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—  Municipality  —

Coat of arms
Motto: Muy Noble y Muy Leal Villa Markina-Xemein
(The very noble and loyal village of Markina-Xemein)
Location of Markina-Xemein in Bizkaia.
Markina-Xemein is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 43°16′8″N 2°29′47″W / 43.26889°N 2.49639°W / 43.26889; -2.49639Coordinates: 43°16′8″N 2°29′47″W / 43.26889°N 2.49639°W / 43.26889; -2.49639
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  País Vasco
Province Biscay
Comarca Lea-Artibai
Founded 1952
 - Alcalde Javier Alberdi Ibaibarriaga (PNV)
 - Total 44.79 km2 (17.3 sq mi)
Elevation 85 m (279 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 4,804
 - Density 107.3/km2 (277.8/sq mi)
 - Demonym Marquinés/a, Markinarra Jemeindarra, Xemeindarra
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 48270
Official language(s)
Website Official website

Markina-Xemein is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, Bizkaia, in the Basque Autonomous Community, also known as the Basque Country, located in northern Spain. The origin of the town's name lies in its geographic location. The last town in the province of Bizkaia, Markina lies between Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia. Coming from the Spanish word "marca" meaning "mark", Markina-Xemein marks the location where the Gipuzkoanos (the people of Guipuzcoa province) often battled the Bizkainos (the people of Biscay province).


Markina-Xemein is located in the north east of Biscay, and it is next to the border with Gipuzkoa. Although the village centre is plain, it is surrounded by hills and mountains, most of them 400 to 700 metres high.Oiz, located to the southwest, is 1,026 metres high.

The main river is Artibai, which passes through Markina-Xemein from southwest to northeast. Near the village centre, it is joined by another river from the southeast, Urko.

Markina-Xemein enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, thanks to it being located only 10 kilometers from the coast. Winters tend to be a little bit cool and wet, but not snowy. Although Summers are relatively hot, temperatures hardly ever go above 35º Celsius. Apart from that, all the seasons are wet and rainy, so yearly rainfall is above 1550 mm.


The village of Markina (called, in that time, Villaviciosa de Marquina in Spanish) was founded by Don Tello, Lord of Biscay (Bizkaia), on May 6, 1355. Don Tello gave permission to the local nobility (jauntxoak in Basque or hidalgos in Spanish) to create and defend the new village from the attacks of the Gipuzkoan nobility.

One of the most astonishing aspects of that foundation was that Markina was not given a parish church for itself. Moreover, it has had to use the existing church of Xemein, which, at that time, was an independent town (called elizate or anteiglesia (before the church), referring to a town organized around a church, instead of around a civil institution). The patronage of that church was a hot point in their relations, especially in the Middle Ages, and several disputes took places between local nobility. Last century, (September 29, 1952) both Markina and Xemein joined each other to found what we know today as the town of Markina-Xemein.

A further enlargement took place on 1969, when Ziortza-Bolibar (a smaller town located to the southwest of Markina-Xemein) joined the village. That union lasted until January 1, 2005, when all the parts concerned reached an agreement by which Ziortza-Bolibar become an independent town.

External links



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