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Navarre ( , ) is a region in northern Spainmarker, constituting one of its autonomous communities - the "Chartered Community of Navarre" ( ; ).

History

During the time of the Roman Empire, the territory of the province was inhabited by the Vascones, a pre-Roman tribe who populated the southern slopes of the Pyreneesmarker. The Vascones managed to maintain their separate Basque language and traditions even under the Roman rule.

The area was never fully subjugated either by the Visigoths or by the Arabs. In A.D. 778, the Basques defeated a Frankish army in the Battle of Roncevaux Passmarker. Two generations later, in 824, the chieftain Iñigo Arista was chosen King of Pamplona, laying a foundation for the later Kingdom of Navarre. That kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of Sancho III of Navarre and covered the area of the present-day Navarre, Basque countrymarker, and La Riojamarker, together with parts of modern Cantabriamarker, Castile and Leónmarker, and Aragonmarker.

After Sancho III died, the Kingdom of Navarre was divided between his sons and never fully recovered its importance. The army of Navarre fought beside other Christian Spanishmarker kingdoms in the decisive battle of Las Navas de Tolosamarker in 1212, after which the Muslim conquests on the Iberian Peninsula were slowly reduced to a small territory in the south.

In A.D. 1515, the bulk of Navarre below the Pyrenees—Upper Navarre—was at last absorbed into a re-united Kingdom of the Spainsmarker but retained some rights specific to it. The small portion of Navarre lying north of the Pyrenees—Lower Navarre—later came under French rule when its Huguenot sovereign became King Henri IV of Francemarker; with the declaration of the French Republic and execution of Louis XVI, the last King of France and Navarre, the kingdom was merged into a unitary French state.

Community, geography, and climate

The community is governed as an autonomous region with its own parliament (Parlamento de Navarra) and government (Gobierno de Navarra). As in other autonomous regions in Spain, health, employment, education, and social services, together with housing, urban development, and environment protection policies are under the responsibility of its own institutions. Unlike other regions (and like the Basque Countrymarker), it has almost full responsibility for collecting and administering taxes which must follow the overall guidelines established by the Spanish government but may have some minor differences.

It is made up of 272 municipalities and has a total population of 601,874 (2006), of which approximately one-third live in the capital, Pamplonamarker (195,769 pop.), and one-half in the capital’s metropolitan area (315,988 pop.). There are no other large municipalities in the region. The next largest are Tudelamarker (32,802), Barañáinmarker (22,401), Burladamarker (18,388), Estella - Lizarramarker (13,892), Zizur Mayormarker (13,197), Tafallamarker (11,040), Villava/Atarrabiamarker (10,295), and Ansoáinmarker (9,952).

Despite its relatively small size, Navarre features stark contrasts in geography, from the Pyreneesmarker mountain range that dominates the territory to the plains of the Ebro river valley in the south.

Climate

The climate of Navarre mixes influences from the Pyrenees mountains and Ebro river valley, creating a great difference between the climates of the north (much more humid and with frequent rainfall) and of the south (more Mediterranean with higher temperatures and more sporadic precipitation). One can pass from the humid Cantabrian valleys in the north to the arid, steppe-like Bardenas Realesmarker on the banks of the Ebro river in just a few kilometers

Cultural heritage

Navarre is a mixture of its ancient tradition and Mediterraneanmarker influences coming from the Ebro. The Ebro valley is amenable to wheat, vegetables, wine, and even olive trees as in Aragonmarker and La Riojamarker. It was a part of the Roman Empire, and in the Middle Ages it became the taifa kingdom of Tudela. During the Reconquista, the Northerners extended southwards. In the Middle Ages, Pamplonamarker was a crossroads for Gasconsmarker from beyond the Pyreneesmarker and Romance speakers. Though the Basque country was never officially taken over by the Romans or Middle eastern cultures.

Energy policy

Navarre leads Europe in its use of renewable energy technology and is planning to reach 100% renewable electricity generation by 2010. By 2004, 61% of the region's electricity was generated by renewable sources consisting of 43.6% from 28 wind farms, 12% from over 100 small-scale water turbines, and 5.3% from 2 biomass and 2 biogas plants. In addition, the region had what was then Spain's largest photovoltaic power plant at Montes de Cierzo de Tudela (1.2 MWp capacity) plus several hundred smaller photovoltaic installations.

Developments since 2004 have included further photovoltaic plants at Larrión (0.25 MWp) and another at Castejón (2.44 MWp), also once the largest in Spain.

Languages

Spanish is the official language in Navarre, together with Basque that is also an official language but only in the Basque speaking area. The north-western part of the community is largely Basque-speaking, while the southern part is almost completely Spanish-speaking. The capital Pamplonamarker is in the mixed region. Navarre is divided into three parts linguistically: regions where Basque is widespread (the Basque-speaking area), regions where Basque is present (the mixed region), and regions where Basque is absent (the Spanish-speaking area).

See also



References

  1. Iberinco to Construct Solar Installation at Renewable Facility | Renewable Energy Today | Find Articles at BNET
  2. http://www.energias-renovables.com/english/Contenidosecciones.asp?ID=7584&Tipo=&Nombre=News
  3. http://www.parlamento-navarra.es/castellano/pdfs/amejoramiento.pdf
  4. O. Leg. I - Ley Foral 18/1986 de 15-12-1986


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