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Jera

Nájera

Nájera (Naiara) is a small city located in the "Rioja Alta" district of La Rioja, Spain on the river Najerilla. Nájera is a stopping point on the Way of St James (Camino de Santiago in Spanish).

History

The area attracted the Romans, who built the city of Tritium on land which now falls within the boundaries of Nájera and the neighbouring municipality of Tricio. Subsequently the area was under Muslim rule and the name Nájera is of Arabic origin.

The town was conquered by Ordoño II of Leon for Navarre in 923. Nájera was the capital city of the kingdom of Navarre before being conquered by Castile in 1054 after the battle of Atapuerca. However, it continued to be multi-cultural. For example, in 1142 there was a visit from a French abbot Peter the Venerable. He used his visit to Spain to commission translations of important Islamic works, including the first translation of the Qur'an into a European language, and it has been suggested he met with his four translators at Nájera. From the tenth century Nájera had a prosperous Jewish community, which was granted relatively favourable legal status after the Christian conquest.

The Black Prince fought in the Battle of Nájera in 1367 on behalf of Pedro of Castile.

Monuments

The church of Santa María la Real was founded by the King of Navarre in 1052. Santa María la Real was briefly a see and was the home of a monastic community from its foundation until the anti-clerical reforms of Mendizabal in the nineteenth century. It is important as the burial-place of Spanish kings, in which respect it has been compared to El Escorial.

Demographics

The population of Nájera in 2007 was 8,073.

See also

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