Orense, Spain (Province) - Encyclopedia

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ORENSE, an inland province of north-western Spain, formed in 1833 of districts previously included in Galicia, and bounded on the N. by Pontevedra and Lugo, E. by Leon and Zamora, S. by Portugal, and W. by Portugal and Pontevedra. Pop. (1900) 404,311; area 2694 sq. m. The surface of the province is almost everywhere mountainous. Its western half is traversed in a south-westerly direction by the river Mino (Portuguese Minho), which flows through Portugal to the Atlantic; the Sil, a left-hand tributary of the Mino, waters the north-eastern districts; and the Limia rises in the central mountains and flows west-south-west, reaching the sea at the Portuguese port of Vianna do Castello. The upper valley of the Limia is the only large tract of level country. The climate is very varied, mild in some valleys, cold and damp in the highlands, rainy near the northern border, and subject to rapid changes of temperature. The railway from Monforte to Vigo runs through the province. There are a few iron foundries of a primitive sort, but lack of transport and of cheap coal hinder the growth of mining and manufactures.

Though the soil is fertile and well watered, agricultural products are not so important as arboriculture. The oak, beech, pine, chestnut, walnut and plane grow in abundance on the hills and mountains; pears, apples, cherries, almonds, figs, roses and olives in the valleys, and even oranges and lemons in sheltered spots. The chief towns are the capital, Orense, Allariz, Carballino, Viana, Nogueira de Ramuin, Boboras, Cartella and La Vega. See also Galicia.

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