Regions of Spain: Navarre
Autonomous region of Navarra (Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Nafarroako Foru Erkidegoa) lies in the mountainous regions of the North of Spain, on the border with France. This is quite diverse in its natural-climatic features. – + 16 ° С. On the slopes of Pyreneev up to 1200 mm of rain per year (in winter, snowfall is often frequent), while the southern areas receive no more than 500 mm of precipitation. Mountain ridges of the Pyreneev (the highest point of the peak Ani, 2504 m) are covered with wide forests, mountain meadows and vineyards, starting to the south of the plateau (height up to 500 m) is occupied by the Solonchard steppes, and the Valley of the Ebro River, stretching through the southern outskirts of the region, is almost completely given under farmland.
Navarre is one of the first kingdoms in the territory of modern Spain, which ranked in the Middle Ages two times the large territory than now (Lower Navarre, lying on the northern slopes of Pyreneev, is part of France). It is also one of the first lands freed from the Moors (VIII in.), and one of the first kingdoms that have received independence. However, for her long history, this land has repeatedly changed political status, and from 1234 to 1441, the French possessions were even. These beautiful mountain areas that had important strategic importance were repeatedly moved from hand to hand, so in 1589, the Upper Navarre was included in France, and the Lower Navarre had previously had the status of the Vice-Kingdom, became the Spanish province in 1876. It is not surprising that the stormy story of Navarre is well noticeable at every corner. Until now, the area is divided into 3 "Language zones" (Basque, Mixed and Spanish), uses several languages (officials are, respectively, Basque and Spanish), and in the local architecture, the features of both Arabic or Spanish and French, German and even Italian architecture are clearly viewed.
The administrative center of Navarre and one of the oldest cities of the country – Pamplona, or Irunha, lies at the foot of Western Pyrenees, in the Non-Ukrainian Caenca de Pamplon Valley of the Upper Trend of the Arga River.
Around Pamplona also a lot of interesting places. 30 km north-west begins the slopes of Sierra de Aralar – 200 kV. km covered with beech forests plateau, suspended in local legends as a house of numerous mythical creatures, dragons and demons. A lot of excellent environmental trails, waterfalls and caves are laid here. Here you can see the oldest and most spectacularly located church of Navarre – Sanctuary-De-San Miguel (783-940.) v Esselsis. V Olite (42 km South Pamplona) The magnificent Palace of Palace Real de Olite deserves attention (the old residence of the Kings of Navarre, the XVI-XVII centuries.) and two magnificent old churches – Romanesque San Pedro and Gothic Santa Maria. 20 km east you can visit an amazing mountain village-fortress Uhue with the Romance Church of Santa Maria (XIII in.). In the La Ribera La Ribera lying on lifeless Tudela You can find a beautiful cathedral (XII in.), Romanesque monastery and many old mansions.
North of Pamplona begins the slopes of Pyreneev, not so picturesque as their more eastern part, but still possessing famous charm. In addition, local places are described in thousands of legends (which costs only "Song of Roland") and therefore have many half-phth places and objects. You can see the picturesque Basque villages Aucher-Burghet and Orreaga Ronsevalsa or Women’s Monastery of Nourera-Senora de Los Angeles (XVII in., The entrance for visitors is closed) near Arkun, visit the Natural Park of Senorio de Bertis and the village Oronos-Mugairier With her botanical park and regional forest reserve, to visit one of the oldest cities "Basque valleys" – Elicsonso or in famous his old mansions "Casas Rurales" town Erraz, Get acquainted with Sgarramurdi caves (Cueva de Las Bruhas) with their regatta de Inferno ("Flow hell", one of the most famous "witchcraft" The places of the Middle Ages, every July here is a festival of witches), as well as to become a Banos de Phythero, known since Roman times (open from March 1 to December 15) in the town of Phytero on the Alham River.
To the east of Pamplona, the beautiful Valley of Rio Salasar with the majestic Gorges of Fos de Lumbiher and Foz de Arbayun, rich in monuments of different epochs of the town, deserve attention Estella (Lusarra) – Unofficial Center for the Fight for the Union of Navarre over the past five centuries, famous for its churches Viana, Extensive Pine-Buek Forest Irati (one of the largest in Europe), the most western peak of Pyreneev – Pico de-Ori (2018 m), a huge fortress-church in Isaba, as well as numerous religious objects (more than 120) of the famous pilgrimage path of Camino de Santiago. By the way, it was on the territory of Navarre the two most important trails of pilgrims – Navararskaya and Aragonian, and it is here, in the town of Puente La Reina (Gaire), they merge in Kamino de Santiago.