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Saragossa, Province Of

SARAGOSSA, PROVINCE OF (Zaragoza), an inland province of northern Spain, one of the three into which Aragon was divided in 1833; bounded on the N. by Logrono and Navarre, N.E. and E. by Huesca, S.E. by Lerida and Tarragona, S. by Teruel and Guadalajara and W. by Soria. Pop. (1900) 421,843; area, 6726 sq. m. Saragossa belongs wholly to the basin of the Ebro (q.v.). The main valley is bounded on the south-west by the Sierra de Moncayo (with the highest elevation in the province, 7707 ft.), and is continued in a south-easterly direction by the lower sierras of La Virgen and Vicor; on the north-west are the spurs of the Pyrenees. The principal tributaries of the Ebro within the province are the Jalon (q.v.), Huerva and Aguas on the right and the Arba and Gallego on the left; the Aragon also, which flows principally through Navarre, has part of its course in the north of this province. At its lowest point, where the Ebro quits it, Saragossa is only 105 ft. above sea-level. There are large tracts of barren land, but where water is abundant the soil is fertile; its chief productions are wheat, rye, barley, oats, hemp, flax, oil and wine. Silkworms are bred; and on the higher grounds sheep are reared. The manufactures are less important than the agricultural interests. Since 1885, however, the Aragonese have bestirred themselves, especially since the extremely protectionist policy of 1890 gave great impetus to native industries all over Spain. The industries include ironfounding and manufactures of paper, leather, soap, brandies, liqueurs, machinery, carriages of all sorts, railway material, pianos, beds, glass, bronze, chocolate, jams and woollen and linen goods. Much timber is obtained from the Pyrenean forests; the chief exports are live stock, excellent wines, flour, oil and fruit. The province contains important mineral resources, the bulk of which, however, await development.

Saragossa is traversed by the Ebro Valley Railway, which connects Miranda with L6rida, Barcelona and Tarragona, and has a branch to Huesca; it also communicates via Calatayud with Madrid and Sagunto; and there are local lines to Carinena (south-west from Saragossa) and to Tarazona and Borja (near the right bank of the Ebro). The only towns with upwards of 5000 inhabitants in 1900 were Saragossa (99, 1 1 8)and Calatayud (i I ,526) (see separate articles) ; Tarazona (8790), an episcopal see, with a curious 13th-century cathedral; Caspe (7735); and Borja (5701), the original home of the celebrated family of Borgia (q.v.). (For an account of the imperial canal, and of the inhabitants and history of this region, see ARAGON.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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