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The Regions of Spain


Aragon, which is a region of northeastern Spain in the Iberian peninsula. Aragon has a proud cultural heritage and its own unique language. In 1137, the regions of Aragon and Catalonia united to form the Crown of Aragon, whose illustrious line of kings led the reconquest of the eastern peninsula from the Muslims. The Crown of Aragon extended its Mediterranean empire with the recapture of Mallorca in 1229 and Sicily in 1282 and it remained an important power throughout the Middle Ages. In 1469, King Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabella of Castile and this union brought together the two most powerful kingdoms of Spain to create a united Spanish nation.


Asturias, which was the region of northern Spain that was birthplace of the Christian Reconquest of Spain from the Muslims. Asturias, which has a long and noble history, was colonized by the Romans who discovered Asturias to be rich in mineral deposits, particularly silver. The Romans established villas and towns, but the region was never really completely Romanized. By the 7th century, Asturias had accepted Visigothic rule, and after the defeat of the last Visigothic king and the Arab invasion of 711, it became a refuge for Visigothic nobles. They formed a court and elected the first King of Asturias, Pelayo, in 718. Very soon afterwards Pelayo organized a concerted resistance to the Muslim invaders, and won the first battle of the Christian Reconquest, at Covadonga. In the 10th century, under King Alfonso III, Asturias included most of Galicia and some of the Basque country. However, Asturias was eclipsed by the rise of Leon and Castile in the 10th century and it eventually became politically dependent on Leon. Nevertheless, Asturias has always retained its distinct cultural and linguistic character and is today one of the autonomous regions of Spain.


Castile, which was an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain. Castile was also very important during the Christian Reconquest of Spain, when the Spanish overturned Muslim rule, and it was where the Visigothic nobles resided.


Galicia, which is located in the northwestern region of the Iberian peninsula. Galicia is a region of Spain that has a unique cultural and linguistic heritage. In medieval times, the Celts and the Swabians, who were a Germanic tribe, settled this territory. Galicia was one of the most important Christian kingdoms of medieval Spain. Galicia, which is located in the northwestern region of the Iberian peninsula. Galicia is a region of Spain that has a unique cultural and linguistic heritage. In medieval times, the Celts and the Swabians, who were a Germanic tribe, settled this territory. Galicia was one of the most important Christian kingdoms of medieval Spain. In 1139, Galicia was divided into two territories and the southern half, called Portugal, became an independent kingdom under King Afonso I. Galicia remained within the Castilian sphere of influence after Portugal separated. During the later Middle Ages, Galicia declined in power as Castile became predominant, but the unique Galician culture and language continue to this day.

The Basques

The Basque country of northern Spain, which is located along the north coast of Spain, next to the western Pyrenees. The Basques, who are a pre-Roman people, have a proud and unique cultural heritage and language. The origins of the Basques remains shadowed in uncertainty although historians have attempted to link the Basques with Irish Celts, eastern European tribes or even North African peoples. The Basques were the last of the Pre-Roman tribes of Spain to accept Roman culture, laws and languages. However, they revealed no signs of Visigothic or Frankish culture. The Basques remained distinct even after the Arab invasion of 711 because they took refuge in the valleys of the western Pyrenees and waited out the early wave of Arab conquest. As the Christian Reconquest that was launched by Asturias gathered momentum, the Basques became allied with Asturias and Navarre. In 778, Charlemagne entered Spain and sacked the city of Pamplona. In revenge, the Basques attacked and annihilated his forces as they were retreating through the Pyrenean mountain pass of Roncesvalles. These events have been immortalized in the French epic poem "Chanson de Roland". After the 9th century, the Basques were politically aligned with a succession of kingdoms: Asturias, Navarre, and later Castile. Since the end of the Middle Ages and until today, the region was politically dependent on Castile. Nevertheless, the Basque language has never been lost and it is the symbol of this ancient culture that has survived so many centuries of contact and assimilation with other linguistic groups.


Valencia, which is a region located on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast. Valencia, which was colonized and developed as a port region by the Romans, is distinguished by its proud heritage and tremendous cultural diversity. It thrived for centuries, but by 713 Valencia was completely under Muslim rule and the city became a staging point for raids further north and west into Christian Spanish lands. Rodrigo Daz "El Cid" reconquered Valencia from the Muslims in 1094, but after his death in 1099 the Christians could not hold the city. Valencia remained in Muslim hands from 1102 until 1238, when the armies of King James I of Aragon and Catalonia "The Conqueror" claimed it once and for all for the Christians. This initiated a cultural and linguistic relationship between Catalonia and Valencia that continues to this day.


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This page was last modified on 11 January 2011 at 15:31.

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