village, Navarra provincia (province) and comunidad autonoma (autonomous community) of northern Spain. It lies 3,220 feet (981 metres) above sea level, in the Pyrenees, northeast of Pamplona and near the French frontier. It is known in relation to the Pass of Roncesvalles, or Puerto de Ibaneta, which lies above it at an elevation of 3,862 feet (1,177 metres). This pass is the traditional site of the Battle of Roncesvalles (Aug. 15, 778), in which the Basques ambushed and totally wiped out the rear guard of the Frankish army as they were returning across the mountains to Aquitaine after Charlemagne, campaigning against the Muslims in Spain, had ravaged several towns south of the Pyrenees and had razed Pamplona. The Frankish army was led by the seneschal Eggihard, the count palatine Anselm, and Roland, prefect of the March of Brittany. The battle forms the basis of the legend of the hero Roland recounted in the epics La Chanson de Roland and Roncesvalles.
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