Logrono - Spain

Logroño (Spanish pronunciation: [loˈɣɾoɲo]) is a city in northern Spain, on the Ebro River. It is the capital of the province of La Rioja.

The population of the city in 2008 was 153,736 while the metropolitan area included nearly 197,000 inhabitants. The city is a centre of the trade in Rioja wine, for which the area is noted, and produces wood, metal and textile products.

Logroño was an old settlement, first of the Romans, under the name of Vareia, a commercial port, and then of the Celts[dubious – discuss]. From the 10th century, possession of Logroño was disputed between the kings of Navarre and those of Castile; the region was finally annexed to Castile. The name is a combination of le and Groin, mashed together as Logroño over time. Alfonso VI of Castile granted Logroño in 1095 a charter of rights that served as a model for other Spanish cities. In 1609 and 1610 Logroño was the main seat of the Basque witch trials, part of the Spanish Inquisition.

Famous people from Logroño include Manuel Bretón de los Herreros, Fausto Elhúyar, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, Rafael Azcona, Ramón Castroviejo, Pedro J. Ramírez, Navarrete "El Mudo".

Calle del Laurel, known as "the path of the elephants" and Calle San Juan are typical streets where various restaurants and tapas bars offer some of the best pinchos and tapas in northern Spain. Calle Portales is the main street in the old town, where people like to walk and sit in the terraces to eat a meal or drink wine. Calle Marqués de San Nicolás (otherwise known as Calle Mayor) is the main area where people spend weekend nights.

Later there was a dispute between the Castilian Count Fernán González and the kings of Pamplona-Navarra, involving great battles. It was decided in favour of the Navarrese after the imprisonment of the Count's family in Cirueña, in 960. La Rioja briefly formed the independent Kingdom of Viguera from 970 to about 1005, at which point it became a part of the Kingdom of Pamplona.

Sancho Garcés moved the capital of the Kingdom of Pamplona to Nájera (La Rioja), creating the so-called kingdom of Nájera-Pamplona which was, due to its large size, the first Spanish Empire. 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 IV, Navarre was divided among Castile and Aragon. Castile obtained La Rioja, together with other Navarrese lands. The name "La Rioja" first appears in written records in the Miranda de Ebro charter of 1099. The territory was centred on the fortified site of Logroño: the 12th-century church Iglesia de Santa Maria de Palacio recalls its origin as a chapel of the administrative palace. Logroño was a borderland disputed between the kings of Navarre and the kings of Castile from the 10th century;

From 1134 the Navarrese under García Ramírez ("the Restorer") and his son Sancho VI ("the Wise") fought bitterly with Castile for the recovery of the former Pamplonese domains. The region was awarded to Castile in a judgement by Henry II of England and annexed in 1177. Its importance lay in part in the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, the Camino de Santiago, which crossed the River Ebro on the stone bridge, the Puente de Piedra.

The Ebro is the main river passing through the community. Emerging from the narrow channel between the rocks of the Conchas de Haro, it reaches La Rioja, through which it runs for 120 km (75 miles), before continuing its journey to the Mediterranean. In the Conchas de Haro the altitude of the river is 445 m (1,460 ft) and when it leaves the community, in the Sotos del Ebro Natural Reserve in Alfaro, it is 260 m (850 ft) high. The river therefore flows very quickly through La Rioja.[original research?]

Seven rivers descend rapidly towards the Ebro from the mountain range, which is why La Rioja is sometimes called: "Zone of the seven valleys". They are, from east to west, Alhama, Cidacos, Leza, Iregua, Najerilla, Oja and Tirón, although the headwaters of the Alhama and Cidacos originate in Soria and those of Najerilla-Neila and Tirón are from Burgos. Sometimes Linares (a tributary of Alhama) is added, grouping Tirón with its tributary, the Oja.

All the rivers of these valleys form tributaries that go on to form many valleys in their own right, such as those of Linares, Ocon, Jubera, Tuerto, Brieva, Viniegras and San Millán. There is an almost unlimited number of grandiose canyons, quite splendid in nature, such as Aguas Buenas, Nieva, Manzanares, Ardancha, Navajún, Valderresa, Ollora, Tobia, San Martín and others.

According to the 2007 PISA report, education in La Rioja is of the highest quality in Spain, close to that of other European countries with better overall educational levels in terms of student knowledge. In the Ministry of Education's 2009 report La Rioja was in first position among the autonomous communities as it relates to general aspects of primary and secondary education.

It is placed above the Spanish average in the list of communities with the lowest levels of school failure, with 85% of students being able to obtain the ESO title, despite its schools having the highest proportion of enrolled immigrants.

6208 euros are spent per pupil, making it the tenth ranked community in this regard. The majority of educational institutions in the community are public, followed by subsidized and private schools, the latter of which are very scarce at the primary and secondary levels. The bachillerato is free in public schools and at a cost in charter schools.

In La Rioja the portion of the population with higher education is 30.6%, with two institutions offering studies at this level: the University of La Rioja (UR) and an online university, the International University of La Rioja (UNIR).

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