Province of Zaragoza
Zaragoza called Saragossa in English, is a province of northern Spain, in the central part of the autonomous community of Aragon. Its capital is Zaragoza, the capital of the autonomous community. Other towns in Zaragoza include Calatayud, Borja, La Almunia de Doña Godina, Ejea de los Caballeros and Tarazona, its area is 17,274 km² and it is the fourth-largest Spanish province by land area. Its population is 954.811, of whom nearly three-quarters live in the capital, its population density is 50.95/km². It contains 292 municipalities; the main language throughout the province is Spanish, although Catalan is spoken in the Bajo Aragón-Caspe comarca and in Mequinenza municipality. The province of Zaragoza is bordered by the provinces of Lleida, Teruel, Soria, La Rioja and Huesca; the southern and western side of the province is in the mountainous Sistema Ibérico area and includes its highest point, the Moncayo, while the northern end reaches the Pre-Pyrenees. The Ebro River crosses the province from west to east.
Comarcas in the Zaragoza province: The following comarcas having their capital in Huesca Province include municipal terms within Zaragoza Province: Bajo Cinca: Mequinenza. Hoya de Huesca: Murillo de Gállego and Santa Eulalia de Gállego. Jacetania: Artieda, Salvatierra de Esca and Sigüés. Monegros: La Almolda, Farlete, Leciñena and Perdiguera. List of municipalities in Zaragoza Official website
Province of Huesca
Huesca Huesca/Uesca, is a province of northeastern Spain, in northern Aragon. The capital is Huesca. Positioned just south of the central Pyrenees, Huesca borders France and the French Departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées. Within Spain, Huesca's neighboring provinces are Navarre and Lleida. Covering a mountainous area of 15626 km², the province of Huesca has a total population of 219345 in 2018, with a quarter of its people living in the capital city of Huesca; the low population density, 14.62/km², has meant that Huesca's lush valleys and lofty mountain ranges have remained pristine and unspoiled by progress. Home to majestic scenery, the tallest mountain in the Pyrenees, the Aneto. Popular with mountaineers, spelunkers and white water rafters it is a popular snow skiing destination with notable resorts in Candanchú, Astún, Panticosa and Cerler; the Romans colonised the province of Huesca, which formed the northern part of Hispania Tarraconensis, continued to live there well into the 5th century until the arrival of the Visigoths.
As a mountainous frontier region, it was difficult to dominate. The northern counties had at one time belonged to the Kingdom of Navarre but split off and managed to stem early Moorish invasions in the Middle Ages by forming alliances between themselves and with the Franks, to become Frankish feudal marches; the imperative of sovereignty, or independence, for the northern border counts, gave rise to the Kingdom of Aragon, the precursor to the Empire or Crown of Aragon, the Kingdom of Spain. The modern day province comprises 202 municipalities; the following comarcas having their capital in Huesca Province include municipal terms within Zaragoza Province: Bajo Cinca: Mequinenza. Hoya de Huesca: Murillo de Gállego and Santa Eulalia de Gállego. Jacetania: Artieda, Salvatierra de Esca and Sigüés. Monegros: La Almolda, Farlete, Leciñena and Perdiguera. Spanish is the primary language in the province. However, the local linguistic varieties in the center and north of the province belong to the Aragonese language, which now survives in the northernmost comarcas, such as the Aragon Valley in Jacetania, the Alto Gallego and Ribagorza, where hitherto landlocked and isolated villages have helped the language to thrive into the 21st century.
In the easternmost areas of the province, varieties of the Catalan language are spoken, with a few transitional dialects difficult to classify as Aragonese or Catalan. List of municipalities in Huesca Diputación Provincial de Huesca
Ansó is a town and municipality located in the province of Huesca, Spain. According to the 2004 census, the municipality had a population of 523 inhabitants; the municipality includes the towns of Fago. The municipality includes the whole valle de Ansó in the Pyrenees. Ansó is located on the left side of the Veral river, which descends from mountains that are more than 2,000 metres high
Canfranc is a municipality in the Aragón Valley of north-eastern Spain consisting of two villages, the original village and Canfranc Estación, which developed with the establishment of Canfranc International railway station to serve railway traffic across the Pyrenees. Comarca of Jacetania province of Huesca autonomous community of Aragón The name of the village is from Campus Franci the field of foreigners, it was a small market village, as well as providing pilgrims on the Arles route of the Way of St. James their first respite after the difficult crossing of the Pyrenees over the pass of Somport, it was founded between 1090 by Sancho Ramírez, King of Aragón. Canfranc was a command post, protecting the borders and controlling taxes, which were donated to the Cathedral of Jaca. On 29 October 1288, the Treaty of Canfranc mediated by Edward I of England was signed here, providing for the release of Charles II of Naples from his imprisonment by Peter III of Aragon; the village, which lies in the valley of the Aragón River, covers an area of 71.6 km² and is situated at an altitude of 1040 m.
The remains to be seen include a Romanesque pilgrim's bridge and two churches of interest: Nuestra Señora de la Asunción with four baroque retablos, La Trinidad. The town was obliterated by fire in 1617 and again in 1944, after which the villagers for the most part moved to nearby Canfranc Station; the current population is 77. The village of Canfranc Estación was created due to the inauguration on 18 July 1928 of the Pau–Canfranc railway crossing the Pyrenees, is best known for its huge abandoned railway station, built for transfers between Spanish and French trains, which used different railway gauges; the line was closed after an accident on 27 March 1970 destroyed the bridge at L'Estanguet, the French side of the station was abandoned and fell into disrepair. There are rumours of "German gold" arriving here during World War II. British espionage smuggled information and people from Vichy France. Two trains a day now run between Canfranc and Zaragoza, since 2010 the Spanish and French regional and national governments have discussed reopening the line to international traffic.
The abandoned railway's Somport Tunnel is now used as an emergency lane for the motorway's Somport Tunnel and is used by the Canfranc Underground Laboratory. Canfranc-Pueblo celebrates the Assumption of Mary on 15 August, while Canfranc Station holds festivities on the anniversary of the inauguration of its train station, 18 July. Canfranc is twinned with: La Concordia, Nicaragua Aspen, United States CAI Aragón Turismo Canfranc website
La Jacetania is a comarca in northern Aragon, Spain. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Zaragoza provinces; the administrative capital is Jaca, with 13,374 inhabitants the largest town of the comarca. The area is famous for its ski resorts. Jacetania borders with Navarre in the west. Most of its territory is mountainous, with the ranges of the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees covering most of its area; the name of the comarca originates in the ancient Iberian tribe of the Iacetani. This comarca was the birthplace of the historic County of Aragon; the traditional names of the towns, when different from the official name, are in brackets. Aísa Candanchú Esposa Sinués Ansó Aragüés del Puerto Artieda Ascara Bailo Borau Canal de Berdún Canfranc Canfranc Estación Castiello de Jaca Aratorés Fago Jaca Jasa Mianos Puente la Reina de Jaca Salvatierra de Esca Santa Cilia Santa Cruz de la Serós Sigüés Valle de Hecho Villanúa County of Aragon Pyrenees Official Map Comarcas de Aragón, La jacetania
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between; the Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess; the Greek historian Herodotus says. According to Silius Italicus, she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labours.
Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains; as is the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges. … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa fictional. Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ. According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus "..in ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was consumed.
The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Lleida, Huesca and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections: the Atlantic, the Central, the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, the average elevation increases from west to east; the Central Pyrenees extend eastward from the Somport pass to the Aran Valley, they include the highest summits of this range: Pico d'Aneto 3,404 metres in the Maladeta ridge, Pico Posets 3,375 metres, Monte Perdido 3,355 metres.
In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises in the Ariège area, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. Most foothills of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side, where there is a large and complex system of ranges stretching from Spanish Navarre, across northern Aragon and into Catalonia reaching the Mediterranean coast with summits reaching 2,600 m. At the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the main range descend abruptly and there are no foothills except in the Corbières Massif in the northeastern corner of the mountain system; the Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous Period, the Bay of Biscay fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and applying intense compressional pressure to large layers of sedimentary rock.
The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth's crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone; the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. The upper parts of the Pyrenees contain low-relief surfaces forming a peneplain; this peneplain originated no earlier than in Late Miocene times. It formed at height as extensive sedimentation raised the local base
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".