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
Las Palmas Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a city and capital of Gran Canaria island, in the Canary Islands, on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital, the most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, the ninth-largest city in Spain with a population of 383,308 in 2010, it is the fifth-most populous urban area in Spain and ninth- or tenth-most populous metropolitan area in Spain. Las Palmas is located in the northeastern part of the island of Gran Canaria, about 150 km off the Moroccan coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Las Palmas experiences a hot desert climate, offset by the local cooler Canary Current, with warm temperatures throughout the year, it has an average annual temperature of 21.2 °C. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the U. S. Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world"; the city was founded in 1478, considered the de facto capital of the Canary Islands until the seventeenth century.
It is the home of the Canarian Ministry of Presidency, as well as half of the ministries and boards of the Canarian government, the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. The city was founded by Juan Rejón on 24 June 1478, with the name "Real de Las Palmas". Rejón was head of the invading Castilian army, which engaged in war with the locals. In 1492, Christopher Columbus anchored in the port of Las Palmas and spent some time on the island on his first trip to the Americas, he stopped there on the way back to Spain. The Colón House museum in the Vegueta area of the city is named after him. In 1595, Francis Drake tried to plunder the town, leading to the Battle of Las Palmas. A Dutch raid under vice-admiral Pieter van der Does in 1599 was only more successful. Las Palmas' seaport, Puerto de la Luz, benefited from the closure of the Suez Canal during the Suez Crisis. Many foreign workers migrated to the city at this time. Las Palmas is a sister city of San Antonio, Texas, in the United States, founded in 1718 by about 25 Canary Islanders.
Las Palmas is divided into five administrative districts, which in turn are subdivided into districts, not consistent with the traditional neighborhoods. Las Palmas has a desert climate with warm dry summers and warm enough winters to classify it as a Tropical climate, its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C –28 °C during the day and 18 °C at night. In January, the coldest month, the temperature ranges from 19 to 23 °C during the day, around 15 to 16 °C at night, with an average sea temperature at 20 °C. In the warmest months — August and September — the temperature ranges from 27 to 30 °C during the day, above 21 °C at night, with the average sea temperature at 23 °C. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. August 1990 was the warmest month on record, with the average maximum temperature of the month during the day being 30.6 °C. The highest temperature recorded was 44.2 °C, the coldest temperature recorded was 9.4 °C. The highest wind speed recorded was on 28 November 2005, measuring 113 km/h.
Las Palmas city has never recorded any snow or sleet. Annual average relative humidity is 66%, ranging from 64% in March to 69% in October; the amount of annual sunshine hours is above 2,800 per year, from around 190 in winter to around 300 in summer. It rains on average only 22 days a year, with total precipitation per year of only 151 mm; as of 2008, nearly half of Gran Canaria's inhabitants live in Las Palmas, as well as 18.35% of the Canary Islands' total population. According to a study by the National Statistics Institute of Spain Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has a life expectancy of 80.9 years. Throughout history, Las Palmas received waves of immigrants from mainland Spain and countries from every continent; the majority of the population is Spanish, although large North- and sub-Saharan African and Latin American communities exist, as well as important historical minorities such as Indians and Koreans and a growing Chinese population. Ethnically, most autochthonous Canarians are descendants of a mixture of aboriginal people of the Canary Islands, the Spanish conquistadores and European colonizers.
Las Palmas is home to University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with about 25,000 students. The city has a wide variety of state and public primary and secondary schools. International schools include: Deutsche Schule Las Palmas The British School of Gran Canaria The American School of Las Palmas Lycée Français René-Verneau, the French international school, is in the city limits of Telde Colegio Japonés de Las Palmas, a Japanese international school, was located within Tafira Alta in the city; the Escuela Complementaria Japonesa de Las Palmas provided a weekend supplementary Japanese programme. Las Palmas offers a variety of theater, opera, visual arts and dance performances; the city hosts the Canary Islands Music Festival, the Theatre and Dance and the International Film Festi
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
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
Gipuzkoa is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is Donostia-San Sebastián. Gipuzkoa shares borders with the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques at the northeast, with the province and autonomous community of Navarre at east, Biscay at west, Álava at southwest and the Bay of Biscay to its north, it is located in the Bay of Biscay. It has 66 kilometres of coast land. With a total area of 1,980 square kilometres, Gipuzkoa is the smallest province of Spain; the province has 89 municipalities and a population of 720,592 inhabitants, from which more than half live in the Donostia-San Sebastián metropolitan area. Apart from the capital, other important cities are Irun, Zarautz, Mondragón, Hondarribia, Oñati, Tolosa and Pasaia; the oceanic climate gives the province an intense green colour with little thermic oscillation. Gipuzkoa is the province of the Basque Country where the Basque language is most extensively used: 49.1% of the population spoke Basque in 2006.
The first recorded name of the province was Ipuscoa in a document from the year 1025. During the following years, in various documents, several similar names appear, such as Ipuzcoa, Ipuçcha, among others; the full etymology the word Gipuzkoa has not been ascertained, but links have been made with the Basque word Giputz, containing the root ip-, related to the word ipar and ipuin. According to this, ipuzko might refer to something "to the north" or "in the north". Gipuzkoa is the Basque spelling recommended by the Royal Academy of the Basque language, it is used in official documents in that language; the Basque spelling is mandatory in official texts from the various Spanish public administrations in documents written in Spanish. It is the spelling most used by the Spanish-language media in the Basque Country, it is the spelling used in the Basque version of the Spanish constitution and in the Basque version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. Gipuzkoa is the only official spelling approved for the historical territory by the Juntas Generales of the province.
Guipúzcoa is the spelling in Spanish, it has been determined by the Association of Spanish Language Academies as being the only correct use outside official Spanish documents, where the use of the Basque spelling is mandatory. It is the Spanish spelling used in the Spanish version of the Constitution and in the Spanish version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. At 1,980 km2 Gipuzkoa is the smallest province in Spain; the province has 88 municipalities and 709,607 inhabitants, a quarter of whom live in the capital, San Sebastián. Other important towns are Irun, Zarautz, Arrasate, Oñati with an old university, Tolosa, the provincial capital for a short time, Pasaia, the main port and Hondarribia, an old fort town across from the French Atlantic coast. Gipuzkoa is hilly and green linking mountain and sea, populated with numerous urban nuclei that dot the whole territory; the conspicuous presence of hills and rugged terrain has added to a special leaning towards hiking and mountains on the part of Gipuzkoans.
Some mountains have an emblematic or iconic significance in the local tradition, their summits being topped with crosses and mountaineer postboxes. In addition, pilgrimages which have lost their former religious zeal and taken on a more secular slant are sometimes held to their summits; some renowned mountains are Aiako Harria, Txindoki and Izarraitz, amongst others. The Aralar Natural Park is a conservation area on the border of Gipuzkoa and Navarre in the Aralar Range; the rivers of Gipuzkoa are distinctly different from other Bay of Biscay rivers. They arise in the hilly Basque inland landscape, flow in a south- north direction, forming close, narrow valleys before joining the ocean; the rivers extend for a short length with only a small fluctuation in the volume of water thanks to the stable rainfall all year round, they show an abrupt drop between origin and mouth as far as the length of the river is concerned. From west to east the rivers are the Deba, Oria, Urumea and Bidasoa. Except for a narrow strip extending east from the hamlet Otzaurte and the tunnel of San Adrian, the province drains its waters to the Atlantic basin.
The region's communication layout is in step with its geographical features, with the main lines of infrastructure along a north -south axis up to recent times along the rivers heading to the ocean. Accordingly, the inland Way of St. James, i.e. the Tunnel Route penetrated the province via Irun and turned south-west along the Oria River towards the provincial limits at the tunnel of San Adrian. This stretch was in operation up to 1765. A minor St. James route crossed Gipuzkoa east to west along the coast; the main road cutting through Gipuzkoa follows that layout, i.e. the N-1 E-5 from Irun to Donostia and on to Altsasu all along the Oria River for the most part. The major Irun-Madrid railway runs close to the river up to its origin on the slopes of Aizkorri at train stop Otzaurte in Zegama. By 1973 engineering works for the Bilbao-Behobia A-8 E-70 motorway had been completed, with the new road cutting across the valleys east to west and turning into the main axis between Donostia and Bilbao, beside
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of, 512 metres high. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and many international sport tournaments. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, trade fair and cultural centres, its influence in commerce, entertainment, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities, it is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion. In 2009 the city was ranked one of the world's most successful as a city brand.
In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe; the name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as, in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn. Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC, but there is no evidence that Barcelona was a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar.
During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona and Barchenona. Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to'Barça'. However, this name refers only to the football club; the common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna. Another common abbreviation is'BCN', the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport; the city is referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, Ciudad Condal in Spanish, owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear; the ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends; the first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC, but there is no historical or linguistic evidence that this is true.
In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall. Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco, but it may be gathered from writers that it grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour, it enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins. Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum; some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343; the city
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country the Basque Autonomous Community is an autonomous community in northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava and Gipuzkoa; the Basque Country or Basque Autonomous Community was granted the status of nationality within Spain, attributed by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The autonomous community is based on the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country, a foundational legal document providing the framework for the development of the Basque people on Spanish soil. Navarre, which had narrowly rejected a joint statue of autonomy with Gipuzkoa, Álava and Biscay in 1932, was granted a separate statute in 1982. There is no official capital in the autonomous community, but the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the province of Álava, is the de facto capital as the location of the Basque Parliament, the headquarters of the Basque Government, the residence of the President of the Basque Autonomous Community; the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country has its headquarters in the city of Bilbao.
Whilst Vitoria-Gasteiz is the largest municipality in area, with 277 km2, Bilbao is the largest in population, with 353,187 people, located in the province of Biscay within a conurbation of 875,552 people. The term Basque Country may refer to the larger cultural region, the home of the Basque people, which includes the autonomous community; the following provinces make up the autonomous community: Álava, capital Vitoria-Gasteiz Biscay, capital Bilbao-Bilbo Gipuzkoa, capital Donostia-San Sebastián The Basque Country borders Cantabria and the Burgos province to the west, the Bay of Biscay to the north and Navarre to the east and La Rioja to the south. The territory has three distinct areas, which are defined by the two parallel ranges of the Basque Mountains; the main range of mountains forms the watershed between the Mediterranean basins. The highest point of the range is in the Aizkorri massif; the three areas are: Formed by many valleys with short rivers that flow from the mountains to the Bay of Biscay, like the Nervión, Urola or Oria.
The coast is rough, with small inlets. The main features of the coast are the Bilbao Abra Bay and the Estuary of Bilbao, the Urdaibai estuary and the Bidasoa-Txingudi Bay that forms the border with France. Between the two mountain ranges, the area is occupied by a high plateau called Llanada Alavesa, where the capital Vitoria-Gasteiz is located; the rivers flow south from the mountains to the Ebro River. The main rivers are the Zadorra Bayas River. From the southern mountains to the Ebro is the so-called Rioja Alavesa, which shares the Mediterranean characteristics of other Ebro Valley zones; some of Spain's production of Rioja wine takes place here. The Basque Mountains form the watershed and mark the distinct climatic areas of the Basque Country: The northern valleys, in Biscay and Gipuzkoa and the valley of Ayala in Álava, are part of Green Spain, where the oceanic climate is predominant, with its wet weather all year round and moderate temperatures. Precipitation average is about 1200 mm; the middle section is influenced more by the continental climate, but with a varying degree of the northern oceanic climate.
This gives cold, snowy winters. The Ebro valley has a pure continental climate: winters are cold and dry and summers warm and dry, with precipitation peaking in spring and autumn. Precipitation is irregular, as low as 300 mm. Half of the 2,155,546 inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community live in Greater Bilbao, Bilbao's metropolitan area. Of the ten most populous cities, six form part of Bilbao's conurbation, known as Greater Bilbao. With 28.2% of the Basque population born outside this region, immigration is crucial to Basque demographics. Over the 20th century most of this immigration came from other parts of Spain from Galicia or Castile and León. Over recent years, sizeable numbers of this population have returned to their birthplaces and most immigration to the Basque country now comes from abroad, chiefly from South America. Roman Catholicism is, by far, the largest religion in the Basque Country. In 2012, the proportion of Basques that identified themselves as Roman Catholic was 58.6%, while it is one of the most secularised communities of Spain: 24.6% were non-religious and 12.3% of Basques were atheist.
Bilbao-Bilbo Vitoria-Gasteiz San Sebastián-Donostia Barakaldo Getxo Irun Portugalete Santurtzi Basauri Errenteria Spanish and Basque are co-official in all territories of the autonomous community. The Basque-speaking areas in the modern-day autonomous community are set against the wider context of the Basque language, spoken to the east in Navarre and the French Basque Country; the whole Basque speaking territory has experienced both expansion in its history. The Basque language experienced a gradual territorial contraction throughout the last nine centuries, severe deterioration of its sociolinguistic status for much of the 20th century due to heavy immigration from other parts of Spain, the virtual nonexistence of Basque language schooling, national policies implemented by the different Spanish régimes. After the advent of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Countr