Navarre


Navarre
Navarrian, adj.
/neuh vahr"/; Fr. /nann vannrdd"/, n.
a former kingdom in SW France and N Spain. Spanish, Navarra /nah vahrdd"rddah/.

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▪ autonomous area, Spain
Introduction
      comunidad autónoma (“autonomous community”) of northern Spain. It is roughly coextensive with the Spanish portion of the historical kingdom of Navarre and encompasses the modern provincia of Navarra. The autonomous community was established by the statute of autonomy of 1982. Navarre is bordered on the north by France.

History.
      The old kingdom of Navarre encompassed the modern autonomous community and extended north into the modern French département of Basses-Pyrénées. It was known as the kingdom of Pamplona until the last half of the 12th century. The city of Pamplona, the capital of present-day Navarre, was occupied by the Muslims after 711, but the Basque magnates of the region early achieved some autonomy, and about the year 798 one of them, Iñigo Arista, established himself as an independent ruler there and for a time accepted Frankish suzerainty. By the time of Garcia Iniguez (c. 860–880), this dynasty was strong enough to assume regal titles and to establish diplomatic and dynastic ties with the neighbouring Christian kingdom of Asturias. Under Sancho I Garcés (905–925), the rulers of Pamplona expanded their dominions south of the Ebro River, capturing Najera and much of La Rioja. Under Sancho III Garcés (1000–35), the Navarrese established a brief hegemony over all of Christian Spain. Sancho's empire proved short-lived, however, for at his death the kingdom was divided up into Navarre, Aragon, and Castile. In 1076 Sancho Ramírez of Aragon occupied Pamplona. Navarre was then ruled by the Aragonese crown until 1134, when it recovered its independence under Garcia IV, who reigned until 1150. A succession of French dynasties ruled Navarre after 1234.

      Though Navarre at an early date ceased to have a frontier with the Muslims, many Muslims continued to live there. They were allowed to serve in the army and also provided an important source of skilled artisans. Large Jewish congregations (aljamas) existed in the chief towns and were protected by the Navarrese kings when persecution became serious elsewhere. Despite its small size in the later Middle Ages, Navarre played an important part in international politics, partly because it controlled the main pass into Spain in the western Pyrenees and was a buffer state between Gascony, Castile, and Aragon. The chief pilgrim roads from the north to Santiago de Compostela also traversed the kingdom.

      In 1512 Ferdinand II of Aragon occupied the Spanish portion of Navarre, which was formally annexed to the Castilian crown in 1515. The Spanish portion was governed by a viceroy and retained many of its own laws and institutions until 1833, when it was fully incorporated into Spain. The French portion of Navarre, consisting of the northern slope of the western Pyrenees, remained a separate kingdom until 1589, when it was united with France.

Physical and human geography.
      The modern autonomous community of Navarre is bounded by the provinces of Huesca to the east, Zaragoza to the southeast, and La Rioja, Álava, and Guipúzcoa to the west. The Pyrenees mountain range extends southward from France and dominates the northern half of the province. This sector consists of a tangled relief of forested mountains and well-watered valleys. Pastoralism and dense stands of timber are the main sources of wealth. Precipitation is high in the Pyrenees and tapers off sharply toward the south. South-central Navarre consists of basins and hills that serve to focus commerce on the capital, Pamplona. In this transitional zone, cereal cultivation mingles with forestlands and livestock rearing. A Mediterranean climate prevails in the foothills and steppes of southern Navarre, which are drained by the Ebro River. The landscape is more arid and monotonous, with cultivation of cereals and sizable towns.

      The population in Navarre is concentrated along the Ebro River and in Pamplona, where it has grown at the expense of towns in the lower Pyrenees. Large, compact towns predominate in the south; small villages predominate in the mountains, where the population has been depleted by emigration.

      Navarre's agricultural output has been kept relatively low by the fragmentation of farms, but the use of tractors and fertilizers there is well above the national average. Milk, wool, and wood are produced in the Pyrenees and their foothills, and wheat, corn (maize), grapes, and vegetables are grown in the irrigated zones of the south. Navarre's manufacturing industries have expanded rapidly since 1964 and are concentrated around Pamplona. The chief products include metal parts, processed foods and beverages, and shoes. Services are also concentrated in Pamplona, which is the commercial centre of Navarre. Area 4,023 square miles (10,421 square km). Pop. (1992 est.) 521,670.

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Universalium. 2010.

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