|Anthem: Himno de Aragón (officially)
Unofficial Anthem: "Canto a la libertad"
Location of Aragon within Spain
|Status (within its statute)||Autonomous community (styled as historic nationality)|
|• President||Javier Lambán (PSOE)|
|• Legislature||Cortes of Aragon|
|Area(9.4% of Spain; Ranked 4th)|
|• Total||47,719 km2 (18,424 sq mi)|
|• Density||27/km2 (71/sq mi)|
|• Pop. rank||11th|
|• Percent||2.82% of Spain|
|Recognised languages||Aragonese, Catalan |
|Statute of Autonomy||16 August 1982
18 April 2007 (current version)
|National day||23 April|
|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 an 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 historic nationality of Spain.
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 2015[update], the population of Aragon was 1,317,847, with slightly more than half of it living in Zaragoza, its capital city. The economy of Aragon generates (as of 2014[update]) a GDP of €33,162 million which represents 3.13% of Spain's national GDP, and is currently 6th in per capita production behind Madrid, Basque Country, Navarre, Catalonia and La Rioja.
In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into 33 comarcas or counties. All comarcas of Aragon have a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman, Celtic and Roman days, and four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom (or taifa) of Saraqusta, and as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Marca Hispanica, counties that later formed the Kingdom of Aragon and eventually the empire or Crown of Aragon.
- 1 Symbols
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Government and politics
- 8 Media
- 9 Sport
- 10 Notable people from Aragon
- 11 Image gallery
- 12 See also
- 13 Footnotes
- 14 External links
The current coat of arms of Aragon is composed of the four barracks and is attested for the first time in 1499, consolidating since the Early Modern Ages to take root decisively in the 19th century and be approved, according to precept, by the Real Academia de la Historia in 1921.
The first quartering appears at the end of the 15th century and commemorates, according to traditional interpretation, the legendary kingdom of Sobrarbe; in the second quarter there is the so-called "Cross of Íñigo Arista", innovation of Peter IV of Aragon (from an anachronistic interpretation of the cross that symbolized the religion of the Asturian, Navarrese and Aragonese Christian kings), who took it as shields of the ancient kings of Aragon, although historically there were no heraldic emblems in the peninsula (or "signal shields", as it was said in the Middle Ages) before the union dynastic of 1137 of the House of Aragon with the House of Barcelona; in the third quartering appears the Saint George's Cross escutcheoned of four heads of Moors (the call "Cross of Alcoraz"), that is witnessed for the first time in a seal of 1281 of Peter III of Aragon and would remember, according to tradition arising from 14th century, the battle in which Peter I of Aragon and Pamplona and the future Alfonso I of Aragon took Huesca and was considered in the Early modern Ages one of the proprietary emblems of the kingdom of Aragon; and in the fourth is the emblem of the so-called "bars of Aragon" or Royal Sign of Aragon, the oldest of the heraldic emblems that are part of the current coat of arms, dated in the second half of 12th century.
This emblem of gules and gold was used in seals, banners, shields and standards indistinctly, not being but a familiar emblem that later denoted the authority as King of Aragon until, with the birth of Modern State, began to be a territorial symbol.
The current flag was approved in 1984, with the provisions of Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon, the flag is the traditional of the four horizontal red bars on a yellow background with the coat of arms of Aragon shifted towards the flagpole.
The bars of Aragon, common historic element of the current four autonomous communities that once were integrated into the Crown of Aragon, present in the third quartering of the coat of arms of Spain.
The anthem of Aragon (himno de Aragón) was regulated in 1989 with music by the Aragonese composer Antón García Abril that combines the old Aragonese musical tradition with popular musical elements within a modern conception. The lyrics were elaborated by the Aragonese poets Ildefonso Manuel Gil, Ángel Guinda, Rosendo Tello and Manuel Vilas and highlights within its poetic framework, values such as freedom, justice, reason, truth, open land ... that historically represent the expression of Aragon as a people.
The Day of Aragon is celebrated on April 23 and commemorates Saint George, patron of the Kingdom of Aragon since 15th century. It appears in Article 3 of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon since 1984. Institutional acts such as the delivery of the Aragon Awards by the Government of Aragon or the composition of a flag of Aragon of flowers, with the collaboration of citizens, in the Plaza de Aragón square of Zaragoza.
The area of Aragon is 47 719,2 km² of which 15 636,2 km² belong to the province of Huesca, 17 274,3 km² to the province of Zaragoza and 14 808,7 km² to the province of Teruel. The total represents a 9.43% of the surface of Spain, being thus the fourth autonomous community in size behind Castile and León, Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha.
It is located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, at a latitude between 39º and 43º' N in the temperate zone of the Earth. Its boundaries and borders are in the north with France, the regions of (Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine), in the west with the autonomous communities of Castile-La Mancha (provinces of Guadalajara and Cuenca), Castile and León (province of Soria), La Rioja and Navarre and in the east with the autonomous communities of Catalonia (provinces of Lérida and Tarragona) and Valencian Community (provinces of Castellón and Valencia).
The orography of the community has as central axis the Ebro valley (with heights between 150 and 300 meters approx.) which transits between two foothills, the Pyrenean and the Ibérico, preambles of two great mountain formations, the Pyrenees to the north and the Sistema Ibérico to the south; the Community has the highest peaks of both mountain ranges, the Aneto and the Moncayo respectively.
The Aragonese Pyrenees is located in the north of the province of Huesca and is arranged longitudinally in three large units: High Pyrenees, Intrapirenaic Depression and Outer Ranges. The Aragonese High Pyrenees contains the maximum heights of all the Pyrenees mountainous chain. The High Pyrenees is formed in turn by the axial Pyrenees and the Inland Ranges.
In the axial Pyrenees are the oldest materials: granites, quartzites, slates and limestones and the highest peaks like: the Aneto (3404 m.), Maladeta (3309 m.) and the Perdiguero (3221 m.). The inner Pre-Pyrenees, composed of more modern rocks (limestones) also has large mountains such as Monte Perdido (3355 m.), Collarada (2886 m.) and Tendeñera (2853 m.).
The main Pyrenean valleys are formed by the rivers that are born there, which are:
- Ansó Valley: Veral river
- Hecho Valley: Aragón Subordán river
- Canfranc Valley: Aragón river
- Tena Valley: Gállego river
- Broto Valley: Ara river
- Aínsa Valley: Cinca river
- Benasque Valley: Ésera river
The intrapirenaic depression is a broad perpendicular corridor. Its best represented section is the Canal de Berdún. The southern limit of the Depression corresponds to the energetic reliefs of San Juan de la Peña (1 552 m.) and Oroel Rock (1 769 m.), modeled on conglomerates of the Campodarbe Formation .
The pre-Pyrenean outer ranges are in the Huescan foothills and constitute the southernmost unit of the Pyrenees; formed by predominantly calcareous materials, reach heights between 1500 and 2000 meters. The Sierra de Guara, one of the most important mountain ranges of the Spanish Pre-Pyrenees, stands out, its summit, the Guara Peak reaches 2077 m.. The Mallos de Riglos, near the town of Ayerbe, stand out for their beauty.
Depression of the Ebro
It extends a wide plain, after passing the foothills, corresponding to the Depression of the Ebro. To the southwest is the Sierra de Alcubierre ranges (811 m.) one of the typical limestone plateaus of the Depression.
The depression of the Ebro is a tectonic pit filled with sedimentary materials, accumulated in the Tertiary age in horizontal series. In the center, fine materials such as clays, plasters and limestones were deposited. To the south of the Ebro have been the limestone plateaus of Borja and of Zaragoza.
The Aragonese Sistema Ibérico is divided between the provinces of Zaragoza and Teruel. It is a set of hills without a clear structural unit, which can be divided into two zones: Sistema Ibérico del Jalón and Sistema Ibérico turolense. In the first, the Moncayo stands out with 2314 m., formed by Paleozoic quartzites and slates, partly covered by Mesozoic limestones; to the southeast of the Moncayo the Sistema Ibérico descends of height. The second is formed by elevated terrain (from 1000 to 2000 m. in general), but flattened and massive. To the southwest of the depression the summits of the Sierra de Albarracín range are reached above 1800 m., southeast the 2000 m. are reached in the Sierra de Javalambre range and finally we arrive at the Sierra de Gúdar range (2024 m.) transition to Maestrazgo.
Climate and vegetation
Although the climate of Aragon can be considered, in general, as a continental Mediterranean climate, its irregular orography creates several climates or microclimates throughout the entire community. From the High mountain climate of the central Pyrenees to the north, with perpetual ice (glaciers), to the steppe or semi-desert zones, such as the Monegros, passing through the intense Continental climate of the Teruel-Daroca area.
The main characteristics of the Aragonese climate are:
- The aridity, product of a situation of bucket fitted between the Pyrenean mountain ranges of the north and the Sistema Ibérico to the south, that makes the rains discharge in these high foothills and creates a central situation of absence of precipitations and contrasts of temperatures, with very prolonged extreme seasons with very cold winters and hot summers, and of transition -spring and autumn- short and variable, all inherent to the continental climate specific to the Iberian Peninsula.
- The irregularity of the rains due to the component Mediterranean climate, with alternating dry and wet years.
- The air currents that are encased in the middle Ebro Valley from northwest to southeast (cierzo), which stands out for its intensity and frequency, and from southeast to northwest (heat index).
Average temperatures are very dependent on height. In the Ebro Valley the winters are relatively moderate, although the frosts are very common and the thermal sensation can decrease a lot with the cierzo, temperatures in summer can reach near the 40 °C. In mountain areas winters are long and rigorous, average temperatures can be up to 10 °C lower than in the valley.
Two are the most important winds of Aragon: the cierzo of the north and the heat index of levant. The first is a very cold and dry wind that crosses the Ebro Valley from northwest to southeast and that can present great strength and speed. The second is a warm wind, more irregular and smooth coming from the south-east.
The vegetation follows the oscillations of relief and climate. There is a great variety, be it wild vegetation or human crops. In the high areas you can find forests (pines, firs, beech trees, oaks), bushes and meadows, while the areas of Ebro Valley evergreen oak and juniper are the most numerous trees, apart from the lands exploited for agricultural use.
Most Aragonese rivers are tributaries of the Ebro, which is the strongest in Spain and divides the community in two. Of the tributaries of the left bank of the river, that is to say the rivers originating in the Pyrenees, the Aragón river stands out, which was born in Huesca but ends at the community of Navarre, the Gállego and the Cinca, which joins the Segre just before emptying into the Ebro at the height of Mequinenza. On the right bank, the Jalón, Huerva and Guadalope stand out.
In the stream bed of the Ebro river, near the limit with Catalonia, the Mequinenza Reservoir, of 1530 hm³ and a length of about 110 km; it is popularly known as the "Sea of Aragon".
Special mention in the hydrography deserve the small Pyrenean mountain lakes called ibones. These lakes, of great scenic beauty, have their origin in the last glaciation and are usually found above 2000 m..
It should be noted that the Autonomous Community belongs to three hydrographic confederations, the aforementioned Ebro, the Tagus (which is born in the Sierra de Albarracín range) and the Júcar which has as its main river in this community the Turia.
In Aragon, protected natural spaces are managed through the Red Natural de Aragón, an entity created in 2004 to protect all elements with ecological, landscape and cultural value and at the same time coordinate and establish common standards that contribute to their conservation and sustainable use. In this entity are integrated national parks, natural parks, nature reserves, biosphere reserves and other protected natural areas that have been declared by the autonomous community, the Ramsar Convention or the Natura 2000.
Within the protected areas is the only national park of Aragon: the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, the second national park created in Spain, in 1918, it is found in the Pyrenees in the comarca of Sobrarbe, occupies an area of 15 608 ha, apart of the 19 679 ha of the peripheral area of protection. At the moment it also enjoys other figures of Protection like the Biosphere Reserve of Ordesa-Viñamala and is cataloged as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In addition there are other 4 natural parks: the Moncayo Natural Park with an extension of 11 144 ha, the Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park with 47 453 ha and 33 286 ha of peripheral area of protection, the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park with 33 440,60 ha and 5290,20 ha of peripheral area of protection, and the Valles Occidentales Natural Park with 27 073 ha and 7335 ha of peripheral area of protection.
There are also three nature reserves, five natural monuments and three protected landscapes.
Aragon, occupying the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula has served as a bridge between the Mediterranean Sea, the peninsular center and the coasts of the Cantabrian Sea. The human presence in the lands that today form the autonomous community date back several millennia, but the current Aragon, like many of the current historical nationalities, were formed during the Middle Ages.
The oldest testimonies of human life in the lands that today make up Aragon go back to the time of the glaciations, in the Pleistocene, some 600 000 years ago. This population left the Acheulean industry that found its best weapons in the hand axes of flint or the cleavers of quartzite. In the Upper Palaeolithic appeared two new cultures: Solutrean and Magdalenian. The Epipaleolithic was centered in Lower Aragon, occupying the epoch between the 7th and the 5th millennium.
In the first half of the 5th millennium BC, Neolithic remains are found in the Huescan Outer Ranges and in Lower Aragon. The Eneolithic was characterized in the province of Huesca presenting two important megalithic nuclei: the Pre-Pyrenees of the Outer Ranges and the High Pyrenean valleys.
The Late Bronze Age begins in Aragon around 1100 a. C. with the arrival of the Urnfield culture. They are Indo-European people, with an alleged origin in Central Europe, who incinerate their dead by placing the ashes in a funeral urn. There are examples in the Cave del Moro of Olvena, the Masada del Ratón in Fraga, Palermo and the Cabezo de Monleón in Caspe.
From the metallurgical point of view there seems to be a boom given the increase in foundry molds that are located in the populations.
The Iron Age is the most important, since throughout the centuries it is the true substratum of the Aragonese historical population. The arrival of Central Europeans during the Bronze Age by Pyrenees until reaching the Lower Aragon area, supposed an important ethnic contribution that prepared the way to the invasions of Iron Age.
The Mediterranean contributions represented a commercial activity that will constitute a powerful stimulus for the iron metallurgy, promoting the modernization of the tools and the indigenous armament, replacing the old bronze with the iron. There is presence of Phoenician, Greek and Etruscan products.
In the 6th century BC there are six groups with different social organization: products Vascones, Suessetani, Sedetani, Iacetani, Ilergetes and Citerior Celtiberians. They are Iberized groups with a tendency towards stability, fixing their habitat in durable populations, with dwellings that evolve towards more enduring and stable models. There are many examples in Aragon, among which Cabezo de Monleón in Caspe, Puntal of Fraga, Roquizal del Rullo or Loma de los Brunos. The type of social organization was based on the family group, consisting of four generations. Self-sufficient societies in which the greater part of the population was dedicated to agricultural and livestock activities. In the Iberian scope the power was monarchical, exercised by a king; there was a democratic assembly with participation of the male population. There were visible social differentiations and established legal-political statutes.
The Romans arrived and progressed easily into the interior. In the territorial distribution that Rome made of Hispania, the current Aragon was included in the Hispania Citerior. In the year 197 a. C., Sempronius Tuditanus is the praetor of the Citerior and had to face a general uprising in their territories that ended with the Roman defeat and the own death of Tuditanus. In view of these facts the Senate sent the consul Marcus Porcius Cato with an army of 60 000 men. The indigenous peoples of the area were rebelling, except for the Ilergetes who negotiated peace with Cato. There were different uprisings of the Iberian peoples against the Romans, in 194 B. C. sees a general uprising with elimination of half of the Roman army, in 188 a. C Manlius Acidinus Fulvianus, praetor of the Citerior, must confront in Calagurris (Calahorra) with the Celtiberians, in the 184 a. C. Terentius Varro did it with the Suessetani, to those who took the capital, Corbio. In the 1st century BC Aragon was the scene of the civil war to seize the power of Rome where the governor Quintus Sertorius made Osca (Huesca) the capital of all the territories controlled by them.
Already in the 1st century AC, the today Aragonese territory became part of the province Tarraconensis and there was the definitive romanization of it creating roads and consolidating ancient Celtiberian and Iberian cities such as Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza), Turiaso (Tarazona), Osca (Huesca) or Bilbilis (Calatayud).
In the middle of 3rd century The decay of the Roman Empire began. Between the years 264 and 266 the Franks and the Alemanni, two Germanic peoples who passed through the Pyrenees and came to Tarazona, which they sacked. In the agony of the Empire groups of bandits emerged who were dedicated to pillage. The Ebro Valley was ravaged in the 5th century by several gangs of evildoers called Bagaudae.
In the year 714 the Arabs arrived in the central area of Aragon, converting to Islam the ancient Roman cities such as Saraqusta (Zaragoza) or Wasqa (Huesca). It was at this time that an important Muladi family was formed, the Banu Qasi (بنو قاسي), their domains were located in the Ebro Valley between the 8th and 10th centuries. After the disappearance of the Caliphate of Córdoba at the beginning of 11th century, the Taifa of Zaragoza arose, one of the most important Taifas of Al-Andalus, leaving a great artistic, cultural and philosophical legacy.
The name of Aragon is documented for the first time during the Early Middle Ages in the year 828, when the small County of Aragon of Frankish origin, would emerge between the rivers that bear its name, the Aragón river, and its brother the Aragón Subordán river.
That County of Aragon would be linked to the Kingdom of Pamplona until 1035, and under its wing it would grow to form a dowry of García Sánchez III of Pamplona to the death of the king Sancho "the Great", in a period characterized by Muslim hegemony in almost the entire Iberian Peninsula. Under the reign of Ramiro I of Aragon would be extended borders with the annexation of the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza (year 1044), after having incorporated populations of the historical comarca of Cinco Villas.
In 1076, on the death of Sancho IV of Pamplona, Aragon incorporates into its territories part of the Navarrese kingdom while Castile does the same with the western area of the former domains of Sancho "the Great". Through the reigns of Sancho Ramírez and Peter I of Aragon and Pamplona, the kingdom extends its borders to the south, establishes threatening fortresses on the capital of Zaragoza in El Castellar and Juslibol and takes Huesca, which become the new capital.
This leads to the reign of Alfonso I of Aragon that would conquer the flat lands of the middle Ebro Valley for Aragon: Ejea de los Caballeros, Valtierra , Calatayud, Tudela and Zaragoza, the capital of the Taifa of Saraqusta. At his death the nobles would choose his brother Ramiro II of Aragon, who left his religious life to assume the royal scepter and perpetuate the dynasty, which he achieved with the dynastic union of the House of Aragon with the owner of the County of Barcelona in 1137, year in which the union of both patrimonies would give rise to the Crown of Aragon and would add the forces that to its they would make the conquests of the Kingdom of Majorca and the Kingdom of Valencia possible. The Crown of Aragon would become the hegemonic power of the Mediterranean, controlling territories as important as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia or Naples.
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.
According to Aragonese law, the monarch had to swear allegiance to the Kingdom's laws before being accepted as king. Like other Pyrenean and Basque realms, the Aragonese justice and decision making system was based on Pyrenean consuetudinary law, the King was considered primus inter pares ('first among equals') within the nobility. A nobleman with the title "Chustizia d'Aragón"  acted as ombudsman and was responsible for ensuring that the King obeyed the Aragonese laws. An old saying goes, "en Aragón antes de Rey hubo Ley" ("in Aragon Law came before King"), similar to the saying in Navarre, "antes fueron Leyes que Reyes", with much the same meaning.
The subsequent legend made the Aragonese monarchy eligible and created a phrase of coronation of the king that would be perpetuated for centuries:
We, who are worth as much as you we make you our King and Lord, as long as you keep our fueros and liberties, and if not, not.— The Chustizia d'Aragón
This situation would be repeated in the Commitment of Caspe (1412), which avoids a war that had dismembered the Crown of Aragon when a good handful of aspirants to the throne emerged after the death of Martin of Aragon a year after the death of his first-born, Martin I of Sicily. Ferdinand I of Aragon is the chosen one, of the Castilian House of Trastámara, but also directly connected with the Aragonese king Peter IV of Aragon, through his mother Eleanor of Aragon.
Aragon is already a large-scale political entity: the Crown, the Cortes, the Deputation of the Kingdom and the Foral Law constitute its nature and its character. The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragón with Isabella I of Castile, celebrated in 1469 in Valladolid, derived later in the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, creating the bases of the Modern State.
Early Modern Age
The Early Modern Age, however, also witnessed the tensions between the power of the Hispanic Monarchy and those established in the foral states coming from the evolution of the medieval institutions, which ended up exploding in the conflict of the Alterations of Aragon of 1591.
After the subsequent cut to the attributions of the Generality of Aragon in the Courts of Tarazona of 1592, fundamentally in military matter to avoid that could be armed against the king of Spain an army with the resources and prerogatives of the Deputation of the Kingdom, the 17th century was a period of decadence of the institutions of the Kingdom of Aragon, which was compensated with the historiographic work and legal literature that kept the memory of the Aragonese peculiarities. Emphasizes in this sense the creation in 1601 of Archive of the Kingdom of Aragon (largely destroyed during the Napoleonic French Invasion and the Sieges of Zaragoza together with the Palace of the Deputation of the Kingdom), the continuity of the position of Chronicler of Aragon -where had stood out authors like Jerónimo Zurita y Castro- and its patent results in the work of the Argensola brothers with their Information of the events of Aragon of 1590 and 1591 (by Lupercio) and Popular alterations of Zaragoza of the year 1591 (by Bartolomé, or the Annals by Juan Costa and Jerónimo Martel , eyewitnesses and also chroniclers of the Kingdom, that were nevertheless destroyed by royal censorship, all of them written to counteract the Philip II's version of the facts. On the other hand, the Deputation of the General of Aragon also exerted censorship, and ordered to burn the History of the things that happened in this Kingdom in six volumes of the Castillian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas because "in said Chronicles it said many things contrary to the truth" and entrusted to Vicencio Blasco de Lanuza the writing of a Secular and ecclesiastical histories of Aragon, whose second volume, which dealt with the serious events recently occurred, was published in 1619, three years before the first, which gives an idea of the intention to respond to the vision of Herrera. In the same line, a Ceremonial and brief relation of all the charges and ordinary things of the Deputation of the Kingdom of Aragon was commissioned, to his Lieutenant of Alcaide, Lorenzo Ibáñez de Aoiz. The cartography of the Kingdom of Aragon, entrusted to the Portuguese João Baptista Lavanha, was also undertaken in this period. These last two works were completed in 1611.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, Aragon (like the rest of the territories of the Crown: Catalonia, Valencia and Majorca) supported Archduke Charles (of the House of the Habsburgs) in front of Philip V (of the Bourbons). After the Battle of Almansa (1707), Philip V abolished the Aragonese fueros, adopted several centralist measures and all the old political dispositions of the kingdom were annulled (Nueva Planta decrees). Aragon became the practice in a province.
Late Modern Age
The Napoleonic French Invasion, after the intense destruction of the city of Zaragoza, stopped the economic progress and significantly delayed the incorporation of the capital to the rhythm of modernity. With the first provincial organization of 1822 of Spain, Aragon counted on four provinces, being Calatayud capital of the fourth province that included municipalities of the current provinces of Zaragoza, Teruel, Soria and Guadalajara. Disappeared with the new abolition of the Constitution by Ferdinand VII "the Felon king". The provincial division of 1833 organized the Aragonese territory in the current three provinces.
Throughout the 19th century the Carlists, who sought adepts for their cause in this land, offered the restoration of past foral liberties of the now old and disappeared kingdom of Aragon. It was also in this century the passage from a rural society to an industrial and urban operation, leading a massive exodus from the countryside to the larger cities of Aragon, Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel or Calatayud, and a real emigration to other nearby regions, such as Catalonia or Madrid.
During the 20th century, the history of Aragon has gone hand in hand with that of the rest of the Spanish territory, to highlight the "conjunctural" economic impulse in the military dictatorship Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1931) and the progress in civil and individual liberties during the Second Spanish Republic. Also in June 1936, in the Spanish Cortes the Proposed Draft Statute of Autonomy of Aragon was presented but the imminent Spanish Civil War prevented the development of the autonomist project.
Aragon was divided by the two sides opposed in the Spanish Civil War. On the one hand, the Eastern Area, closer to Catalonia and controlled by the Regional Defence Council of Aragon, loyal to the Republic and on the other the Western Area, where the three provincial capitals were located, by the rebellious side national-fascist, having a hard, cruel and savage repression in them and during the contest.
In Aragon some of the most important battles of the Spanish Civil War were fought, such as that of Belchite, that of Teruel or that of Ebro. Aragon since 1939 was under the Francoist dictatorship along with the rest of Spain.
During the 1960s an exodus and a depopulation of the rural zones towards the industrial zones like the provincial capitals, other areas of Spain, besides other European countries was triggered. In 1964, one of the so-called Development Poles was created in Zaragoza.
In the 1970s a period of transition as in the rest of the Country was experienced, after the extinction of the previous regime, with the recovery of democratic normality and the creation of a new constitutional framework.
It began to demand an own political autonomy, for the Aragonese historical territory; sentiment that was reflected in the historic manifestation of April 23 of 1978 that brought together more than 100 000 aragoneses through the streets of Zaragoza. Not having plebiscited, in the past, affirmatively a draft Statute of autonomy (second transitory provision of the constitution) and not making use of the difficult access to autonomy by Article 151 whose aggravated procedure required, apart from the initiative of the process autonomic follow the steps of article 143, which was ratified by three quarters of the municipalities of each of the affected provinces that represent at least the majority of the electoral census, and that this initiative was approved by referendum by the affirmative vote of the majority absolute of the electors of each province, Aragon acceded to the self-government by the slow way of article 143 obtaining lower competence top, and less self-management of resources, during more than 20 years.
The August 10 of 1982, was approved by the Cortes Generales the Aragon's autonomy statute, signed by the then president of the Government, Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, and sanctioned by His Majesty Juan Carlos I of Spain.
The May 7 of 1992 a Special Commission of the Aragonese Corts, elaborated a reformed text that was approved by the Aragonese Corts and by the Spanish Cortes. Again, a small statutory reform in the year 1996 extended the competence framework, forcing a definitive comprehensive review for several years, a new statutory text was approved in 2007, by majority but without reaching total unanimity.
In the 1990s the Aragonese society increases a significant qualitative step in the quality of life due to the economic progress of the State at all levels.
At the beginning of 21st century, a significant increase in infrastructures was established, such as the arrival of the High Speed Train (AVE), the construction of thenew dual carriageway Somport-Sagunto and the promotion of the two airports in the Autonomous Community, Zaragoza and Huesca-Pirineos. At the same time, large technological projects are being undertaken, such as the Walqa Technology Park and the implementation of a telematic network throughout the community.
In 2007 the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon was reformed again -which was approved by a broad consensus in the Aragonese Corts, having the support of the PSOE, the PP, the PAR and the IU, whereas CHA abstained- granting the Autonomous Community the recognition of historical nationality (since the Organic Law of 1996 reform of the statute, it had the condition of nationality), includes a new title on the Administration of Chustizia and another on the rights and duties of the Aragoneses and guiding principles of public policies, the possibility of creating an own tax agency in collaboration with that of the State, and also the obligation to public authorities to ensure to avoid transfers from watersheds such as transfer of the Ebro, among many other modifications of the Statute of Autonomy.
The designation of Zaragoza as the venue for the 2008 International Exhibition, whose thematic axis was Water and Sustainable development, represented a series of changes and accelerated growth for the autonomous community. In addition, two anniversaries were celebrated that same year, the bicentennial of Sieges of Zaragoza of the War of Independence against the Napoleonic invasion, occurred in 1808 and the centenary of the Hispano-French Exposition of 1908 that it supposed as a modern event, to demonstrate the cultural and economic thrust of Aragon and at the same time serve to strengthen ties and staunch wounds with the French neighbors after the events of the Napoleonic Wars of the previous century.
The majority of Aragonese citizens, 71.8%, live in the province of Zaragoza. 17.1% live in the province of Huesca, and 11.1% in the province of Teruel. The population density of the region is the second lowest in Spain after Castilla-La Mancha: only 26,8/km². 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.
Spanish is the native language in most of Aragon, 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 Aragon, 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.
Aragon is divided into three provinces from north to south, named after their capitals: Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel. The provinces are further divided into 33 comarcas, three of which are in more than one province. There are a total of 732 municipalities in the region.
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.
The Carnival of Bielsa (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".
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 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.
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[update] there are 520,000 cars in Aragon. 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.
Government and politics
Current political organization
As an autonomous community of Spain, Aragon has an elected regional parliament (Spanish: Cortes de Aragón, Aragonese: Cortz d'Aragón, Catalan: Corts d'Aragó) with 67 seats. It 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 2015) is Javier Lambán of the PSOE. Nationally, Aragon elects 13 Deputies and 14 Senators to the Cortes Generales.
In addition to the Spanish-based political parties, there are a number of Aragón-based parties, such as the Chunta Aragonesista, a left-wing Aragonese nationalist party, and the Aragonese Party, more conservative. Chunta Aragonesista had a seat in Spain's national Congress of Deputies from 2000 to 2008, while the centrist Aragonese Party has three national senators, who are in coalition with the ruling People's Party.
In a 2011 regional government survey, 47.6% of the population wanted greater autonomy for Aragon, while 35.2% were satisfied with its current level of autonomy. A total of 6% wanted an end to autonomy and 3.2% wanted full independence.
In 1479, King Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile, a kingdom covering much of the rest of modern Spain. However, until the Nueva Planta decrees of 1707, Aragon maintained its own separate laws and institutions.
Aragon has media set-ups in television, radio and numerous newspapers.
On 21 April 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 delayed 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, there were several projects. The most widely accepted for many years had been Antena Aragón, which came to be regarded as regional television. This channel was created in 1998 and disappeared in 2005 shortly after having to leave the Media Production Centre (CPA), 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 broadcasting a letter and a loop with images of Aragonese villages and audio of regional radio programs.
Aragon Radio, began broadcasting on 18 August 2005 at 5PM with the sound of drums and drums of Calanda and a group song Zaragoza "The Fish". Estimates of its audience range from 20,000 listeners, according to the latest EMG, to 70,000, according to private findings. The channel has regional news bulletins every hour from 7AM to midnight and coverage of sports.
Aragon's most successful football club is Real Zaragoza. The club was founded in 1932 and has played at its current ground, La Romareda, since 1957. Real Zaragoza have won six Copa del Rey titles from 1964 to 2004, and the 1995 European Cup Winners' Cup. Smaller clubs in the region include CD Teruel and SD Huesca.
Skiing is popular in the Pyrenean north of Aragon, at resorts such as Formigal and Candanchú. The Aragonese city of Jaca in the Pyrennes bid to host the Winter Olympics from 2002 to 2014. Zaragoza was considering a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, but dropped it in 2011 to strengthen the chance of Barcelona winning the games.
Notable people from Aragon
Up to the 19th century
- Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (1271–1336) was queen consort of Portugal and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Antipope Benedict XIII (1328–1423) known as Papa Luna was an Avignon pope and art patron-sponsor.
- King Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452–1516) married queen Isabella I of Castile and united the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile, giving form to the actual Spain.
- Michael Servetus (1509/11–1552) was a 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.
- Joseph Calasanz (1557–1648) was a Catholic priest who dedicated himself to the education of poor boys at Rome and founded a society pledged to that work.
- Baltasar Gracián (1601–1658) writer of Spanish Baroque literature.
- Gaspar Sanz (1640–1710), composer, guitarist and organist.
- Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre (1702–1780) was a military engineer who discovered the ruins of Pompeii.
- Francisco Garcés (1738–1781) was a missionary priest to North America who founded two pueblo missions.
- Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) 18th-century painter.
20th and 21st centuries
- 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. Josemaría Escrivá, 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
- Crown of Aragon
- Kingdom of Aragon
- Expo 2008
- Current art's artifacts dispute between Aragon and Catalonia, see: Monastery of Santa María de Sigena
- Auberge d'Aragon
- List of Aragonese people
- List of mountains in Aragon
- Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon
- Music of Aragon
- Fiestas del Pilar
- La Vaquilla del Ángel
- "LEY 10/2009, de 22 de diciembre, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas propias de Aragón" (PDF). Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "PIB de las Comunidades Autónomas" [GDP of the Autonomous Communities]. datosmacro.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- José María Cuadrat Prats, "El clima de Aragón", in J. L. Peña, L. A. Longares and M. Sánchez (editions), Geografía Física de Aragón. Aspectos generales y temáticos, Zaragoza, University of Zaragoza and Fernando el Católico Institution, pp. 15-26. 2004.
- Natural 2000 of Aragon Government of Aragón.
- Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park Government of Aragon.
- Spaces integrated into the Natural 2000 of Aragon Government of Aragon.
- "El Justicia de Aragón". Eljusticiadearagon.com. 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- State Agency Official State Gazette (December 31, 1996). "Organic Law 5/1996, of December 30, of Reform of the Organic Law 8/1982, of August 10, of the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon, modified by the Organic Law 6/1994, of March 24, of reform of said Statute". Documento BOE-A-1996-29115. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Cifras completas". Archived from the original on 2007-02-03.
- 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. Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Gobierno de Aragón". Portal.aragob.es. Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Grupos Parlamentarios | Senado de España
- Barómetro de Opinión de Invierno 2011 - Aragón_hoy
- Spain - List of Cup Finals Archived January 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Season start Aragón – Ski season opening Aragón – Season begin Aragón
- Jaca to bid for 2014 Winter Games
- Juegos Olímpicos Zaragoza Pirineos 2022 « Candidatura a los JJOO de Invierno de 2022 (No Oficial) Archived June 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza.Zaragoza Turismo. Candidatura Olimpica 2022 Archived January 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Barcelona is now Spain's sole candidate for the 2022 Winter Olympics | News | Homepage | The website of the Barcelona city Archived January 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
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