Navarre (Spanish Navarra, Basque Nafarroa) is an autonomous community and province of Spain. Its official Spanish-language name is Comunidad Foral de Navarra (for an explanation of foral, see fueros).
It is bordered by the autonomous communities of the Basque Country (provinces of Bizkaia, Guipúzcoa and Álava), La Rioja, and Aragon (provinces of Zaragoza/Saragossa, Teruel and Huesca), and by France.
Of its population of 569,628 (2002), one-third live in the capital, Pamplona (Basque Iruñea or Iruña). There are 272 municipalities in Navarre. See List of municipalities in Navarre.
Navarre is a mixture of the Basque influence from the Pyrenees and the Mediterrean influences coming from the Ebro. The Ebro valley is amenable to wheat, vegetables, vines and even olive trees, like in Aragon and Rioja. It was settled by the Roman Empire and later the taifa kingdom of Tudela. During the Reconquista, the Northerners extended southwards. In the Middle Ages, Pamplona was a crossing place for Basques, Gascons from beyond the Pyrenees and Romance speakers.
Basque language has been losing terrain for centuries. Often feelings of Basqueness are linked to the language. Somebody from a place where Basque was lost decades ago could say that she is not Basque but her grandfather was. Feelings of Basqueness often are carried onto politics with Basque nationalism being stronger in the North, either within Navarrese branches of Basque parties like Batasuna or as homegrown movements like Batzarre . Among the parties that downplay links to the Basque Country, there are local branches of Spanish parties like PSOE and also local movements like Convergencia de Demócratas Navarros .
Last updated: 07-30-2005 02:55:00