Extremadura, Spain

By | November 10, 2001

Extremadura in Spain

Extremadura is one of the autonomous communities Spain. It borders Portugal and includes the provinces – Cáceresand Bdajoz. The region got its name from the name “Extremos del Duero” which was on German translated “Beyond the Duero” means.

Landscapes of Extremadura

Extremadura is quite a small region. It occupies only 8.3 percent of the land mass of Spain. The population density is also somewhat lower than in the rest of the country. An average of only 25 people live in one square kilometer. This means that Extremadura only makes up 2.6 percent of the Spanish population. A total of 383 municipalities belong to the Extremadura region. The cities are also quite small. The only city that has more than 10,000 residents is Badajoz with 149,137 people living there. This is followed by Cácares with 91,000 residents. Almost 54,000 people live in the capital Mérida.

The history of Extremadura

The name Beyond the Duros is derived from the fact that the Duros formed a border here during the Reconquista. The duro separated the Muslim from the Christian sphere and was eventually used by the Moors as a name for the area.

Many of America’s conquerors come from the Extramduras area. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro and Pedro de Valdivia also come from here.

The Celts were the first to settle in what is now Extremadura around 3,000 years ago. Then the Carthaginians came to the region. They were later used by the Romans replaced who ruled here for a long time. The Extramadura benefited from the Romans, because they created a flourishing economy and trade here. The founding of the cities of Norbra Caesarina, which is today Cácares, and Emerita Augusta, which is today Mérida, go back to Roman times. Many of the historical buildings from that time are still very well preserved today. So also the aqueducts, theaters, fortresses or the bridge with the name Alcántara.

The Moors were dominant until the Middle Ages, when the Moorish rule came to an end, in 1230 King Alfonso IX of León took over Extremadura for Spain.

In 1975 the area finally became the Autonomous Community declared. This happened in the course of the democratization of Spain.

Economy and culture

Extremadura did not have a really functioning economic system for a long time. But in the years between 1985 and 1999 the region developed faster and more progressively than any other area in Spain. The EU Cohesion Fund supported Extremadura and various projects in the fields of education, social protection and the economy benefited from it. Today there is a well-functioning educational and economic system throughout the region.

There was above-average economic growth in the entire Extremaduras region. Especially tourism and trade opened up new sources of money for the area. Tourism in the various holiday regions of Extremadura in particular developed rapidly. The service sector is currently served by over 57 percent of the workforce in the region.
But this is not the only market that is showing itself to be progressive. The industry is benefiting from growth and there are currently about 8,000 industrial areas in Extremadura. These consist mainly of small and medium-sized companies from a wide variety of industries, mainly from the fields of energy, agriculture, cork, stone, jewelry, textiles and mechanical engineering.

The area is particularly modern in agriculture. Here chemical-free organic farming is used set, which is also clearly noticeable in increased sales figures. All in all, the small region is developing into an important area for Spain.

Extremadura Geography

Extremadura is one of the 17 autonomous communities of the Kingdom of Spain and is located in the south-west of the country. In the west the region borders on Portugal. Extremadura is made up of the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz.

The total area of ​​Extremadura is 41,634 square kilometers; This makes this region the fifth largest autonomous community in Spain and occupies around 8.2% of the total area of ​​the country. Mérida is the capital of Extremadura.

The landscape of Extremadura is of expanded steppe dominated and represents the western continuation of the Meseta. In the plateau were from the Tajo and Guadiana rivers and their tributaries cut deep valleys. In the north of the region is dominated by mountain ranges. At 2,425 meters, Mount Calvitero, on the border with the province of Salamanca, is the highest mountain in Extremadura.

The plateau is delimited by the Sierra de Gata in the north, the Sierra de Gredos and the highlands of Béjar from Old Castile and León. Towards Andalusia, the Meseta falls in the gently rising Sierra Morena and is finally separated by the Sierra de Guadalupe into the Extremadura Alta and the Extremadura Baja. The very dry land is characterized by stony heathland, especially on the foothills of the Sierra de Gata.

In the area of ​​Cáceres and the Extremadura Baja, mainly cereals and pulses are grown. The fertile valleys are used to grow wine, olives, figs and almonds. Pig farming is the main practice in the deciduous forests in the north of the region; the black pigs feed mainly on the acorns of the holm oaks. Flocks of sheep graze on the Meseta until autumn, and in winter they descend from the plateau to the valley regions of Extremadura.

The most important rivers of Extremadura are the Tagus in the north and the Guadiana in the south of the region.

Extremadura, Spain