HOME
The Info List - Iberian Peninsula



The Iberian Peninsula /ˈbɪəriən pəˈnɪnsjʊlə/,[a] also known as Iberia /ˈbɪəriə/,[b] is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Portugal and Spain, comprising most of their territory. It also includes Andorra, and a small part of France along the peninsula's northeastern edge, as well as Gibraltar on its south coast, a small peninsula that forms an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. With an area of approximately 582,000 km2 (225,000 sq mi), it is the second largest European peninsula, after the Scandinavian.

Name

Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
and southern France, satellite photo on a cloudless day in March 2014

Greek name

The word Iberia is a noun adapted from the Latin word "Hiberia" originated by the Ancient Greek word Ἰβηρία (Ibēría) by Greek geographers under the rule of the Roman Empire to refer to what is known today in English as the Iberian Peninsula.[1] At that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people.[2] Strabo's 'Iberia' was delineated from Keltikē (Gaul) by the Pyrenees[3] and included the entire land mass southwest (he says "west") of there.[4] The noun "Hiberia" fell into disuse when the Romans decided to call the most western part of the peninsula "Lusitania" (today Portugal) and the remaining territory "Hispania" (modern Spain). With the fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and the establishment of the new Castillian language in Spain, the word "Iberia" appeared for the first time in use as a direct 'descendant' of the Greek word "Ἰβηρία" and the Roman word "Hiberia".

The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, by voyaging westward on the Mediterranean.[5] Hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC.[6] Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that "it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with... Iberia."[7] According to Strabo,[8] prior historians used Iberia to mean the country "this side of the Ἶβηρος (Ibēros)" as far north as the river Rhône in France, but currently they set the Pyrenees as the limit. Polybius respects that limit,[9] but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name. Elsewhere[10] he says that Saguntum is "on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia."

Strabo[11] refers to the Carretanians as people "of the Iberian stock" living in the Pyrenees, who are distinct from either Celts or Celtiberians.

Roman names

According to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin
Latin
and Greek use Hispania
Hispania
and Hiberia (Greek: Iberia) as synonyms. The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in political and geographic perspectives. The Latin
Latin
word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia, literally translates to "land of the Hiberians". This word was derived from the river Ebro, which the Romans called Hiberus. Hiber (Iberian) was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro.[3][12] The first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC.[13][14][15] Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos ("restless Iberi") in his Georgics.[16] The Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania.

As they became politically interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania
Hispania
Citerior
and Hispania
Hispania
Ulterior
for 'near' and 'far' Hispania. At the time Hispania
Hispania
was made up of three Roman provinces: Hispania
Hispania
Baetica"> Hispania
Hispania
Baetica, Hispania
Hispania
Tarraconensis"> Hispania
Hispania
Tarraconensis, and Hispania
Hispania
Lusitania"> Hispania
Hispania
Lusitania. Strabo
Strabo
says[8] that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces. (The name "Iberia" was ambiguous, being also the name of the Kingdom of Iberia in the Caucasus.)

Whatever language may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, which was preserved as a language isolate by the barrier of the Pyrenees.

Etymology

Northeast Iberian script from Huesca.

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Ibēria was the country "this side of the Ibērus" in Strabo. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the Hiberus River.[17] The river appears in the Ebro
Ebro
Treaty"> Ebro
Ebro
Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian,[18] uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius[19] states that the "native name" is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin
Latin
-os or -us termination.

The early range of these natives, which geographers and historians place from today's southern Spain
Spain
to today's southern France
France
along the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed "Iberian." Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Greeks for their residence on the Ebro
Ebro
remains unknown. Credence in Polybius
Polybius
imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must also remain unknown. In modern Basque, the word ibar[20] means "valley" or "watered meadow", while ibai[20] means "river", but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro
Ebro
River with these Basque names. In Serbia, there is river Ibar, but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro
Ebro
River with this Serbian river name.

Prehistory

Schematic rock art from the Iberian Peninsula.
Iberian Late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
since c. 1300 BC

Palaeolithic

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
has been inhabited for at least 1.2 million years as remains found in the sites in the Atapuerca Mountains demonstrate. Among these sites is the cave of Gran Dolina, where six hominin skeletons, dated between 780,000 and one million years ago, were found in 1994. Experts have debated whether these skeletons belong to the species Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, or a new species called Homo antecessor.

Around 200,000 BP, during the Lower Paleolithic period, Neanderthals first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Around 70,000 BP, during the Middle Paleolithic period, the last glacial event began and the Neanderthal Mousterian culture was established. Around 37,000 BP, during the Upper Paleolithic, the Neanderthal Châtelperronian cultural period began. Emanating from Southern France, this culture extended into the north of the peninsula. It continued to exist until around 30,000 BP, when Neanderthal man faced extinction.

About 40,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans entered the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
from Southern France.[21] Here, this genetically homogeneous population (characterized by the M173 mutation in the Y chromosome), developed the M343 mutation, giving rise to Haplogroup R1b, still the most common in modern Portuguese and Spanish males.[22] On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the art of the Upper Paleolithic.

Neolithic

During the Neolithic expansion, various megalithic cultures developed in the Iberian Peninsula. An open seas navigation culture from the east Mediterranean, called the Cardium culture, also extended its influence to the eastern coasts of the peninsula, possibly as early as the 5th millennium BC. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of the Iberian civilization.

Chalcolithic

In the Chalcolithic (c. 3000 BC), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula's first civilizations and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the Baltic, Middle East and North Africa. Around 2800 – 2700 BC, the Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal
Portugal
and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[23]

Bronze Age

Bronze Age cultures developed beginning c.1800 BC, when the civilization of Los Millares was followed by that of El Argar. From this centre, bronze technology spread to other cultures like the Bronze of Levante, South-Western Iberian Bronze and Las Cogotas.

In the Late Bronze Age, the urban civilisation of Tartessos developed in the area of modern western Andalusia, characterized by Phoenician influence and using the Southwest Paleohispanic script for its Tartessian language, not related to the Iberian language.

Early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Pre- Celts
Celts
and Celts migrated from Central Europe, thus partially changing the peninsula's ethnic landscape to Indo-European-speaking in its northern and western regions. In Northwestern Iberia (modern Northern Portugal, Asturias
Asturias
and Galicia), a Celtic culture developed, the Castro culture, with a large number of hill forts and some fortified cities.

Proto-history

By the Iron Age, starting in the 7th century BC, the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
consisted of complex agrarian and urban civilizations, either Pre-Celtic or Celtic (such as the Lusitanians, Celtiberians, Gallaeci, Astures, Celtici and others), the cultures of the Iberians
Iberians
in the eastern and southern zones and the cultures of the Aquitanian in the western portion of the Pyrenees.

The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. Around 1100 BC, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. In the 8th century BC, the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast on the east, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks coined the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro). In the sixth century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in the peninsula while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (modern-day Cartagena, Spain).

History

Roman rule

Roman conquest: 220 BC - 19 BC

In 218 BC, during the Second Punic War against the Carthaginians, the first Roman troops invaded the Iberian Peninsula; however, it was not until the reign of Augustus that it was annexed after two centuries of war with the Celtic and Iberian tribes and the Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian colonies. The result was the creation of the province of Hispania. It was divided into Hispania
Hispania
Ulterior"> Hispania
Hispania
Ulterior and Hispania
Hispania
Citerior"> Hispania
Hispania
Citerior during the late Roman Republic, and during the Roman Empire, it was divided into Hispania
Hispania
Tarraconensis"> Hispania
Hispania
Tarraconensis in the northeast, Hispania
Hispania
Baetica"> Hispania
Hispania
Baetica in the south and Lusitania in the southwest.

Hispania
Hispania
supplied the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
with silver, food, olive oil, wine, and metal. The emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca the Younger, and the poets Martial and Lucan were born from families living on the Iberian Peninsula.

Germanic kingdoms

Germanic and Byzantine rule c.560

In the early fifth century, Germanic peoples invaded the peninsula, namely the Suebi, the Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) and their allies, the Alans. Only the kingdom of the Suebi
Suebi
(Quadi and Marcomanni) would endure after the arrival of another wave of Germanic invaders, the Visigoths, who conquered all of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
and expelled or partially integrated the Vandals
Vandals
and the Alans. The Visigoths
Visigoths
eventually conquered the Suebi
Suebi
kingdom and its capital city, Bracara (modern day Braga), in 584–585. They would also conquer the province of the Byzantine Empire (552–624) of Spania in the south of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

Islamic Caliphate

Islamic rule: al-Andalus c.1000

In 711, a Muslim
Muslim
army invaded the Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
in Hispania. Under Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic army landed at Gibraltar
Gibraltar
and, in an eight-year campaign, occupied all except the northern kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. Al-Andalus (Arabic: الإندلس‎, tr. al-ʾAndalūs, possibly "Land of the Vandals"),[24][25] is the Arabic name given to what is today southern Spain
Spain
by its Muslim Berber and Arab occupiers.

From the 8th–15th centuries, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
was incorporated into the Islamic world and became a center of culture and learning, especially during the Caliphate of Córdoba, which reached its height of its power under the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III and his successor al-Hakam II.[26] The Muslims, who were initially Arabs and Berbers, included some local converts, the so-called Muladi.[27] The Muslims were referred to by the generic name, Moors[28] The Reconquista gained momentum on c. 718, when the Christian Asturians opposed the Moors, the southern march to push out the Muslims continued for three hundred years Template
Template
Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed]
, so for another four hundred years, only the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
was transformed into a Romance-speaking and Arabic-speaking Muslim
Muslim
land, along with pockets of a large minority of Arabic-speaking Sephardi Jews Template
Template
Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed]
.

Reconquest

Many of the ousted Gothic nobles took refuge in the unconquered north Kingdom of Asturias. From there, they aimed to reconquer their lands from the Moors; this war of reconquest is known as the Reconquista. Christian and Muslim
Muslim
kingdoms fought and allied among themselves. The Muslim
Muslim
taifa kings competed in patronage of the arts, the Camino de Santiago attracted pilgrims from all Western Europe, and the Jewish population set the basis of Sephardi culture. Template
Template
Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed]

During the Middle Ages, the peninsula housed many small states including the Kingdom of Castile, Crown of Aragon, Kingdom of Navarre, Kingdom of León and the Kingdom of Portugal. The peninsula was part of the Almohad Caliphate until they were finally uprooted. The last major Muslim
Muslim
stronghold was Granada, which was conquered by a combined Castilian and Aragonese force in 1492. Muslims and Jews throughout the period were variously tolerated or shown intolerance in different Christian kingdoms. However, after the Granada
Granada
War">fall of Granada, all Muslims and Jews were ordered to convert to Christianity or face expulsion. Many Jews and Muslims fled to North Africa and the Ottoman Empire, while others publicly converted to Christianity and became known respectively as Marranos and Moriscos. However, many of these continued to practice their religion in secret. The Moriscos revolted several times and were ultimately forcibly expelled from Spain
Spain
in the early 17th century.

Map of Spain
Spain
and Portugal, Atlas historique, dated approximately 1705–1739, of H.A. Chatelain.

Post-reconquest

The small states gradually amalgamated over time, with the exception of Portugal, even if for a brief period (1580–1640) the whole peninsula was united politically under the Iberian Union. After that point, the modern position was reached and the peninsula now consists of the countries of Spain
Spain
and Portugal
Portugal
(excluding their islands—the Portuguese Azores and Madeira and the Spanish Canary Islands and Balearic Islands; and the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla), Andorra, French Cerdagne and Gibraltar.

Geography and geology

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
is the westernmost of the three major southern European peninsulas—the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan. It is bordered on the southeast and east by the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea"> Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea, and on the north, west, and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. The Pyrenees
Pyrenees
mountains are situated along the northeast edge of the peninsula, where it adjoins the rest of Europe. Its southern tip is very close to the northwest coast of Africa, separated from it by the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea"> Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea.

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
extends from the southernmost extremity at Punta de Tarifa (36°00′15″N 5°36′37″W / 36.00417°N 5.61028°W / 36.00417; -5.61028) to the northernmost extremity at Punta de Estaca de Bares (43°47′38″N 7°41′17″W / 43.79389°N 7.68806°W / 43.79389; -7.68806) over a distance between lines of latitude of about 865 km (537 mi) based on a degree length of 111 km (69 mi) per degree, and from the westernmost extremity at Cabo da Roca (38°46′51″N 9°29′54″W / 38.78083°N 9.49833°W / 38.78083; -9.49833) to the easternmost extremity at Cap de Creus (42°19′09″N 3°19′19″E / 42.31917°N 3.32194°E / 42.31917; 3.32194) over a distance between lines of longitude at 40° N latitude of about 1,155 km (718 mi) based on an estimated degree length of about 90 km (56 mi) for that latitude. The irregular, roughly octagonal shape of the peninsula contained within this spherical quadrangle was compared to an ox-hide by the geographer Strabo.[29]

About three quarters of that rough octagon is the Meseta Central, a vast plateau ranging from 610 to 760 m in altitude.[30] It is located approximately in the centre, staggered slightly to the east and tilted slightly toward the west (the conventional centre of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
has long been considered Getafe just south of Madrid). It is ringed by mountains and contains the sources of most of the rivers, which find their way through gaps in the mountain barriers on all sides.

Coastline

The coastline of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
is 3,313 km (2,059 mi), 1,660 km (1,030 mi) on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
side and 1,653 km (1,027 mi) on the Atlantic side.[31] The coast has been inundated over time, with sea levels having risen from a minimum of 115–120 m (377–394 ft) lower than today at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to its current level at 4,000 years BP.[32] The coastal shelf created by sedimentation during that time remains below the surface; however, it was never very extensive on the Atlantic side, as the continental shelf drops rather steeply into the depths. An estimated 700 km (430 mi) length of Atlantic shelf is only 10–65 km (6.2–40.4 mi) wide. At the 500 m (1,600 ft) isobath, on the edge, the shelf drops off to 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[33]

The submarine topography of the coastal waters of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
has been studied extensively in the process of drilling for oil. Ultimately, the shelf drops into the Bay of Biscay on the north (an abyss), the Iberian abyssal plain at 4,800 m (15,700 ft) on the west, and Tagus
Tagus
abyssal plain to the south. In the north, between the continental shelf and the abyss, is an extension called the Galicia Bank, a plateau that also contains the Porto, Vigo, and Vasco da Gama seamounts, which form the Galicia interior basin. The southern border of these features is marked by Nazaré Canyon, which splits the continental shelf and leads directly into the abyss.

Rivers

Major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula: Miño / Minho, Duero / Douro, Tajo / Tejo, Guadiana, Guadalquivir, Segura, Júcar
Júcar
/ Xúquer and Ebro
Ebro
/ Ebre.

The major rivers flow through the wide valleys between the mountain systems. These are the Ebro, Douro, Tagus, Guadiana and Guadalquivir. All rivers in the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
are subject to seasonal variations in flow.

The Tagus
Tagus
is the longest river on the peninsula and, like the Douro, flows westwards with its lower course in Portugal. The Guadiana
Guadiana
river bends southwards and forms the border between Spain
Spain
and Portugal
Portugal
in the last stretch of its course.

Mountains

Major Geologic Units of the Iberian Peninsula

The terrain of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
is largely mountainous. The major mountain systems are:

Geology

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
contains rocks of every geological period from the Ediacaran to the Recent, and almost every kind of rock is represented. World-class mineral deposits can also be found there. The core of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
consists of a Hercynian cratonic block known as the Iberian Massif. On the northeast, this is bounded by the Pyrenean fold belt, and on the southeast it is bounded by the Baetic System. These twofold chains are part of the Alpine belt. To the west, the peninsula is delimited by the continental boundary formed by the magma-poor opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The Hercynian
Hercynian
Foldbelt is mostly buried by Mesozoic and Tertiary cover rocks to the east, but nevertheless outcrops through the Sistema Ibérico and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
System">Catalan Mediterranean
Mediterranean
System.

Climate

The Iberian peninsula
Iberian peninsula
has two dominant climate types. One of these is the oceanic climate seen in the Atlantic coastal region resulting in evenly temperatures with relatively cool summers. However, most of Portugal
Portugal
and Spain
Spain
have a Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate">mediterranean climate with various precipitation and temperatures depending on latitude and position versus the sea. There are also more localized semi-arid climates in central Spain, with temperatures resembling a more continental mediterranean climate. In other extreme cases highland alpine climates such as in Sierra Nevada and areas with extremely low precitipation and desert climates nor semi-arid climates such as the Almería[37] area, Murcia area and southern Alicante area. In the Spanish interior the hottest temperatures in Europe
Europe
are found, with Córdoba averaging around 37 °C (99 °F) in July.[38] The Spanish mediterranean coast usually averages around 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. In sharp contrast A Coruña at the northern tip of Galicia has a summer daytime high average at just below 23 °C (73 °F).[39] This cool and wet summer climate is replicated throughout most of the northern coastline. Winter temperatures are more consistent throughout the peninsula, although frosts are common in the Spanish interior, even though daytime highs are usually above the freezing point. In Portugal, the warmest winters of the country are found in the area of Algarve, very similar to the ones from Huelva in Spain, while most of the Portuguese Atlantic coast has fresh and humid winters, similar to Galicia.

Average temperatures for the six largest urban areas of the peninsula[40][41]
Location Coldest month April Warmest month October
Madrid 9.8 °C (49.6 °F)
2.7 °C (36.9 °F)
18.2 °C (64.8 °F)
7.7 °C (45.9 °F)
32.1 °C (89.8 °F)
19.0 °C (66.2 °F)
19.4 °C (66.9 °F)
10.7 °C (51.3 °F)
Barcelona 14.8 °C (58.6 °F)
8.8 °C (47.8 °F)
19.1 °C (66.4 °F)
12.5 °C (54.5 °F)
29.0 °C (84.2 °F)
23.1 °C (73.6 °F)
22.5 °C (72.5 °F)
16.5 °C (61.7 °F)
Valencia 16.4 °C (61.5 °F)
7.1 °C (44.8 °F)
20.8 °C (69.4 °F)
11.5 °C (52.7 °F)
30.2 °C (86.4 °F)
21.9 °C (71.4 °F)
24.4 °C (75.9 °F)
15.2 °C (59.4 °F)
Seville 16.0 °C (60.8 °F)
5.7 °C (42.3 °F)
23.4 °C (74.1 °F)
11.1 °C (52.0 °F)
36.0 °C (96.8 °F)
20.3 °C (68.5 °F)
26.0 °C (78.8 °F)
14.4 °C (57.9 °F)
Lisbon 14.8 °C (58.6 °F)
8.3 °C (46.9 °F)
19.8 °C (67.6 °F)
11.9 °C (53.4 °F)
28.3 °C (82.9 °F)
18.6 °C (65.5 °F)
22.5 °C (72.5 °F)
15.1 °C (59.2 °F)
Porto 13.8 °C (56.8 °F)
5.2 °C (41.4 °F)
18.1 °C (64.6 °F)
9.1 °C (48.4 °F)
25.7 °C (78.3 °F)
15.9 °C (60.6 °F)
20.7 °C (69.3 °F)
12.2 °C (54.0 °F)

Major modern countries

Political divisions of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
sorted by area:

Satellite image of Iberia at night
Country/
Territory
Mainland population[42] km2 sq mi % Share
Spain Spain 43,731,572 approx.[43] 492,175 190,030 79% occupies most of the peninsula
Portugal Portugal 10,047,083 approx.[44] 89,015 34,369 15% occupies most of the west of the peninsula
France France 3,191,059 33,563 12,959 6% French Cerdagne is on the south side of the Pyrenees mountain range, which runs along the border between Spain
Spain
and France.[45][46][47] For example, the Segre river, which runs west and then south to meet the Ebro, has its source on the French side. The Pyrenees
Pyrenees
range is often considered the northeastern boundary of Iberian Peninsula, although the French coastline converges away from the rest of Europe
Europe
north of the range.
Andorra Andorra 84,082 468 181 0.1% a northern edge of the peninsula in the south side of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
range between Spain
Spain
and France
Gibraltar Gibraltar (United Kingdom United Kingdom) 29,431 7 3 <0.1% a British overseas territory near the southernmost tip of the peninsula

Major urban areas

Urban Area Country Region Population
Madrid Spain Spain Community of Madrid Community of Madrid 6,321,398[48]
Barcelona Spain Spain Catalonia Catalonia 4,604,000[49]
Lisbon Portugal Portugal Portugal Lisbon 3,035,000[50]
Porto Portugal Portugal Portugal Northern Portugal 2,163,000[51]
Valencia Spain Spain Valencian Community Valencian Community 1,564,145[52]

The main metropolitan areas of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
are Madrid
Madrid
metropolitan area">Madrid, Barcelona
Barcelona
metropolitan area">Barcelona, Lisbon
Lisbon
Metropolitan Area">Lisbon, Valencia
Valencia
metropolitan area (page does not exist)">Valencia, Porto, Seville
Seville
metropolitan area (page does not exist)">Seville, Bilbao
Bilbao
metropolitan area">Bilbao, Braga, Málaga
Málaga
metropolitan area (page does not exist)">Málaga, Asturias
Asturias
metropolitan area (page does not exist)">Central Asturias (Gijón-Oviedo-Avilés), Alicante-Elche, Murcia
Murcia
metropolitan area (page does not exist)">Murcia and Coimbra.

Major cities

List of cities in the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
by population
City/Town Region & Country Population (2011–12) City/Town Region & Country Population (2011–12)
1 Madrid Madrid, Spain 3,233,527   11 Córdoba Andalusia, Spain 328,841
2 Barcelona Catalonia, Spain 1,620,943   12 Valladolid Castile and León, Spain 311,501
3 Valencia Valencia, Spain 809,267   13 Vigo Galicia, Spain 297,733
4 Seville Andalusia, Spain 702,355   14 Vila Nova de Gaia Norte, Portugal 288,749
5 Zaragoza Aragon, Spain 679,624   15 Gijón Asturias, Spain 277,554
6 Málaga Andalusia, Spain 567,433   16 L'Hospitalet Catalonia, Spain 257,057
7 Lisbon Lisboa, Portugal 547,631   17 A Coruña Galicia, Spain 246,146
8 Murcia Murcia, Spain 441,354   18 Vitoria-Gasteiz Basque Country, Spain 242,223
9 Bilbao Basque Country, Spain 351,629   19 Porto Norte, Portugal 237,591
10 Alicante Valencia, Spain 334,678   20 Granada Andalusia, Spain 237,540

Various other notable cities are also present on the peninsula, such as: Elche (230,354), Oviedo (225,973), Badalona (220,977) and Terrassa (215 678) in Spain; and Braga (181,874), Amadora (175,558), Coimbra (102,455) and Setúbal (90,640) in Portugal.

Ecology

Forests

The woodlands of the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
are distinct ecosystems. Although the various regions are each characterized by distinct vegetation, there are some similarities across the peninsula.

While the borders between these regions are not clearly defined, there is a mutual influence that makes it very hard to establish boundaries and some species find their optimal habitat in the intermediate areas.

East Atlantic flyway

The Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
in an important stopover on the East Atlantic flyway for birds migrating from northern Europe
Europe
to Africa. For example, curlew sandpipers rest in the region of the Bay of Cádiz.[53]

In addition to the birds migrating through, some seven million wading birds from the north spend the winter in the estuaries and wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly at locations on the Atlantic coast. In Galicia are Ría de Arousa (a home of grey plover), Ria de Ortigueira, Ria de Corme and Ria de Laxe. In Portugal, the Aveiro Lagoon hosts Recurvirostra avosetta, the common ringed plover, grey plover and little stint. Ribatejo Province on the Tagus supports Recurvirostra arosetta, grey plover, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and common redshank. In the Sado Estuary are dunlin, Eurasian curlew, grey plover and common redshank. The Algarve hosts red knot, common greenshank and turnstone. The Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir
Marshes"> Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir
Marshes region of Andalusia and the Salinas de Cádiz are especially rich in wintering wading birds: Kentish plover, common ringed plover, sanderling, and black-tailed godwit in addition to the others. And finally, the Ebro
Ebro
delta is home to all the species mentioned above.[54]

Languages

With the sole exception of Basque, which is of unknown origin, all modern Iberian languages descend from Vulgar Latin and belong to the Western Romance languages. Throughout history (and pre-history), many different languages have been spoken in the Iberian Peninsula, contributing to the formation and differentiation of the contemporaneous languages of Iberia; however, most of them have become extinct or fallen into disuse. Basque is the only non-Indo-European surviving language in Iberia and Western Europe.

In modern times, Spanish (cf. 30 to 40 million speakers), Portuguese (cf. around 10 million speakers), Catalan (cf. around 9 million speakers), Galician (cf. around 3 million speakers) and Basque (cf. around 1 million speakers)[55] are the most widely spoken languages in the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish and Portuguese have expanded beyond Iberia to the rest of world, becoming global languages.

Economy

Major industries include mining, tourism, small farms, and fishing. Because the coast is so long, fishing is popular, especially sardines, tuna and anchovies. Most of the mining happens in the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
mountains; iron, gold, coal, valuable minerals—such as lead, silver, zinc, and salt—are all mined.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the local languages:
  2. ^ In the local languages:

References

  1. ^ Claire L. Lyons; John K. Papadopoulos (2002). The Archaeology of Colonialism. Getty Publications. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-89236-635-4. 
  2. ^ Strabo. "Book III Chapter 1 Section 6". Geographica. And also the other Iberians
    Iberians
    use an alphabet, though not letters of one and the same character, for their speech is not one and the same.
     
  3. ^ a b Charles Ebel (1976). Transalpine Gaul: The Emergence of a Roman Province. Brill Archive. pp. 48–49. ISBN 90-04-04384-5. 
  4. ^ Ricardo Padrón (1 February 2004). The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain. University of Chicago Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-226-64433-2. 
  5. ^ Carl Waldman; Catherine Mason (2006). Encyclopedia of European Peoples. Infobase Publishing. p. 404. ISBN 978-1-4381-2918-1. 
  6. ^ Strabo (1988). The Geography (in Ancient Greek
    Ancient Greek
    and English). II. Horace Leonard Jones (trans.). Cambridge: Bill Thayer. p. 118, Note 1 on 3.4.19.
     
  7. ^ Herodotus
    Herodotus
    (1827). The nine books of the History of Herodotus, tr. from the text of T. Gaisford, with notes and a summary by P.E. Laurent. p. 75.
     
  8. ^ a b III.4.19.
  9. ^ III.37.
  10. ^ III.17.
  11. ^ III.4.11.
  12. ^ Félix Gaffiot (1934). Dictionnaire illustré latin-français. Hachette. p. 764. 
  13. ^ Greg Woolf (8 June 2012). Rome: An Empire's Story. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-997217-3. 
  14. ^ Berkshire Review. Williams College. 1965. p. 7. 
  15. ^ Carlos B. Vega (2 October 2003). Conquistadoras: Mujeres Heroicas de la Conquista de America. McFarland. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7864-8208-5. 
  16. ^ Virgil
    Virgil
    (1846). The Eclogues and Georgics
    Georgics
    of Virgil
    . Harper & Brothers. p. 377.
     
  17. ^ III.3.21.
  18. ^ White, Horace; Jona Lendering. "Appian's History of Rome: The Spanish Wars (§§6–10)". livius.org. pp. Chapter 7. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  19. ^ "Polybius: The Histories: III.6.2". Bill Thayer. 
  20. ^ a b Morris Student Plus, Basque-English dictionary
  21. ^ Jonathan Adams (26 February 2010). Species Richness: Patterns in the Diversity of Life. Springer. p. 208. ISBN 978-3-540-74278-4. 
  22. ^ Persistent Entity. " Haplogroup R1b
    Haplogroup R1b
    (Y-DNA)". NAP Professional. North American Pharmacal. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014.
     
  23. ^ Case, H (2007). 'Beakers and Beaker Culture' Beyond Stonehenge: Essays on the Bronze Age
    Bronze Age
    in honour of Colin Burgess
    . Oxford: Oxbow. pp. 237–254.
     
  24. ^ Abraham Ibn Daud's Dorot 'Olam (Generations of the Ages): A Critical Edition and Translation of Zikhron Divrey Romi, Divrey Malkhey Yisra?el, and the Midrash on Zechariah. BRILL. 7 June 2013. p. 57. ISBN 978-90-04-24815-1. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Julio Samsó (1998). The Formation of Al-Andalus: History and society. Ashgate. pp. 41–42. ISBN 978-0-86078-708-2. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  26. ^ Jaime Vicens Vives (1970). Approaches to the History of Spain. University of California Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-520-01422-0. 
  27. ^ Darío Fernández-Morera (9 February 2016). The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. p. 286. ISBN 978-1-5040-3469-2. 
  28. ^ F. E. Peters (11 April 2009). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume I: The Peoples of God. Princeton University Press. p. 182. ISBN 1-4008-2570-9. 
  29. ^ III.1.3.
  30. ^ Fischer, T (1920). "The Iberian Peninsula: Spain". In Mill, Hugh Robert. The International Geography. New York and London: D. Appleton and Company. pp. 368–377. 
  31. ^ These figures sum the figures given in the articles on the geography of Spain
    Spain
    and Portugal. Most figures from Internet sources on Spain
    Spain
    and Portugal
    Portugal
    include the coastlines of the islands owned by each country and thus are not a reliable guide to the coastline of the peninsula. Moreover, the length of a coastline may vary significantly depending on where and how it is measured.
  32. ^ Edmunds, WM; K Hinsby; C Marlin; MT Condesso de Melo; M Manyano; R Vaikmae; Y Travi (2001). "Evolution of groundwater systems at the European coastline". In Edmunds, W. M.; Milne, C. J. Palaeowaters in Coastal Europe: Evolution of Groundwater Since the Late Pleistocene. London: Geological Society. p. 305. ISBN 1-86239-086-X. 
  33. ^ "Iberian Peninsula
    Peninsula
    – Atlantic Coast". An Atlas of Oceanic Internal Solitary Waves (pdf). Global Ocean Associates. February 2004. Retrieved 9 December 2008.
     
  34. ^ Silurian graptolite biostratigraphy of the Galicia - Tras-os-Montes Zone ( Spain
    Spain
    and Portugal)
  35. ^ Edited by W Gibbons & T Moreno, Geology of Spain, 2002, ISBN 978-1-86239-110-9
  36. ^ Introduction to the Birds of Spain
  37. ^ "Standard climate values for Almería". Aemet.es. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  38. ^ "Standard climate values for Córdoba". Aemet.es. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  39. ^ "Standard climate values for A Coruña". Aemet.es. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  40. ^ "Standard Climate Values, Spain". Aemet.es. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  41. ^ "IPMA Climate Normals". ipma.pt. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  42. ^ Population only includes the inhabitants of mainland Spain
    Spain
    (excluding the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta
    Ceuta
    and Melilla), mainland Portugal
    Portugal
    (excluding Madeira
    Madeira
    and Azores), Andorra
    Andorra
    and Gibraltar.
  43. ^ Census data , "Official Spanish census"
  44. ^ Census data , "Portuguese census department"
  45. ^ Peter Sahlins (1989). Boundaries: The Making of France
    France
    and Spain
    Spain
    in the Pyrenees
    . University of California Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-520-91121-5.
     
  46. ^ Paul Wilstach (1931). Along the Pyrenees. Robert M. McBride Company. p. 102. 
  47. ^ James Erskine Murray (1837). A Summer in the Pyrenees. J. Macrone. p. 92. 
  48. ^ http://www.populationdata.net/index2.php?option=pays&pid=62&nom=espagne
  49. ^ http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf
  50. ^ http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf Demographia: World Urban Areas
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  52. ^ "Urban Audit - CityProfiles". Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2009. 
  53. ^ Hortas, Francisco; Jordi Figuerols (2006). "Migration pattern of Curlew Sandpipers Calidris ferruginea on the south-western coastline of the Iberian Peninsula" (pdf). International Wader Studies. 19: 144–147. Retrieved 7 December 2008. 
  54. ^ Dominguez, Jesus (1990). "Distribution of estuarine waders wintering in the Iberian Peninsula
    Peninsula
    in 1978–1982" (PDF). Wader Study Group Bulletin. 59: 25–28.
     
  55. ^ http://www.euskara.euskadi.eus/r59-738/es/contenidos/noticia/inkesta_soziol_2012/es_berria/berria.html

External links