La Rioja information
If there is one single circumstance that typifies the history of La Rioja, at least until just after the Middle Ages, it is its situation at the crossroads of two routes of fundamental importance: the Route of St. James, which brought Celts, Goths, Franks, Saxons and Jews; and the other, from the Mediterranean, via the river Ebro, which brought Iberians, Romans and Arabs.
When the Roman troops arrived about two centuries B.C., La Rioja was mostly occupied by two tribes of Celtic origin. The region was subsequently invaded by the Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century, thus beginning a period of warring incursions with the incipent Christian kingdoms. Paradoxically, it was the very different influences of Arab culture and subsequent Christian repopulation that established the identity of the districts of La Rioja.
In the course of the 12th century, border dispuetes continued between Castile and Navarre to gain control of La Rioja until arbitration sought from Henry I of England and given in 1177 decided in favour of the Kingdom of Castile. Meanwhile the name of La Rioja appeared in a document for the first time in the Charter of 1099.
In 1369 Aragon and Navarre signed a pact whereby La Rioja was transferred to the former, although it soon returned to Castile.This kind of shift happened several times, until Henry IV finally recovered it for Castile.
During the War of Independence (Peninsular War) it was taken by the French and not recovered until 1813.
The decision of the Constitutional Cortes declaring La Rioja to be and independent province came in October 1812, and in January 1822 the province of Logrono was created by decree, taking in the whole of the geographical and historical area of La Rioja. However, Ferdinand VII annulled these decisions and the villages of La Rioja were once again split up amongst the provinces of Burgos, Soria, Alava, Navarre and Aragon.
Finally, in November 1833, a Royal Decree
outlined a smaller version of la Rioja which, in the shape of
the province of Logrono, has remained until the present time.
La Rioja guide