Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Guernica and Basque name Gernika, is a town in the province of Biscay, in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain. The town of Guernica is united in one municipality with neighbouring Lumo, as Gernika-Lumo; the population of the municipality is 16,224 as of 2009. Gernika is best known to those residing outside the Basque region as the scene of the April 26, 1937, Bombing of Guernica, one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe, it inspired the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso. This village is situated at 10m altitude, in the region of Busturialdea, in the valley of the Oka river, its mouth is known as Urdaibai's estuary's heart. Gernika borders on the following townships: North: Forua and Arratzu. East: Ajangiz South: Muxika West: Errigoiti The town of Guernica was founded by Count Tello on April 28, 1366, at the intersection of the road from Bermeo to Durango with the road from Bilbao to Elantxobe and Lekeitio; the strategic importance of the site was increased by the fact that it lay on a major river estuary, where vessels could dock at the port of Suso.
In time, it took on the typical shape of a Basque town, comprising a series of parallel streets and a transverse street called Santa María, with a church at each end of the built-up area. Life in the town became rigidly structured, with the aim being to preserve the privileges of the dominant middle classes; this pattern continued unaltered until the late 17th century. On a small hillock in the town, stands the Meeting House and the famous Tree of Gernika. By ancient tradition and indeed other peoples in Medieval Europe, held assemblies under a tree an oak, to discuss matters affecting the community. In Biscay, each administrative district had its appointed tree, but over the centuries, the Tree of Guernica acquired particular importance, it stood on a site known as Gernikazarra, beside a small shrine. The laws of Biscay continued to be drawn up under this tree until 1876, with each town and village in the province sending two representatives to the sessions, known as General Assemblies; this early form of democracy was recorded by the philosopher Rousseau, by the poet Wordsworth, by the dramatist Tirso de Molina and by the composer Iparragirre, who wrote the piece called Gernikako Arbola.
When the Domain of Biscay was incorporated into the kingdom of Castile, the king of Castile visited Guernica and swore an oath under the Tree promising to uphold the fueros or local laws of Biscay. The oath of King Ferdinand, known as the "Catholic Monarch", on June 30, 1476, is depicted in a painting by Francisco de Mendieta popularly known as El besamanos. On July 3, 1875, during the Carlist Wars, the pretender to the throne Don Carlos of the house of Hapsburg visited Guernica and swore the oath. Throughout the 19th century, there were frequent meetings under the Tree, including both General Assemblies and other political events. By the 18th century, there was a square at the centre of the town, flanked by the town hall, a public gaol housing prisoners from all over the Lordship of Biscay, a hospital and a poor-house for local people. Day-to-day life comprised agriculture and trade; this was a time of continual conflicts with the neighbouring parish of Lumo over disputed land. These disputes were not settled until 1882, when the two parishes joined together to form Gernika-Lumo.
The first industrial concerns were set up in the early years of the 20th century. This encouraged population growth, the town grew from 4,500 inhabitants in 1920 to 6,000 in 1936. On April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica was the scene of the Bombing of Guernica by the Condor Legion of Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria. According to official Basque figures, 1,654 civilians were killed, but German sources report a round figure of 300 civilians killed in the bombing, according to the German Bundeswehr Magazine; the raid was requested by Francisco Franco to aid in his overthrowing the Basque Government and the Spanish Republican government. The town was devastated, though the Oak of Guernica survived; the Bombing of Guernica is considered to be the beginning of the Luftwaffe doctrine of terror bombing, where civilian targets were selected to demoralize the enemy. Pablo Picasso painted his famous Guernica painting to commemorate the horrors of the bombing and René Iché made a violent sculpture the day after the bombing.
The bombing went on continuously for three hours. Celebrations were staged in 1966 to mark the 600th anniversary of the founding of the town; as part of these celebrations, a statue of Count Tello, made by local sculptor Agustín Herranz, was set up in the Fueros square. At present, Gernika-Lumo has 16,244 inhabitants, it is a town with a prosperous service sector, is home to industrial companies, as well as good cultural and educational amenities. Guernica is the seat of the parliament of the province of Biscay, whose executive branch is located in nearby Bilbao. In prior centuries, Lumo had been the meeting place of the traditional Biscayan assembly, Urduña and chartered towns like Guernica were under the direct authority of the Lord of Biscay, Enkarterri and the Durango area had separate assemblies. All would hold assemblies under local big trees; as time passed, the role of separate assemblies was superseded by the single assembly in Guernica, by 1512, its oak, known as the Gernikako Arbola
Santurtzi is a port town in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, Spain. It is located in the Bilbao Abra bay, near the mouth of the Nervión river, on its left bank, 14 km downriver from Bilbao and forms part of the Greater Bilbao agglomeration, it has a population of 47,320 and a land area of 6.77 km². The district of Santurce of the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico derives its name from Santurtzi. Santurce has a rough orography although excluding Mount Serantes - one of its most symbolic topographic elements, it is not at high altitude, the significant heights being spurs of the Serantes: The Mallet and the Fortified heights, its relief is within the north flank of the anticline of Biscay. It is a relief of a structural type corresponding to a series of materials of the Cretaceous period throughout Punta Lucero-Serantes smoothly inclined towards the Estuary of Bilbao; the climate in Santurce is of the humid oceanic climate type. The temperatures are moderate throughout the year, with more frequent rains in spring and autumn, winters are benign and summers not excessively warm.
The average temperature is 8 °C in winter. The beauty of the landscape and the quality of the gastronomy along with the hospitality of the Santurtziarrak are some of the attractions which the visitor can enjoy. Santurce is a marine town that has succeeded in conserving many of its traditions, in spite of its great growth; the life in this area is focused on the sea, which inspires its leisure. Fishing boat and rowing boat races, the celebrations of the Virgin of the Carmen keep their traditions alive. Gastronomy is based on fish sardines. Easter Monday - Pascua - Cornites April 23, San Jorge June 24, San Juan, San Juan neighbourhood June 29, San Pedro July 16, Virgen del Carmen September 8, Virgen del Mar San Jorge church House Toasts Town Hall Monument to Cristóbal Murrieta Patronato Santa Eulalia Home and clinical San Juan de Dios Oriol Palace Science of navigation school and Hijas de la Cruz college Virgen del Mar church Fishermen Confraternity Town Park and Central Kiosk Mamariga fountain Monument to the Sardinera Fishing Port and Virgin of Carmen Museum of Sculptures Monument to Miguel de Unamuno Señorío de Vizcaya Square Official website Santurce-Santurtzi in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
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
Mungialdea is a comarca of the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country, Spain. Mungialdea is the heir of the historical region of Uribe, one of the merindades of Biscay, it comprises the most rural area of the historical region of Uribe, drained by the river Butron and with some small municipalities. It is one of the seven comarcas, its capital city is Mungia. Mungialdea is located at the north of the province of Biscay, limiting with the comarcas of Busturialdea on the east, Greater Bilbao on the east and south and the Bay of Biscay on the north, its landscape fits with the oceanic climate and can be divided into two subregions: The coast, with beaches and high cliffs. Butrón, the area surrounding the Butrón river. Biscay
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, who operates from a parish church. A parish covered the same geographical area as a manor, its association with the parish church remains paramount. By extension the term parish refers not only to the territorial entity but to the people of its community or congregation as well as to church property within it. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ex-officio, vested in him on his institution to that parish. First attested in English in the late, 13th century, the word parish comes from the Old French paroisse, in turn from Latin: paroecia, the latinisation of the Ancient Greek: παροικία, translit. Paroikia, "sojourning in a foreign land", itself from πάροικος, "dwelling beside, sojourner", a compound of παρά, "beside, by, near" and οἶκος οἶκος, "house".
As an ancient concept, the term "parish" occurs in the long-established Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran churches, in some Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian administrations. The eighth Archbishop of Canterbury Theodore of Tarsus appended the parish structure to the Anglo-Saxon township unit, where it existed, where minsters catered to the surrounding district. Broadly speaking, the parish is the standard unit in episcopal polity of church administration, although parts of a parish may be subdivided as a chapelry, with a chapel of ease or filial church serving as the local place of worship in cases of difficulty to access the main parish church. In the wider picture of ecclesiastical polity, a parish see. Parishes within a diocese may be grouped into a deanery or vicariate forane, overseen by a dean or vicar forane, or in some cases by an archpriest; some churches of the Anglican Communion have deaneries as units of an archdeaconry.
The Church of England geographical structure uses the local parish church as its basic unit. The parish system survived the Reformation with the Anglican Church's secession from Rome remaining untouched, thus it shares its roots with the Catholic Church's system described above. Parishes may extend into different counties or hundreds and many parishes comprised extra outlying portions in addition to its principal district being described as'detached' and intermixed with the lands of other parishes. Church of England parishes nowadays all lie within one of 44 dioceses divided between the provinces of Canterbury, 30 and York, 14; each parish has its own parish priest and supported by one or more curates or deacons - although as a result of ecclesiastical pluralism some parish priests might have held more than one parish living, placing a curate in charge of those where they do not reside. Now, however, it is common for a number of neighbouring parishes to be placed under one benefice in the charge of a priest who conducts services by rotation, with additional services being provided by lay readers or other non-ordained members of the church community.
A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England, parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. It had a similar status to a township but was so named as it had a chapel which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church. In England civil parishes and their governing parish councils evolved in the 19th century as ecclesiastical parishes began to be relieved of what became considered to be civic responsibilities, thus their boundaries began to diverge. The word "parish" acquired a secular usage. Since 1895, a parish council elected by public vote or a parish meeting administers a civil parish and is formally recognised as the level of local government below a district council; the traditional structure of the Church of England with the parish as the basic unit has been exported to other countries and churches throughout the Anglican Communion and Commonwealth but does not continue to be administered in the same way. The parish is the basic level of church administration in the Church of Scotland.
Spiritual oversight of each parish church in Scotland is responsibility of the congregation's Kirk Session. Patronage was regulated in 1711 and abolished in 1874, with the result that ministers must be elected by members of the congregation. Many parish churches in Scotland today are "linked" with neighbouring parish churches served by a single minister. Since the abolition of parishes as a unit of civil government in Scotland in 1929, Scottish parishes have purely ecclesiastical significance and the boundaries may be adjusted by the local Presbytery; the church in Wales is made up of six dioceses. Parishes were civil administration areas until communities were established in 1974. Although they are more simply called congregations and have no geographic boundaries, in the United Methodist Church congregations are called parishes. A prominent example of this usage comes in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, in which the committee of every local congregation that handles staff support is referred to as the committee on Pastor-Parish Relations.
This committee gives recommendations to the bishop on behalf of the parish/congregation since it is the United Methodist Bishop of the episcopal area who appoints a pastor to each congregation. The same is true in the Af