Tagus (/ˈteɪɡəs/; Spanish: Tajo, [ˈtaxo]; Portuguese: Tejo,
[ˈtɛʒu]) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is
1,007 km (626 mi) long, 716 km (445 mi) in Spain,
47 km (29 mi) along the border between
Portugal and Spain
and 275 km (171 mi) in Portugal, where it empties into the
Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon. It drains an area of 80,100 square
kilometers (30,927 sq mi) (the second largest in the Iberian
peninsula after the Douro). The
Tagus is highly utilized for most of
its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to
places of central
Spain and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric
stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted
course, but after Almourol it enters a vast alluvial valley prone to
flooding. At its mouth is a large estuary on which the port city of
Lisbon is situated.
The source of the
Tagus is the Fuente de García, in the Frías de
Albarracín municipal term, Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico,
Sierra de Albarracín Comarca. All its major tributaries enter the
Tagus from the right (north) bank. The main cities it passes through
are Aranjuez, Toledo,
Talavera de la Reina
Talavera de la Reina and
Alcántara in Spain,
and Abrantes, Santarém,
Lisbon in Portugal.
1.1 In Spain
1.2 In Portugal
4 Popular culture
5 See also
Confluence of the Guadarrama and
The first notable city on the
Tagus is Sacedón. Below
receives the combined flow of the Jarama, Henares, Algodor and
Tajuña. Below Toledo it receives the Guadarrama River. Above Talavera
de la Reina it receives the Alberche. At
Valdeverdeja is the upper end
of the long upper reservoir, the Embalse de Valdecañas, beyond which
are the Embalse de Torrejon, into which flow the Tiétar, and the
lower reservoir, the
Alcántara Dam into which flows the Alagón at
the lower end.
There is a canal and aqueduct between the
Tagus and the Segura.
After forming the border it enters Portugal, passing Vila Velha de
Ródão, Abrantes, Constância, Entroncamento, Santarém and Vila
Franca de Xira at the head of the long narrow estuary, which has
Lisbon at its mouth. The estuary is protected by the
Natural Reserve. There is a large bridge across the river, the Vasco
da Gama Bridge, which with a total length of 17.2 km
(10.7 mi) is the longest bridge in Europe. The Port of Lisbon,
located at its mouth, is one of Europe's busiest.
The Portuguese Alentejo region and former
Ribatejo Province take their
names from the river; Alentejo, from além Tejo "Beyond the Tagus" and
Ribatejo from arriba Tejo, an archaic way of saying "Upper Tagus".
In Spanish Riba means land beside a river or shore along of a river.
Then Ribatejo should mean "The land beside the Tejo" or "The shore of
the Tejo" you can see too many samples of towns in
Spain with this
Tagus is on a fault line. Slippage along it has caused
numerous earthquakes, the major ones being those of 1309, 1531 and
Tagus river seen from the Castle of Almourol
The Pepper Wreck, properly the wreck of the Nossa Senhora dos
Mártires, is a shipwreck located and excavated at the mouth of the
Tagus between 1996 and 2001.
The river had strategic value to the Spanish and Portuguese empires,
as it guarded the approach to Lisbon. For example, in 1587, Francis
Drake briefly approached the river after his successful raid at
A major river, the
Tagus is brought to mind in the songs and stories
of the Portuguese. A popular fado song in
Lisbon notes that while
people get older, the
Tagus remains young ("My hair getting white, the
Tagus is always young"). The author, Fernando Pessoa, wrote a poem
Tagus is more beautiful than the river that flows through my
village. But the
Tagus is not more beautiful than the river that flows
through my village..."
Richard Crashaw's poem "Saint Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper" refers to
Tagus as wanting Mary Magdalene's silver tears. In
classical poetry the
Tagus was famous for its gold-bearing sands
Catullus 29.19, Ovid, Amores, 1.15.34, Juvenal, Satires, 3.55, etc.).
List of rivers of Spain
List of rivers of Portugal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
^ Hobbs, William Herbert (1907). Earthquakes: An Introduction to
Seismic Geology. NewYork: D. Appleton and Company.
pp. 142–144. Downloadable Google Books
^ Garrett Mattingly. The Armada. pp. 118–119.
^ Pessoa, Fernando; Richard Zenith, Translator (1999). Fernando Pessoa
and Co.: Selected Poems. Grove Press. p. 55.
Coordinates: 40°19′11″N 1°41′51″W / 40.31972°N
1.69750°W / 40.31972; -1.69750