|— Autonomous Community —|
|• President||Luisa Fernanda Rudi (Partido Popular)|
|Area(9.4% of Spain; Ranked 4th)|
|• Total||47,719 km2 (18,424 sq mi)|
|• Density||27/km2 ( 69/sq mi)|
|• Pop. rank||11th|
|• Percent||2.9% of Spain|
|Statute of Autonomy||August 16, 1982|
|Congress seats||13 (of 350)|
|Senate seats||14 (of 264)|
|Website||Gobierno de Aragón|
Aragon (// or //, Spanish and Aragonese: Aragón [aɾaˈɣon], Catalan: Aragó [əɾəˈɣo] or [aɾaˈɣo]) is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces (from north to south): Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza (also called Saragossa in English). The current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a nationality of Spain.
Aragon's northern province of Huesca borders France and is positioned in the middle of the Pyrenees. Within Spain, the community is flanked by Catalonia on the east, Valencia and Castile–La Mancha to the south, and Castile and León, La Rioja, and Navarre to the west.
Covering an area of 47,719 km2 (18,424 sq mi), the region's terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spain's largest river in volume, which runs west-east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza. It is also home to the Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
As of 2012, the population was 1,349,467, with more than half of the autonomous community's people living in Zaragoza, its capital city. The economy of Aragon generates a GDP of €33,252 billion which represents 5% of Spain national GDP and is currently 5th in per capita production behind Catalonia, Navarre, Madrid and Basque Country.citation needed
In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into 33 comarcas or counties; all with a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman, Celtic and Roman days; and from the four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom (or taifa) of Saraqustah, and as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Marca Hispanica; and counties that later formed the Kingdom of Aragon and eventually the empire or Crown of Aragon.
The majority of Aragonese citizens, 71.8%, live in the province of Zaragoza; 17.1% in Huesca and 11.1% in Teruel.1 The population density of the region is the second lowest in Spain: only 26,8/km2; after Castilla La Mancha. The most densely populated areas are around the valley of the river Ebro, particularly around Zaragoza, and in the Pyrenean foothills, 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 Teruеl.
|Demographic evolution of Aragon and
percentage of the total national population2
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; it is enjoying a resurgence of popularity as a tool for regional identity. 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. The strip-shaped Catalan-speaking area in Aragon is often called La Franja. The Government of Aragon announced in 2012 its intention to remove the word Catalan from its law for language usage, replacing it with Eastern Aragonese 3
With such a low population density large areas of Aragon remain wild and relatively untouched. It is a land of extreme natural contrasts, both in climate and geologically, from the green valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the dry plains and lonely hilly areas of the south.
Aragon's Pyrenees include splendid and varied mountain landscapes with soaring peaks, deep canyons, dense forests and spectacular waterfalls. Its rugged peaks include the Aneto (3,404 m), the highest in the range, the misty Monte Perdido (3,355 m), Perdiguero (3,221 m), Cotiella (2,912 m) and many others.
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, near the border with France, boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe with its canyons, frozen lake caverns, numerous waterfalls and varied wildlife many species of which are endemic to the Pyrenees. The park is also one of the last sanctuaries of birds of prey in the range. Many beautiful mountain butterflies and flowers can be seen in the summer, while during winter the region is a paradise for skiers.
The principal valleys in the mountains include those of Hecho, Canfranc, Tena, Benasque and others. The green valleys hide pretty villages with nice Romanesque churches and typical Pyrenean houses with flowers on the balconies. The oldest Romanesque cathedral in Spain is located in the medieval town of Jaca in the very northern part of Huesca Province.
Further south, the Ebro valley, irrigated by the river Ebro, 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 dot the landscape here. Some of the most notable towns here include Calatayud, Daroca, Sos del Rey Catolico, Caspe and others.
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 massif in this range is the Moncayo (2,313 m) and, despite getting less snow than in the Pyrenees, it has several ski resorts.
Aragon's climate can be defined as continental moderate. Temperatures are determined mainly by altitude, ranging from cold or very cold in winter and cool in summer in the mountains to the north (Pyrenees) and to the south and west (Iberian range), to mild in winter and hot in summer in the central lowlands. Rainfall is also very variable, with very low mean values in the central areas and increasingly higher values in mountain areas, especially in the high Pyrenees.
In the middle of Aragon, which is only 200 metres (660 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 (1,600 ft) above sea level, the temperature drops by two degrees. In the mountains, between 600 m (2,000 ft) and 1,000 m (3,300 ft) observed temperatures are between 11 and 12 °C (52 and 54 °F).
Before Aragon came into being as a self-proclaimed kingdom in 1035, the northern counties of Jaca, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza were all independent marches and Frankish feudal fiefdoms. In a bid to stem Frankish and Moorish invasions, the counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe, Ribagorza, and the duchy of Castile united under the Kingdom of Pamplona (later Navarre). After King Sancho's death, the kingdom was divided between his sons. Ramiro I was initially named king of Aragon in 1035; later, after his brother Gonzalo's death, he was also named king of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in 1044. The new kingdom grew quickly, conquering territories from the Moorish kingdoms to the south. Huesca was taken in 1096 and Zaragoza in 1118. According to Aragonese law, the monarch had to swear allegiance to the Kingdom's laws before being accepted as king. The King was considered "Primus inter pares" within the nobility. A nobleman with the title "Justicia" 4 acted as ombudsman and was responsible for ensuring that the King obeyed the Aragonese laws. There is an old saying "En Aragón antes de Rey hubo Ley" which can be translated as "In Aragon before the king was the law".
The dynastic union in 1137 between Petronila, Queen of Aragon, and Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, produced a son, Alfonso II of Aragon who inherited all their respective territories creating the Crown of Aragon which included all lands and people, titles and states previously outside of the Kingdom of Aragon. The Crown of Aragon was effectively abolished after the dynastic union with Castile (1469, see below) but the title continued to be used until 1714. The dynasty of the Kings of Aragon (called by some present-day historians "Kings of Aragon and Counts of Barcelona") ruled the present administrative region of Aragon, Catalonia, and later the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Sicily, Naples and Sardinia (see Aragonese Empire).
The monarch was known as King of Aragon and also held the titles of King of Valencia, King of Majorca (for a time), Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier, and (temporarily) Duke of Athens and Neopatria. Each of these titles gave him sovereignty over the specific region, and the titles changed as territories were lost and won.
Despite the dynastic union with Castile following the marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon at the end of the 15th century following which most former kingdoms in Spain were progressively consolidated during the 16th and 17th centuries, Aragon lasted as a separate kingdom with its own laws and institutions until 1707 when Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain, invaded Aragon with his army and forced the signature of the Nueva Planta decrees, making Spain into a more centralized state and forcing the use of Castilian language.
During the War of the Spanish Succession the advancing army of German, British and Dutch troops defeated the Spanish Army in the battle of Saragossa in 1710. As a result of the battle Philip V was forced to abandon Madrid, retreating to Valladolid.
During the Peninsular War, the Aragonese capital was the site of two fierce sieges. During the siege in 1808, the Spanish under General Palafox defeated a superior French force. In 1809, during a particularly bloody siege, the Spaniards were overwhelmed by superior enemy forces. Almost 30,000 of the garrison and citizens of Zaragoza (from a total of 32,000) perished rather than surrender the city. Two weeks after they breached the walls, the French were still forced to fight for each house, square, church and convent.
During the Spanish Civil War, Aragon saw the establishment of various anarchist communes.
In 1982 Aragon became an autonomous community within the new Spanish democratic state.
Further to the south lies Teruel, famous for its Mudejar architecture, which can be easily spotted in its magnificent cathedral, churches and towers. Other notable towns to the south include Albarracin, Alcañiz, Valderrobres, Mora de Rubielos and many others.
The traditional dance of Aragon is known as jota and is one of the faster Spanish dances. It is also the most widespread in Aragon and the exact style and music depend on the area.
There are other less popular dances named "paloteaos" similar to the sword/stick dances of other regions.
Typical Aragonese instruments include the stringed drum or "Chicotén", bagpipes such as the "gaita de boto", oboes such as the "Dulzaina", and small flutes like the "Chiflo". Some instruments have been lost, such as the "trompa de Ribagorza", although there have been efforts to reconstruct them. In contrast to other Pyrenean regions, the "Chicotén" and "Chiflo" never have stopped being played.5
The Carnival of Bielsa6 (Huesca) has ancient origins and includes a group of men carrying long sticks, wearing skirts, cowbells and boucard/goat-like horns and skins with black-painted faces called "Trangas" symbolising "virility" who surround another man wearing skins playing the part of a bear called "l'onso". In Aragonese mythology the bear carried souls between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Trangas dance with young females named "madamas" symbolising "purity" and wearing colourful dresses. Other traditional figures include a horse rider named "Caballé".
Aragon is among the richest autonomous regions in Spain, with GDP per capita above the nation's average. The traditional agriculture-based economy from the mid-20th century has been greatly transformed in the past several decades and now service and industrial sectors are the backbone of the economy in the region.
The well-developed irrigation system around the Ebro has greatly supported the productive agriculture. The most important crops include wheat, barley, rye, fruit and grapes. Livestock-breeding is essential especially in the northern areas, where the lush meadows provide excellent conditions for sheep and cattle. The main livestock are cattle, 334,600; sheep, 2,862,100; pigs, 3,670,000; goats, 78,000; and poultry, 20,545,000.7
The chief industrial centre is the capital Zaragoza, where the largest factories are located. The largest plant is the Opel automotive plant with 8,730 employees and production of 200,000 per year. It supports many related industries in the area. Other large plants in the city include factories for trains and household appliances. Mining of iron ore and coal is developed to the south, near Ojos Negros. Electricity production is concentrated to the north where numerous hydro power plants are located along the Pyrenean rivers and in the 1,150 MW Teruel Power Plant. There is an aluminium refinery in the town of Sabiñánigo. The main centres of electronics industry are Zaragoza, Huesca and Benabarre. Chemical industry is developed in Zaragoza, Sabiñánigo, Monzón, Teruel, Ojos Negros, Fraga, Benabarre and others.
The transport infrastructure has been greatly improved. There are more than 1,000 km (620 mi) of motorways which run from Zaragoza to Madrid, Teruel, Basque country, Huesca and Barcelona. The condition of the other roads is also good. As of 2005 there are 520,000 cars in Aragon.8 Through the territory of the province runs the new high-speed railway between Madrid and Barcelona with siding from Zaragoza to Huesca, which is going to be continued to the French border. There is an International Airport at Zaragoza, as well as several smaller airports at Huesca, Caudé, Santa Cilia de Jaca and Villanueva de Gállego.
As an autonomous community of Spain, Aragon has an elected regional parliament or cortes, which meets in the Aljafería, a Moorish palace in the capital city, Zaragoza. The Parliament chooses a President for the Diputación General de Aragón or Aragon Government, for a four-year term. The current president (since July 2011) is Luisa Fernanda Rudi.
- Alfons de la Cavallería 1494–1508
- Tomás de Malferit 1508
- Antoni Agustí de Sicart 1508–1523
- Frederic Honorat de Gualbes de Vallseca (for the Principality of Catalonia) 1523–1529
- Jeronimo de Rage (for Aragón Kingdom) 1523–1529
- Eiximèn Perez de Figuerola (for Valencia Kingdom) 1523–1529
- Joan Sunyer 1529–1533
- Enrique Bierling 1533–1546
- Jeroni Descoll de Oliva 1546–1554
- Pere de Clariana de Seva 1554–1562
- Bernardo de Bolea y Portugal 1562–1585
- Simó Friigola 1585–1598
- Dídac Civarrubias Sanç 1598–1607
- Diego Clavera 1608–1612
- Andreu Roig 1612–1622
- President Garci Peréz de Araciel 1623–1624
- President Juan Manuel de Mendoza Luna Manrique, marquis of Montesclaros 1628
- President Enrique Pimentel, bishop of Cuenca 1628–1632
- President Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, Duke of Dürbheim 1632–1637
- President Gaspar de Borja y de Velasco 1637–1645
- Maties Bayetola Cabanilles 1646–1652
- Cristòfor Crespí de Vallclaura Brizuela 1652–1671
- [elcior de Navarra Rocafull 1671–1677
- President Pasqual d'Aragó Folc de Cardona 1677
- President Pere Antoni d'Aragó Folc de Cardona i Córdoba 1677–1690
- Melcior de Navarra Rocafull 1690–1691 (second time)
- President Gaspar Jan Girón y Sandoval y Weidner, duke of Spaichingen Osuna 1692–1694
- President Ferran de Montcada-Aragó i de Montcada 1695–1698
- President Rodrigo Manuel Manrique de Lara y de Tabora 1698–1702
- President Iñigo de la Cruz Manrique de Lara y Ramírez de Arellano, count of Aguilar and Frigiliana 1702–1707
See list of Lieutenants of the Kingdom of Aragón.
The dynastic union of Castile and Aragon in 1479, when Ferdinand II of Aragon wed Isabella I of Castile, led to the formal creation of Spain as a single entity in 1516. See List of Spanish monarchs and Kings of Spain family tree.
With its lush Pyrenean pastures, lamb, beef, and dairy products are, not surprisingly, predominant in Aragonese cuisine. Also of note is its ham from Teruel; olive oil from Empeltre and Arbequina; longaniza from Graus; rainbow trout and salmon, boar, truffles and wild mushrooms from the upper river valleys of the Jacetania, Gallego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza regions; and wines from Cariñena, Somontano, Calatayud, and Campo de Borja; and fruit, especially peaches, from its fertile lower valleys. The region also features a unique local haggis, known as chireta, several interesting seafood dishes, including various crab pastes, which developed from an old superstition that crabs help prevent illness and sweets such as "Adoquines del Pilar" and "Frutas de Aragón". There are also other sweets like "Tortas de alma" from Teruel and "Trenza de Almudevar" or "Castañas de Huesca" from Huesca.
Aragon has media set-ups in television, radio and numerous newspapers.
On April 21, 2006, regional television broadcasts in Aragon officially began with the launch of Aragón TV. The law which established the CARTV (Aragon Corporation Radio and Television) dated from 1987, but various political disputes relegated the project for several legislatures.
During the years that Aragon had no public television, several media groups sought to supplement their absence. For one TVE-Aragon, taking the Territorial Centre in Zaragoza, produced several programs and educational activities with the Aragonese town. As for private groups were several projects. The most widely accepted for many years had been Antena Aragón, which came to be regarded as regional television. This chain was born in 1998 and disappeared in 2005 shortly after having to leave the Media Production Center (CPA), which was based, as this was built by the DGA for future public television host Aragon. With the push for the creation of public television, Antena Aragón merged with RTVA (Radio Television Aragonesa) belonging to the Herald Group. Merging RTVA Antena Aragón and led to channel ZTV (Zaragoza Television). Moreover, Antena 3 Televisión aired for several years, and off to Aragon, a news report fully Aragonese, having a central issue in the Pinares de Venecia in Zaragoza, within the premises of the Theme Park of Zaragoza .
Aragón TV was launched in 2006 after spending a season set by issuing a letter and a loop with images Aragonese villages and taking as audio sound regional radio.
On August 18, 2005, the radio station Aragon Radio, began broadcasting at 1700 hours with the sound of drums and drums of Calanda and a group song Zaragoza "The Fish". Since that time, Aragon has its public radio. The hearing of that radius is between 20,000 listeners, according to the latest EMG, and 70,000, as measured private. The radio is based on regional news bulletins taking every hour from 7.00 am to 0.00. It also broadcasts programs on sports, music, trends, etc.. numerous sporting events and relays.
- Joseph Calasanz, (1557–1648), born in Aragon, was a Catholic priest who dedicated himself to the education of poor boys at Rome and founded a society pledged to that work.
- Francisco Garcés, (1738–1781), born in Aragon, was a missionary priest to North America who founded two pueblo missions.9
- Elizabeth of Aragon (Queen Saint Elisabeth) (1271–1336) was queen consort of Portugal and a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Gaspar Sanz, (1640–1710), composer, guitarist and organist.
- Francisco de Goya, 18th-century painter (1746–1828).
- Michael Servetus, theologian and physician who received numerous charges of heresy by both Catholics and Protestants and was burnt at the stake in Calvin's Geneva during the 16th century.
- Baltasar Gracián, Writer of Spanish Baroque literature.
- Antipope Benedict XIII, (1328–1423) Avignon pope and Aragonese art patron-sponsor.
- Ferdinand II of Aragon, married Isabella I of Castile and united Aragon with the kingdom of Castile, giving form to the actual Spain.
- Eva Amaral, Singer-songwriter and member of the Rock band Amaral.
- Enrique Bunbury (Enrique Ortiz de Landázuri), is a Spanish rock singer-songwriter for Heroes del Silencio and Enrique Bunbury Band.
- Luis Buñuel, film maker.
- St. Jose Maria Escriva, Spanish Catholic priest, founder of Opus Dei.
- Pablo Gargallo, sculptor and painter.
- José Antonio Labordeta, singer, writer and politician.
- Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the human brain and nervous system.
- Carlos Saura, film maker.
- Pablo Serrano, sculptor.
- Alberto Zapater, footballer.
- Aragonese Wikipedia
- Auberge d'Aragon
- Catherine of Aragon, 1st queen of Henry VIII of England
- Expo 2008
- List of Aragonese people
- List of mountains in Aragon
- Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon
- Music of Aragon
- Nationalities in Spain
- River Aragón
- "Cifras completas". Archived from the original on 2007-02-03.
- Fuente: Data in INE. Censo de 1857, Series de población de hecho en España desde 1900 a 1991, y Series de población de España desde 1996.
- "Senadores socialistas de cuatro comunidades, en defensa del catalán | Cataluña | EL PAÍS". Ccaa.elpais.com. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- "El Justicia de Aragón". Eljusticiadearagon.com. 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Alberto Turón Lanuza. "El Web de la Música Tradicional Aragonesa". Arafolk. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "Carnabal de la Balle de Bielsa". Carnaval de Bielsa. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "Gobierno de Aragón". Portal.aragob.es. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Gobierno de Aragón". Portal.aragob.es. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Aragon|
- Aragon at the Classic Encyclopedia, based on the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica
- (Spanish) Government of Aragon
- Senderos de Aragón Aragon government tourism site.
- (Spanish) Basic statistical data on Aragon
- Complete guide to Aragon
- Guide to the Aragon Pyrenees Mountains.
- Guide to Aragon
- Maps of Aragon