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The Douro
Douro
(Portuguese: Douro
Douro
[ˈdo(w)ɾu]; Spanish: Duero [ˈdweɾo]; Proto-Celtic: *Dur, lit. 'water') is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province
Soria Province
across northern-central Spain
Spain
and Portugal
Portugal
to its outlet at Porto.

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Human geography

3 Economy

3.1 Dams

4 Gallery 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit]

A 1908 image of boats along the Douro
Douro
River

The Latinized name Durius, likely came from the Celtic tribes that inhabited the area before Roman times: the Celtic root is *dubro-.[1] In modern Welsh, dŵr is "water," as well as dour in modern Breton with cognate dobhar in Irish. In Roman times, the river was personified as a god, Durius. The Douro
Douro
vinhateiro (winegrowing), an area of the Douro Valley
Douro Valley
in Portugal
Portugal
long devoted to vineyards, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Traditionally, the wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called rabelos, to be stored in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. In the 1960s and 1970s, dams with locks were built along the river, allowing river traffic from the upper regions in Spain
Spain
and along the border. Nowadays Port wine
Port wine
is transported to Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia
in tanker trucks. In 1998, Portugal
Portugal
and Spain
Spain
signed the Albufeira Convention, an agreement on the sharing of trans-boundary rivers to include the Douro, Tagus
Tagus
and Guadiana. The convention superseded an original agreement on the Douro, signed in 1927, that was expanded in 1964 and 1968 to include tributaries.[2] Geography[edit]

A SPOT Satellite image of the Douro
Douro
River

Profile of the Douro
Douro
River, from its source in the mountains of the Sistema Ibérico
Sistema Ibérico
to Foz do Douro

It is the third-longest river in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
after the Tagus and Ebro. Its total length is 897 kilometres (557 mi),[3] of which only sections of the Portuguese extension below the fall line are navigable, by light rivercraft.[4] In its Spanish section, the Douro
Douro
crosses the great Castilian meseta and meanders through five provinces of the autonomous community of Castile and León: Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora, and Salamanca, passing through the towns of Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas, and Zamora. In this region, there are few tributaries of the Douro. The most important are the Pisuerga, passing through Valladolid, and the Esla, which passes through Zamora. This region is generally semi-arid plains, with wheat and in some places, especially near Aranda de Duero, with vineyards, in the Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero
wine region. Sheep rearing is also still important. The drainage basin borders those of Miño to the north, Ebro
Ebro
to the east, and Tajo to the south.[3][4] For 112 kilometres (70 mi), the river forms part of the national border line between Spain
Spain
and Portugal, in a region of narrow canyons. It formed a historical barrier to invasions, creating a cultural/linguistic divide. In these isolated areas, in which the Aldeadávila Dam
Dam
impounds the river, there are protected areas: the International Douro Natural Park
International Douro Natural Park
(on the Portuguese side) and the Arribes del Duero Natural Park
Arribes del Duero Natural Park
(on the Zamoran margin). The Douro
Douro
fully enters Portuguese territory just after the confluence with the Águeda River; once the Douro
Douro
enters Portugal, major population centres are less frequent along the river. Except for Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia
at the river mouth, the only population centres of any note are Foz do Tua, Pinhão and Peso da Régua. Tributaries here are small, merging into the Douro
Douro
along the canyons; the most important are Côa, Tua, Sabor, Corgo, Tavora, Paiva, Tâmega, and Sousa. None of these small, fast-flowing rivers is navigable. Human geography[edit] Major Spanish riverside towns include Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas, Zamora and major Portuguese towns include Miranda do Douro, Foz Côa, Peso da Régua, Lamego, Vila Nova de Gaia, and Porto. The most populous cities along the Douro
Douro
River
River
are Valladolid and Zamora in Spain, and Porto
Porto
and Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia
in Portugal. The latter two are located at the mouth of the Douro
Douro
at the Atlantic Ocean. In Portugal, the Douro
Douro
flows through the districts of Bragança, Guarda, Viseu, Vila Real, Aveiro and Porto. Porto
Porto
is the main hub city in northern Portugal. Its historic centre has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
because of its significant architecture and history. Economy[edit] These reaches of the Douro
Douro
have a microclimate[specify] allowing for cultivation of olives, almonds, and especially grapes, which are important for making the famous Port wine. The region around Pinhão and São João da Pesqueira
São João da Pesqueira
is considered to be the centre of Port wine, with its quintas (or farms/estates) that extend along the steep slopes of the river valleys. In the 21st century, many of these quintas are owned by multinational wine companies. Recently, a prosperous tourist industry has developed based on river excursions from Porto
Porto
to points along the Upper Douro
Douro
valley. The Douro railway line
Douro railway line
(in Portuguese: Linha do Douro) was completed in 1887; it connects Porto, Rio Tinto, Ermesinde, Valongo, Paredes, Penafiel, Livração, Marco de Canaveses, Régua, Tua and Pocinho. Pocinho
Pocinho
is near the city of Foz Côa, which is close to Côa Valley Paleolithic Art site. This is considered important to the archaeological pre-historic patrimony, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dams[edit] Fifteen dams have been built on the Douro
Douro
to regulate the water flow, generate hydroelectric power, and allow navigation through locks. Beginning at the headwaters, the first five dams are in Spain: Cuerda del Pozo, Los Rábanos, San José, Villalcampo and Castro Dams. The next five downstream are along the Portuguese-Spanish border; the first three are owned and operated by Portugal: (Miranda, Picote and Bemposta Dams), while the next two belong to Spain: (Aldeadávila and Saucelle Dams). The Douro's last five dams are in Portugal, and allow for navigation: Pocinho, Valeira, Régua, Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever Dams. Vessels with a maximum length of 83 metres (272 ft) and width of 11.4 metres (37 ft) can pass through the five locks. The highest lock, at Carrapatelo Dam, has a maximum lift of 35 metres (115 ft). The waters of Pocinho
Pocinho
lake reach 125 metres (410 ft) above sea level. Gallery[edit]

The Douro
Douro
in Zamora (Spain)

The Pisuerga
Pisuerga
River
River
(tributary to the Duero) in Valladolid

The Upper Douro
Douro
valley where Port wine
Port wine
grapes grow

The typical rabelo boat and Porto
Porto
historical district in background

Port wine
Port wine
signs by the Douro
Douro
River

Panoramic view of Oporto

The river between Porto
Porto
and Vila Nova de Gaia

The river near Régua, Portugal

International Douro
Douro
near Miranda do Douro

International Douro, "Arribes del Duero" near Salamanca

The river mouth from Porto's Crystal Palace Gardens, facing west

Looking across the river mouth from Foz do Douro
Foz do Douro
to Vila Nova de Gaia (Atlantic Ocean on the right)

Typical almond tree, mostly seen along the river in Portugal

See also[edit]

List of rivers of Portugal List of rivers of Spain

References[edit]

^ Robert Ferguson (1862). The River-names of Europe. Williams & Norgate. pp. 26–.  ^ "Spanish-Portuguese Albufeira Convention". United Nations. Retrieved 18 February 2015.  ^ a b "Rivers in Spain". www.iberianature.com. Retrieved 12 August 2017.  ^ a b "Guide to Spain
Spain
CO-CU". www.iberianature.com. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 

External links[edit]

Companhia Turística do Douro
Douro
Cruises on the Douro
Douro
River
River
on traditional "Rabelo" DouroValley.eu—Main tourism website inDOURO - Tourist Guide of Douro
Douro
Region IPTM—Instituto Portuário e dos Transportes Marítimos, Delegação do Norte e Douro Rio Douro
Douro
Sound Map Roteiro do Douro— Douro
Douro

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