La Rioja (Spain)

La Rioja (Spain)

Autonomous community
name = La Rioja
full-name = Comunidad Autónoma de La Rioja

coat-of-arms = Coat of Arms of La Rioja.svg

capital = Logroño
language = Spanish
area = 5,045
area-rank = 16th
area-magnitude =E10
area-percent = 1.0%
pop = 308,968
pop-rank = 19th
pop-percent = 0.7%
pop-date = 2007
density = 61.24
english-name = riojan
spanish-name = riojano/a
autonomy = June 9, 1982
congress = 4
senate = 4
president = Pedro Sanz Alonso (PP)
president-link = List of Presidents of La Rioja
code = LO
website = [ Gobierno de La Rioja]

La Rioja is a province and autonomous community of northern Spain. Its capital is Logroño. Other cities and towns in the province include Calahorra, Arnedo, Alfaro, Haro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and Nájera.


In Roman times the territory of La Rioja was inhabited by the tribes of the Berones (central country), Autrigones (upper country, extending also north and west of it) and the Vascones (lower country, extending also north and east of it). It was part of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis.

In Medieval times La Rioja was often a disputed territory. The Visigoths created the Duchy of Cantabria that probably included most of La Rioja, as a border march against the Vascones. After the Muslim invasion of 711, La Rioja fell into the Muslim domains of Al Andalus.

In the early 10th century, Sancho I of Pamplona conquered most of the territory, being the lower region around Arnedo under control of his allies the Banu Qasi of Tudela. La Rioja formed the independent Kingdom of Viguera from 970 to about 1005, at which point it became a part of the Kingdom of Pamplona. Nájera, in the Rioja, often served as capital of the kingdom.

After the independence of Castile in 1035, this new kingdom fiercely fought against Pamplona for the possession of Bureba, La Rioja and other territories. In 1076, after the murder of Sancho VI, Navarre was divided and Castile obtained La Rioja and many other Navarrese lands.

Nevertheless, since 1134, García Ramírez "the Restorer" and his son Sancho VI "the Wise" fought bitterly with Castile for the recovery of the former Pamplonese domains. Only in 1179 would they reach a peace agreement by which La Rioja went definitively to Castile.

The territory remained divided between the provinces of Burgos and Soria until the administrative reform of Riego in 1822 that created the province of Logroño.

In 1980 it changed its name to province of La Rioja and in 1982 it was constituted as uni-provincial autonomous community with that name.

Recent history

The territory of La Rioja (the name appeared in a charter of 1099) was formerly known as the province of Logroño for the fortified site around which it developed. The 12th-century church Iglesia de Santa Maria de Palacio recalls its original as a chapel of the administrative palace. Logroño was a borderland disputed between the kings of Navarre and the kings of Castile starting in the 10th century; the region was awarded to Castile in a judgement by Henry I of England and annexed in 1173 (1177?). Its importance was that here the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, the "Camino de Santiago", crossed the River Ebro on the stone bridge, the "Puente de Piedra".La Rioja was taken by Napoleonic forces in the Peninsular War and remained solidly in French hands until 1814.In the 1810 project of Llorente it was to be a part of the prefecture of Arlanzón (capital in Burgos).The Constitutional Cortes declared La Rioja an independent province at the time of the Liberal Constitution of 1812, and in January 1822 the province of Logroño was created by royal decree, taking in the whole of the historical geography of La Rioja. However, Ferdinand VII soon annulled these decisions and recovered most of the divisions of the Ancient Regime.In the 1833 reorganization, a province of Logroño appeared again in the region of Castilla la Vieja.In 1841, the province increased its territory temporarily.

It was made into an autonomous community during the reorganization following the democratic transition following the death of Francisco Franco, owing to its economic distinction from the surrounding regions. It is the second-smallest autonomous community in Spain and has the smallest population; fully half of its 174 municipalities have populations under 200. Nearly half of its citizens live in the capital.


It is bordered by the Basque Country (province of Álava), Navarre, Aragón (province of Zaragoza), and Castile and León (provinces of Soria and Burgos). The Río Ebro flows through this region, as does the Río Oja, for which it is known.

Mountains and mountain ranges

*Sierra de la Demanda
*Sierra de Camero Viejo
*Sierra de Camero Nuevo
*Sierra de Cebollera
*Picos de Urbión
*Monte San Lorenzo


*Rioja Alta
*Rioja Baja
*Tierra de Cameros:
**Camero Nuevo
**Camero Viejo


*The climate is mainly Mediterranean climate. The Rioja Alta comarca receives more precipitation than Rioja Baja, as well as smokinggggg hot winters and freeze to death cold summers .
*The average temperature ranges from 11.8°C - 31.8°C (53°F - 88°F) and the precipitation ranges between 300 mm - 600 mm as an annual average.
*The wind called "Cierzo" is very frequent around La Rioja during the winter.


*Ebro - the more important river that crosses the Community. In La Rioja have the following affluents:
**Tirón river
**Oja River
**Najerilla river
**Iregua river
**Leza river
**Cidacos River
**Alhama river

Flora and Fauna

*Holm Oak
*Common Juniper

Natural resources

**Silicon dioxide
*Spa town in Arnedillo


It is known for its production of Rioja DOCa wines (although the Rioja viticultural region extends slightly into the neighboring administrative regions of Álava and Navarra).
**Dryland farming: Wheat, Barley and Grape.
**Irrigation: Asparagus, Capsicum ... others.
*Animal husbandry of sheep
*Rioja (wine)
**Wine Production and conserves: in Logroño, Cenicero, Haro and Calahorra.
**Textil and footwear: in Logroño, Arnedo, Cervera del Río Alhama and Ezcaray.
**Furniture factories: in Ezcaray, Logroño and Nájera.
**Rubber, plastics, chemical products and transport machinery.

Transports and commerce

*Logroño-Agoncillo Airport
*Autovía A-12
*Autopista AP-68
*Autopista AP-69 (proposed)
*Piqueras Tunnel
*Puerto de Oncala
*Puerto de Piqueras----
*Main imports to Spain:
**Food preservation
*International partners:
*European Union flagicon|EU
*United States flagicon|USA
*Canada flagicon|Canada

Demography and major cities

*The population of La Rioja, (as 2006) is 301,084 inhabitants.
*La Rioja has 174 municipalities: see "List of municipalities in La Rioja"

Government and Politics

*Statute of Autonomy - [] Es icon
*Presidents - Current President: Pedro Sanz Alonso of Partido Popular.
*Diputación General - [ Official Website]
*Consejo de Gobierno - [ Official Website]
*Tribunal Superior de Justicia - [ Official Website]


*Santa María la Real in Nájera
*San Millán de la Cogolla
*Concatedral de Santa María de la Redonda
*Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada
*Iglesia de Santo Tomás
*.... more.

Native or Famous people from La Rioja

*Gonzalo de Berceo
*Domingo de Silos
*Manuel Bretón de los Herreros
*Gustavo Bueno"see also cl|Riojan people"

Others topics

*University of La Rioja, the autonomous university. [ Official Website]
*Dulzaina, a popular musical instrument from La Rioja.
*Jota (music), a popular dance practiced in some comarcas of La Rioja.
*History of Rioja wine
*Caparrones, one of the most important dishes in Riojan cooking

External links

* [ Gobierno de La Rioja] Es icon
* [ "A Brief History of La Rioja"]
* [ "A History of La Rioja Wines"]
* [ Rioja Wines and Tasting Notes]
* [ "Wine routes in La Rioja"]
* [ "Take a Taste of La Rioja"]

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