Extremadura

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Extremadura
Anthem: Himno de Extremadura
"Anthem of Extremadura"
Extremadura in Spain (plus Canarias).svg
Location of Extremadura within Spain
Coordinates: 39°N6°W / 39°N 6°W / 39; -6 Coordinates: 39°N6°W / 39°N 6°W / 39; -6
Country Spain
Largest city Badajoz
Capital Mérida
Provinces Cáceres, and Badajoz
Government
  Type Devolved government in a constitutional monarchy
  Body Gobierno de Extremadura
   President Guillermo Fernández Vara (PSOE)
Area
  Total41,634 km2 (16,075 sq mi)
Area rank 5th
Population
 (2016)
  Total1,087,778
  Rank 12th
  Density26/km2 (68/sq mi)
Demonyms Extremaduran, Extremenian
extremeño (m), extremeña (f)
ISO 3166 code ES-EX
Statute of AutonomyFebruary 26, 1983
Official languages Spanish
Parliament Assembly of Extremadura
Congress 10 deputies (out of 350)
Senate 10 senators (out of 265)
HDI (2017)0.851 [1]
very high · 18th
Website www.gobex.es

Extremadura ( /ˌɛkstrɪməˈdjʊərə/ EK-strim-ə-DEWR, Spanish:  [e(ɣ)stɾemaˈðuɾa] ; Portuguese : Estremadura) is an autonomous community of Spain. Its capital city is Mérida. Located in the central-western part of the Iberian Peninsula, it is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. Extremadura is bordered by Portugal to the west and by the autonomous communities of Castile and León (north), Castilla–La Mancha (east) and Andalusia (south). Its official language is Spanish.

Contents

It is an important area for wildlife, particularly with the major reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007, and the International Tagus River Natural Park (Parque Natural Tajo Internacional). The regional executive body, led by the President of Extremadura, is called Junta de Extremadura.

The Day of Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Geography

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

The area of Extremadura is 41,633 km2 (16,075 sq mi), making it the fifth largest of the Spanish autonomous communities.

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

Topography

Towering over 2,400 m, the Calvitero is considered to be the Extremadura's highest point. El torreon 2011.JPG
Towering over 2,400 m, the Calvitero is considered to be the Extremadura's highest point.

In the north is the Sistema Central with the highest point in Extremadura, 2,401 m (7,877 ft) high Calvitero. The main subranges of the Sistema Central in Extremadura are the Sierra de Gata and Sierra de Béjar.

In the centre is the Sierra de las Villuercas, which reaches an altitude of 1,603 m (5,259 ft) on the Pico de las Villuercas. Other notable ranges are Sierra de Montánchez and the Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the greater Montes de Toledo system. [2]

To the south rises the Sierra Morena, which separates Extremadura from Andalusia, and the Sierra de Tentudía, with the highest peak in Extremadura as Pico Tentudía at 1,104 m (3,622 ft).

Hydrography

The Garganta de Cuartos in northeastern Extremadura Garganta de Cuartos.jpg
The Garganta de Cuartos in northeastern Extremadura

There are four different hydrographic basins:

Climate

The climate of Extremadura is hot-summer Mediterranean (Csa in the Köppen climate classification). It is characterized by its very hot and dry summers, with great droughts, and its mild winters due to the oceanic influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal.

Temperatures

The yearly temperature fluctuates between an average minimum of 4 °C (39 °F) and an average maximum of 33 °C (91 °F). In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures are lower than those in the south, with temperatures gradually rising south towards the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the altitude.

During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than 26 °C (79 °F), at times reaching 40 °C (104 °F).

The winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures being registered in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C (45 °F).

The average snowfall is 40 cm (16 in), mainly occurring in January and February on high ground.

History

Archaeological Roman Ensemble in Merida, capital of the ancient Lusitania Merida Roman Theatre1.jpg
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 (now capital of Extremadura) became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.

Just like the bulk of the Iberian Peninsula, the territory was conquered by the Umayyads in the early 8th century. As part of the Emirate and later Caliphate of Córdoba, it largely constituted a territorial subdivision (cora) of the former polities centered around Mérida. Following the collapse of the Caliphate in the early 11th century during the so-called Fitna of al-Andalus and its ensuing fragmentation into ephemeral statelets (taifas), the bulk of the territory of current day Extremadura became part of the (First) Taifa of Badajoz (Baṭalyaws), centered around the namesake city and founded by Sapur, a Ṣaqāliba previously freed by Al-Hakam II. [3]

The bull of Plasencia in the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Toro de Plasencia.jpg
The bull of Plasencia in the Cantigas de Santa Maria .

Conversely, the kingdoms of León, Castile and Portugal (most notably the first one) made advances in the 11th and 12th centuries across the territory (with for example the successive Leonese conquests of Coria in 1079 [4] and 1142, [5] the Portuguese attempts at expanding across the Guadiana basin in the second half of the 12th century, [6] or the Castilian founding of Plasencia in 1186) [7] not free from setbacks either caused by the Almoravid and Almohad impetus, which also entailed the demise of the first and second taifa of Badajoz in 1094 and 1150, [8] respectively. In the Almohad case, their 1174 offensive removed Leonese control from every fortress south of the Tagus (including Cáceres). [9] After the Almohad disaster at the 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, the remaining part of current-day Extremadura under Muslim control fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of LeónAlcántara (1214), [10] Cáceres (1227–1229), [11] Mérida (1230), [12] Badajoz (1230) [13] — and later to the military orders of Santiago and AlcántaraTrujillo (1232), [14] Medellín (1234) [15] —on behalf of Ferdinand III of Castile. The last fortresses in the Lower Extremadura were conquered by Christians by 1248. [16]

17th century panorama of the city of Badajoz. Badajoz 16xx.jpg
17th century panorama of the city of Badajoz.

Extremadura, which was an impoverished region of Spain whose difficult conditions pushed many of its ambitious young men to seek their fortunes overseas, was the source of many of the initial Spanish conquerors ( conquistadores ) and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Andres Tapia, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia, Inés Suárez, Alonso de Sotomayor, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro Gómez Duran y Chaves, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa and many towns and cities in North and South America carry names from their homeland. [17] Examples include 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).

Politics and government

Regional institutions of government

The Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura (enacted in 1983) is the fundamental organic law regulating the regional government, and it establishes the institutions through which the autonomous community exerts its powers: [18]

The hemicycle of the Assembly of Extremadura El Pleno de la Asamblea de Extremadura.jpg
The hemicycle of the Assembly of Extremadura

Provincial government

The government body for each of the provinces is the deputation (diputación): the Provincial Deputation of Badajoz and the Provincial Deputation of Cáceres. The members of the plenary of the deputation are indirectly elected from among the municipal councillors based on the results of the municipal elections. In turn, the plenary elects the president of the deputation from among its members.

Economy

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the autonomous community was 20.0 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 1.7% of Spanish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 20,100 euros or 67% of the EU27 average in the same year. Extremadura was the community with the second lowest GDP per capita in Spain before Melilla. [19]

The unemployment rate stood at 26.2% in 2017 and was one of the highest in the European Union. [20]

Year200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Unemployment rate
(in %)
13.313.015.420.623.025.133.133.929.829.127.526.2

Agriculture

Iberian pigs in Extremadura Cerdos ibericos.jpg
Iberian pigs in Extremadura

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 . The higher the percentage of acorns eaten by the pigs, the more valuable the ham. For example, jamón ibérico from pigs whose diet consists of 90% acorns or more can be sold for more than twice as much as ham whose pigs ate on average less than 70% acorns.[ citation needed ] In the US, jamón ibérico directly from Extremadura, with bone, was illegal until around 2005. At that time, enough US restaurants were in demand for the delicacy that Spain decided to export it as boneless, which the US Department of Agriculture's health codes would approve (and continue to do).[ citation needed ]

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1877739,403    
1887821,301+11.1%
1900882,410+7.4%
1910991,355+12.3%
19201,064,318+7.4%
19301,153,145+8.3%
19401,258,055+9.1%
19501,366,780+8.6%
19601,406,329+2.9%
19701,169,396−16.8%
19811,064,976−8.9%
19911,061,852−0.3%
20011,058,503−0.3%
20111,104,499+4.3%
20171,077,715−2.4%
Source: INE
Most populous cities [21]
RankMunicipalityPopulation
1 Badajoz 151,565
2 Cáceres 95,026
3 Mérida 57,797
4 Plasencia 41,392
5 Don Benito 36,660
6 Almendralejo 34,319
7 Villanueva de la Serena 26,076
8 Navalmoral de la Mata 17,386

As of January 1, 2012, the population of Extremadura is 1,109,367 inhabitants, representing 2.36% of the Spanish population (46,745,807).

The population density is very low—25/km2 (65/sq mi)—compared to Spain as a whole.

The most populous province is that of Badajoz, with a population of 691,715 and a population density of 31.78/km2 (82.3/sq mi). With an area of 21,766 km2 (8,404 sq mi), it is the largest province in Spain. 413,766 people live in the province of Cáceres at a density of 20.83/km2 (53.9/sq mi), having an area of 19,868 km2 (7,671 sq mi), making it the largest province in Spain after Badajoz.

Foreign population

As of 2018, the largest immigrant community is Moroccan with 9,218 people, followed by Romanians with 4,324. There are 98 Icelanders and 6 Liechtensteiners. 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. There are also 3,492 Portuguese people living within the region. The region had a foreign population of 31,647. [22] Most of the foreigners had Romanian or Moroccan citizenship. [22]

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 performed until 1717, when 326,358 people were counted as living in Extremadura.

From this period, the population grew steadily until the 1960s (1,379,072 people in 1960 [23] ). After 1960, emigration to more prosperous regions of Spain and Europe drained the population.

Administrative divisions

Extremadura is divided into 383 municipalities, 164 are part of the Province of Badajoz and the other 219 are part of the Province of Cáceres.

There are also traditional comarcas in Extremadura, like Las Villuercas and Las Hurdes, but these do not have much official recognition.

Languages

The only official language is Spanish (whose local dialects are collectively called Castúo), but other languages and dialects are also spoken. The Fala, a Galician-Portuguese language, is a specially protected language and is spoken in the valley of Jálama. The Extremaduran language, the collective name for a group of vernacular dialects related to Leonese [24] is endangered. Local variants of Portuguese are native to Cedillo and Herrera de Alcántara. [25] Portuguese has also been accounted to be spoken as well by some people (mainly those born before the 1940s [26] ) in Olivenza.

Sports

Notable people

Explorers

Many legendary Spanish conquistadors hailed from Extremadura, including Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to lead an expedition to reach the Pacific Ocean from America; Hernando de Soto the first European to lead an expedition to the territory of the modern-day United States; Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Aztec and Inca empires respectively; Francisco de Orellana, who explored the length of the Amazon; Pedro de Valdivia, the first governor of Chile; and Sebastián Vizcaíno, who was a Spanish soldier, entrepreneur in the Philippines, explorer of the Californias, and diplomat in Japan.

Painters

Benito Arias Montano Benito Arias Montano, Museo Plantin-Moretus.jpg
Benito Arias Montano

Writers and poets

El escritor Jose de Espronceda, portrait by Antonio Maria Esquivel (c. 1845) (Museo del Prado, Madrid) Jose de Espronceda (detalle).jpg
El escritor José de Espronceda , portrait by Antonio María Esquivel (c.1845) (Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Carolina Coronado Carolina Coronado, por Federico de Madrazo.jpg
Carolina Coronado
Gabriel y Galan Jose-Maria-Gabriel-y-Galan.jpg
Gabriel y Galán

Scientists

Sports

Musicians and TV

Extremadura has produced many musicians, including: Rosa Morena (singer), Soraya Arnelas (singer), Luis Pastor (singer), Roberto Iniesta (singer of rock band Extremoduro), Pablo Guerrero, Bebe (singer), Al Carmona (conductor), Esteban Sánchez (pianist), Gecko Turner (singer).

TV personalities include: Isabel Gemio, Maruchi Leon, Agustín Bravo, and Berta Collado.

See also

Related Research Articles

Badajoz City in Extremadura, Spain

Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana. The population in 2011 was 151,565.

Province of Badajoz Province of Spain

The province of Badajoz is a province of western Spain located in the autonomous community of Extremadura. It was formed in 1833. It is bordered by the provinces of Cáceres in the north, Toledo, Ciudad Real in the east, Córdoba in the south-east, Seville, and Huelva in the south and Portugal in the west.

Province of Cáceres Province of Spain

The province of Cáceres is a province of western Spain, and makes up the northern half of the autonomous community of Extremadura. Its capital is the city of Cáceres. Other cities in the province include Plasencia, Coria, Navalmoral de la Mata and Trujillo, the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro González. As of 2014, the province had 408,703 inhabitants, of whom a quarter lived in the capital. The Tagus river runs through the province.

Valencia de Alcántara Municipality in Extremadura, Spain

Valencia de Alcántara is a municipality located in the province of Cáceres, in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is near the Portuguese border, separated from it by the Sever.

Villanueva de la Serena city

Villanueva de la Serena is a city in the Province of Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. It has a population of 26,111 (2010) and forms part of a larger urban area with the neighbouring town of Don Benito.

Guadalupe, Cáceres Place in Extremadura, Spain

Guadalupe is a municipality located in Las Villuercas comarca, province of Cáceres, in Extremadura, Spain with currently just over 2,000 inhabitants. The monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe is situated here.

Tierra de Badajoz Comarca in Extremadura, Spain

Tierra de Badajoz is a comarca in the province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, western Spain. The majority of its population, amounting to around 177,000 inhabitants, lives in the capital, the municipality of Badajoz, and the immediate surrounding area.

Extremaduran cuisine

Extremadura, Spain is known for its different ways of preparing the Iberian pork and mutton. The main characteristics of the traditional Extremaduran cuisine were its simplicity, its lack of clutter and its low cost. It is also a cuisine reflecting a generous spirit, for many of its preparations used to be cooked in large pots to share with visitors, friends, and neighbors. The resulting dishes are eaten with local bread.

Campiña Sur (Badajoz) Comarca in Extremadura, Spain

Campiña Sur is an administrative division (comarca) in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. Its capital and administrative center is the municipality of Llerena. It contains 21 municipalities and 32,841 inhabitants in an area of 2,798 square kilometres (1,080 sq mi).

Gerald the Fearless

Geraldo Geraldes or Gerald the Fearless, known in Portuguese as Geraldo Sem Pavor, was a Portuguese warrior and folk hero of the Reconquista whose theatre of operations was in the barren Alentejo and Extremadura regions of the lower Guadiana river. The city of Évora was the most lasting of his conquests and was never retaken. His success and independence have suggested parallels with the Castilian hero El Cid and Gerald has been called "the Cid of Portugal".

Jesús Delgado Valhondo Spanish writer

Jesús Delgado Valhondo was a Spanish poet.

Montes de Toledo mountain range

The Montes de Toledo are one of the main systems of mountain ranges in the Iberian Peninsula. They divide the drainage basin of the Tagus from the basin of the Guadiana. The highest peak is 1,603 m high La Villuerca.

Las Villuercas Comarca in Extremadura, Spain

Las Villuercas is a comarca located in the province of Cáceres, western Spain. It belongs to the Autonomous Community of Extremadura.

Sierra de Villuercas mountain in Spain

Sierra de Villuercas or Sierra de las Villuercas, also known as Sierra de Guadalupe after nearby Guadalupe town, is a mountain range in the greater Montes de Toledo range, Spain. It is located in province of Cáceres, autonomous community of Extremadura.

Sierra de San Pedro mountain in Extremadura Spain

Sierra de San Pedro is a mountain range in the greater Montes de Toledo range, Spain. It is named after Saint Peter the apostle and rises in the limits of Cáceres and Badajoz Provinces, in the western part of the autonomous community of Extremadura close to its border with Portugal. This range gives its name to the Sierra de San Pedro - Los Baldíos comarca.

Flag of Extremadura flag

The flag of Extremadura, according to Article 4-1 of the Statute of Autonomy, consists of three horizontal stripes of green, white, and black with the coat of arms of the region off-centred toward the hoist.

1983 Extremaduran regional election

The 1983 Extremaduran regional election was held on Sunday, 8 May 1983, to elect the 1st Assembly of the autonomous community of Extremadura. All 65 seats in the Assembly were up for election. The election was held simultaneously with regional elections in twelve other autonomous communities and local elections all throughout Spain.

Medal of Extremadura

The Medal of Extremadura is the highest institutional distinction of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, Spain. It was established in 1986, following Decree 27/1986, of 29 April.

In the run up to the 2019 Spanish local elections, various organisations carried out opinion polling to gauge voting intention in Spain. Results of such polls for municipalities in Extremadura are displayed in this article. The date range for these opinion polls are from the previous local elections, held on 24 May 2015, to the day the next elections were held, on 26 May 2019.

Antonio Rodríguez Osuna Spanish politician

Antonio Rodríguez Osuna is a Spanish politician, serving as Mayor of Mérida since 2015. A member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), he was member of the Assembly of Extremadura from 2011 to 2015.

References

Citations
  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. Pico la Villuerca Archived 2013-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Domené Sánchez 2009, p. 1021.
  4. García Fitz 2002, p. 47.
  5. Clemente Ramos & Montaña Conchiña 2000, p. 14.
  6. Clemente Ramos & Montaña Conchiña 2000, p. 18.
  7. Clemente Ramos & Montaña Conchiña 2000, p. 20.
  8. Domené Sánchez 2009, p. 103.
  9. Clemente Ramos & Montaña Conchiña 2000, p. 19.
  10. Villarroel Escalante 2008, p. 1257.
  11. Bullón de Mendoza 2001, p. 46.
  12. Porrinas González 2018, p. 651.
  13. Domené Sánchez 2009, p. 101.
  14. Pino García 1985, p. 381.
  15. Díaz Gil 2010, p. 211.
  16. Clemente Ramos & Montaña Conchiña 2000, p. 27.
  17. Davidson, James West. After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection Volume 1. Mc Graw Hill, New York 2010, Chapter 1, p. 6
  18. 1 2 3 4 Jefatura del Estado: "Ley 1/1983, de 25 de febrero, de Estatuto de Autonomía de Extremadura" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (49): 5580–5586. 26 February 1983. ISSN   0212-033X.
  19. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  20. "Regional Unemployment by NUTS2 Region". Eurostat.
  21. Source: INE, Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain). (01-01-2006). Real Decreto 1627/2006, de 29 de diciembre
  22. 1 2 3 "Población extranjera por Nacionalidad, comunidades, Sexo y Año". Instituto Nacional de Estadística . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  23. INE. Censo 1960. Tomo III. Volúmenes provinciales.
  24. Unesco.es
  25. Maria da Conceição Vilhena. Hablas de Herrera y Cedillo.
  26. Manuel J. Sánchez Fernández: “Apuntes para la descripción del español hablado en Olivenza”, Revista de Extremadura, 23, 1997, page 110
  27. "El escritor José de Espronceda". Museo del Prado (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
Bibliography