Vitoria-Gasteiz is the seat of government and the capital city of the Basque Autonomous Community and of the province of Araba/Álava in northern Spain. It holds the autonomous communitys House of Parliament, the headquarters of the Government, and the Lehendakaris official residency. The municipality — which comprises not only the city but also the mainly agricultural lands of 63 villages around — is the largest in the Basque Autonomous Community, with a total area of 276.81 km, and it has a population of 242,082 people. The dwellers of Vitoria-Gasteiz are called vitorianos or gasteiztarrak, while traditionally they are dubbed babazorros .
Vitoria-Gasteiz is a multicultural city with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, healthcare, architectural conservation, aeronautics, vehicle industry, oenology and gastronomy. It is the first Spanish municipality to be awarded the title of European Green Capital and it is consistently ranked as one of the 5 best places to live in Spain. The old town holds some of the best preserved medieval streets and plazas in the region and it is one of very few cities to hold two Cathedrals. The city also holds well known festivals such as the Azkena rock festival, FesTVal, Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival, and the Virgen Blanca Festivities.
Vitoria-Gasteizs vicinity is home to world-renowned wineries such as Ysios and the Marqués de Riscal Hotel ; relevant heritage sites including the Neolithic remains of Aizkomendi, Sorginetxe and La chabola de la Hechicera; Iron Age remains such as the settlements of Lastra and Buradón; antique remains such as the settlement of La Hoya and the salt valley of Añana; and countless medieval fortresses such as the Tower of Mendoza and the Tower of Varona.
Beethoven dedicated his Opus 91, often called the "Battle of Vitoria" or "Wellingtons Victory", to one of the most notorious historical events of the Napoleonic wars; the Battle of Vitoria, in which a Spanish, Portuguese and British army under the command of General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army and nearly captured Joseph Bonaparte. It was a pivotal point in the Peninsular War eventually leading to the defeat of Bonaparte. A memorial statue can be seen today in Virgen Blanca Square.
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