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Sination and Extent.] Spain is bounded N. by the bay of Bisday ; N. E. by France, from which it is separated by the Pyrenees; E. by the Mediterranean; S. by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic; W. by Portugal and the Atlantic. It extends from 36° to 43° 47' N. lat. and from 9° 13' W to 3° 15' E. lon. The area is estimated at 182,000 square miles.
Divisions.) Spain is at present divided into 31 provinces. The names of several of the old divisions, however, are still in Common Ose. Both are given in the following table.
Provinces. Square miles. 1. Seville,
9,080 2. Granada,
3. Cordova, 4,202 4. Jaen, 5,036 5. Murcia, 7.957 6. Valencia, 7,764 7. Catalonia, 12,111 8. Aragon, 14,822 9. Navarre, 2,475
10. Biscay, 1,280 Biscay, 11. Guipuzcoa, 628
12. Alava, 1,093
3,725 14. Galicia, 16,060 15. Leon, 5,913 16. Palencia, 1,751
17. Valladolid, 3,272 Leon,
18. Zaniora, 1,606 19. Toro, 1,992 20. Salamanca, 6,128
21. Burgos, 7,752 Old 22. Soria, Castile, 23. Segovia, 3,502
Population. Pop. on a sq. m. 746,200 82 693,000 252,000 60. 207,000
64 383,000 48 825,000 106 859,000 71 657,400 44 221,800 89 111,400
87 104,500 166
67,500 62 364,200 97 1,142,600 61 239,800 40 118,100 67 187,400 57 71,400 44 97,400 49 210,000 34 470,600 61 199,000
48 164,000 46 118,100
45 228,500 172 121,100
42 205,600 27 428,500
29 187,000 105
24. Avila, 2,600 25. Madrid, 1,330
26. Guadalaxara, 1,970 New
27. Cuenca, 11,410 Castile,
29. Toledo, 8,863 29. La Mancha, 7,620 30. Estremadura, 14.478 31. Majorca, 1,775
Capes.] The most noted capes are cape Ortegal and cape Finisterre in the N. W.; cape Trafalgar near the strait of Gibraltar in the S. W. ; and capes Gata, Palo, Nao, Oropesa, Tortosa, and St. Sebastian, on the coast of the Mediterranean.
Mountains. The Pyrenees form the boundary between Spain and France. All the other mountain ranges in Spain spring from the Pyrenees in the following manner. The Cantabrian chain runs west, parallel with the northern coast, separating Biscay from Navarre and Asturia from Leon, and termiates at Cape Finis. terre. Near the middle of the Cantahrian chain (about lon. 4° 15' W.) the Iberian range separates from it, and stretching at first to the S. E. and then to the south divides Aragon frog ihe two Castiles, and extends under various names in a long irregular line all the way to cape Gata in the province of Granada, while short branches are thrown off from it towards the east which terminate at cape Palo and cape Oropesa. From the Iberian range four great chains proceed in a W. S. W. direction, parallel with each other, to the Atlantic Ocean. The most northerly of these four chains is called the Mountains of Castile. They run near the boundary between the two Castiles and along the northern frontier of Estremadura into Portugal, where they take the name of Sierra de Estrella, and terminale at cape la Roca a little west of Lisbon The second chain is the Sierra de Toledn, which proceeds through the southern part of New Castile and Estremadura into Portugal, and terminates at cape Espichel a little sngth of Lishon. The third chain is the Sierra Morena, which commences on the eastern boundary of the province of La Mancha, proceeds along the northern frontier of Andalusia, and terminates at cape St. Vincent, the S. W. extremity of Portugal. The fourth chain is the Sierra Nivada, which is principally confined to the province of Granada, and terminates on the coast of the Mediterranean in various points, the most southern of which is the rock of Gibraltar. The highest single mountains of Spain are in the Sierra Nivada, the loftiest summit of which is 12,762 feet above the level of the sea. The highest mountain on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees is 7,518 feet, and the highest summit of the Iberian range 6,861 feet above the level of the sea. The Sierra de Toledo and the Sierra Morena are low ranges, being no where higher than 2,700 feet.
Rivers.) The course of the rivers is determined by the direction of the mountain ranges. No large river falls into the bay of Biscay, the Cantabrian chain forming a barrier along the whole northern coast. The great rivers are, 1. The Ebro, in the northeast, which drains the waters of the valley included between the Pyrenees and the Iberian chain. It rises in the province of Toro, near the point where the Iberian range separates from the Cantabrian, and running in a S. E. direction, divides Alavi and Navarre from Burgos aod Soria, flows through Aragon and Catalonia, and discharges itself into the Mediterranean, near cape Tortosa. The principal towns which it passes in its course are Tudela, Saragossa and Tortosa. The river is in general very
rapid, and unfit for navigation, being full of rocks and shoals. 2. The Guadalquiver, which drains the waters of the valley included between the Siera Nivada and the Sierra Morena. It rises in the Sierra Nivada, and in its circuitous course through Andalusia passes by Andujar, Cordova and Seville, and falls into the Atlantic ocean about 20 miles N. W. of Cadiz. It is navigable for large vessels to Seville, and for small vessels to Cordova. 3. The Guadiana, which drains the waters of the valley included between the Sierra Morena and the Sierra de Toledo. It rises in the province of La Mancha, and running westward passes by Ciudad Real, Merida and Badajoz, after which it turns to the south, and in the latter part of its course forms the boundary between Spain and Potugal. It is navigable for 40 miles from its mouth. 4. The T'agus, which drains the waters of the valley included between the Sierra de Toledo and the mountains of Castile. It rises in that part of the Iberian range which separates Aragon from New Castile, in the province of Cuenca, and passing through the provinces of Toledo and Estremadura into Portugal, discharges itself into the Atlantic 10 miles below Lisbon, alter a course of 450 miles. It is Davigable only 100 miles from its mouth on account of the rocks, rapids and shallows. 5. The Dilero, which drains the waters of the wide valley included between the mountains of Castile and the Cantabrian chain. It rises in the Iberian range on the borders of Aragon, and flowing to the westward traverses Old Castile and Leon, forms for some distance the boundary between Spain and Portugal and finally discharges itself into the Atlantic a little below Oporto. It is navigable only 70 miles from its mouth on account of its rapid course.
The rivers of secondary importance are, 1. The Minho, which rises in the province of Galicia, near the westero extremity of the Cantabrian chain, and flowing in a S. W. direction falls into the Atlantic 15 miles below Tuy; after forming for some distance the boundary between Spain and Portugal. 2. The Segura, which rises in the southern part of the Iberian range, and after traversing the province of Murcia in an easterly direction, falls into the Mediterranean 16 miles S. S. W. of Alicante. 3. The Jucar or Xucu which rises in the Iberian range in the province of Cuenca, and flowing in a S. E. direction passes through the province of Valencia and falls into the Mediterranean.
Face of the Country, Soil and Climale.) Chains of mountains intersect the country in all directions. The iracts included between the different ranges consist generally of plains, some of which are elevated, particnlarly in the two Castiles where they form an extensive table land several thousand feet above the level of the ocean. The soil is generally light, and where well watered very fertile, but when water fails it is dry and barren. The most fertile districts are Asturia, Estremadura and the Mediterranean provinces, especially Andalusia and Valencia. The Climate is very various. The elevated plains in the interior are
liable to piercing winds and are unsuitable to the production of various fruits, which in Italy flourish in more northern latitudes. The provinces on the Mediterranean are often vislied by a scorching wind from Africa called the Solano, which lasts 10 or 12 days, and like the Sirocco of Italy, destroys, while it lasts, all the energies of body and mind.
Productions ] Grain is cultivated in all the provinces, but not always in sufficient quantities for the supply of the country. In the warm climate of Grapada, coffee, cotton, sugar, and cocoa are produced in abundance. Vines are cultivated in every province, but the most celebrated wines are those of Alicante in Valencia; Malaga, in Granada ; and especially Xeres de la Frontera in Seville, which produces the famous Xeres, or Sherry wine. The other fruits are olives, oranges, lemons, almonds, and in the warmest provinces the pomegranate and the palm. Silk is one of the staple productions of Spain. The mineral productions are iron, copper, lead, tin and quicksilver, all in abundance. The iron works of Biscay, Aragon and Asturia have been of great note for several centuries. Spain was anciently celebrated for its mines of gold and silver, but since the discovery of much richer mines in America they have not been worth working, and now lie neglected. There are indications of coal mines in several provinces, though they are as yet wrought only in Asturia. Salt forms one of the chief products of Spain, but it is obtained chiefly by the evaporation of sea-water.
Animals.] The Spanish horses are famous for their beauty and elegance of shape, particularly those of Andalusia. The horned cattle of Andalusia are also celebrated; but these and every species of domestic animal are neglected except the sheep, on which great care is bestowed, and the Spanish wool bas in consequence long been famous as the finest in the world. The number of sheep in Spain is estimated at 13,000,000, of which 5,000,000 are Merinos or wandering sheep. The Merinos in winter occupy the plains of Estremadura, Andalusia and Leon. but in summer they are driven for fresh pasture to the mountainous tracts of the Castiles and Biscay. These migrations begin at the end of April, or the early part of May, and take place in flocks, of about 10,000 sheep in each, conducted by about 50 shepherds, under the charge of a mayoral or officer of responsibility. The progress of snch numerous flocks is necessarily slow, a journey of 400 or 300 miles, requiring 30 or 35 davs. In autumn a similar journey is requisite to bring the flocks from the high ground to the plaios. Migrations of so frequent occurrence, and to so great an extent, necessarily require peculiar regulations, and have given rise to the Mesta, an association authorised by government to decide all qu::stions between the shepherds and the farmers through whose lands the migrations take place.
Inlund Communication.] Spain labours under great disadvantags of inland communication. None of the large rivers are navigable except for a short distance from their months. The
toáds are also rendered difficult by the mountainous nature of the country: they are good only between the large towns, the oross roads being in general so bad as to necessitate the carriage of commodities on the backs of mules and horses.
Agriculture.] Agriculture is very backward in Spain. Scarcely a twelfth part of the land is cultivated and many of the finest tracts are allowed to lie waste. It is supposed that with proper care the soil would support three times as many inhabitants as it does at present. This neglect of agriculture is attributed to 'various causes; partly to the badness of the roads and the want of canals, which prevent the inbabitants from bringing their produce to market; partly to the monopolies and impolitic restrictions of the government; partly to the religion, which encourages the observance of an absurd number of holidays; a nd partly to the natural indolence of the Spaniards who hate and despise all labor. The best cultivated provinces are Biscay, Galicia, Catalonia, Valencia and a part of Granada.
Chief Towns.] Madrid, the capital of Spain, is situated near the centre of the kingdom, in New Castile, on the small river Manzanares, in lat. 40° 25' N. and lon. 3° 12' W. It stands on several small eminences in the centre of a large plain, which is elevated 2,800 feet above the level of the sea. It is surrounded by a high earthen wall but has no ditch or other means of defence. Most of the streets are strait, wide, clean, well paved, and well lighted. There are numerous squares adorned with statues and fountains but the most distinguished is the Plaza Mayor, which forms a regular oblong in the centre of the sity, 1,536 feet ia circuit and inclosed by 186 houses, all uniform and five stories high, with balconies and porticoes supported by pillars. This is the scene of the bull-fights and public executions. The most remarkable public building is the royal palace at the west end of the town, which is of a square form, presenting four fronts of 404 feet each, and is 86 feet in beight, and incloses in the middle a court 120 feet square. It is strongly built; its walls are thick, its foundations deep, its pillars strong, and every room is vaulted, no wood being admitted into its construction. It is elegantly ornamented on the outside, and in the interior are many spacious apartments, and a large collection of paintings by the best masters of Flanders; Italy and Spain. The chief defect is the want of gardens. Of the public walks of Madrid, the principal is the Prado, which makes so conspicuous a figure in Spanish romances and plays. It runs along the east and north sides of the city, and is planted with trees. Madrid enjoys almost always a cloudless sky, and a pure and serene atmosphere, but the air is extremely keen, owing to the elevated situation, and produces very severe effects on weak constitutions. Madrid has little trade and prospers chiefly from the presence of the court. The population is estimated at 168,000.
Cadiz, in the province of Seville, stands on the island. of Leon at the extremity of a long tongue of land which projects in a N. W. direction. The town is walled, and on three sides sur