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Valle de Villaverde

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Title: Valle de Villaverde  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Southern Basque Country, Exclaves, Cosgaya, Basque Country (autonomous community)
Collection: Enclaves, Exclaves, Municipalities in Cantabria, Populated Places in Cantabria
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Valle de Villaverde

Valle de Villaverde (also, until 2005, Villaverde de Trucíos[1]) is a town and municipality located in the autonomous community of Cantabria, Spain.[1] It is surrounded by the Basque municipalities of Carranza, Arcentales, and Trucíos, but the town belongs to the administration of the government of Cantabria.[2] Thus, it is an enclave of Biscay and an exclave of Cantabria.

In the south of the municipality are the headwaters of the Río Agüera, whose valley includes altitudes of more than 400 metres. The municipality is crossed from west to east by the Santander-Bilbao railway line operated by FEVE.


  • Localities 1
  • History 2
  • Demography 3
  • Politics and government 4
  • Notes 5


The municipality is made up of the following localities:


The area was settled in pre-Roman times not by the Cantabri but by the Autrigones.[1] It was colonized by Rome,[1] and later became part of the Kingdom of Asturias, as did the rest of Las Encartaciones and the heart of Biscay.

The valley was purchased in the mid-15th century by Pedro Fernández de Velasco, at which point it ceased to be part of Biscay, the antecedent to its current status as an enclave. The 1822 and 1833 territorial divisions of Spain gave it the name Villaverde de Trucíos; in 2005 it returned to its traditional name, Valle de Villaverde.[1]

The region was devastated in the Carlist battles of 1875; as a result, few old buildings survive.[3] One notable older building is the Church of Santa María, its interior in ruins due to the 1875 fighting and later abandonment.[4]


Demographic evolution
1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007
726 738 741 764 757 756 756 565 464 459 367 383

Source: INE

Politics and government

As with the larger Enclave of Treviño (a Burgalese exclave surrounded by Álava), Basque nationalists wish to incorporate Valle de Villaverde into the surrounding Basque province, in this case Biscay. Also similarly, this intent is opposed by the Cantabrian government: Miguel Ángel Revilla, president of the autonomous community of Cantabria was clear in his unwillingness to cede the municipality. In 1979, deputies (congressmen) Xabier Arzalluz of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and Juan María Bandrés of Euskadiko Ezkerra, affirmed that Article 8 of the then-new Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country was intended to integrate the enclave of Treviño into Álava and the enclave of Villaverde into Biscay.[5]

Although the leading political party in municipal elections in recent years has been the Regionalist Party of Cantabria, in decades past Valle de Villaverde (then Villaverde de Trucíos) was more inclined to integrate itself into the surrounding province of Biscay. Piedad González, mayor of Villaverde de Trucíos beginning in May 1983,[6] originally as a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party[7] and later as an independent socialist, was described by El País in 1987 as an "impenitent defender of integration into Biscay."[8]

The following tables show the results of the 2003 and 2007 municipal elections.[9]

Municipal Elections, 25 May 2003
Party Votes % Council seats
PRC 259 84.09% 6
PP 38 12.34% 1
Mayor: Pedro Luis María Llaguno (PRC)
Municipal Elections, 27 May 2007
Party Votes % Council seats
PRC 238 71.90% 6
IU 59 17.82% 1
Mayor: Pedro Luis María Llaguno (PRC)


  1. ^ a b c d e (Spanish) Valle de Villaverde - História, Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (Spanish) Valle de Villaverde - Descripción General, Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  3. ^ (Spanish) Valle de Villaverde - Patrimonio Civil, Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  4. ^ (Spanish) Valle de Villaverde - Patrimonio Religioso, Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  5. ^ (Spanish) Mariano González Clavero "Partidos políticos en el proceso autonómico de Castilla y León. 1975 - 1983", 2002 doctoral thesis at the University of Valladolid, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. p. 501. This is page 517 of the PDF. Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  6. ^ Constitutional Court of Spain, SENTENCIA Nº 101/1995, DE 22/6/1995, p.10, 1995-06-22, published in BOE 1995-07-24 [Núm. 175]; accessed online 2010-01-05 on
  7. ^ "Referéndum sobre el «Trapaso» de un pueblo cántabro a Vizcaya", ABC, national edition, 1986-10-02, p. 26. Accessed online 2010-01-05.
  8. ^ Tonia Etxarri, Villaverde de Trucios, una "isla" santanderina en Vizcaya, El País, 1987-08-02. "…la alcaldesa, Piedad González, defensora impenitente de la integración en Vizcaya." Accessed online 2010-01-04.
  9. ^ (Spanish) Resultados electorales de Valle de Villaverde, in ABC
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