Aragon

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Coordinates: 41°39′N 0°39′W / 41.65°N 0.65°W / 41.65; -0.65
Aragon (Aragón)
Autonomous community (Comunidad autónoma)
Flag of Aragon.svg
Flag
Official Coat of Arms of Aragon.svg
Coat of Arms
Official name: Comunidad Autónoma de Aragón
Country  Spain
Region Iberian Peninsula
Capital and largest city Zaragoza
 - elevation m (23 ft)
 - coordinates 41°39′N 0°39′W / 41.65°N 0.65°W / 41.65; -0.65
Highest point Aneto
 - location Ribagorza, Pyrenees,  Spain
 - elevation 3,404 m (11,168 ft)
 - coordinates 42°37′56″N 0°39′28″W / 42.63222°N 0.65778°W / 42.63222; -0.65778
Lowest point Ebro
 - location Zaragoza, Ebro Valley,  Spain
 - elevation 65 m (213 ft)
 - coordinates 41°39′0″N 0°53′0″W / 41.65°N 0.883333°W / 41.65; -0.883333
Area 47,719 km² (18,424 sq mi)
Population 1,347,150 (2013) [1]
Density 28 /km² (73 /sq mi)
Statute of Autonomy 10 August 1982
last revision April 2007[2]
President Luisa Fernanda Rudi (Partido Popular)
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166-2 code ES-AR
Demonym Aragonese
Spanish: Aragonés (sa)
Anthem Himno de Aragón
Currency Euro (€)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drive right-side
Location of Aragon within Spain.
Location of Aragon within Spain.
Wikimedia Commons: Aragon
Website: www.aragon.es

Aragon (Aragonese: Aragón; Spanish: Aragón; Catalan: Aragó) is an autonomous community in the northeast of Spain; it covers the area of the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Aragon is named after the Aragón river, a tributary of the Ebro.

Aragon has three provinces (from north to south): Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza (sometimes called Saragossa in English).

Geography[change | edit source]

Aragon is one of the 17 Spanish autonomous communities. It has a surface area of 47,719 square kilometres (18,424 sq mi), 9.4 percent of the territory of Spain.[3] By area, it is the fourth largest Spanish autonomous community after Castile and León, Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha.

Aragon is bordered to the north by France (Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine regions). Within Spain, the community is bordered to the east by Catalonia (Lerida and Tarragona provinces), to the south by Valencian Community (Castellón and Valencia provinces) and Castile-La Mancha (Cuenca and Guadalajara provinces), and to the west by Castile and León (Soria province), La Rioja and Navarre.

Relief[change | edit source]

Most of Aragon has an altitude of 201–10,001 m (659–32,812 ft). The highest point is the Aneto peak with 3,404 m (11,168 ft) high;[3] it is the highest mountain of the Pyrenees.

The lowest point in Aragon is on the Ebro river, close to Zaragoza, with an altitude of 65 m (213 ft) high.[3]

The three main geographical regions of Aragon are:

  1. The Aragonese Pyrenees has the highest points of this range that separates Spain from France. The main mountains are Aneto (3,404 m), the highest in the range, Posets Peak (3,375 m), Monte Perdido (3,355 m), Perdiguero (3,222 m), Cotiella (2,912 m), among others. The main Pyrenean valleys, formed by the rivers that are born there, are Ansó (Veral river), Hecho (Aragon Subordán river), Canfranc (Aragón river), Tena (Gállego river) and Broto-Ainsa-Benasque (Ara, Cinca and Ésera rivers). The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park lies above these valleys.
  2. Further south, the Ebro valley, irrigated by the Ebro river, is a rich and fertile agricultural area covered with vast fields of wheat, barley and other fruit and vegetable crops. Many beautiful and little-known settlements, castles and Roman ruins are found here.
  3. South of Zaragoza and the Ebro valley, the elevation rises again into the Sistema Ibérico, a complex system of mountain ranges that separates the Ebro valley from the Meseta Central and plains of Castile-La Mancha. The highest mountain in this range is the Moncayo with 2,314 m (7,592 ft).

Rivers[change | edit source]

Most of the Aragonese rivers are tributaries of the Ebro, Spain's largest river in volume and which divides Aragon into two. Some important tributaries on the left side of the river (rivers that come from the Pyrenees) are the Aragón, born in Huesca but flows into the community of Navarre, the Gállego and Cinca, which joins the Segre just before ending up in the Ebro. Right tributaries are the rivers Jalón, Huerva and Guadalupe.

On the Ebro, near the border with Catalonia, lies the Mequinenza Reservoir, with a length of about 110 km, and that is popularly known as the Sea of Aragon.

Climate[change | edit source]

Formigal (Huesca) winter

Climatically, Aragon can be divided into three areas:[4]

  1. Continental Mediterranean. The Ebro valley. One of the severest climates in Spain and a daily and winter-summer temperature range. Low levels of rainfall which decrease as clouds move east towards Catalonia.
  2. Alpine-mountain climate. Short summers and very cold winters, though with big differences depending on altitude and orientation.
  3. Continental. The Calatayud-Daroca-Teruel region with mountains to the west and east that block the humid winds from the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea. Low rainfall: 600–900 mm (24–35 in). Hot summers and very cold winters.

In the middle of Aragon, which is only 200 m (656 ft) above sea level, the annual average temperature is around 14 °C (57 °F). To the north and south of the Ebro valley, where the elevation rises to 500 m (1,640 ft) above sea level, the temperature drops by two degrees. In the mountains, between 600 and 1,000 m (1,969 and 3,281 ft), the temperatures are between 11 and 12 °C (52 and 54 °F).

Administrative divisions[change | edit source]

Aragon consists of three provinces named after their capitals: Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza. Each province is divided in comarcas (a comarca is a local administrative division) and these are divided in municipalities.

Aljafería Palace, Zaragoza, built in the 11th century.
Province Capital Population[5] Area
  (km2)  
Municipalities
Huesca Huesca 226,329 15,626 202
Teruel Teruel 142,183 14,809 236
Zaragoza Zaragoza 978,638 17,274 292

Population[change | edit source]

Aragon has a population, in 2013, of 1,347,150,[1] for a population density of 28.2 inhabitants/km2, one of the lowest in Spain. The most densely populated areas are around the valley of the Ebro river, particularly around Zaragoza, and in the Pyrenean foothills (the hills at the base of the Pyrenees), while the areas with the fewest inhabitants tend to be those that are higher up in the Pyrenean mountains, and in most of the southern province of Teruel.

The province of Zaragoza is the one with more inhabitants, with 978,638 people living there, representing 72.6% of the population of Aragon.

The city with more people living in it is the capital, Zaragoza (620,419). The other provincial capitals Huesca and Teruel have, respectively, 47,923 and 31,506 inhabitants.[5]

Most important cities[change | edit source]

The 10 most important cities in the department are:

Huesca City Hall
City Population
(2011)[5]
Province
Zaragoza 620,419 Zaragoza
Huesca 47,923 Huesca
Teruel 31,506 Teruel
Calatayud 18,531 Zaragoza
Ejea de los Caballeros 16,183 Zaragoza
Barbastro 15,457 Huesca
Alcañiz 13,708 Teruel
Fraga 13,035 Huesca
Jaca 12,322 Huesca

Language[change | edit source]

Language distribution in Aragon. Spanish is spoken in all of Aragon.

Spanish is the native language in most of Aragón, and it is the only official language, understood and spoken by virtually everyone in the region. In addition to it, the Aragonese language continues to be spoken in several local varieties in the mountainous northern counties of the Pyrenees, particularly in western Ribagorza, Sobrarbe, Jacetania and Somontano. In the easternmost areas of Aragón, along the border with Catalonia, varieties of the Catalan language are spoken, including the comarcas of eastern Ribagorza, La Litera, Bajo Cinca, Bajo Aragón-Caspe, Bajo Aragón and Matarraña.

References[change | edit source]

Other websites[change | edit source]