1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Navarre

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NAVARRE (Span. Navarra), an inland province of northern Spain, and formerly a kingdom which included part of France. The province is bounded on the N. by France (Basses Pyrénées) and Guipúzcoa, E. by Huesca and Saragossa, S. by Saragossa and Logroño and W. by Álava. It is traversed from east to west by the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains, and almost the whole of the province is overrun by the ramifications of these ranges. From Navarre there are only three practicable roads for carriages into France—those by the Puerta de Vera, the Puerta de Maya and Roncesvalles. The highest summit in the province is the Monte Adi (4931 ft.). The chief river flowing towards the Atlantic is the Bidasoa, which rises near the Puerta de Maya, and after flowing southwards through the valley of Baztán takes a north-easterly course, and for a short distance above its outfall at Fuenterrabia constitutes the frontier between France and Spain (Guipúzcoa); by far the larger portion of Navarre is drained to the Mediterranean through the Ebro, which flows along the western frontier and crosses the extreme south of the province. The hilly districts consist almost entirely of forest and pasture, the most common trees being the pine, beech, oak and chestnut. Much of the lower ground is well adapted for agriculture, and yields grain in abundance; the principal fruit grown is the apple, from which cider is made in some districts; hemp, flax and oil are also produced, and mulberries are cultivated for silkworms. The wine trade is active, and the products of the vineyards are in great demand in south-west France and at Passages in Guipúzcoa for mixing with French wines. Navarre is one of the richest provinces of Spain in live stock. Game, both large and small, is plentiful in the mountains, and the streams abound with trout and other fish. Gypsum, limestone, freestone and marble are quarried; there are also mines of copper, lead, iron, zinc and rock salt. Mineral and thermal springs are numerous, but none is of more than local fame. The other industries include manufactures of arms, paper, chocolate, candles, alcohol, leather, coarse linens and cloth. The exports both by rail and by the passes in the Pyrenees consist of live stock, oil, wine, wool, leather and paper.

The Ebro Valley railway, which traverses southern Navarre and skirts the western frontier, sends out a branch line from Castejon to Pamplona and Alsasua junction, where it connects with the Northern railways from Madrid to France. Narrowgauge railways convey timber and ore from the mountains to these main lines. Pamplona, the capital (pop., 1900, 28,886), and Tudela (9449) are described in separate articles. The only other towns with more than 5000 inhabitants are Baztán (9234), Corella (6793), Estella (5736) and Tafalla (5494).

History.—The kingdom of Navarre was formed out of a part of the territory occupied by the Vascones, i.e. the Basques and Gascons, who occupied the southern slope of the western Pyrenees and part of the shore of the Bay of Biscay. In the course of the 6th century there was a considerable emigration of Basques to the north of the Pyrenees. The cause is supposed to have been the pressure put upon them by the attacks of the Visigoth kings in Spain. Yet the Basques maintained their independence. The name of Navarre is derived by etymologists from “nava” a flat valley surrounded by hills (a commonplace name in Spain; cf. Navas de Tolosa to the south of the Sierra Morena) and “erri” a region or country. It began to appear as the name of part of Vasconia towards thé end of the Visigoth epoch in Spain in the 7th century. Its early history is more than obscure. In recent times ingenious attempts have been made to trace the descent of the first historic king of Navarre from one Semen Lupus, duke of Aquitaine in the 6th century. The reader may consult La Vasconie by Jean de Jaurgain (Paris, 1898) for the latest example of this reconstruction of ancient history from fragmentary and dubious materials. Jaurgain has been subjected to very damaging criticism by L. Barrau-Dihigo (Revue Hispanique, t. vii. 141). The first historic king of Navarre was Sancho Garcia, who ruled at Pamplona in the early years of the 10th century. Under him and his immediate successors Navarre reached the height of its power and its extension (see Spain: History, for the reign of Sancho el Mayor, and the establishment of the Navarrese line as kings of Castile and Leon, and of Aragon). When the kingdom was at its height it included all the modern province of the name; the northern slope of the western Pyrenees called by the Spaniards the “Ultra-puertos” or country beyond the passes, and now known as French Navarre; the Basque provinces; the Bureba, the valley between the Basque Mountains and the Montes de Oca to the north of Burgos; the Rioja and Tarazona in the upper valley of the Ebro. In the 12th century the kings of Castile gradually annexed the Rioja and Alava. While Navarre was reunited to Aragon—1076–1134—(see Spain: History) it was saved from aggression on the east, but did not recover the territory taken by Castile. About the year 1900 Alfonso VIII. of Castile annexed the other two Basque provinces, Biscay (Vizcaya) and Guipúzcoa. Tarazona remained in possession of Aragon. After 1234 Navarre, though the crown was claimed by. the kings of Aragon, passed by marriage to a succession of French rulers. In 1516 Spanish Navarre was finally annexed by Ferdinand the Catholic. French Navarre survived as an independent little kingdom till it was united to the crown of France by Henry IV. founder of the Bourbon dynasty. From 1510 until 1833, when it was fully incorporated with Spain, Navarre was a viceroyalty.

As originally organized, Navarre was divided into Merindades, or districts, governed by a Merino (mayorino) as representative of the king. They were the Ultrapuertos (French Navarre), Pamplona, Estella, Judela, Sanguesa. In 1407 Olite was added. The Cortes of Navarre began with the king’s council of churchmen and nobles. But in the course of the 14th century the burgesses were added. Their presence was due to the fact that the king had need of their co-operation to raise money by grants and aids. When fully constituted, the Cortes consisted of the churchmen, the nobles and the representatives of twenty-seven “good towns”–that is to say, towns which had no feudal lord, and, therefore, held directly of the king. In the later stages of its history the Cortes of Navarre included the representatives of thirty-eight towns. The independence of the burgesses was better secured in Navarre than in other parliaments of Spain by the constitutional rule which required the consent of a majority of each order to every act of the Cortes. Thus the burgesses could not be outvoted by the nobles and the Church. Even in the 18th century the Navarrese successfully resisted the attempt of the kings of the Bourbon dynasty to establish custom houses on the French frontier. Yet they were loyal to their Spanish sovereigns, and no part of the Country offered a more determined or more skilful resistance to Napoleon. Navarre was much under clerical influence. This, and the resentment felt at the loss of their autonomy when they were incorporated with the rest of Spain in 1833, account for the strong support given by many Navarrese to the Carlist cause.

See Historia Compendiada de Navarre by Don J. M. Yanguas, (San Sebastian, 1832).