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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chartered Community of Navarre
Comunidad Foral de Navarra
Nafarroako Foru Erkidegoa
—  Autonomous Community  —
Flag of Navarra
Coat-of-arms of Navarra
Coat of arms
Map of Navarra
Coordinates: 42°49′N 1°39′W / 42.817°N 1.65°W / 42.817; -1.65Coordinates: 42°49′N 1°39′W / 42.817°N 1.65°W / 42.817; -1.65
Country Spain Spain
Capital Pamplona
 - President Miguel Sanz (UPN)
Area (2.2% of Spain; Ranked 11th)
 - Total 10,391 km2 (4,012 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 - Total 620,337
 - Density 59.7/km2 (154.6/sq mi)
 - Pop. rank 15th
 - Percent 1.3% of Spain
ISO 3166-2 NA
Parliament Cortes Generales
Congress seats 5
Senate seats 5 (4 elected and 1 appointed)
Website Gobierno de Navarra

Navarre (Spanish: Navarra, Basque: Nafarroa) is a region in northern Spain, constituting one of its autonomous communities - the "Chartered Community of Navarre" (Spanish: Comunidad Foral de Navarra; Basque: Nafarroako Foru Erkidegoa).



Coins of King Arsaos, Navarre, 150-100 BCE, showing Roman stylistic influence.

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 Pyrenees. The Vascones managed to maintain their separate Basque language and traditions even under the Roman rule.

A chapel in Roncesvalles.

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 Pass. 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 country, and La Rioja, together with parts of modern Cantabria, Castile and León, and Aragon.

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 Spanish kingdoms in the decisive battle of Las Navas de Tolosa 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 Spains 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 France; 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 Country), 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, Pamplona (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 Tudela (32,802), Barañáin (22,401), Burlada (18,388), Estella - Lizarra (13,892), Zizur Mayor (13,197), Tafalla (11,040), Villava/Atarrabia (10,295), and Ansoáin (9,952).

Despite its relatively small size, Navarre features stark contrasts in geography, from the Pyrenees mountain range that dominates the territory to the plains of the Ebro river valley in the south. The highest point in Navarre is Hiru Erregeen Mahaia, with an elevation of 2,428 metres (7,965 feet).

Cultural heritage

Navarre is a mixture of its Vasconic ancient tradition and Mediterranean influences coming from the Ebro. The Ebro valley is amenable to wheat, vegetables, wine, and even olive trees as in Aragon and La Rioja. It was a part of the Roman Empire, inhabited by the Vascones, later controlled on its southern fringes by the Banu Qasi, whose authority was taken over by the taifa kingdom of Tudela in the 11th century.

During the Reconquista, Navarre gained little ground at the expense of the Muslims. Starting in the 11th century, the Way of Saint James grew a very important milestone for the territory and source of European cultural influence. Gascons and Occitanians altogether from beyond the Pyrenees (called Franks) were granted privileges to foster their settlement in Navarrese towns, causing them to bring along their craft, culture and Romance languages.

Jews and Muslims couldn't escape the drastic measures imposed on them and were expelled for the most part in a process spanning half a century at the end of the 15th century and start of the 16th, definitely after Navarre was seized by Castile-Aragon.

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)[1] and another at Castejón (2.44 MWp), also once the largest in Spain.[2]


Map showing density of Basque speakers

Spanish is the official language in Navarre, together with Basque that is also an official language but only in the Basque speaking area.[3] The north-western part of the community is largely Basque-speaking, while the southern part except Fitero is almost completely Spanish-speaking. The capital Pamplona 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).[4]

See also


San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Navarre

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Navarra is a region in Northern Spain bordered by France, the Basque Country, Aragon, and La Rioja.

  • Pirineos de Navarra (Pyrenees of Navarre) and Montaña (Mountain zone): North part of Navarra where there is a lot of mountains (like "Mesa de los Tres Reyes", 2.424 m. or "Pico de Ory" 2.104 mts.). This is the "basque" and "green" Navarra where many villages and small towns basque is spoken and threre is a continental weather. It is bordered with France and Basque Country.
  • Comarca de Pamplona (Pamplona metropolitan area): The most populous area of Navarre (half of the people of Navarra live here), with Pamplona, Barañáin or Burlada. It is a urban area. It's in the centre of the region.
  • Tierra Estella (Estella Land): The historic part of Navarre with many medieval monuments and towns. The way to Santiago is here. The most important towns are Estella, Puente La Reina and Viana.
  • Zona Media (Centre Area): It is a transition area between mountain zone and south zone, with important historic towns like Olite (was tha capital of the Kingdom of Navarre, with a wonderful Palace-Castle), Tafalla, Ujue, Andosilla or San Martín de Unx.
  • Ribera de Navarra (South of Navarre): The south part of Navarre, only area that was occupied by the Muslims who founded Tudela, capital of this zone and the second city of Navarre. It is one of the most important areas of agriculture in Navarre and Spain.
View of Olite Palace
  • Pamplona - Made famous by Ernest Hemmingway in 'The Sun Also Rises.' It hosts the festival of San Fermin, with the running of the bulls (el encierro). The festival is celebrated every year for a week beginning on July 7.
  • Tudela is the second largest city in Navarra with a population not higher than 40,000 people. Tudela is 94 km (60 miles) far from Pamplona, it's linked by a good highway and there are good connections by bus and train. It's used to be a big center of vegetables production although industry has been developed in the city. It has a beautiful cathedral from the Romanic and Gothic period.


Both Spanish and Basque (Español and Euskera) are official languages in Navarra. Spanish is more spread than Basque in Navarra, and everybody can speak Spanish in this land, but Basque is also spoken by a wide part of the population specially in the north of Navarra and Pamplona as a native language.

Get in

By plane

Pamplona has an airport that connects it with Madrid and Barcelona by regular flights. There are also connections with some other cities like Lisbon.

By train

Pamplona has quite good railway system, although high speed trains won't be working until 2012, it has several trains every day to Madrid (3h), Barcelona (4h), Zaragoza (2h) and so on.


Navarra has a very good reputation for its food and restaurants sharing it mostly with the Basque cook. These are some of the most typical products of Navarre:

Sparragus eaten with mayonaise.

Alcachofas vegetable typical from Tudela.

Piquillo peppers in the village of Lodosa, really tasty!

Txistorra/Chistorra is a kind of red sausage(made with pork meat), delicious.


Patxaran is the most typical alcoholic drink of Navarra. It's destilled with blackthrons and it has an intense red colour. It has 30º approximately.

Wines are also very famous in this region producing wines with Rioja label, and also with their own certification label (D.O. Navarra).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun


  1. Navarre


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