Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa are a mountain range extending for about 20 km, forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain. The range is situated in the Autonomous Communities of Asturias and Castile and León; the highest peak is Torre de Cerredo, at an elevation of 2650 m. A accepted origin for the name is that they were the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from the Americas; the name can be traced to Lucio Marineo Sículo, who mentions the Rupes Europae in 1530. Ambrosio Morales, chronist of Felipe II of Spain, mentions the Montañas de Europa in 1572.. Prudencio de Sandoval calls them the Peñas o Sierras de Europa in 1601; the range consists of three major massifs: Central and Western. The Central and Western massifs are separated by the 1.5 kilometres deep Cares Gorge, with the village of Caín at its head. The waters in the Cares arise from cave resurgences; some of the water in the Cares river is diverted through a hydroelectric scheme, with a canal running in the northern wall of the gorge to Camarmeña.
An access path next to the canal provides a spectacular walk. All of the rock in the Picos is limestone, glacial action has contributed to create an impressive area of alpine karst; the highest peak is Torre de Cerredo, with an altitude of 2,650 metres at 43°11′51″N 4°51′06″W. Many other peaks reach altitudes of over 2,600 m; the area is popular with mountaineers and mountain walkers. There is a good network of well-established mountain refuges; the best-known climbing site is the Naranjo de Bulnes or Picu Urriellu, in the Urrieles massif which can be considered the most famous climb in Spain. Cantabrian brown bears and wolves live in the more remote regions. Rebeccos are frequently seen. Most of the region is now protected as a single Picos de Europa National Park in Cantabria, Asturias and León provinces of Spain. Access is via minor roads to each of the three massifs from the north and from the south to the aerial tramway at Fuente Dé and to Caín at the head of the Cares Canyon; the Picos de Europa contain many of world's deepest caves, including Torca del Cerro, Sima de la Cornisa, Torca los Rebecos and Pozo del Madejuno.
Discovery of new caves and their exploration still continues. The Picos support a dwindling group of shepherds who move up from the valleys in the summer with their sheep, cows, an occasional pig; the area is famed for its piquant blue cheeses, such as Picón Tresviso Bejes. Information about Picos de Europa Mountains spanishminerals.com, Blog of Juan Fernandez Buelga Spanish tradition and language in the mountains peakme.es Trekking Picos de Europa topwalks.net National Park website and online Picos de Europa mountanieering community picoseuropa.net Picos de Europa at Llanes llanes.as Picos de Europa at Valdeon valdeon.org Ayuntamiento de Posada de Valdeón Routes in Cantabria and Picos de Europa rutasporcantabria.com, Bowl Francisco Vega Picos de Europa: a naturalist's paradise iberianwildlife.com Sistema del Hito / Xitu caves oucc.org.uk, Oxford University Cave Club Proceedings 10: 1980-1981. El Anillo de Picos - Recorrido circular por los Picos de Europa elanillodepicos.com Hiking in the park, routes & information Tresviso Caves Project caving expeditions to the Eastern Massif
Asturias the Principality of Asturias, is an autonomous community in north-west Spain. It is coextensive with the province of Asturias, contains some of the territory, part of the larger Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages. Divided into eight comarcas, the autonomous community of Asturias is bordered by Cantabria to the east, by Castile and León to the south, by Galicia to the west, by the Bay of Biscay to the north; the most important cities are the communal capital, the seaport and largest city Gijón, the industrial town of Avilés. Other municipalities in Asturias include Cangas de Onís, Cangas del Narcea, Gozón, Langreo, Laviana, Llanes, Siero, Valdés, Vegadeo and Villaviciosa. Asturias is home of the Princess of Asturias Awards. Asturias was inhabited, first by Homo erectus by Neanderthals. Since the Lower Paleolithic era, during the Upper Paleolithic, Asturias was characterized by cave paintings in the eastern part of the area. In the Mesolithic period, a native culture developed, that of the Asturiense, with the introduction of the Bronze Age and tumuli were constructed.
In the Iron Age, the territory came under the cultural influence of the Celts. Today the Astur Celtic influence persists in place names, such as those of mountains. With the conquest of Asturias by the Romans under Augustus, the region entered into recorded history; the Astures were subdued by the Romans but were never conquered. After several centuries without foreign presence, they enjoyed a brief revival during the Germanic invasions of the late 4th century AD, resisting Suevi and Visigoth raids throughout the 5th Century AD, ending with the Moorish invasion of Spain. However, as it had been for the Romans and Visigoths, the Moors did not find mountainous territory easy to conquer, the lands along Spain's northern coast never became part of Islamic Spain. Rather, with the beginning of the Moorish conquest in the 8th century, this region became a refuge for Christian nobles, in 722, a de facto independent kingdom was established, the Regnum Asturorum, to become the cradle of the incipient Reconquista.
In the 10th century, the Kingdom of Asturias gave way to the Kingdom of León, during the Middle Ages the geographic isolation of the territory made historical references scarce. Through the rebellion of Henry II of Castile in the 14th century, the Principality of Asturias was established; the most famous proponents of independence were Gonzalo Peláez and Queen Urraca, while achieving significant victories, were defeated by Castilian troops. After its integration into the Kingdom of Spain, Asturias provided the Spanish court with high-ranking aristocrats and played an important role in the colonisation of America. Since 1388, the heir to the Castilian throne has been styled Prince of Asturias. In the 16th century, the population reached 100,000 for the first time, within another century that number would double due to the arrival of American corn. In the 18th century, Asturias was one of the centres of the Spanish Enlightenment; the renowned Galician thinker Benito de Feijóo settled in the Benedictine Monastery of San Vicente de Oviedo.
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a polymath and prominent reformer and politician of the late 18th century, was born in the seaside town of Gijón. During the Napoleonic Wars, Asturias was the first Spanish province to rise up against the French following the abdication of King Ferdinand VII on 10 May 1808. Riots began in Oviedo and on 25 May the local government formally declared war on Napoleon with 18,000 men called to arms to resist invasion; the Industrial Revolution came to Asturias after 1830 with the discovery and systematic exploitation of coal mines and iron factories at the mining basins of Nalón and Caudal. At the same time, there was significant migration to the Americas; these entrepreneurs were known collectively as'Indianos', for having visited and made their fortunes in the West Indies and beyond. The heritage of these wealthy families can still be seen in Asturias today: many large'modernista' villas are dotted across the region, as well as cultural institutions such as free schools and public libraries.
Asturias played an important part in the events. In October 1934 Asturian miners and other workers staged an armed uprising to oppose the coming to power of the right-wing CEDA party, which had obtained three ministerial posts in the centralist government of the Second Spanish Republic. For a month, a Popular Front Committee exercised control in southern Asturias, while local workers committees sprang up elsewhere in the region. A war committee dominated by anarcho-syndicalist supporters took power in Oviedo. Troops under the command of a unknown general named Francisco Franco Bahamonde were brought from Spanish Morocco to suppress the revolt. Franco applied tactics reserved for overseas colonies, using troops of the Spanish Legion and Moroccan troops: ferocious oppression followed; as a result, Asturias remained loyal to the republican governme
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
Battle of El Mazuco
The Battle of El Mazuco was fought between 6 and 22 September 1937, between the Republican and Nationalist armies during the Spanish Civil War as a part of the War in the North campaign. The Republican defence of El Mazuco and the surrounding mountains halted the Nationalist advance into eastern Asturias, despite their forces being outnumbered sevenfold. After weeks of intense fighting over extreme terrain the defenders were overwhelmed, the Nationalists were able to link up with their forces advancing from León, leading to the fall of Gijón and the abandonment of Asturias, the last Republican province in North-West Spain; the definitive source for details of the battle is Juan Antonio. "El Mazuco". La guerra civil en Asturias, Tomo 2. Gijón: Ediciones Júcar. Pp. 369–383. This battle was certainly the first use of carpet bombing against a military target. Following the fall of Bilbao and the defeat of the Republican forces defending Santander, the Republican stronghold of Asturias was isolated from the Republican armies in the south and east of Spain.
The leader of the Nationalist forces surrounding Asturias, General Dávila, attacked from the south and from the east, expecting little resistance from the demoralized Republicans. The first republican line, along the Deva River, was soon overrun, the town of Llanes fell on 5 September 1937. However, the routes the Nationalists had to take were commanded by the limestone walls of the Sierra de Cuera on the north of the front and the Deva Gorge to the south; the Nationalists had to clear the defenders from these mountains in order to advance, to do that they planned a pincer movement moving southwest from Llanes and west, along Cares river, from Panes towards Cabrales. On both fronts, the rugged terrain and stiff Republican resistance halted the advance, it was clear that the mountains of the Sierra de Cuera were vital to the defence of Asturias, the key to the Sierra de Cuera was the pass of El Mazuco. The Nationalist forces comprised four Navarrese Brigades, under the command of General José Solchaga Zala in Llanes, with 15 artillery batteries and strong air support.
The pass of El Mazuco is only five km from the sea, so the cruiser Almirante Cervera was able to use its 6 in. Guns in the action; the Asturian and some Basque and Santander forces comprised three weakened brigades, under the command of Colonels Juan Ibarrola Orueta and Francisco Galán Rodríguez in Meré, with little artillery and no air support. The attack on El Mazuco began with an assault by the Nationalist Navarrese I brigade on 6 September; this was repulsed, at the same time the southern advance of the pincer movement was stopped. In response to these setbacks, the German Condor Legion was called in and for the first time carpet-bombed a military target, the Republican forces defending the approach to El Mazuco. On 7 September further attacks were halted and the fronts stabilized. Carpet-bombing with explosive and incendiary bombs continued all day; the next day in dense fog, fierce hand-to-hand fighting inflicted severe losses on both sides. The Nationalists gained some 2 km on the southern front, which the Republicans were unable to recapture.
The Nationalists used the following day to shell the positions defending El Mazuco, two Republican battalions were forced to retreat, although the Nationalists were unable to take advantage of the withdrawal. For the rest of that day and the next, waves of bombings and artillery bombardment were each followed by a Nationalist infantry attack, each in turn cut down and turned back by the Republican machine-guns; the fog having returned on 10 September, an all-out attack by the I Brigade took the hill of Biforco, but this was still dominated by the heights of Llabres, from where the Republicans hammered the area with machine guns and rolled down carbide drums filled with explosive. For the first time since the start of the battle, hot food reached the Republican front lines. During the next two days, on the southern front, the Nationalists could not make progress along the valley, so had no option but to advance up the ridge of the Sierra towards Pico Turbina; this peak, at 1,315m, is a formidable obstacle with slopes of 40° and an moon-like karst terrain.
There were no tracks for mules, so supplies and ordnance were carried by hand. The weather was bad, too, so aircraft could not operate – but the fog hid the attacking forces. By 13 September the Republican front to the north-west of El Mazuco began to weaken under the relentless artillery bombardment, the Republicans were forced to yield Sierra Llabres, whose height commands both the village of El Mazuco and the western approaches on 14 September; the village of El Mazuco itself was indefensible. To the south, Pico Turbina was taken, but the attack was driven back with hand-grenades, in confused fighting in dense fog. El Mazuco and its surrounds were occupied on 15 September, the Republicans in that sector fell back to Meré. To the south, the Republicans still held the heights of Peñas Blancas. Pico Turbina was taken, Peña Blanca was encircled as Arangas and Arenas fell to the Nationalists the next day; the three summits of Peñas Blancas now formed the only salient from the Republican line along the Bedón river.
Initial Nationalist assaults failed, so sixteen battalions were brought up to reduce the positions. Air support was m
Bulnes is one of nine parishes in Cabrales, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in northern Spain. It is 56.35 km2 in size with a population of 34. Bulnes Camarmeña No roads reach Bulnes, however it is served by a funicular; the Bulnes funicular is a two-rail installation. The passenger cars animals. Bulnes Funicular on YouTube
Comarcas of Spain
In Spain traditionally and some autonomous communities are divided into comarcas. Some comarcas have a defined status, are regulated by law and their comarcal councils have some power. In some other cases their legal status is not formal for they correspond to natural areas, like valleys, river basins and mountainous areas, or to historical regions overlapping different provinces and ancient kingdoms. In such comarcas or natural regions municipalities have resorted to organizing themselves in mancomunidad, like the Taula del Sénia, the only legal formula that has allowed those comarcas to manage their public municipal resources meaningfully. There is a comarca, the Cerdanya, divided between two states, the southwestern half being counted as a comarca of Spain, while the northeastern half is part of France. In English, a comarca is equivalent to a district, area or zone. Alto Almanzora Poniente Almeriense Níjar Los Vélez Levante Almería Bahía de Cádiz Bajo Guadalquivir called Costa Noroeste Campo de Gibraltar La Janda Campiña de Jerez called Marco de Jerez Sierra de Cádiz Alto Guadalquivir Campiña de Baena Campiña Este - Guadajoz Campiña Sur Los Pedroches Subbetica Valle del Guadiato Valle Medio del Guadalquivir Granadin Alpujarra Comarca de Alhama Comarca de Baza Comarca de Guadix Comarca de Huéscar Comarca de Loja Granadin Coast Los Montes Lecrin Valley Vega de Granada Andévalo Condado de Huelva Cuenca Minera de Huelva Costa Occidental de Huelva Huelva Sierra de Huelva Alto Guadalquivir - Cazorla La Campiña El Condado Área Metropolitana de Jaén La Loma Las Villas Norte Sierra Mágina Sierra de Segura Sierra Sur de Jaén Antequera Axarquía Costa del Sol Occidental Málaga Serranía de Ronda Valle del Guadalhorce Aljarafe Bajo Guadalquivir Campiña Estepa Marisma Sierra Norte Sierra Sur La Vega Alto Gállego Bajo Cinca called Baix Cinca Cinca Medio Hoya de Huesca called Plana de Uesca Jacetania La Litera called La Llitera Monegros Ribagorza Sobrarbe Somontano de Barbastro Bajo Martín Jiloca Cuencas Mineras Andorra-Sierra de Arcos Bajo Aragón Comunidad de Teruel Maestrazgo Sierra de Albarracín Comarca, named after the Sierra de Albarracín mountain range Gúdar-Javalambre Matarraña called Matarranya Aranda Bajo Aragón-Caspe called Baix Aragó-Casp Campo de Belchite Campo de Borja Campo de Cariñena Campo de Daroca Cinco Villas Comunidad de Calatayud Ribera Alta del Ebro Ribera Baja del Ebro Tarazona y el Moncayo Valdejalón Zaragoza Avilés Caudal Eo-Navia Gijón / Xixón Nalón Narcea Oriente Oviedo / Uviéu Serra de Tramuntana Es Raiguer Es Pla Migjorn Llevant Menorca Eivissa Formentera Añana Aiara / Ayala Agurain / Salvatierra Vitoria-Gasteiz Zuia Arabako Mendialdea / Montaña Alavesa Arabako Errioxa / Rioja Alavesa Arratia-Nerbioi Busturialdea Durangaldea Enkarterri Greater Bilbao Lea-Artibai Uribe Bidasoa-Txingudi Debabarrena Debagoiena Goierri Donostialdea Tolosaldea Urola Kosta Fuerteventura Lanzarote Las Palmas El Hierro La Gomera La Palma Tenerife Valle de Güímar Valle de la Orotava Icod Daute Isla Baja Isora-Teno Tenerife Sur Tenerife Sur Acentejo Metropolitana-Anaga Comarca de Santander Besaya Saja-Nansa Costa occidental Costa oriental Trasmiera Pas-Miera Asón-Agüera Liébana Campoo-Los Valles Alt Penedès Anoia Bages Baix Llobregat Barcelonès Berguedà Garraf Maresme Moianès Osona Vallès Occidental Vallès Oriental Alt Empordà Baix Empordà Baixa Cerdanya Garrotxa Gironès Osona Pla de l'Estany Ripollès Selva Alt Urgell Alta Ribagorça Baixa Cerdanya Garrigues Noguera Pallars Jussà Pallars Sobirà Pla d'Urgell Segarra Segrià Solsonès Urgell Val d'Aran Alt Camp Baix Camp Baix Ebre Baix Penedès Conca de Barberà Montsià Priorat Ribera d'Ebre Tarragonès Terra Alta Llanos de Albacete Campos de Hellín La Mancha del Júcar-Centro La Manchuela Monte Ibérico–Corredor de Almansa Sierra de Alcaraz y Campo de Montiel Sierra del Segura Campo de Montiel.
Alcarria conquense. La Mancha de Cuenca. Manchuela conquense. Serranía Alta. Serranía Baja. Serranía Media-Campichuelo. Campiña de Guadalajara Campiña del Henares La Alcarria La Serranía Señorío de Molina-Alto Tajo Campo de San Juan La Jara La Campana de Oropesa Mancha Alta de Toledo Mesa de Ocaña Montes de Toledo La Sagra Sierra de San Vicente Tierras de Talavera Torrijos La Moraña Comarca de Ávila Comarca de El Barco de Ávila - Piedrahíta Comarca de Burgohondo - El Tiemblo - Cebreros Comarca de Arenas de San Pedro Merindades Páramos La Bureba Ebro Odra-Pisuerga Alfoz de Burgos Montes de Oca Arlanza Sierra de la Demanda Ribera del Duero La Montaña de Luna La Montaña de Riaño La Cabrera Astorga El Bierzo Tierras de León La Bañeza El Páramo Esla-Campos Sahagún Cerrato Palentino Montaña Palentina Páramos Valles Tierra de Campos Comarca de Vitigudino Comarca de Ciudad Rodrigo La Armuña Las Villas Tierra de Peñaranda Tierra de Cantalapiedra Tierra de Ledesma Comarca de Guijuelo Tierra de Alba Sierra de Béjar Sierra de Francia Campo de Salamanca An official classification establishes three comarcas: Segovia.
Cuéllar. Sepúlveda.or sometimes four: Tierra de Pinares. Segovia. Sepúlveda. Tierra de Ayllón. However, historic approaches establish six comarcas: Tierra de Pinares. Tierra de Ayllón. Tierras de Cantalejo y