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TERUEL, ARAGON

Spain Aragon AragonAragonHuesca AragonTeruel AragonZaragoza

Teruel is a province of Aragon, in the northeast of Spain.

It is bordered by the provinces of Tarragona, Castellón, Valencia (including its exclave Rincón de Ademuz), Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Zaragoza.

The area of the province is 14,809 km². Its population is 138,686 (2003), of whom about a quarter live in the capital, and its population density is 9.36/km². It contains 236 municipalities, of which more than half are villages of under 200 people. See List of municipalities in Teruel.

Teruel is alos the capital of Teruel province. It has a population of 34,240 in 2006. It is noted for its harsh climate, its jamón serrano (cured ham), its pottery and its famous Fiestas (La vaquilla del ángel during the second weekend of July and "Bodas de Isabel de Segura" around the third weekend of February).

Teruel's remote and mountainous location (it is 915 metres above sea level) and its low population has led to relative isolation within Spain. A campaign group with the slogan "Teruel existe" ("Teruel exists") was founded in 1999 to press for greater recognition and investment in the city and the province. Due in part to the campaign, transport connections to Teruel are being greatly improved with the construction of a motorway between Zaragoza and Sagunto, large parts of which are now open. However, Teruel remains the only provincial capital in Spain without a direct railway link to the capital, Madrid.

Teruel was founded in 1176 by Sancho Sánchez Muñoz and Blasco Garcés Marcilla. In the Middle Ages Teruel possessed a prominent Jewish community, which enjoyed several privileges, and which paid in the fourteenth century a yearly tax of 300 sueldos. Its members were engaged in commerce and industry, especially in wool-weaving. During the persecutions of 1391 many of them were killed, while others accepted Christianity in order to save their lives.

Teruel was fought over in the Spanish Civil War and suffered much destruction. The Battle of Teruel in December 1937-February 1938, was one of the bloodiest of the war. The city changed hands several times, first falling to the Republicans and eventually being re-taken by the Nationalists. In the course of the fighting, Teruel was subjected to heavy artillery and aerial bombardment. The two sides suffered up to 100,000 casualties between them in the three month battle.

Map of Teruel:

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