Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona; the capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, it is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions; the eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, were called Catalonia.
In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon; the de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts, constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was reconquered by the Spanish army.
Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; this led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended. In the 19th century, Catalonia was affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation; as wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government.
After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum; the Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries.
The name Catalonia—Catalunya in Catalan, spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia in Medieval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans in the late 11th century and was used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia Launia, since the origins of the Catalan counts and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothlan
La Franja is the area of Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It means "the strip" and can more properly be called Franja d'Aragó, Franja de Ponent or Franja Oriental d'Aragó in Catalan. La Franja is considered to be comprised by a part of the municipalities of the following Aragonese administrative comarcas: la Ribagorza/Ribagorça, La Litera/La Llitera, Bajo Cinca/Baix Cinca, Bajo Aragón-Caspe/Baix Aragó-Casp, Bajo Aragón/Baix Aragó and Matarraña/Matarranya. La Franja has been part of Aragon since the kingdom of Aragon until today, never in its history has it been part of Catalonia although a big part of its population since Middle Ages have communicated in Catalan language; this territory is a part of the so-called Catalan Countries. The thin strip of land is diverse geographically, ranging from valleys in the Pyrenees to the flat lands by the Ebro. La Franja does not have any official political recognition within Aragon, nor is it a separate historical entity in and of itself.
The term is used in neighbouring Catalonia by Catalan nationalists, though it has become common in Aragon too. In Aragonese politics there is an anti-Catalan trend that seeks to diminish the Catalan identity of La Franja, thus the Aragonese parliament has passed laws that will make no mention of the word "Catalan" in connection with Aragon; the use of a term to refer to the eastern area of Aragon bordering Catalonia as based on linguistic criteria is recent. It was in 1929 —when he christened these as Marques de Ponent, "Western Marches"— that Catalan geographer Pau Vila used for the first time a term designating jointly the Aragonese area where Catalan is spoken; this term was maintained in the second half of the 20th century by Catalan linguists such as Joan Giraldo, along with other terms such as Marques d'Aragó, Catalunya aragonesa or la ratlla d'Aragó. Whichever term is used, they all refer to the eastern Catalan-speaking area of Aragon, which borders western Catalonia; these terms all originated in Catalonia but became popular in La Franja itself.
They are therefore Catalonia-centered and hence the Ponent reference in the term La Franja del Ponent, because these areas lie to the west of Catalonia. The term Franja de Ponent itself first appeared in the second half of the 1970s, during the Spanish transition to democracy: the name in question is the collective creation of a group of Catalan-speaking Aragonese and Catalans from the Principality, interested in the fact that a part of Aragon is Catalan-speaking, who used to meet some Saturday evenings at the Centro Comarcal Leridano premises in Barcelona during the first years of the transition, it was the creation of some original and small local groups –which were joined by those CCL members– which emerged in La Litera in defense of the cultural-linguistic identity of the comarca. At the Second International Congress of the Catalan Language held in 1985, the normative authority on the Catalan language, known as Institut d'Estudis Catalans, adopted Franja d'Aragó as the denomination for the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon for academic and linguistic purposes, while the denomination Franja de Ponent is used in the political arena by some associations and political parties associated with pancatalanism.
On, alternative denominations such as Aragón Oriental, Franja Oriental or Franja de Levante, all meaning Eastern Aragon or Eastern Strip were created in Aragon. While the term was created to designate a linguistic area, there are other issues in question: The ecclesiastical sense The linguistic sense The political sense The socioeconomic sense Many parishes of what is now called la Franja had been part of the Diocese of Lleida, along with other, non-Catalan-speaking Aragonese towns. In 1995, Catholic church authorities, through the Papal Nuncio to Spain, informed the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference –Archbishop of Saragossa, Elías Yanes– of the decision of the Holy See to align the diocesan boundaries with the political and historical ones; this meant that 111 parishes and a population of 68,089 were transferred from the Diocese of Lleida to the enlarged Diocese of Barbastro, whose name was changed to Diocese of Barbastro-Monzón As for the reasons of the transfer, some Catalan ecclesiastical ranks considered that it was a result of the opposition of these Aragonese parishes to a short-lived debate on the convenience of creating a distinct Catalan Episcopal Conference, which would have been detached from the Spanish one.
Other sources claim that the diocese of Barbastro—birthplace of the founder of Opus Dei, Josepmaria Escrivà de Balaguer—was losing population and needed to acquire neighbouring parishes from another diocese to be able to continue to exist. The transfer of the parishes the ownership of the medieval artistic objects or sacred art comprised, originated an intricate series of lawsuits involving both dioceses (Barbastro-M
Comarcas of Aragon
Here is a list of the administrative comarcas in the autonomous community of Aragon in Spain. They were delimited in 1999, with substantial changes over a proposed division. Comarcal council Comarcas of SpainSee lists of municipalities in Aragon by province: List of municipalities in Huesca List of municipalities in Teruel List of municipalities in Zaragoza Comarcas of Aragon and legal links about their creation. Comarcal division, basic data
Bajo Aragón-Caspe or Baix Aragó-Casp is a comarca in eastern Aragon, bordering the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia. It borders the Aragonese comarques of Matarranya, Bajo Cinca, Bajo Martín and Ribera Baja del Ebro, the Catalan comarques of Terra Alta, Baix Ebre, Ribera d'Ebre; this comarca is named after the town of its capital. Its main income is derived from the production of olive oil; the Catalan version of the names of the towns are in brackets. Caspe Chiprana Fayón Fabara Maella Nonaspe La Franja Lower Aragon
Somontano de Barbastro
Somontano de Barbastro is a comarca in Province of Huesca, Spain. Somontano borders the counties of Sobrarbe and Alto Gállego to the north, Ribagorza and La Litera to the east, Cinca Medio to the southwest, the Monegros desert to the south and Hoya de Huesca to the west; as its Latin name suggests, meaning "beneath the mountain", lies at the foothills of the Pyrenees. The area is abundantly irrigated by four important rivers which flow down from the north: the Alcanadre, Cinca, Ésera and the river Vero; the primary economy of the county has always been agricultural and livestock farming based. Wheat and grains, as well as olives are the primary crops, its wine production received a denominación de origen in 1984. The city of Barbastro, home to about 85% of the county's population, is a regional hub for the food industry and chemical industry; the county is home to the Sierra de Guara, a vast Open Space preserve with canyons and gorges and over 60 limestone caves with prehistoric cave paintings, which led UNESCO to declare it as a World Heritage Site in 1998.
Abiego, Alquézar, Azlor, Barbuñales, Bierge, Castejón del Puente, Colungo, Estadilla, El Grado, Hoz y Costean, Laluenga, Lascellas-Ponzano, Olvena, Peralta de Alcofea, Pozán de Vero, Salas Altas, Salas Bajas, Santa María de Dulcis and Torres de Alcanadre Somontano D. O. wine area Official comarca website in English
Fraga is the major town of the comarca of Bajo Cinca in the province of Huesca, Spain. It is located by the river Cinca. According to the 2014 census, the municipality has a population of 14,926 inhabitants. King Alfonso I of Aragon died at its walls in 1134 while trying to conquer it during the Battle of Fraga, it was conquered from the Moors by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149. The local dialect, called Fragatí, is a variant of Catalan. Historical pictures Historical pictures Historical pictures Historical pictures Bajo Cinca/Baix Cinca Grace Fraga Fraga on Diputación de Huesca
Provinces of Spain
Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces. Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces; the layout of Spain's provinces follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one; the provinces served as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy, they remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes. A small town would be identified as being in, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León.
The provinces were the "building-blocks". No province is divided between more than one of these communities. Most of the provinces—with the exception of Álava, Biscay, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, Navarra — are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities — Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia — are not the capitals of provinces. Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid and Navarra; these are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities. The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province; the names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their Spanish language names are the same.
List of Spanish provinces by population List of Spanish provinces by area Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces Autonomous communities of Spain Comarcas of Spain ISO 3166-2:ESGeneral: Political divisions of Spain Maps of the provinces of Spain Maps of Spain's Provinces List of municipalities of Spain listed by province from the Spanish INE