Olivenza

Olivenza

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Olivenza (oliˈβenθa) or Olivença (oliˈvẽsɐ) is a town in the autonomous community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Extremadura
Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

, situated on a disputed section of the border between Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Olivenza is claimed by both countries and is currently administrated by Spain.

As Olivença, the town was under Portuguese sovereignty between 1297 (Treaty of Alcañices) and 1801 when it was ceded to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz
Treaty of Badajoz (1801)
The Treaty of Badajoz was signed in Badajoz on 6 June 1801 between John VI of Portugal and representatives from the Spanish Empire. Based on the terms of the accord, Portugal agreed to cede Olivenza . Moreover, Portugal was required to close all ports to the British...

. Spain has since administered the territory (now split into two municipalities, Olivenza and Táliga
Táliga
Táliga |Badajoz]], in the Spanish autonomous community of Extremadura, although this is disputed and unrecognized by Portugal, which considers Táliga as being de jure part of the occupied commune of Olivenza since 1801.-External links:*...

), whilst Portugal invokes the self-revocation of the Treaty of Badajoz, plus the Treaty of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 of 1815, to claim the return of the territory. In spite of the territorial dispute between Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the issue has not been a sensitive matter in the relations between these two countries. Olivenza and other neighbouring Spanish (La Codosera
La Codosera
La Codosera is a municipality located in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. According to the 2006 census , the municipality has a population of 2,269 inhabitants....

, Alburquerque
Alburquerque, Badajoz
Alburquerque is a town in the province of Badajoz in Spain. It has 5,600 inhabitants. It is very close to the border with Portugal and was an ancient dominion of the kings of this country...

 and Badajoz
Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

) and Portuguese (Arronches
Arronches
Arronches is a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 314.8 km² and a total population of 3,278 inhabitants.The municipality is composed of 3 parishes, and is located in Portalegre District....

, Campo Maior
Campo Maior
Campo Maior , is a municipality in the Portalegre District, Alentejo Region, Portugal.The municipality has an area of 247,26 km² and a population of 8359 . It is divided into 3 parishes . It is bordered by Spain on the North and East, by Elvas Municipality on the Southeast, and by Arronches...

, Estremoz, Portalegre and Elvas) towns reached an agreement in 2008 to create a euroregion
Euroregion
In European politics, the term Euroregion usually refers to a transnational co-operation structure between two contiguous territories located in different European countries. Euroregions represent a specific type of cross-border region.-Scope:...

.

Geography


Olivenza is located on the left (east) bank of the Guadiana
Guadiana
The Guadiana , or Odiana, is an international river located on the Portuguese–Spanish border, separating Extremadura and Andalucia from Alentejo and Algarve...

 river, at an equal distance of 24 km south of Elvas in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Badajoz
Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

 in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The territory is triangular, with a smaller side resting on the Guadiana and the opposite vertex entering south-east and surrounded by Spanish territory. By an agreement between Spain and Portugal, the left bank of the river was recognized as being Portuguese territory (to a non-defined width, though), and sets de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 border in that area.

Besides the town, the municipality of Olivenza includes six villages: San Francisco, San Rafael, Villarreal, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, San Benito de la Contienda, and San Jorge de Alor (Portuguese: São Francisco, São Rafael, Vila Real, São Domingos de Gusmão, São Bento da Contenda, and São Jorge da Lor). Another village, Táliga, was detached to become the seat of a separate municipality in 1850.

Total population is 10,762 (2002), of which 8,274 live in Olivenza. The total area is 750 km². Like the surrounding regions, population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 is low, at 11 inhabitants per km².[The Mayor is Bernardino Piriz]

Some monuments include the Saint Mary of the Castle Church (Spanish: Iglesia de Santa María del Castillo, Portuguese: Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo), Holy Ghost Chapel (Capilla del Espíritu Santo, Capela do Espírito Santo), Saint Mary Magdalene Church (Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena, Igreja de Santa Maria Madalena, considered a masterwork of Portuguese Manueline
Manueline
The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic, is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral...

 architecture), Saint John of God Monastery (Monasterio de San Juan de Dios, Mosteiro de São João de Deus), the keep (torre del homenaje, torre de menagem), and the ruins of the Our Lady of Help Bridge (Puente de Nuestra Señora de Ayuda, Ponte de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, destroyed in 1709 and never rebuilt).

There are still traces of Portuguese culture and language in the people, although the younger generations speak Spanish only . Famous people born in Olivenza include Cardinal Pedro da Fonseca (?-after 1419) and music composer Vicente Lusitano
Vicente Lusitano
Vicente Lusitano was a Portuguese music composer and theorist of the late Renaissance.He was born in Olivença, but little else is known for certain of his life, including the dates of his birth and death...

 (?-after 1561).

Chronology

  • 1170 - Olivenza region falls for the first time in Portuguese hands during the conquests of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal.
  • 1189 - Muslims retake the region.
  • 1230 - The Olivenza area (as part of the Badajoz
    Badajoz
    Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

     surroundings) is taken from the Muslims by the Knights Templar
    Knights Templar
    The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

    .
  • 1259 - The Knights Templar, reborn as a different order in Portugal, and under authorization of the Portuguese King, create the first settlement that can be identified as the origin of the town of Olivenza.
  • 1278 - Olivenza and the surrounding area is nominally granted by King Alfonso X of Castile
    Alfonso X of Castile
    Alfonso X was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death...

     to the Bishopric and Council of Badajoz.
  • 1297 - After the critical situation created in Castile
    Crown of Castile
    The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

     with the death of King Sancho IV, King Dinis of Portugal forces King Ferdinand IV to sign the Treaty of Alcanizes and recognize, amongst other possessions, Olivenza as being Portuguese. On the other hand, several Portuguese controlled territories in nowadays Spanish Andalusia are defined as belonging to Castile, namely Aroche and Aracena.
  • 1298 - King Denis of Portugal
    Denis of Portugal
    Dinis , called the Farmer King , was the sixth King of Portugal and the Algarve. The eldest son of Afonso III of Portugal by his second wife, Beatrice of Castile and grandson of king Alfonso X of Castile , Dinis succeeded his father in 1279.-Biography:As heir to the throne, Infante Dinis was...

     grants Olivenza a foral
    Foral
    thumb|left|200px|Foral of Castro Verde - PortugalThe word foral derives from the Portuguese word foro, ultimately from Latin forum, equivalent to Spanish fuero, Galician foro, Catalan furs and Basque foru ....

    (charter), and new city walls are built.
  • 1510 - King Manuel I of Portugal
    Manuel I of Portugal
    Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

     renews the town charter and orders the building of fortifications and the Olivenza Bridge (Ponte de Olivença, later known as Ponte de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda (Our Lady of Help Bridge) or, simply as Ajuda bridge), on the road to Elvas. Construction of Santa Maria Madalena Church begins. This church would be the residence of the Bishop of Ceuta for many years.
  • 1668 - Treaty of Lisbon between Spain and Portugal reaffirms the borders defined in the Treaty of Alcanizes of 1297.
  • 1709 - During the War of the Spanish Succession
    War of the Spanish Succession
    The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

    , the Olivenza Bridge is destroyed by Spanish forces. Its ruins remain until today.
  • 1801
    • 29 January 1801 - France, allied to Spain, demands Portugal, British ally since the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373
      Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373
      The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 was signed between King Edward III of England and King Ferdinand and Queen Eleanor of Portugal. It established a treaty of "perpetual friendships, unions [and] alliances" between the two seafaring nations...

      , to enter into an alliance with France in the war against Britain. Portugal refuses.
    • 27 February 1801 - The brief War of the Oranges
      War of the Oranges
      The War of the Oranges was a brief conflict in 1801 in which Spanish forces, instigated by the government of France, and ultimately supported by the French military, invaded Portugal...

       begins, with the French troops marching on Portugal, later followed by Spanish troops.
    • 20 May 1801 - Spanish troops occupy, among other towns, Olivenza.
    • 6 June 1801 - The war is over with the simultaneous signing of two treaties in Badajoz, Spain, the first between France and Portugal, and the second between Spain and Portugal. As both treaties mention each other and share common clauses, they are frequently referred to as just the Treaty of Badajoz. Under one of the terms of the Treaty, Spain gives back all the occupied towns except those on the left bank of the Guadiana river (the territory of Olivenza), which are ceded by Portugal to Spain, including its inhabitants, on a 'perpetual' basis. The Treaty also stipulates that the breach of any of its articles leads to its cancellation.
    • 29 September 1801 - The treaty is signed again, this time in Madrid, with slight modifications demanded by France, but not affecting the stipulated for Olivenza.
  • 1805
    • 26 January 1805 - The Portuguese currency is forbidden.
    • 20 February 1805 - Teaching in Portuguese is forbidden.
    • 14 August 1805 - Adoption of the Spanish language in city hall documents.
  • 1807
    • October - Treaty of Fontainebleau (1807)
      Treaty of Fontainebleau (1807)
      The Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed on 27 October 1807 in Fontainebleau between Charles IV of Spain and Napoleon I of France. The accord divided Portugal and all Portuguese dominions between the signatories. Individuals such as M. Izquierdo, councilor of Charles IV, and Don Manuel de Godoy were...

       between Spain and France dividing Portugal and all Portuguese dominions between them.
    • November - French and Spanish troops again march over Portugal, in the Peninsular War
      Peninsular War
      The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

      .
  • 1808
    • John
      John VI of Portugal
      John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

      , Prince Regent of Portugal, repudiates the Treaty of Badajoz claiming that the ongoing war abrogated the peace terms of the treaty.
  • July 1809 - Portugal presents to the Junta Central, in Seville
    Seville
    Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

    , an official order of restitution of the territory of Olivenza.
  • 1810
    • 19 February 1810 - Treaty of alliance and friendship between Portugal and Britain, whereby Great Britain pledges to help Portugal to regain possession of Olivenza, in turn receiving the exploration of the Portuguese establishments of Bissau
      Bissau
      Bissau is the capital city of Guinea-Bissau. The city's borders are conterminous with the Bissau Autonomous Sector. In 2007, the city had an estimated population of 407,424 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística e Censos...

       and Cacheu
      Cacheu
      Cacheu is a town in north western Guinea-Bissau, lying on the Cacheu River. Population 9,849 .-History and landmarks:The town of Cacheu is situated in territory of the Papel people....

       for a period of 50 years.
    • Portugal starts negotiating a treaty with the Regency Counsel of Spain, whereby Olivenza should be given back to Portugal.
  • 1811
    • March - French general Soult takes Olivenza.
  • 15 April 1811 - Beresford
    William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford
    General William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, 1st Marquis of Campo Maior, GCB, GCH, GCTE, PC , was a British soldier and politician...

    , a British marshall with the rank of Head General of the Portuguese Army, briefly retakes Olivenza.
  • 1813
    • 19 May 1813 - The remaining Portuguese language private schools are closed by the Spanish authorities.
  • 1814
    • 30 May 1814 - The Treaty of Paris between France and the allied countries (including Portugal) includes a provision declaring the 1801 treaties of Badajoz and Madrid null and void. Spain is not a part of this agreement.
  • 1815
    • 9 June 1815 - The Portuguese delegation to the Congress of Vienna
      Congress of Vienna
      The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

      , led by Pedro de Sousa Holstein
      Pedro de Sousa Holstein
      Dom Pedro de Sousa Holstein, 1st Count, 1st Marquess and 1st Duke of Palmela was one of the most important Portuguese diplomats and statesmen in the first half of the 19th century. He also served as the country's first Prime Minister...

      , succeeds in including article 105 in the Final Act (aka the Treaty of Vienna), stating that the winning countries are to endeavour with the mightiest conciliatory effort to return Olivenza to Portuguese authority. The Spanish representative to the Congress, Pedro Gomes Labrador, refuses to sign the Treaty, registering a protest against several of the Congress resolutions, including article 105.
    • 27 October 1815 - Expecting the quick restitution of Olivenza, Prince Regent John
      John VI of Portugal
      John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

       nominates José Luiz de Sousa as Plenipotentiary
      Plenipotentiary
      The word plenipotentiary has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent his government as a prerogative...

      .
  • 7 May 1817 - Spain finally signs the Treaty of Vienna, since, in the Spanish interpretation, the text is not mandatory on demanding Spain to return Olivenza to Portugal. However, the text clearly states that all the signatary winning powers promise to take all efforts to make sure that Olivenza is returned to Portugal.
  • 1820
    • 7 November 1820 - Spanish authorities forbade the use of private teaching in Portuguese.
  • 1821 - Portugal annexes Uruguay
    Uruguay
    Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

    . In reaction, Spain withdraws from the Olivenza talks.
  • 1840 - The Portuguese language
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

     is forbidden in the territory of Olivenza, including inside churches.
  • 1850 - The village of Táliga is separated to form its own municipality.
  • 1858 - Isabel II of Spain grants the title of City (Ciudad) to Olivenza.
  • 29 September 1864 - The Treaty of Lisbon (1864)
    Treaty of Lisbon (1864)
    Treaty of Lisbon is a treaty on boundaries between Spain and Portugal from the mouth of the Minho River to the junction of the Caia River with the Guadiana River. Signed at Lisbon on 29 September 1864....

     between Portugal and Spain is signed, demarcating the border from the estuary of the Minho river, on the far North, to the confluence of the Caya River with the Guadiana
    Guadiana
    The Guadiana , or Odiana, is an international river located on the Portuguese–Spanish border, separating Extremadura and Andalucia from Alentejo and Algarve...

     river, just north of Olivenza. The demarcation of the border is not pursued further because of the situation of Olivenza.
  • 1918/1919 - With the end of World War I
    World War I
    World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

    , the Portuguese government studies the possibility of taking the situation of Olivenza to the Paris Peace Conference
    Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

    . However, as Spain had not participated in the War, the intervention of the international community in this issue is not possible.
  • 29 June 1926 - Portugal and Spain sign an agreement demarcating the border from the confluence of the Cuncos river with the Guadiana, just south of Olivenza, to the estuary of the Guadiana, on the far South. The border between Portugal and Spain from the confluence of the Caya river to the confluence of the Cuncos is not demarcated and remains so nowadays, with the Guadiana being the de facto border.
  • 1936–1939 - During the Spanish Civil War
    Spanish Civil War
    The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

    , Portuguese Colonel Rodrigo Pereira Botelho volunteers to occupy Olivenza. The 8th Portuguese Regiment, stationed in nearby Elvas, prepares to take Olivenza but is ordered not to.
  • 15 August 1938 - The Pro-Olivenza Society (Sociedade Pró-Olivença) is founded, the first of a number of pressure groups established to advance the cause of Olivenza in Portugal.
  • 1954 - Oliventine children are no longer allowed to take free holidays in the Portuguese seaside resort "Colónia Balnear Infantil d'O Século", managed by a newspaper owned charity.
  • 24 January 1967 - The Portuguese government declares the Olivenza Bridge a National Heritage Monument.
  • 1968 - A covenant between Portugal and Spain on exploitation of hydraulic resources in the frontier rivers is signed. All frontier rivers (including the non-demarcated section in the Guadiana river) are covered, distributing the hydraulic exploitation between both countries. The hydraulic exploitation of the non-demarcated section in the Guadiana river is assigned to Portugal (in the same way as the rights on hydraulic exploitation over other frontier rivers are assigned either to Portugal or to Spain). The only difference between this section and the rest is that the term "international" is omitted (all the sections are named "international section" but the non-demarcated one in the Guadiana river).
  • 1977 - A Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Spain and Portugal is signed, with no mention to the Olivenza claim.
  • 1981 - Former prime-minister of Portugal, Admiral Pinheiro de Azevedo publishes a book on Olivenza and visits the town, leading Spain to send a contingent of the Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) to prevent any confrontation.
  • 1990
    • In an Iberian Summit, the prime ministers of Portugal and Spain sign a covenant for the joint effort to preserve the Olivenza Bridge, as well as the construction of a new bridge alongside it, also as a joint effort.
    • Elvas and Olivenza became friendship towns.
  • 1994, November - After internal criticism that the agreement of 1990 would mean the recognition of the de facto border by the government of Portugal, the agreement is modified in another Iberian Summit. Portugal is now in full charge of constructing the new bridge and preserving the old bridge, therefore not putting the Portuguese claim to the territory of Olivenza at stake.
  • March 1995 - The Portuguese government sends its Spanish counterpart a study on the effects of the construction of the Alqueva Dam
    Alqueva dam
    The Alqueva dam is a dam located on the Guadiana River in the Alentejo region. The reservoir is the largest in Portugal and Western Europe.The complex project was made to produce hydroelectric power, irrigation for farms in the surrounding area, as well as a large reservoir where several tourist...

     on Spanish territory. Information on Olivenza is not included. Later, Portugal sends further information, including data on Olivenza, under the title "Territory of Spain and Olivenza".
  • October 1999 - The Spanish police stop preservation works being undertaken by the Portuguese on the old Olivenza Bridge on the left bank (Spanish side) of the Guadiana river. The Portuguese had been working on that side of the bridge without Spanish permits assuming that the left bank-side of the Guadiana river belonged to Portugal, according to the 1968 covenant. In subsequent events, a Portuguese court order prevents Spain from taking over the works.
  • 11 November 2000 - The new Olivenza Bridge, constructed by Portugal, is inaugurated.
  • 2003
    • Spain restarts work on the old bridge, under protest from the Portuguese government.
  • 2004
    • 25 June 2004 - The Portuguese parliament raises the issue of Olivenza and exhorts the Minister of Foreign Affairs to try to solve the question, in a friendly and cooperative way, with Spain
      Spain
      Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

       and the people of Olivenza, within the European Union
      European Union
      The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

      .
    • 4 September 2004 - The Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Martins da Cruz states that the Olivença issue "is frozen".
    • 7 September 2004 - The Government of the autonomous community of Extremadura
      Extremadura
      Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

       declares the old Olivenza Bridge a Heritage Monument.
  • 2007 - Guillermo Fernandez Vara
    Guillermo Fernández Vara
    Guillermo Fernández Vara is a Spanish politician from the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party who served as the President of Extremadura from 2007 to 2011. Fernández had previously served as Minister for Health and Social Security in Extremaduran regional governments.He studied medicine at...

    , who was born in Olivenza, is elected president of Extremadura
    Extremadura
    Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

    .
  • 2010 - The ancient Portuguese street name
    Street name
    A street name or odonym is an identifying name given to a street. The street name usually forms part of the address...

    s, that were removed in the first half of the 20th century, return to the historical city center of Olivença.


Claims of sovereignty



Olivenza had been under undisputed Portuguese sovereignty since 1297 until it was occupied by the Spanish in 1801, and formally ceded by Portugal, after being invaded and defeated by Spain at the War of the Oranges, later that year by the Treaty of Badajoz
War of the Oranges
The War of the Oranges was a brief conflict in 1801 in which Spanish forces, instigated by the government of France, and ultimately supported by the French military, invaded Portugal...

.

Spain claims the de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

sovereignty over Olivenza on the grounds that the Treaty of Badajoz still stands and has never been revoked. Thus, the border between the two countries in the region of Olivenza should be as demarcated by that treaty. Though, the terms of the very Treaty of Badajoz undoubtedly state that if war was ever to again occur between the two countries, then the Treaty would be void. And that happened when Spain itself later invaded Portugal.

Portugal claims the de jure sovereignty over Olivenza exactly evoking the same Treaty of Badajoz, since it was revoked by its own terms (the breach of any of its articles would lead to its cancellation) when Spain invaded Portugal in the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 of 1807. Portugal further bases its case on Article 105 of the Treaty of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 of 1815, which Spain signed in 1817, that states that the winning countries are to "endeavour with the mightiest conciliatory effort to return Olivenza to Portuguese authority". Thus, the border between the two countries in the region of Olivenza should be as demarcated by the Treaty of Alcanizes of 1297.

Spain interprets Article 105 as not being mandatory on demanding Spain to return Olivenza to Portugal, thus not revoking the Treaty of Badajoz.

Portugal has never made a formal claim to the territory after the Treaty of Vienna, but has equally never directly acknowledged the Spanish sovereignty over Olivenza.

There is no research on the opinion of the inhabitants of Olivenza about their status. Spanish public opinion is not generally aware of the Portuguese claim on Olivenza (in contrast to the Spanish claim on Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 or the Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 claims on Ceuta
Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish...

, Melilla
Melilla
Melilla is a autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa...

 and the Plazas de soberanía
Plazas de soberanía
The plazas de soberanía or sovereign territories, referred to in English as Spanish North Africa or simply Spanish Africa, are the current Spanish territories in continental North Africa bordering Morocco, except the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.After the Reconquista, forces of the...

). On the other hand, awareness in Portugal has been increasing under the efforts of pressure groups to have the question raised and debated in public.

External links

CIA World Factbook reference to Olivenza in the "Disputes - international" section on the Spain page Official Map of Portugal with Olivenza IGEOE Official portuguese statements GAO CIA World Factbook reference to Olivença in the "Disputes - international" section on the Portugal page Olivenza in the official website of the Province of Badajoz Olivenza in the official website for Tourism in the Region of Extremadura Website for Portuguese pressure group "Group of Friends of Olivenza" images of Olivenza and its municipality