Teruel, Spain (Province) - Encyclopedia




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TERUEL, a province of north-eastern Spain, formed in 1833 from part of the ancient kingdom of Aragon; bounded on the N. by Saragossa, E. by Tarragona, S.E. and S. by Castellon de la Plana and Valencia, S.W. by Cuenca, and W. by Guadalajara. Pop. (1900) 246,001; area 5720 sq. m. In the centre of the province rise the Sierras of Gudar and San Just; in the southwest and west are the lofty Albarracin range, the Montes Universales, and the isolated ridges of Palomera and Cucalon. Outliers of the Castellon and Tarragona highlands extend along the eastern border. The northern districts belong to the Ebro basin. In the west there are a few peaks, such as the Cerro de San Felipe and Muela de San Juan, which exceed Soon ft. in altitude and are covered with snow for many months; but the highest point is Javalambre (6568 ft.) in the south. The sierras give rise to several large rivers, the principal being the Tagus; the Guadalaviar, which rises in the Montes Universales and flows south-east to enter the Mediterranean at Valencia; the Jiloca, which flows north from the lake of Cella to join the Jalon at Calatayud; the Guadalope, Martin and Matarrana, tributaries of_the Ebro.

Notwithstanding the fertile character of the plains and the abundance of mineral wealth, the trade of the province is unimportant and civilization in a backward state, owing to the lack of means of transport, want of enterprise and imperfect communication with the outer world. Much land is devoted to pasture that could be cultivated. Extensive forests with fine timber are neglected, as are some important coal beds in the eastern districts. The chief products are corn, wine, oil, cheese, fruits, timber, flax, hemp, silk, wool and saffron, together with cattle, sheep and swine; while in the busier centres some slight manufacture of coarse cloth, paper, leather, soap, pottery and esparto goods is carried on. The only railway is the line from Murviedro, on the Gulf of Valencia, to Calatayud.

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