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Alegría 1 ( Dulantzi in Basque and Alegría-Dulantzi officially 2 ) is a Spanish town and municipality in the province of Álava , in the autonomous community of the Basque Country . It is situated in the gang of the Llanada Alavesa .

The oldest name of the locality is that of Dulantzi , which appears for the first time mentioned in 1025 as Dullanzi and later in the 14th century as Dulance . The origin and etymological meaning can be derived from the ancient Roman villae called Dulantes. Some philologists such as Fidel Fita believed that it could be related to the Vardula population of Tullonium , located in the Llanada Alavesa and which was cited by the geographer Claudio Ptolemy in the 2nd century . That same population appears named later as the Roman mansio of Tullonio in theAntonino's itinerary , in a list of towns that served as a stopover on the Roman road XXXIV or Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Astorga-Bordeaux), which is dated in the year 455. There is some controversy regarding the location of Tullonio, although due to the distances that are mentioned in said itinerary should be located in Ascarza , the truth is that in the vicinity of Alegría a Roman tombstone with the name Tullonio written on it was found in the 18th century ; being for this reason Alegría the main candidate. If this were true and historians and philologists like Fita were right, Dulantzi could have arisen by an evolution of Tullonio → Tullaunci → Dullaunci →Dullanzi , although this sounds very forced. The most likely theory is that the name dulanci derives from the Roman villae dulantes.

In 1337, King Alfonso XI of Castile endowed the town with charters and gave it the name of Alegría de Dulanci . In the Puebla letter granted to him, he literally says the following:

And because the said town is better populated... we are pleased that there is a name Alegría de Dulanci
From this it can be deduced that calling Dulantzi Alegría was a promotional operation to attract settlers to the new town. Curiously, there is another town with the same name in the Basque Country , Alegría in Guipúzcoa, although it is unknown if its name had the same origin.

Over the years, the town became known simply as Alegría , losing the name of Dulanci in common use . in the 19th century it came with the official name of Alegría , a name that it would officially maintain until 1982.

At the same time, it was also known, especially outside its province, as Alegría de Álava , a name used to distinguish it from the town of the same name in Gipuzkoa and to facilitate its location on the map. This is how it appears in the Geographical-statistical-historical dictionary of Spain and its Overseas possessions by Pascual Madoz. 3 It must be taken into account that it was the scene of a famous war event during the First Carlist War , the battle of Alegría .

With the Transition in the 1970s, a movement took place in the Basque Country in favor of the revitalization of the Basque language. Within this movement, the recovery of old names of towns is promoted for their use as names in the Basque language, especially in the case of those towns that had a name of unequivocal Romance origin and lacked a name in common use in Basque.

This is how Dulantzi was recovered (adapting the name of Dulanzi to modern Basque orthography) as the name of the town for use in Basque . On July 15, 1982, the city council adopted the current official bilingual name of Alegría-Dulantzi . Since the State published it in the BOE in 1989, it is the official name of the municipality for all purposes.

Natural environment
It is completely flat in the center, and the most notable mountainous areas are located to the south of the council; where through this area crosses a mountain track that links to the hermitage of San Víctor from the port of Azáceta . The central area is completely an extensive valley formed by the Alegría river, and there are some elevations that are not as prominent as the Alto de Mendia, where there is a water deposit. To the north of the council, it crosses a section of the Camino de Santiago, which connects with the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Ayala.

It crosses an old FEVE railway, to the north of the council; currently converted into a greenway.

One of the first written references to the group of localities that existed in the current municipal term is found in the list of populations that had to contribute to the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla (year 1025) known as Reja de San Millán , in which appear the names of Dullanzi (Dulanci) and Gelegieta (Eguileta).

Dullanzi and Gelegieta appear to form part of the alfoz of Hiraszaeza or Hiruzaheza, of which also formed part inter alia the villages of Aialha, Larrahara, Larraza and Arbelgoihen, which are at present depopulated within the municipal term of Joy; and the nearby villages and settlements of Iscona ( Hijona ), Trocóniz , Burgellu ( Elburg ), Garonna ( Garona ), Hararihin ( Arrarain ), Aniu ( Añua ), Hereinzguhin ( Erenchun ) and Abaunza , distributed among the neighboring municipalities of Iruraiz-Gauna and Elburg.

Saint Blaise Church
In 1337 Alfonso XI founded the town of Alegría de Dulanci on the pre-existing town of Dulanci, granting it royal jurisdiction. The villa was populated with inhabitants from the nearby towns of Ayala , Henayo , Larrara , Olga , Ilárraza and Eguileta . All these towns, except Eguileta, would remain depopulated as a result of this event and are currently mortuary . In the place where the town of Ayala was, just over 1 km from Alegría, is currently the sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Ayala, a Romanesque hermitage that corresponds to the old church of this disappeared town.

During the Middle Ages, Alegría became a fortress, being the mainstay of the Oñacino faction in the Llanada Alavesa, in the faction warfare .

From 1484 Alegría became part of the jurisdictional dominion of the city of Vitoria . In 1579, the now defunct Cuadrilla de Alegría was created, made up of the towns of Alegría, Gauna and Erenchun and the places of Eguileta and Alborcoin, within the Brotherhood of Iruraiz.

During the First Carlist War , on October 27 and 28, 1834 in the vicinity of Alegría and near the village of Chinchetru , the battle of Alegría took place in which the Carlist general Tomás de Zumalacárregui obtained the victory over Brigadier O 'Doyle and Generals Osma and Figueras. This battle is usually recreated annually by the residents of Alegría on a festive day.

Towards the middle of the 19th century , the place had a population of 580 inhabitants. 3 The town is described in the first volume of the Diccionario geográfico-estástico-histórico de España y sus possesiones de Overseas by Pascual Madoz as follows:

JOY OF ALAVA: v. in the province of Alava (2 leg. to Vitoria); dioc. from Calahorra (14); part. jud. from Salvatierra (2); and chap. of the town hall to which it gives its name: sit. in a pleasant and delicious plain, with a height to the S. called Mendia, its healthy climate , but quite cold: it has 109 houses; there are some for the town hall, jail, slaughterhouse, bread ovens, and public corrals for cattle; The school is endowed with 2,140 rs., and 70 children of both sexes attend it. the church stop. (S. Blas Ob. and Mr.) is served by 6 beneficiaries, including the two parish priests; these are removable, and are appointed by the diocesan; those are perpetual, and elected by the council; the building is quite good and its tower is magnificent. There is a conv. of nuns, founded in 1581, by donation of houses and rent. that to some pious of l. The abbot of Otorgoyen made Alecha, with the condition, which they accepted, to carry out the foundation, and establish itself in closure; In 1615, at their request, they submitted to the rules of Santa Clara, and had Doña Juana de Alava, daughter of the conv. of the same order of the aforementioned c.; today there are 13 nuns. the pósito, Monte-Pio to help poor farmers, was created by D. Juan Bautista de Tarsis, who also founded an obra-pia of 200 ducats in favor of the natural orphans of this v. There are seven hermitages; that of S. Martin is within the population, and the remaining six about 1/4 leg.; that of Our Lady of Ayala sit. to the N., and in the desp. of the same name; to the NE. that of San Miguel de Henayo, desp. as well as where they are those of Ntra. Sra. de Sarrara and those of Larraz, San Julian and San Pelayo. He of the same name; to the NE. that of San Miguel de Henayo, desp. as well as where they are those of Ntra. Sra. de Sarrara and those of Larraz, San Julian and San Pelayo. He of the same name; to the NE. that of San Miguel de Henayo, desp. as well as where they are those of Ntra. Sra. de Sarrara and those of Larraz, San Julian and San Pelayo. Heterm extends to 1/4 leg. from the center, to its confines, which touch by N. with those of Echavarri de Urtupiña; by E. Adana and Gauna; by S. Herechun and Equileta, and by O. Elburgo and Gaceta: the river bathes it. of his name (V.); and the land is fertile, as well as well populated. the mountains of N. and S.: the roads are local, and these, as well as the one that goes to the c. from Vitoria, are impassable in winter. The mail is received from Vitoria on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays by a balijero: prod. all kinds of cereals, but especially wheat; it raises cattle, horses and mules; there is abundant hunting of quail, and some partridges: ind. : agricultural and livestock, and two flour mills:pop. : 103 times, 580 souls. wealth and contra (V. Alava Intendancy .)
( Madoz, 1845 , pp. 523-524)
With the liberal reforms of the 19th century, the town of Alegría became a constitutional municipality, made up solely of the towns of Alegría and Eguileta, the village that previously fell under its jurisdiction. This composition of the municipality has remained unchanged until today. During the 19th century and almost all of the 20th, Alegría maintained a discrete and fairly stable population that oscillated between a minimum of 596 inhabitants in the 1940 census and the 1,054 inhabitants that were reached in 1981.

Today it is a thriving industrial town in which urban growth has taken place on all sides, which has doubled its residential space and its population since 1995. A boom that places it among the largest towns in Álava, having left behind in these aspects many of those that in the previous decade at the provincial level surpassed it. Currently, together with Nanclares de la Oca and Villarreal de Álava , it forms part of the populations that are growing in the radius of 15 km from Vitoria, functioning as the dormitory villas of the capital, all of them with important business parks.

Herriko Plaza or Plaza Mayor of Alegría
The recovery of its roads in the old town have also given life to tourism and has made it possible to recover new spaces for residents within a medieval environment classified as 2nd order of historical-artistic interest. In addition, this town is a place with numerous green and recreational spaces as a complement to a pleasant visit full of bucolic corners. Special recommendations are the Herriko Plaza (People's Square) and its surroundings, the pediment and the southern area of ​​the town, an environment of rural charm. Calle Mayor, Calle de la Fortaleza, and Calle San Blas, which will make us find a good number of good examples of rural architecture with a medieval concept. Also the area of ​​the old mill and the river, where there is a river walk in a good part of the town.

Alegría and the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago Vasco del Interior runs through its municipality , also called the Basque Jacobean Route or the Bayonne Route, it was the most important between the 10th and 13th centuries . The Camino de Santiago de la Costa was besieged by the assaults of the Norman barbarians ( Vikings ) and to the south, what we know as the French Camino de Santiago, the Arab domination was full, so the Bayonne Route became the safer layout for Christians going to Compostela , connecting from Bayonne with the Roman road XXXIV Ab Asturica Burdigalam , at the height of San Millán, known in the Middle Ages as the Via Aquitaine , due to the flow of pilgrims who came from that region, the origin of the French Way .

Territorial organization
The municipality is made up of two population entities that form councils :

Alegría de Álava (officially Alegría-Dulantzi ), where 95% of the population is concentrated and which is the capital of the municipality.
Eguileta (in Basque and officially Egileta ), a population that forms an enclave to the southwest of the municipality.