León is the capital of the province of León, located in the northwest of Spain. Its city population of 127,817 makes it the largest municipality in the province, accounting for more than one quarter of the province's population. Including the metropolitan area, the population is estimated at 202,793. Founded as the military encampment of the Legio VI Victrix around 29 BC, its standing as an encampment city was consolidated with the definitive settlement of the Legio VII Gemina from 74 AD. Following its partial depopulation due to the Umayyad conquest of the peninsula, León was revived by its incorporation into the Kingdom of Asturias. 910 saw the beginning of one its most prominent historical periods, when it became the capital of the Kingdom of León, which took active part in the Reconquista against the Moors, came to be one of the fundamental kingdoms of medieval Spain. In 1188, the city hosted the first Parliament in European history under the reign of Alfonso IX, due to which it was named in 2010, by the professor John Keane, the King of Spain and the Junta of Castile and León, as the cradle of Parliamentarism, the Decreta of León were included in the Memory of the World register by UNESCO in 2013.
The city's prominence began to decline in the early Middle Ages due to the loss of independence after the union of the Leonese kingdom with the Crown of Castile, consolidated in 1301. After a period of stagnation during the early modern age, it was one of the first cities to hold an uprising in the Spanish War of Independence, some years in 1833 acquired the status of provincial capital; the end of the 19th and the 20th century saw a significant acceleration in the rate of urban expansion, when the city became an important communications hub of the northwest due to the rise of the coal mining industry and the arrival of the railroad. León's historical and architectural heritage, as well as the numerous festivals hosted throughout the year and its location on the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, make it a destination of both domestic and international tourism; some of the city's most prominent historical buildings are the Cathedral, one of the finest examples of French-style classic Gothic architecture in Spain, the Basilica of San Isidoro, one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain and resting place of León's medieval monarchs, the Monastery of San Marcos, an example of plateresque and Renaissance Spanish architecture, the Casa Botines, a Modernist creation of the architect Antoni Gaudí.
An example of modern architecture is the city's Museum of Contemporary Art or MUSAC. León was founded in the 1st century BC by the Roman legion Legio VI Victrix, which served under Caesar Augustus during the Cantabrian Wars, the final stage of the Roman conquest of Hispania. In the year 74 AD, the Legio VII Gemina —recruited from the Hispanics by Galba in 69 AD— settled in a permanent military camp, the origin of the city, its modern name, León, is derived from the city's Latin name Legio. The Romans established the site of the city to protect the conquered territories of northwestern Hispania from the Astures and Cantabri, to secure the transport of gold extracted in the province —especially in the huge nearby mines of Las Médulas—, taken to Rome through Asturica Augusta. Tacitus calls the legion Galbiana, to distinguish it from the old Legio VII Claudia, but this appellation is not found on any inscriptions, it appears to have received the appellation of Gemina on account of its amalgamation by Vespasian with one of the German legions the Legio I Germanica.
Its full name was Legio VII Gemina Felix. After serving in Pannonia, in the civil wars, it was settled by Vespasian in Hispania Tarraconensis, to supply the place of the Legio VI Victrix and Legio X Gemina, two of the three legions ordinarily stationed in the province, but, withdrawn to Germany; that its regular winter quarters, under emperors, were at León, we learn from the Itinerary and the Notitiae Imperii, as well as from a few inscriptions. The post-Roman history of the city is the history of the Kingdom of León; the station of the legion in the territory of the Astures grew into an important city, which resisted the attacks of the Visigoths until AD 586, when it was taken by Leovigild. During the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, in 715 Tariq advanced from the area of La Rioja towards Astorga and León; the same fortress, which the Romans had built to protect the plain from the incursions of the mountaineers, became the advanced post which covered the mountain, as the last refuge of Cisastur Tribes.
However, there is no notice of resistance whatsoever. An attempt was made by the invaders to settle the strongholds with Berbers came in a military capacity, but the scheme was abandoned when the Berbers of northern Iberia rebelled against the Arabs and gave up their positions to join the revolt around 740. Towards the year 846, a group of Mozarabs tried to repopulate the city, but a Muslim attack prevented that initiative. In the year 856, under the Christian king Ordoño I, another attempt at repopulation was made and was successful. Alfonso III of León and García I of León made León city the capital of the Kingdom of León and the most important of the Christian cities in Iberia; the Kingdom of León started a
Al fresco dining
Al fresco dining or dining alfresco is eating outside. In temperate climates, al fresco dining is popular in the summer months when temperatures and weather are most favorable, it is a style of dining, casual and party-like in its atmosphere. In order to promote and accommodate the pedestrian activity and vibrancy associated with al fresco dining, some communities have passed ordinances permitting it, including the service of food and beverages to customers at pavement tables until late at night; the term has been borrowed by the automotive community as al fresco motoring, to describe the activity of driving in a convertible with the roof retracted, since under such conditions the driver is exposed to the open air. The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian for "in the cool ", although it is not in current use in that language to refer to dining outside. Instead, Italians use all ` aperto. In Italian, the expression al fresco refers to spending time in jail
Gijón or Xixón is the largest city and municipality in the autonomous community of Asturias in Spain. It is located on the Bay of Biscay 24 km north-east of Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. Early medieval texts mention it as "Gigia", derived from the identical Greek and Latin term "gigias", meaning "giant", both of which refer to the Greek mythological giant Gigas; the medieval "Gigia" name, in turn, more refers to the ancient Roman wall built on the peninsula of the Cimadevilla district of Gijón. This wall was called the "Gegionem" by the Romans and is itself a compound Latin term being either "geg-ionem", meaning "giant-ness/gigantic", "gegi-onem", meaning "concrete giant", or "gegio-nem" meaning "giant end"; the use of the term meaning "giant" referred to either the pre-Germanic Astur peoples who inhabited the area being of large physical stature or the largeness of the wall itself. The first evidence of human presence in what is known nowadays as the municipality of Gijón is located in Monte Deva, where exists a series of tumulus, in Monte Areo, where there are some neolithic dolmens.
These dolmens were discovered in 1990 and were built around 5000 BC. The first noticed settlement is located in Campa Torres, it has its origin between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It was populated by Astures and Romanized. Noega was progressively abandoned when the Roman wall in the peninsula of Cimavilla, called the Gegionem, was built. Despite the Barbarian invasions leaving no trace, it seems the territory was submitted to the power of the Visigoth king Sisebut in the 7th century. From this moment there appears the first Christian worship demos, where one of its places was the Roman villa of Veranes. Gijón was capital of the Muslim territories in the Cantabric Sea, under the power of Munuza, who dominated the city between 713 and 718 or 722. In this last year, Asturians won the Battle of Covadonga, started in 718 and led by Pelagius, who would become the first King of the Kingdom of Asturias; until 1270 there were no reliable references to Gijón as a settlement, with only short mentions in some documents.
In this year, Alfonso X of Castile conceded the category of puebla. In the 14th century, the war between Alfonso Enríquez, Count of Gijón and Noreña and Henry III of Castile finished with the village of Gijón fenced and destroyed disappearing. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Gijón was again developed. A new dock was built in the port adding commerce to the area. In the 17th and 18th centuries Gijón started to have great development, growing out of the old city center; this happened. In the 18th century, due to the French invasions, the wars and the financial trouble in the era, the development stopped until late in the century, when the Oviedo-Gijón road was created and the port was recognized as the best one in Asturias, favouring the start of industrial activities in the village; the 19th century brought with it great development, with the commerce of coal, the Gijón–León road and the Langreo–Gijón railway. All this supposed the quick expansion of the port, due to the heavy traffic intensity in it.
A new port, El Musel, was built in 1893 and it was the first coal port of the peninsula. Gijón was going through a conversion to an industrial village with a new bourgeois and an urban development, opening new streets and squares, with new municipal equipments like water, garbage collection, so on. All this industrial development brought new manpower to the city and the creation of new neighbourhoods like Natahoyo, La Calzada, Tremañes or El Humedal. In the 20th century, with the Spanish Civil War, the city supported the Republican faction; the army was located in El Coto. The resistance was eliminated in August 1936; the village was the capital of the Sovereign Council of Asturias and León until 20 October 1937, when the troops of General Francisco Franco occupied the city. Ferrous metallurgy was the main industry of Gijón from the last years of the 19th century until the last decades of the 20th. Uninsa was created in 1971, it merged with Ensidesa. In the last years of the century was converted in Aceralia, integrated in Arcelor.
The last decades of the century brought an industrial crisis affecting the ferrous metallurgy and the local shipbuilding. This facts brought new terrain for the creation of new beaches and new neighbourhoods, it was created a campus of the University of Oviedo. The city is situated on the coast of central Asturias, from sea level to an altitude of 513 metres at Picu Samartín and 672 metres at Peña de los Cuatro Jueces, bordered on the West by Carreño, the East by Villaviciosa, to the South by Siero and Llanera The city is situated along the Asturian coast and is distinguished by the peninsula of Cimavilla which separates the beach of San Lorenzo and adjacent neighbourhoods to the east from the beaches of Poniente and Arbeyal, the shipyards, the recreational port and the Port of El Musel to the west, it is close to the other main Asturian cities and Avilés. Gijón has a temperate oceanic climate typical of the Atlantic coast of Spain, with cool summers and wet and mild winters; the onshore flow from the Atlantic Ocean creates a cool summer and mild winter climate where severe heat and cold temperatures are rare.
The narrow temperature range is demonstrated by the record August temperature being only 6.4 °C warmer than the all-time record January temperature. The climate is wet and cloudy by Spanish standards, but is indeed drier than other locations on the Atlantic in the country. Humidity is high year-round. Summer temperatu
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1,668 mm Iberian gauge, the 1,435 mm standard gauge and the 1,000 mm metre gauge networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company Adif. The name "Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, RENFE created on 24 January 1941 with the nationalisation of Spain's railways; as per EU Directive 91/440, RENFE was divided into Renfe-Operadora and ADIF on 1 January 2005. At the same time, the existing RENFE double-arrowed logo, first introduced in 1971 and given a facelift in 1983, with a sans-serif font, again in 2000, with a mixed-case italic font, has been replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand, replaces some of the separate logos used by the other sectors, although the old RENFE logo remains in use in some stations in Spain and on maps to indicate an ADIF station; the Railway Sector Act, 2003 separated the management and construction of rail infrastructure from train operation.
The first activity is now the responsibility of Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias, the legal successor of RENFE, while the newly created Renfe-Operadora owns the rolling stock and remains responsible for the planning and operation of passenger and freight services. Renfe Operadora inherited the management model of the business units of the old RENFE, which made Renfe Operadora responsible for the operation of the following passenger and freight services. In January 2006, Renfe Operadora restructured the main business units into four: Dirección General de Servicios Públicos de Cercanías y Media Distancia: responsible for commuter services, medium-distance high-speed rail AVE services and medium-range regional services. However, control of some Cercanías services were transferred to Spain's Autonomous communities. Dirección General de Servicios de Larga Distancia: responsible for long-distance intercity and high-speed rail services. Dirección General de Servicios de Mercancías y Logística: responsible for freight services.
Dirección General de Fabricación y Mantenimiento: responsible for rolling stock maintenance and manufacture The Spanish state railways are engaged in a transformation and modernisation project. Key to this effort is a major overhaul of their out-dated ICT systems through an ICT renewal project scheduled for completion at the end of 2010 under the responsibility of Corporate Director of Information Systems Óscar Gómez Barbero. So far, the company has introduced improvements to their internet ticket sales and adopted new ICT management practices within a "more industrial" organisational model, though Mr. Gomez has publicly acknowledged the difficulties in transforming what still remains a hierarchical organisation. In June 2013, Renfe's board agreed to restructure the organisation into four separate companies, responsible for: Operating passenger trains; the company operates some 12,000 km of 7,000 km of them electrified. Most of the tracks are constructed to the broad "Iberian gauge" of 1,668 mm, the same as that used in Portugal but wider than the international gauge of 1,435 mm, standard in neighbouring France, most of western and central Europe, most of the rest of the world.
The newer high-speed network has been built to the international standard gauge of 1,435 mm in anticipation of its eventual connection to the rest of the European railway system. For this reason, the 1,435 mm gauge is termed "European gauge" in Spain; the Spanish high-speed system is called AVE. The logo incorporates a feature; the high-speed lines are built to the standard European gauge. Construction of the high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville began in 1988 and operation commenced in 1991. Train speed on the Seville line is 300 km/h; the second high-speed rail line was completed in 2007 with the inaugural service commencing at 06:00 on 20 February 2008. The operational speed on this route is 350 km/h; the greater part of the line was placed into service on 11 October 2003, with connection to Huesca from Zaragoza. The third high-speed line was opened in November 2005, followed by the spur from Córdoba to Málaga as far as Antequera in 2007. Another high-speed route from Madrid to Valladolid was opened in 2007, the line from Madrid to Valencia was opened in 2010 and the first stage of the high-speed line in Galicia opened in 2011.
A line to Lisbon is being designed. Other lines operated by Renfe include Euromed, a moderate-speed line between Barcelona and Alicante. In addition to intercity transport, R
Mieres del Camino
Mieres del Camino is one of 15 parishes in Mieres, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in northern Spain. It is located in a valley, flanked by mountains along the banks of the Caudal River and Route 66 in the center of Asturias. Mieres has a hodgepodge of small museums, cultural centers, art galleries and numerous restaurant–bars and shops; the highest concentration of shopping is located along calle Manuel Llaneza and the pedestrian mall calle La Vega. Parking is a serious problem in Mieres del Camino, as it is in much of urban Spain and therefore walking, bus and train are the preferred methods of transport. Mieres del Camino is serviced by the EMUTSA bus line, regional rail lines FEVE and RENFE. On market days, the city market, the Mercado de Mieres and nearby streets are filled with vendors and Gypsies selling a wide variety of products, most food and textiles; some of Mieres' main gathering places are the Catholic church of San Juan de Bautista, adjacent to the Cider Square popular for Al Fresco dining.
Town Hall Market Barredo Mine St. John's church Requexu Square Culture House Jovellanos Park Basque-Asturian Railway ancient station
Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain and the administrative and commercial centre of the region. It is the name of the municipality that contains the city. Oviedo is located 24 km southwest of Gijón and 23 km south of Avilés, both of which lie on the shoreline of the Bay of Biscay, its proximity to the ocean causes Oviedo to have a maritime climate, in spite of it not being located on the shoreline itself. The Kingdom of Asturias began in 720, with the Visigothic aristocrat Pelagius's revolt against the Muslims who at the time were occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula; the Moorish invasion that began in 711 had taken control of most of the peninsula, until the revolt in the northern mountains by Pelagius. The resulting Kingdom of Asturias, located in an economically poor region of Iberia, was ignored by the Muslims. In 720, the area where Oviedo is now located was still uninhabited, it is said that two monks, Máximo and Fromestano, founded the city in 761.
That settlement was soon to be completed with the construction of a small church dedicated to Saint Vincent. Oviedo was established on an uninhabited hillside, with no Visigothic or Roman foundation before it became an Asturian city. Following Pelagius, who died in 737, Alfonso I founded a dynasty that would last until 1037; the Asturian Kingdom was on hostile terms with southern Moorish Spain. In 794, Oviedo was sacked and pillaged by Caliph Hisham I in one of his numerous campaigns against the Christian kingdoms. King Alfonso I is said to have "set in place the whole order of the Goths, as it had been in Toledo, as much in the church as in the palace." The intention with Oviedo was to shape it into a city similar to that of Visigothic Toledo. Once kings had settled in Oviedo, they adopted as much of the architectural style and imagery of Toledo. With this in mind, Oviedo did not resemble the old Visigothic capital in Toledo; the churches and buildings of Oviedo follow instead late provincial Roman tradition.
Since Asturias at the time was an agriculturally poor area of Spain the scale of the buildings is quite impressive. Oviedo’s rich architectural tradition began with King Fruela I. King Fruela I of Asturias, the fourth of the Asturian monarchs, was the first decided promoter of the city as may be witnessed by his construction of both a palace and a nearby church; this church was restored by Alfonso II. Oviedo owes to a king, Alfonso II The Chaste, its establishment as a capital city and ruling seat as a result of the moving of the court from Pravia and the creation of the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela, a major event in the history of Oviedo, a church dedicated to The Saviour, the Cathedral of San Salvador, a royal palace formed the nucleus of Oviedo. Constructed during Alfonso II's reign was the San Julian de los Prados church, one of the best preserved Asturian churches. Alfonso II's successor, Ramiro I, continued Alfonso II's construction streak. Ramiro I constructed the Church Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo.
The Church Santa Maria de Naranco was to be Ramiro I's palace and changed into a church. By this time the Court of the Palace was centered in Oviedo, the main royal residence; this court was controlled by member of the Austurian nobility. Ramiro I's eight-year tenure was uneasy, he faced rebellions from the Counts of the Palace; the first rebellion against Ramiro I was led by Alroitus, the second rebellion was led by Piniolus. Both of these rebellions were unsuccessful in removing Ramiro I; these rebellions may have been why Ramiro I built his palace in the mountains surrounding Oviedo away from the violence. During the 9th century in Oviedo, Roman style property law is common. 9th century documents indicate small scale aristocracies across the kingdom, as well as a large presence of a landowning peasantry. Following Ramiro I's reign, Ordoño I came into power and began the Asturian king’s father-son succession. Ordoño I was the first king to push southwards into Arab territory. Following Ordoño I's death on May 27, 866, usurpers attempted to take the throne.
The following king Alfonso III, thirteen at the time, took refuge in Castile until his followers had killed the usurper. Alfonso III's contributions to building construction are not nearly as well documented as Ramiro I's or Alfonso II's contributions; the Chronicle of Alfonso III does not mention any buildings created by Alfonso III, neither does the Chronicle of Albelda. In 882, the body of the Cordoban martyr Eulogius was sent to Oviedo; this was meant a diplomatic gift from Emir Muhammad I. Eulogius was executed in 859; the body was accompanied by Eulogius's book collection. In the 16th century, the only manuscript of Eulogius's writings was discovered in the Oviedo Cathedral Library. Here it was copied once before it disappeared from the library. Following an offensive in 881 against an Umayyad army, Alfsonso III returned to Oviedo to rebuild churches, it was at this time. The Chronicle of Albelda and the Chronicle of Sampiro tie Alfonso III's victories in battle to his program of church building in Oviedo.
In 908, Alfonso III commissioned a gold and jewelled cross to contain the cross carried by Pelagius I at Covadonga. This "Cross of Victory" is located in the Camara Sancta in the Oviedo Cathedral. However, recent Carbon14 analysis of the wooden cross indicates that it was no older than the golden casing created to surround the cross; the commission of the casing shows us Alfonso III’s interest in
The Celtic nations are territories in western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived. The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common identity and culture and are identified with a traditional territory; the six territories considered Celtic nations are Brittany, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man. These together are referred to as the "Celtic fringe". In each of the six nations a Celtic language is spoken to some extent: Brittonic or Brythonic languages are spoken in Brittany and Wales, while Goidelic or Gaelic languages are spoken in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Before the expansions of Ancient Rome and the Germanic and Slavic tribes, a significant part of Europe was dominated by Celts, leaving behind a legacy of Celtic cultural traits. Territories in north-western Iberia —particularly northern Portugal, Galicia and Cantabria, covering north-central Portugal and northern Spain — are considered Celtic nations due to their culture and history.
Unlike the others, however, no Celtic language has been spoken there in modern times. Similar cultural traditions evinced amongst the Basque people of southern France and northern Spain have lead many historians to include them within the greater Celtic diaspora. Basques are considered to be distant relatives of the more numerous Brittonic-Gaelic peoples. A genetics study from an Oxford University research team in 2006 claimed that the majority of Britons, including many of the English, are descended from a group of tribes which arrived from Iberia around 5000 BC, before the spread of Celts into western Europe. However, three major genetic studies in 2015 have instead shown that haplogroup R1b in western Europe, most common in traditionally Celtic-speaking areas of Atlantic Europe like Ireland and Brittany, would have expanded in massive migrations from the Indo-European homeland, the Yamnaya culture in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, during the Bronze Age along with carriers of Indo-European languages like proto-Celtic.
Unlike previous studies, large sections of autosomal DNA were analyzed in addition to paternal Y-DNA markers. They detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans, not present in Neolithic or Mesolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced into Europe with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as the Indo-European languages; this genetic component, labelled as "Yamnaya" in the studies mixed to varying degrees with earlier Mesolithic hunter-gatherer and/or Neolithic farmer populations existing in western Europe. Each of the six nations has its own Celtic language. In Wales, Ireland and Scotland these have been spoken continuously through time, while Cornwall and the Isle of Man have languages that were spoken into modern times but died as spoken community languages. In the latter two regions, language revitalisation movements have led to the adoption of these languages by adults and produced a number of native speakers. Ireland, Wales and Scotland contain areas where a Celtic language is used on a daily basis.
These communities are in the west of their countries and in more isolated upland or island areas. The term Gàidhealtachd distinguished the Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland from the Lowland Scots areas. More this term has been adopted as the Gaelic name of the Highland council area, which includes non-Gaelic speaking areas. Hence, more specific terms such as sgìre Ghàidhlig are now used. In Wales, the Welsh language is a core curriculum subject. Additionally, 20% of school children in Wales go to Welsh medium schools, where they are taught in the Welsh language. In the Republic of Ireland, all school children study Irish as one of the three core subjects up until the end of secondary school, 7.4% of primary school education is through Irish medium education, part of the Gaelscoil movement. In the Isle of Man, there is one Manx-medium primary school, all schoolchildren have the opportunity to learn Manx. Parts of the northern Iberian Peninsula, namely Galicia, Cantabria and Northern Portugal lay claim to this heritage.
Musicians from Galicia and Asturias have participated in Celtic music festivals, such as the Ortigueira's Festival of Celtic World in the village of Ortigueira or the Breton Festival Interceltique de Lorient, which in 2013 celebrated the Year of Asturias. Northern Portugal, part of ancient Gallaecia has traditions quite similar to Galicia. However, no Celtic language has been spoken in northern Iberia since the Early Middle Ages. Irish was once spoken on the island of Newfoundland before disappearing there by the early 20th century. Vestiges remain in some words found in Newfoundland English, such as scrob for "scratch", sleveen for "rascal" There are no fluent speakers of Irish Gaelic in Newfoundland or Labrador today. Knowledge seems to be restricted to memorized passages, such as traditional tales and songs. Canadian Gaelic dialects of Scottish Gaelic are still spoken by Gaels in other parts of Atlantic Canada on Cape Breton Island and adjacent areas of Nova Scotia. In 2011, there were 1,275 Gaelic speakers in Nova Scotia, 300 residents of the province considered a Gaelic language to be their "mother tongue".
Patagonian Welsh is spoken principally in Y Wladfa in the Chubut Province of