Extremadura: Wikis

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Extremadura
Extremadura
—  Autonomous Community  —
Flag of Extremadura
Flag
Coat-of-arms of Extremadura
Coat of arms
Map of Extremadura
Coordinates: 39°00′N 6°00′W / 39°N 6°W / 39; -6Coordinates: 39°00′N 6°00′W / 39°N 6°W / 39; -6
Country Spain Spain
Capital Mérida
Government
 - President Guillermo Fernández Vara (PSOE)
Area (8.2% of Spain; Ranked 5th)
 - Total 41,634 km2 (16,075 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 1,097,744
 - Density 26.4/km2 (68.3/sq mi)
 - Pop. rank 12th
 - Percent 2.5% of Spain
ISO 3166-2 EX
Parliament Cortes Generales
Congress seats 10
Senate seats 8 (elected) + 2 (appointed)
Website Junta de Extremadura

Extremadura (Extremaduran: Estremaúra) is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. It includes the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz. Extremadura borders Portugal to the west, and it is an important area for wildlife, particularly with the major reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007, or the project of the International Tagus River Natural Park (Parque Natural Rio Tajo internacional). To the north it borders Castile and León (provinces of Salamanca and Ávila); to the south, it borders Andalusia (provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba); and to the east, it borders Castile-La Mancha (provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real).

Contents

Geography

Extremadura is contained within 37° 57' N, 40° 85' N latitude and 4° 39' W, 7° 33' W longitude.

The area of Extremadura is 41,633 km², making it the 5th largest of the Spanish autonomous communities.

It is located in the Southern Plateau (a subdivision of the Central Plateau).

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Mountain systems

To the north of Extremadura rise the sierras of the Sistema Central, composed of the Sierra de Gredos, the Sierra de Béjar where it reaches its highest altitude in the Calvitero at 2401 m and Sierra de Gata which separates Extremadura from Castile.

In the center is the Sierra de las Villuercas which reaches an altitude of 1603 m on the Pico [Peak] Villuercas, Sierra de Montánchez and the Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the Montes de Toledo.

To the south rises the Sierra Morena which separates Extremadura from Andalusia with Sierra de Tentudía where the highest altitude of these mountains in Extremadura is Pico Tentudía with 1104 m.

Hydrographic network

The Old city of Cáceres.
The city of Guadalupe.

There are four different hydrographic basins:

  • The basin of the Tagus, with two principal tributaries: to the right: the Tiétar and the Alagón and to the left: the Almonte, Ibor, Salor and the Sever. The tributaries on the right edge carry a large quantity of water, which feed the gorges of the Sistema Central where the rainfall is abundant and the winter brings a great quantity of snow.
  • The basin of the Guadiana, which has principal tributaries: to the right: Guadarranque and Ruecas to the left: Zújar which is its plentiful tributary and the Matachel.
  • The basin of the Guadalquivir with only 1411 km² in Extremadura (2.45% of total).
  • The basin of the Duero with only 35 km² in Extremadura (0.04% of the basin).

Climate

The climate of Extremadura is Mediterranean, except to the north, where it is continentalized, and to the west, where the influence of the Atlantic makes the climate milder.

In general, it is characterized by its very hot and dry summers, with great droughts, and its long and mild winters due to the oceanic influence because of its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal.

Temperatures

The average yearly temperature fluctuates between 16 and 17°C year to year. In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures are lower than those in the south, with temperatures gradually rising as you go south to the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the altitude.

During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than 26°C, at times reaching 40°C.

The winters are mild with the lowest temperatures being registered in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C.

Population

Most populous cities[1]
Position Municipality Population
1 Badajoz 146,832
2 Cáceres 92,187
3 Mérida 55,568
4 Plasencia 40,105
5 Don Benito 39,051
6 Almendralejo 33,424
7 Villanueva de la Serena 26,978
8 Navalmoral de la Mata 17,103
9 Zafra 16,417
10 Montijo 15,648

As of 2006-01-01, the population of Extremadura is 1,086,373 inhabitants, representing 2.74% of the Spanish population (44,708,964).

The population density is very low (25.81 people/km²) if compared to Spain (84.42 people/km²).

The most populous province is that of Badajoz, with a population of 673,474 and a population density of 30.94 people/km². With an area of 21,766 km², it is the largest province in Spain. 412,899 people live in the province of Cáceres, which has an area of 19,868 km², and thus the largest province in Spain after Badajoz's.

The most important urban centers are Badajoz (143,748 inhabitants), Cáceres (90,218), Mérida (53,915) and Plasencia (39,874).

Immigration to Extremadura

In the Extremaduran territory there live 29,068 foreigners, according to the INE census of January 1, 2007, of which 16,647 live in the Province of Badajoz and 12,421 residing in Province of Cáceres. The largest immigrant community is Moroccan with 9,218 people, followed by the Romanian with 4,324 and then the Portuguese with 3,492 people. Brazilians account for 1,676 and Colombians make up 1,409. Of immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, the largest community is Senegalese with 88 people. Of those from Asia, the Chinese make up the largest group with 631 people, followed by Kazakhstanis with 1.

Historical development

The Extremaduran population, according to the 1591 census of the provinces of the Kingdom of Castile, was around 540,000 people, making up 8% of the total population of Spain. No other census was made until 1717. That year 326,358 people were counted.

From this period, the population grew steadily until the 1960s (1,379,072 people in 1960[2]). After 1960, emigration to more prosperous regions of Spain and Europe drained the population.

Municipalities

Extremadura consists of 383 municipalities, 164 are from the Province of Badajoz and the other 219 are from the Province of Cáceres.

Languages

The only language that is officially recognized is Spanish, but other languages are also spoken:

Agriculture

Wild Black Iberian pigs roam in the area and consume acorns from oak groves. These pigs are caught and used for the cured ham dish jamón ibérico.

History

Archaeological Roman Ensemble in Mérida, capital of the ancient Lusitania.

Lusitania, an ancient Roman province approximately including current day Portugal (except for the northern area today known as Norte Region), and a central western portion of the current day Spain, covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura. Mérida (capital of Extremadura), became the capital of the Roman Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.

Extremadura was the source of many of the most famous Spanish conquerors ("conquistadores") and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia,Inés Suárez, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro Gomez Duran y Chaves and Vasco Nunez de Balboa were all born in Extremadura and many towns and cities in America carry a name from their homeland: Mérida is the name of the administrative capital of Extremadura, and also of important cities in Mexico and Venezuela; Medellín is now a little town in Extremadura, but also the name of the second largest city in Colombia; Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and its name is due to a transcription mistake of Alburquerque, another town in Extremadura. The two (to date) Spanish astronauts, Miguel López-Alegría and Pedro Duque, also have family connections in Extremadura. King Ferdinand II of Aragon died in the village of Madrigalejo, Cáceres in 1516. Pedro de Valdivia founded numerous cities in Chile with names from small villages in Extremadura, such as Valdivia and La Serena. The capital Santiago de Chile was founded as "Santiago de Nueva Extremadura" (Santiago of New Extremadura).

Notable people

Extremadura has important artists as: Soraya ArnelasEurovision Song Contest 2009 was in the 24th (penultime) of 25 partipants countries. Spanish Representative, Luis Pastor (singer), Roberto Iniesta (singer), Pablo Guerrero (singer), Bebe (singer), Alberto Porro Carmona "Al Carmona" (music conductor), Esteban Sánchez (pianist), Isabel Gemio (TV), Maruchi Leon (TV), Agustín Bravo (TV), Gecko Turner (singer), Eduardo Naranjo (painter), Dolores Morcillo (painter), Enrique Jiménez Carrero (painter), Juan Barjola (painter), Extremoduro (rock band) and poet Jesús Delgado Valhondo

See also

References

  1. ^ Source: INE, Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain). (01-01-2006). Real Decreto 1627/2006, de 29 de diciembre
  2. ^ INE. Censo 1960. Tomo III. Volúmenes provinciales.
  3. ^ Unesco.es

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Extremadura is a region of Spain.

La Ruta de Isabel La Católica

If you plan on visiting the town of Guadalupe, in the Sierra de Guadalupe, you might consider hiking La Ruta de Isabel La Católica. This 17km trail starts in the nearby village of Cañamero, which can be reached by bus. The well marked trail winds it's way past beautiful lakes and stunning hills before descending into Guadalupe. The hike takes about half a day.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Proper noun

Extremadura

  1. An autonomous province of western Spain, capital Mérida

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