Extremadura (English: /ˌɛkstrɪməˈdjʊərə/;
Spanish: [e(ɣ)stɾemaˈðuɾa]; Extremaduran: Estremaúra
[eʰtːɾemaˈuɾa]; Portuguese: Estremadura
[(ɨ)ʃtɾɨmɐˈðuɾɐ]) is an autonomous community of western
Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the
State of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest
provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal
to the west; by the provinces of Salamanca and Ávila (Castile and
León) to the north; by the provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba
(Andalusia) to the south; and by provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real
(Castile–La Mancha). Its official language is Spanish.
It is an important area for wildlife, particularly with the major
reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007,
and the International
Tagus River Natural Park (Parque Natural Tajo
Internacional). The government of
Extremadura is called Gobierno de
The Day of
Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with
the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
3.1 Immigration into Extremadura
3.2 Historical development
4 Administrative divisions
9 Notable people
9.3 Writers and poets
9.6 Musicians and TV
10 See also
12 External links
Extremadura is contained between 37° 57′ and 40° 85′ N latitude,
and 4° 39′ and 7° 33′ W longitude.
The area of
Extremadura is 41,633 km2 (16,075 sq mi),
making it the fifth largest of the Spanish autonomous communities.
It is located in the Southern Plateau (a subdivision of the Central
In the north is the
Sistema Central with the highest point in
Extremadura, 2,401 m (7,877 ft) high Calvitero. The main
subranges of the
Sistema Central in
Extremadura are the Sierra de Gata
and Sierra de Béjar.
In the centre is the Sierra de las Villuercas, which reaches an
altitude of 1,603 m (5,259 ft) on the Pico de las
Villuercas. Other notable ranges are
Sierra de Montánchez
Sierra de Montánchez and the
Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the greater Montes de Toledo
To the south rises the Sierra Morena, which separates
Andalusia, and the Sierra de Tentudía, with the highest peak in
Extremadura as Pico Tentudía at 1,104 m (3,622 ft).
The Old city of Cáceres
The city of Guadalupe
There are four different hydrographic basins:
The basin of the
Tagus (Spanish: Tajo), with two principal
tributaries: on the right, the Tiétar and the Alagón; and on the
left, the Almonte, Ibor,
Salor and the Sever. The tributaries on the
right edge carry a large quantity of water, which feed the gorges of
Sistema Central where the rainfall is abundant and the winter
brings a great quantity of snow.
The basin of the Guadiana, which has principal tributaries: to the
Guadarranque and Ruecas to the left:
Zújar River which is its
plentiful tributary and the Matachel.
The basin of the
Guadalquivir with only 1,411 km2
(545 sq mi) in
Extremadura (2.45% of total).
The basin of the
Douro (Spanish: Duero) with only 35 km2
(14 sq mi) in
Extremadura (0.04% of its basin).
The climate of
Extremadura is Mediterranean, except to the north,
where it is continental, and to the west, where the influence of the
Atlantic makes the climate milder.
In general, it is characterized by its very hot and dry summers, with
great droughts, and its long and mild winters due to the oceanic
influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal.
The yearly temperature fluctuates between an average minimum of
4 °C (39 °F) and an average maximum of 33 °C
(91 °F). In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures
are lower than those in the south, with temperatures gradually rising
south towards the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the
During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than
26 °C (79 °F), at times reaching 40 °C
The winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures being registered in
the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C
The average snowfall is 40 cm (16 in), mainly occurring in
January and February.
Most populous cities
Villanueva de la Serena
Navalmoral de la Mata
As of January 1, 2012, the population of
Extremadura is 1,109,367
inhabitants, representing 2.36% of the Spanish population
The population density is very low—25/km2 (65/sq mi)—compared
Spain as a whole.
The most populous province is that of Badajoz, with a population of
691,715 and a population density of 31.78/km2 (82.3/sq mi). With
an area of 21,766 km2 (8,404 sq mi), it is the largest
province in Spain. 413,766 people live in the province of Cáceres at
a density of 20.83/km2 (53.9/sq mi), having an area of
19,868 km2 (7,671 sq mi), making it the largest
Spain after Badajoz.
Immigration into Extremadura
Within the region of Extremadura, there live 29,068 foreign citizens,
according to the INE census of January 1, 2007, of which 16,647 reside
in the province of
Badajoz and 12,421 in the province of Cáceres.
The largest immigrant community is Moroccan with 9,218 people,
followed by Romanians with 4,324. There are 98 Icelanders and 6
Liechtensteiners. Brazilians account for 1,676 and Colombians make up
1,409. Of immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, the largest community is
Senegalese with 88 people. Of those from Asia, the Chinese make up the
largest group with 631 people. There are also 3,492 Portuguese people
living within the region.
The Extremaduran population, according to the 1591 census of the
provinces of the Kingdom of Castile, was around 540,000 people, making
up 8% of the total population of Spain. No other census was performed
until 1717, when 326,358 people were counted as living in Extremadura.
From this period, the population grew steadily until the 1960s
(1,379,072 people in 1960). After 1960, emigration to more
prosperous regions of
Spain and Europe drained the population.
Extremadura is divided into 383 municipalities, 164 are part of the
Badajoz and the other 219 are part of the Province of
List of municipalities in Badajoz
List of municipalities in Cáceres
There are also traditional comarcas in Extremadura, like Las
Villuercas and Las Hurdes, but these don't have much official
The only language that is officially recognized is Spanish (whose
local dialects are collectively called Castúo), but other languages
are also spoken:
Galician-Portuguese language, is a specially protected
language and is spoken in the valley of Jálama.
The Extremaduran language. It is related to Leonese and is severely
endangered. It is taught neither publicly nor privately.[citation
Portuguese language in
Cedillo and Herrera de Alcántara, and
also spoken by some people (mainly those born before the 1940s) in
Archaeological Roman Ensemble in Mérida, capital of the ancient
Lusitania, an ancient Roman province approximately including current
Portugal (except for the northern area today known as Norte
Region) and a central western portion of the current day Spain,
covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura.
Mérida (now capital of Extremadura) became the capital of the Roman
province of Lusitania, and one of the most important cities in the
During the Andalusian period as of 711, present-day
Extremadura was on
the north-western marches—extremadura is from Latin words meaning
literally "outermost hard", the outermost secure border (the march) of
an occupied territory—with Mérida being its head city. It was part
of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, but after its definite collapse
in 1031 the Caliphate fragmented into small regional kingdoms, and the
Extremadura were included in the Taifa of
Badajoz on two
taifa periods. The kingdom in turn broke up twice under Almoravid and
Almohad push (1094 and 1151). After the
Almohad disaster in Navas de
Extremadura fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of
León in c.1230.
Extremadura, which was an impoverished region of
Spain whose difficult
conditions pushed many of its ambitious young men to seek their
fortunes overseas, was the source of many of the initial Spanish
conquerors (conquistadores) and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés,
Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro,
Hernando de Soto, Andres Tapia, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia,
Inés Suárez, Alonso de Sotomayor, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro
Gómez Duran y Chaves, and
Vasco Núñez de Balboa
Vasco Núñez de Balboa and many towns and
cities in North and South America carry names from their homeland.
Examples include Mérida is the name of the administrative capital of
Extremadura, and also of important cities in Mexico and Venezuela;
Medellín is now a little town in Extremadura, but also the name of
the second largest city in Colombia;
Albuquerque is the largest city
in New Mexico and its name is due to a transcription mistake of
Alburquerque, another town in Extremadura. The two (to date) Spanish
astronauts, Miguel López-Alegría and Pedro Duque, also have family
connections in Extremadura. King
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon died in the
village of Madrigalejo, Cáceres, in 1516.
Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro de Valdivia founded
numerous cities in
Chile with names from small villages in
Extremadura, such as Valdivia and La Serena. The capital Santiago de
Chile was founded as "Santiago de Nueva Extremadura" (Santiago of New
Wild Black Iberian pigs roam in the area and consume acorns from oak
groves. These pigs are caught and used for the cured ham dish jamón
ibérico. The higher the percentage of acorns eaten by the pigs, the
more valuable the ham. For example, jamón ibérico from pigs whose
diet consists of 90% acorns or more can be sold for more than twice as
much as ham whose pigs ate on average less than 70% acorns.[citation
needed] In the US, jamón ibérico directly from Extremadura, with
bone, was illegal until around 2005. At that time, enough US
restaurants were in demand for the delicacy that
Spain decided to
export it as boneless, which the US Department of Agriculture's health
codes would approve (and continue to do).
Extremadura Femenino CF, also known as CF Puebla Extremadura, the
CF Extremadura, founded in 1924 but folded in 2010
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Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro
Many legendary Spanish conquistadors hailed from Extremadura,
including Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to lead an
expedition to reach the
Pacific Ocean from the Americas; Hernando de
Soto the first European to lead an expedition to the territory of the
modern-day United States;
Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro, who
conquered the Aztec and Inca empires respectively; Francisco de
Orellana, who explored the length of the Amazon; Pedro de Valdivia,
the first governor of Chile; and Sebastián Vizcaíno, who was a
Spanish soldier, entrepreneur in the Philippines, explorer of the
Californias, and diplomat in Japan.
Francisco de Zurbarán
Francisco de Zurbarán (painter)
Luis de Morales
Luis de Morales (painter)
Eduardo Naranjo (painter)
Dolores Morcillo (painter)
Enrique Jiménez Carrero (painter)
Juan Barjola (painter).
Benito Arias Montano
Writers and poets
El escritor José de Espronceda, portrait by Antonio María Esquivel
(c. 1845) (Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Gabriel y Galán
Gregorio López de Tovar (writer, 1496)
Benito Arias Montano
Benito Arias Montano (philosopher and writer, 1527)
José de Espronceda
José de Espronceda (romantic poet, 1808)
Juan Donoso Cortés
Juan Donoso Cortés (writer, 1809)
Carolina Coronado (romantic poet, 1821)
José María Gabriel y Galán (poet, 1870)
Mario Roso de Luna (philosopher, astronomer and writer, 1874)
Luis Chamizo Trigueros (poet, 1894)
Jesús Delgado Valhondo
Jesús Delgado Valhondo (poet, 1909)
Dulce Chacón (poet, 1954)
Elisa Herrero Uceda
Elisa Herrero Uceda (writer, 1957)
Miguel Herrero Uceda
Miguel Herrero Uceda (writer, 1964)
Jorge Camacho (poet,1966)
José Antonio Pavón Jiménez (botanist known for researching the
flora of Peru and Chile, 1754)
Mario Roso de Luna (philosopher, astronomer and writer, 1874)
Francisco Elías de Tejada y Spínola
Francisco Elías de Tejada y Spínola (philosopher, law & politics
Emilio Santos Corchero
Emilio Santos Corchero (theoretical physicist)
José Calderón, a
National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association player.
Fernando Morientes, a former football player.
Adelardo, a former football player.
Rafael Gordillo, a former football player.
Ernesto Valverde, a former football player and now coach.
César Sánchez, a former goalkeeper.
Manolo, a former football player and now coach.
Paco Herrera, retired footballer and a current manager.
Óliver Torres, football player at Atletico De Madrid.
Musicians and TV
Extremadura has produced many musicians, including: Rosa Morena
Soraya Arnelas (singer), Luis Pastor (singer), Roberto
Iniesta (singer of rock band Extremoduro), Pablo Guerrero, Bebe
(singer), Al Carmona (conductor), Esteban Sánchez (pianist), Gecko
TV personalities include: Isabel Gemio, Maruchi Leon, Agustín Bravo,
and Berta Collado.
Extremadura (Vino de la Tierra)
List of Presidents of the Extremaduran Assembly
^ Pico la Villuerca Archived 2013-12-16 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Source: INE, Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain).
(01-01-2006). Real Decreto 1627/2006, de 29 de diciembre
^ INE. Censo 1960. Tomo III. Volúmenes provinciales.
^ Maria da Conceição Vilhena. Hablas de Herrera y Cedillo.
^ Manuel J. Sánchez Fernández: “Apuntes para la descripción del
español hablado en Olivenza”, Revista de Extremadura, 23, 1997,
^ Davidson, James West. After the Fact: The Art of Historical
Detection Volume 1. Mc Graw Hill, New York 2010, Chapter 1, p. 6
^ "El escritor José de Espronceda".
Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado (in Spanish).
Madrid. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Extremadura.
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"Estremadura". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). 1911.
Autonomous communities of Spain
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