The Middle Ages : political conflicts

The Vascons had to confront, successively, the Suevians, the Vandals, the Alans, the Franks and the Visigoths. Likewise, Muslims arrived from North Africa and reached as far as the south of Navarre.


The territory inhabited by the Vascons underwent the following evolution from the IX century on:

1.- The Duchy of Vasconia, created by the Visigoths between the Pyrenees and the area currently occupied by the North Basque Country.

2.- The Kingdom of  Navarre, created to stop the expansion by the Franks and the Muslims. This kingdom extended from the Pyrenees to the south of the Basque Country and included the current continental Navarre (Nafarroa Beherea or Lower Navarre).

Eneko Aritza was the first king of Navarre (IX century).

In 1515, Fernando The Catholic, king of Spain, conquered Upper (peninsular) Navarre and placed it under the crown of Castille.

In or Lower Navarre, however, the Kingdom lasted until 1617, year in which King Henry III of France decided to place it under his rule.

From these dates on the destiny of the Basque Country was inexorably linked to France and Spain.