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In addition to its autonomous communities, Spain is divided into fifty provinces. These closely follow the pattern of the 1833 territorial division of Spain; the only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the division of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one.

Formerly of greater importance, since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities during the Spanish transition to democracy, the provinces have had fewer powers. They are still used as electoral districts, in postal addresses, phone codes, and as geographical referents. (A small town would be identified as being in Valladolid province rather than as being in Castile and Leon, for example.) No province is divided between two or more autonomous communities. Provinces were the units for the self-determination underlying the creation of the autonomous communities.

Most of the provinces are named after their principal towns with the exception of Araba/Álava, Asturias, Bizkaia/Vizcaya, Cantabria, Gipuzkoa/Gipúzcoa, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares, La Rioja and Nafarroa/Navarra. There are only two cities that are capitals of autonomous communities without being capitals of provinces: Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

Seven autonomous communities are composed of only one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarre. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities.

Spanish provincial map

The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, along with the autonomous community it is a part of, and a link to a list of
municipalities in the province. Where local place names differ from the Spanish, both are given (even if one of the names is not official), with the Spanish form first.

Province name Capital Autonomous community Lists of municipalities
Álava (in Spanish); Araba (in Basque) Vitoria (in Spanish); Gasteiz (in Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Albacete Albacete Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Alicante (in Spanish); Alacant (in Catalan) Alicante (in Spanish); Alacant (in Catalan) Valencian Community Municipalities
Almería Almería Andalusia Municipalities
Asturias Oviedo Asturias Municipalities
Ávila Ávila Castile and León Municipalities
Badajoz Badajoz Extremadura Municipalities
Baleares (in Spanish); Illes Balears (in Catalan)
Balearic Islands is the English name for this province
Palma Balearic Islands Municipalities
Barcelona Barcelona Catalonia Municipalities
Vizcaya (in Spanish); Bizkaia (in Basque);
Biscay is the English name for this province
Bilbao (in Spanish); Bilbo (in Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Burgos Burgos Castile and León Municipalities
Cáceres Cáceres Extremadura Municipalities
Cádiz Cádiz Andalusia Municipalities
Cantabria Santander Cantabria Municipalities
Castellón (in Spanish); Castelló (in Catalan) Castellón de la Plana (in Spanish); Castelló de la Plana (in Catalan) Valencian Community Municipalities
Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Córdoba Córdoba Andalusia Municipalities
Cuenca Cuenca Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Gerona (in Spanish); Girona (in Catalan) Gerona (in Spanish); Girona (in Catalan) Catalonia Municipalities
Granada Granada Andalusia Municipalities
Guadalajara Guadalajara Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Guipúzcoa (in Spanish); Gipuzkoa (in Basque);
Guipuscoa is the English name for this province
San Sebastián (in Spanish); Donostia (in Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Huelva Huelva Andalusia Municipalities
Huesca Huesca Aragon Municipalities
Jaén Jaén Andalusia Municipalities
La Coruña (in Spanish); A Coruña (in Galician);
Corunna is also used in English
La Coruña (in Spanish); A Coruña (in Galician);
Corunna is also used in English
Galicia Municipalities
La Rioja Logroño La Rioja Municipalities
León León Castile and León Municipalities
Lérida (in Spanish); Lleida (in Catalan) Lérida (in Spanish); Lleida (in Catalan) Catalonia Municipalities
Lugo Lugo Galicia Municipalities
Madrid Madrid Madrid Municipalities
Málaga Málaga Andalusia Municipalities
Murcia Murcia Region of Murcia Municipalities
Navarra (in Spanish); Nafarroa (in Basque);
Navarre is the English name for this province
Pamplona (in Spanish); Iruña (in Basque) Navarre Municipalities
Orense (in Spanish); Ourense (in Galician) Orense (in Spanish); Ourense (in Galician) Galicia Municipalities
Palencia Palencia Castile and León Municipalities
Las Palmas Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Canary Islands Municipalities
Pontevedra Pontevedra Galicia Municipalities
Salamanca Salamanca Castile and León Municipalities
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Canary Islands Municipalities
Segovia Segovia Castile and León Municipalities
Sevilla (in Spanish);
Seville is the English name for this province
Sevilla (in Spanish);
Seville is the English name for this city
Andalusia Municipalities
Soria Soria Castile and León Municipalities
Tarragona Tarragona Catalonia Municipalities
Teruel Teruel Aragon Municipalities
Toledo Toledo Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Valencia (in Spanish); València (in Catalan) Valencia (in Spanish); València (in Catalan) Valencian Community Municipalities
Valladolid Valladolid Castile and León Municipalities
Zamora Zamora Castile and León Municipalities
Zaragoza (in Spanish);
Saragossa is also used in English
Zaragoza (in Spanish);
Saragossa is also used in English
Aragon Municipalities

See also



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