Provinces of Spain

Last updated
Provinces of Spain
Blank Spain Map (Provinces).svg
Category Province
Location Spain
Found in Autonomous community
Created byRoyal Decree (30/11/1833)
Created1833
Number50
Populations95,258–6,458,684
Areas1,980–21,766 km²
GovernmentProvincial council
Subdivisions Municipality

Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces (Spanish : provincias, IPA:  [pɾoˈβinθjas] ; sing. provincia). [note 1] Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta, Melilla and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces.

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Provincial organization

The layout of Spain's provinces closely 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.

Historically, the provinces served mainly as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a highly 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 nevertheless remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes.

A small town would normally be identified as being in, say, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León. The provinces were the "building-blocks" from which the autonomous communities were created. Consequently, no province is divided between more than one of these communities.

Most of the provinces—with the exception of Álava, Asturias, Biscay, Cantabria, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, and Navarre—are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities—Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia—are not also the capitals of provinces.

Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarre. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities.

A map of Spain's provinces labelled with Spanish (Castilian)-language names. Provinces of Spain.svg
A map of Spain's provinces labelled with Spanish (Castilian)-language names.

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; locally valid names in Spain's other co-official languages (Basque, Catalan, which is officially called Valencian in the Valencian Community, Galician) are also indicated where they differ.

Provinces

Province nameCapitalAutonomous communityLists of municipalities
Escudo de la provincia de A Coruna.svg La Coruña (Spanish); A Coruña(Galician) La Coruña (Spanish); A Coruña (Galician) Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Alava.svg Álava (Spanish); Araba(Basque) Vitoria (Spanish) Gasteiz (Basque) Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Bandera provincia Albacete.svg Albacete Albacete Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia d'Alacant.svg Alicante (Spanish)Alacant(Valencian) Alicante ; Alacant (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Flag Almeria Province.svg Almería Almería Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Asturias.svg Asturias Oviedo Flag of Asturias.svg Asturias Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Avila.svg Ávila Ávila Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of Badajoz.svg Badajoz Badajoz Flag of Extremadura with COA.svg Extremadura Municipalities
Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg Balearic Islands (English); Illes Balears(Catalan)Islas Baleares(Spanish) Palma Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg Balearic Islands Municipalities
Flag of Barcelona (province).svg Barcelona Barcelona Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Bizkaikobanderea.svg Biscay (English); Vizcaya(Spanish); Bizkaia(Basque) Bilbao Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Burgos (provincia).svg Burgos Burgos Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of the province of Caceres.svg Cáceres Cáceres Flag of Extremadura with COA.svg Extremadura Municipalities
Flag Cadiz Province.svg Cádiz Cádiz Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Cantabria (Official).svg Cantabria Santander Flag of Cantabria.svg Cantabria Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia de Castello.svg Castellón (Spanish); Castelló(Valencian) Castellón de la Plana Castelló de la Plana (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Flag Ciudad Real Province.svg Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Provincia de Cordoba - Bandera.svg Córdoba Córdoba Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Cuenca Province.svg Cuenca Cuenca Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Guipuzcoa.svg Guipúzcoa (Spanish); Gipuzkoa(Basque) San Sebastián (Spanish) Donostia (Basque) Flag of the Basque Country.svg Basque Country Municipalities
Flag of Girona province (unofficial).svg Girona (Catalan); Gerona(Spanish) Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Granada (Espana).svg Granada Granada Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Guadalajara Province.svg Guadalajara Guadalajara Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Bandera de la Provincia De Huelva.svg Huelva Huelva Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of Huesca (province).svg Huesca Huesca (Spanish language Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Jaen.svg Jaén Jaén Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms).svg La Rioja Logroño Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms).svg La Rioja Municipalities
Provincia de Las Palmas - Escudo.svg Las Palmas Las Palmas Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Canary Islands Municipalities
Bandera de Leon.svg León León Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Lerida.svg Lleida (Catalan); Lérida(Spanish) Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Flag of Lugo province.svg Lugo Lugo Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Madrid Madrid Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Community of Madrid Municipalities
Flag Malaga Province.svg Málaga Málaga Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg Murcia Murcia Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg Region of Murcia Municipalities
Bandera de Navarra.svg Navarre ; Nafarroa(Basque); Navarra(Spanish) Pamplona ; Iruña (Basque) Bandera de Navarra.svg Navarre Municipalities
Provincia de Ourense - Bandera.svg Ourense (Galician); Orense(Spanish) Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Palencia.svg Palencia Palencia Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of the Province of Pontevedra.PNG Pontevedra Pontevedra Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia Municipalities
Bandera de la provincia de Salamanca.svg Salamanca Salamanca Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Provincia de Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Escudo.svg Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Canary Islands Municipalities
Flag Segovia province.svg Segovia Segovia Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of Diputacion de Sevilla Spain.svg Seville ; Sevilla(Spanish) Seville ; Sevilla (Spanish) Flag of Andalucia.svg Andalusia Municipalities
Flag Soria province.svg Soria Soria Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Diputacio copy.jpg Tarragona Tarragona Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia Municipalities
Teruel (provincia).svg Teruel Teruel Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities
Bandera antigua de la provincia de Toledo.svg Toledo Toledo Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg Castilla-La Mancha Municipalities
Escut de la Provincia de Valencia.svg Valencia ; València(Valencian) Valencia ; València (Valencian) Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg Valencian Community Municipalities
Banderaprovvalladolid.svg Valladolid Valladolid Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Escudo de la provincia de Zamora.svg Zamora Zamora Bandera de Castilla y Leon.svg Castile and León Municipalities
Flag of Zaragoza province (with coat of arms).svg Zaragoza ; Saragossa(English) Zaragoza ; Saragossa (English) Flag of Aragon.svg Aragon Municipalities

See also

General:

Notes

  1. In other languages of Spain:

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