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Coat-of-arms of Calahorra, featuring the names of Saints Emeterius and Celedonius

Calahorra, La Rioja, Spain is located in the comarca of La Rioja Baja, near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro.

The city is located on a hill at an altitude of 358 metres at the confluence of the Ebro and Cidacos rivers, and has an area of 91.41 km². Calahorra is the second-largest city in La Rioja in population and importance, after the capital, Logroño. Its population is 21,060 people.

It is well connected to other cities, especially by highway. It is situated in the Ebro valley, 48 kilometres from Logroño, 120 km from Zaragoza and 180 km from Bilbao, and is connected to these cities by national highway 232, the A-68 motorway (Vasco-Aragonesa) and the Bilbao-Zaragoza rail line.

Its daily bus services link it to such cities as Pamplona, Soria, and San Sebastián.

Its status as seat of a comarca and judicial district make it a service-industry city, in administrative, commercial, and leisure fields.


Cathedral of Calahorra

Calahorra has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, and its stable population dates to the Iron Age.

Rome conquered the town in 187 BC and brought it to its highest point of importance as an administrative centre for surrounding regions.

Calahorra supported Quintus Sertorius in his war against Pompey, whom the city resisted successfully since 76 BC. It was only taken four years later by Pompey's legate Lucius Afranius, after a lot of inhabitants had died from starvation and there had occurred cannibalism.

Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar gave the city (then named Calagurris) numerous distinctions, converted it into a municipality, and developed its city planning, economy, and politics. Its archeological remains show that it had a circus, baths, an amphitheatre, and other services found in large cities. It minted money and served as a justice administration centre.

Quintilian, well known for his descriptions of the culture of that time, was born in Calahorra, and the Parador in the city is named after him. It has Roman ruins in the grounds.

Chapel of the Calahorra Castle, from an albumen print taken by the French photographer Juan Laurent, ca. 1865-1890

Saints Emeterius and Celedonius, martyred in the city around 305 AD, are the patron saints of the city, and the city's coat-of-arms depict their names. The cathedral is dedicated to them.

After the rule of the Moors in the 9th and 10th centuries the Christian king García Sánchez III of Navarre captured the city in 1045.

Twin cities

External links

Coordinates: 42°18.22′N 1°57.9′W / 42.30367°N 1.965°W / 42.30367; -1.965

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CALAHORRA (anc. Calagurris), a city of northern Spain, in the province of Logrono; on the left bank of the river Cidacos, which enters the Ebro 3 m. E., and on the Bilbao-Saragossa railway. Pop. (1900) 9475. Calahorra is built on the slope of a hill overlooking the wide Ebro valley, which supplies its markets with an abundance of grain, wine, oil and flax. Its cathedral, which probably dates from the foundation of the see of Calahorra in the 5th century, was restored in 1485, and subsequently so much altered that little of the original Gothic structure survives, The Casa Santa, annually visited by many thousands of pilgrims on the 31st of August, is said to contain the bodies of the martyrs Emeterius and Celedonius, who were beheaded in the 3rd or 4th century, on the site now occupied by the cathedral. Their heads, according to local legend, were cast into the Ebro, and, after floating out to sea and rounding the Iberian peninsula, are now preserved at Santander.

The chief remains of the Roman Calagurris are the vestiges of an aqueduct and an amphitheatre. Calagurris became famous in 76 B.C., when it was successfully defended against Pompey by the adherents of Sertorius. Four years later it was captured by Pompey's legate, Afranius, after starvation had reduced the garrison to cannibalism. Under Augustus (31 B.C.-A.D. 14) Calagurris received the privileges of Roman citizenship, and at a later date it was given the additional name of Nassica to distinguish it from the neighbouring town of Calagurris Fibularensis, the exact site of which is uncertain. The rhetorician Quintilian was born at Calagurris Nassica about A.D. 35.

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