The Community of Aragon is one of the
seventeen autonomous communities comprising the Spanish
state, and includes the provinces of Huesca,
with a total of 739 municipalities (202 in Huesca, 236
in Teruel, and 291 in Zaragoza). It extends over a total
of 47,650 square kilometres, Zaragoza being the largest
province with 17,252 square kilometres, followed by Huesca
with 15,613 and Teruel with 14,785. Aragon is the fourth
largest Autonomous Community in Spain, only exceeded by
Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon and Andalusia. It
is almost ten times larger than the Balearic Islands,
Cantabria or La Rioja and occupies 9.42% of Spanish territory.
Aragon borders on the north with France, on the west with
Navarre, La Rioja, Soria, Guadalajara and Cuenca, on the
south with Valencia and Cuenca, and on the east with Castellon,
Lerida and Tarragona. Thus, the Autonomous Communities
bordering on Aragon include Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha,
Castilla y León, La Rioja, Navarre and Valencia.
The geography of Aragon features two
mountain ranges, the Iberian system to the south and the
Pyrenees to the north, and between them, a vast flat area
in the centre that geographers refer to as the Ebro River
Depression. The Ebro River is the most important water
route from the northeast to the southeast of Aragon, with
its Gallego, Huerva and Cinca tributaries and the Imperial
and Tauste canals. The irrigable area is the richest and
most populous part of Aragon, while the dry and mountainous
areas are the least populated.
Las Bardenas, north of the Ebro River, and Los Monegros
to the east are dry, semi-desert, depressed areas. To
the south, the Moncayo Massif (with an altitude 2,345
metres) is the first encounter with the Iberian Mountain
Range, followed by the Turolense Mountains of Albarracin,
the Montes Universales and Javalambre, with the San Juan
Peak (1,870 metres) and Javalambre Peak (2,020 metres).
To the east, the Cucalon and San Justo Mountains separate
Aragon from the province of Castellon.
As the geographic centre of the hexagon formed by Madrid,
Valencia, Barcelona, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Bilbao, Zaragoza
is a key city in southeast Europe. It is located at the
centre of an area in which within a radius of 350 kilometres
60% of the Spanish population resides and 80% of the country’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is produced.
The University of Zaragoza has campuses in the three
provinces of the Autonomous Community of Aragon.
The city of Zaragoza
is located at an altitude of 240 metres above sea level,
on the right bank of the river in the Middle Ebro Valley,
where in addition two other rivers, the Gallego and the
Huerva, and the Imperial Canal of Aragon flow together.
The 2001 census placed its population at 614,905 inhabitants,
making it the fifth largest city in Spain.
Zaragoza is the capital and political and administrative
centre of the Autonomous Community of Aragon, one of the
17 Autonomous Communities comprising the Spanish state.
It has a total area of 47,650 square kilometres, or 9.44%
of the national territory. The metropolitan area covers1,059.9
square kilometres, thus being one of the largest in Spain.
Zaragoza is an incomparable city. Its Iberian, Roman,
Moslem and Christian past have each contributed their
part to making it the beautiful and surprising city it
Zaragoza is conveniently linked to the national and European
road systems through the Ebro axis, the Mediterranean
and Atlantic motorways, and by the central pass through
the Pyrenees at Somport, the upper end of the future north-south
link to the Mediterranean Coast.