El patrimonio toponímico de la raya entre España y Portugal


  • Jairo Javier García Sánchez


The frontier separating Spain and Portugal, also known as la Raya, is one of the oldest interstate boundaries that exist. Its length of more than two hundred kilometres has made it a meeting point and confluence of language varieties, whose demarcation does not always coincide with the present-day political and administrative boundaries. This area of separation, but also convergence, created by la Raya, has accumulated over the centuries a considerable linguistic, historical and cultural heritage, which has left its mark on the local place names. The place names along the border, which bear witness to its history, are in fact a legacy in itself, which should be protected and studied. We offer here an overview of these names, while at the same time referring to details where appropriate, and we revisit some of the principal issues that they have given rise to.