Navarre (Span. Navarro), a NT. province of Spain, between Aragon, Old Castile, and Biscay, bounded N. by France and the Pyrenees, E. by the provinces of Huesca and Saragossa, S. by Saragossa and Logrofio, and W. by Alava and Guipuzcoa; area, 4,045 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 318,687. The country generally is intersected by small mountain ranges projecting southward from the Pyrenees; but near the banks of the Ebro, which forms a part of the southern frontier, there are wide and fertile plains. Besides that river, Navarre is watered by its affluent the Aragon, which, coming from the northeast, receives several smaller streams, running due S. from the mountains; in the southwest by the Ega, another affluent of the Ebro; and toward the northwest by the Bidassoa, which falls into the bay of Biscay. While the mountainous region is mostly bleak, cold, and unsuitable for tillage, the valleys are fertile in wheat, maize, barley, and oats. Hemp, flax, oil, wine, and liquorice are also produced; it is principally a grazing and agricultural district, and manufactures are in a very backward state.
The canal of Aragon, which connects Tudela and Saragossa, affords means of intercourse with the adjoining provinces on the east, and the province is also connected by railways W. and S. with the principal cities in Spain. It communicates with France by railway N. to Bayonne, and by roads through mountain passes or defiles, the most celebrated of which is that of Roncesvalles, where the army of Charlemagne was defeated. In the mountains, besides the Pyrenean limestone, jasper, slate, and marble occur in large beds; there are iron, copper, and lead mines, numerous thermal springs, salt springs, and mines of rock salt. The forest trees of the Pyrenees, chiefly consisting of pines, beeches, oaks, and chestnuts, furnish an abundant supply of building timber. Wolves, wild boars, foxes, and wild cats are found in the mountains. The principal occupation of the people is pasturing sheep, goats, and cattle. Wool, grain, hides, salt, and wine are the chief exports, and silk and cotton fabrics and colonial produce the most important imports. The Navarrese are tall and well formed, and evince an independent spirit and great attachment to their religion and ancient privileges. The Cas-tilian language is generally used among them; but the Basque is spoken in the N. W. and W. districts.
The principal towns are Pamplona, the capital, Tudela, Estelia, and Tafalla. - This province, which is sometimes termed Upper Navarre, once formed a kingdom, in conjunction with Lower Navarre, which is situated on the northern slope of the Pyrenees, within the limits of France. It was one of the first Christian principalities founded after the conquest of Spain by the Arabs, and, although occasionally overrun by those invaders, was never subdued. It acknowledged for a while the supremacy of Charlemagne and his immediate successor, Louis le Debonnaire; but about the middle of the 9th century it vindicated its independence, which was sanctioned in 887 by the diet of Trebur. At the beginning of the 11th century, under Sancho III., surnamed the Great, its limits were considerably enlarged; and it was for a while the most powerful among the Christian kingdoms of Spain. In 1234 it fell by inheritance to Thibault, count of Champagne, whose granddaughter Jeanne in 1284 married the future Philip the Fair of France; and on the accession of that prince to the throne in the following year, Navarre was united to France. This union lasted 43 years; and on the accession of Philip VI. of Valois, Navarre returned to its own sovereigns.
Jeanne, the daughter of Louis X. of France, the lawful heiress, brought the Navarrese crown to the house of Evreux, from which, by intermarriage, it passed in succession to the houses of Aragon in 1425, of Foix in 1479, and finally of Albret in 1484. The whole of Spanish Navarre was in 1512 seized by Ferdinand the Catholic, king of Aragon; and henceforth the kingdom was limited to the small district known as French or Lower Navarre. By the marriage of Duke Antoine to Jeanne d'Albret Navarre was acquired by the house of Bourbon, and their son Henry of Navarre, in 1589, inherited the throne of France. His successors, until 1830, styled themselves kings of France and Navarre. During the Carlist struggles in 1834-'9 and in 1872-'5 the province was a principal seat of war, it being mainly occupied by the Carlists. Estelia, their chief stronghold, was captured by the Alfonsists in February, 1875.