps Lock; the UNIX keyboard layout differs in the placement of the ESC key, to the left of 1. Some early keyboards experimented with using large numbers of modifier keys.
The most extreme example of such a keyboard, the so-called "Space-cadet keyboard" found on MIT LISP machines, had no fewer than seven modifier keys: four control keys, Meta and Super, along with three shift keys, ⇧ Shift and Front. This allowed the user to type over 8000 possible characters by playing suitable "chords" with many modifier keys pressed simultaneously. A dead key is a special kind of a modifier key that, instead of being held while another key is struck, is pressed and released before the other key; the dead key does not generate a character by itself, but it modifies the character generated by the key struck after making it possible to type a letter with a specific diacritic. For example, on some keyboard layouts, the grave accent key ` is a dead key.
Aranese is a standardized form of the Pyrenean Gascon variety of the Occitan language spoken in the Val d'Aran, in northwestern Catalonia close to the Spanish border with France, where it is one of the three official languages beside Catalan and Spanish. In 2010, it was named the third official language of the whole of Catalonia by the Parliament of Catalonia; the official spellings of towns in Val d'Aran are Aranese. The Aran Valley is the only territory of all the linguistic domain of Occitania where Occitan has official recognition and institutional protection. According to Law 35/2010 passed by the Parliament of Catalonia, Aranese is considered to be not only a co-official language in the Aran Valley, but throughout Catalonia, being of preferential use in its natural territories. Article 3.4 of the Catalonia's 1979 Statute of Autonomy established that the "Aranese language will be the object of education and of special respect and protection". Subsequently, Law 7/1983, on linguistic normalization, declared Aranese the language of Aran, proclaimed certain linguistic rights of the Aranese and directed the public service to guarantee its usage and teaching.
Aranese is taught at all levels of compulsory education and is used as the vehicular language of teaching in the Aran Valley since 1984. A certain degree of autonomy was granted to the Aran Valley in 1990. Law 16/1990, concerning the special regime of Valle de Arán, grants to the Valley a regime of administrative autonomy; this law affirmed the official status of Aranese, improved its guarantees of use and teaching, included the general mandate to promote its normalization in Aran. Law 1/1998, on linguistic policy, included specific provisions related to place names and the media. Although the place names of Catalonia have ther officials names in Catalan, the place names of the Aran Valley have their official names in Aranese. Thus, the indicators of the towns and the names of their streets are written in Aranese. Since May 2001, there is an official regulation of the General Council of Aran that regulates the certification system of the different levels of knowledge of Aranese. In 2006, a new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia was promulgated.
Concerning Aranese, article 6.5 of the organic law establishes that "the Occitan language, called Aranese in Aran, is the language of this territory and is official in Catalonia, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute and the laws of linguistic normalization." In 2010, Law 35/2010 was subsequently passed and concerning Aranese in Catalonia reflecting the new constitutional framework. In 2011, the Spanish Government that of the Popular Party and Citizens, opposed the preference given to Aranese by the 2010 law, questioning the constitutionality of articles 2.3, 5.4, 5.7 and 6.5. In 2018, the constitutional court ruled that while article 2.3 was found to be constitutional, the "preferential" status given found in the other concerned articles to be unconstitutional. According to a 2001 linguistic census by the Aranese government, about 90% of the inhabitants of Val d'Aran can understand the language, with those between 25 and 34 years old having the lowest rate, at around 80%. Between 60 and 65% of the population can speak it.
In 2008, the Generalitat of Catalonia surveyed the population in the Val d'Aran. The survey reported that 78.2% of the population could understand Aranese, 56.8% could speak it, 59.4% could read it, 34.8% could write the language. Once considered to be an endangered language spoken by older people, it is now experiencing a renaissance. Students in the Val d'Aran are required to have 2 hours of each Spanish and Aranese each week. At some levels of education, a foreign language is added to the three official languages—usually French due to proximity—and sometimes 2 additional hours of English. General Gascon characteristics: Latin F > H: focus /ˈfokus/ > huec /hwek/ ferrum /ˈferːum/ > hèr /heɾ/ Latin LL > TH or R: vitellu > vedèth /beˈdɛt/ ille > eth /et/ ille > er /eɾ/ illa > era /eɾa/ Vocalisation of L to U in final position: malum > mau /maw/ Loss of N in intervocalic position: Latin luna > lua Latin farīna > haria Metathesis of -R: Latin venter > vrente Latin vesper > vrèspe Prosthetic A- before initial R-, doubling the R: Latin recognōscō > arreconéisher Latin rīdēre > arríder Specific Aranese characteristics: Deaspiration of Gascon /h/ > Aranese ∅ Gascon huec /hwek/ > Aranese huec /wek/ Gascon -AS pronounced and written -ES: Gascon hemnas > hemnes /ˈennes/ Gascon parlas > parles /ˈpaɾles/ Plurals of nouns ending in -A become -ES: era pèira → es pèires Intervocalic /b/ written U and pronounced: Gascon: cantava /kanˈtaba/ Aranese: cantaua /kanˈtawa/ Reduction of plural definite articles: Gascon: eths, eras Aranese: es /es/ Notes: The voiced stops /b/, /d/, /ɡ/ are devoiced to /p/, /t/, /k/ in word-final position.
/ h / is pronounced only in the towns of Canejan. Foreign words that have not been adopted into Aranese retain /h/: hardware, maharajah
Aragon is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces: Huesca and Teruel, its capital is Zaragoza. The current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a historic nationality of Spain. Covering an area of 47720 km2, the region's terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spain's largest river in volume, which runs west-east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza, it is home to the highest mountains of the Pyrenees. As of January 2016, the population of Aragon was 1308563, with over half of it living in its capital city, Zaragoza. During the same year, the economy of Aragon generates a GDP of €34687 million, which represents 3.1% of Spain's national GDP, is 6th in per capita production behind Madrid, Basque Country, Catalonia and La Rioja.
In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into counties. All comarcas of Aragon have a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman and Roman days, four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom of Saraqusta, as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Marca Hispanica, counties that formed the Kingdom of Aragon and the Crown of Aragon; the current coat of arms of Aragon is composed of the four barracks and is attested for the first time in 1499, consolidating since the Early Modern Ages to take root decisively in the 19th century and be approved, according to precept, by the Real Academia de la Historia in 1921. The first quartering appears at the end of the 15th century and commemorates, according to traditional interpretation, the legendary kingdom of Sobrarbe; this emblem of gules and gold was used in seals, banners and standards indistinctly, not being but a familiar emblem that denoted the authority as King of Aragon until, with the birth of Modern State, began to be a territorial symbol.
The current flag was approved in 1984, with the provisions of Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon, the flag is the traditional of the four horizontal red bars on a yellow background with the coat of arms of Aragon shifted towards the flagpole. The bars of Aragon, common historic element of the current four autonomous communities that once were integrated into the Crown of Aragon, present in the third quartering of the coat of arms of Spain; the anthem of Aragon was regulated in 1989 with music by the Aragonese composer Antón García Abril that combines the old Aragonese musical tradition with popular musical elements within a modern conception. The lyrics were elaborated by the Aragonese poets Ildefonso Manuel Gil, Ángel Guinda, Rosendo Tello and Manuel Vilas and highlights within its poetic framework, values such as freedom, reason, open land... that represent the expression of Aragon as a people. The Day of Aragon is celebrated on April 23 and commemorates Saint George, patron of the Kingdom of Aragon since the 15th century.
It appears in Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon since 1984. Institutional acts such as the delivery of the Aragon Awards by the Government of Aragon or the composition of a flag of Aragon of flowers, with the collaboration of citizens, in the Plaza de Aragón square of Zaragoza; the area of Aragon is 47720 km2 of which 15636 km2 belong to the province of Huesca, 17275 km2 to the province of Zaragoza and 14810 km2 to the province of Teruel. The total represents a 9.43% of the surface of Spain, being thus the fourth autonomous community in size behind Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha. It is located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, at a latitude between 39º and 43º'N in the temperate zone of the Earth, its boundaries and borders are in the north with France, the regions of, in the west with the autonomous communities of Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León, La Rioja and Navarre and in the east with the autonomous communities of Catalonia and Valencian Community. The orography of the community has as central axis the Ebro valley which tr
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