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Extremadura  ( Spanish )
coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Kanarische Inseln Portugal Andorra Frankreich Vereinigtes Königreich Marokko Algerien Galicien Asturien Kantabrien Baskenland Navarra La Rioja Aragonien Kastilien und León Katalonien Madrid Kastilien-La Mancha Valencianische Gemeinschaft Balearische Inseln Extremadura Andalusien Murcia Kastilien und León Ceuta Melillamap
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Basic data
Country : SpainSpain Spain
Capital : Merida
Area : 41,634  km²
Residents : 1,067,710  (January 1, 2019)
Population density : 25.6 inhabitants / km²
Expansion: North – South: approx. 281 km
West – East: approx. 221 km
ISO 3166-2 : ES-EX
Website : www.juntaex.es
Politics and administration
Autonomy since: February 26, 1983
President : Guillermo Fernández Vara ( PSOE )
Representation in the
Cortes Generales :
Congress : 10 seats
Senate : 8 seats
Structure : 2 provinces
Old town of Cáceres

Extremadura is one of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain and is located in the south-west of the country , bordering Portugal . Extremadura includes the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz .

The name Extremadura comes from "extremos del Duero", which means "across the river Duero ".

Extremadura covers 8.3% of the Spanish land mass, but with a population density of 25 inhabitants per km² it has only 2.6% of the population of Spain .

The population, known as Extremeña or Extremeño, is spread over 383 parishes. The only city with more than 100,000 inhabitants is Badajoz (150,000 inhabitants). The next largest cities are Cáceres (96,000 inhabitants) and the capital of the autonomous community, Mérida (59,000 inhabitants). About 57% of the population live in communities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.

The regional economy has improved in recent years and caught up faster than other regions in Spain between 1985 and 1999 . The Extremadura by the EU - Cohesion Fund benefits and projects in the areas of education , social protection and economic promoted.


Extremadura has an area of ​​41,634 km² and represents 8.2% of the Spanish land mass. It is larger than Switzerland, Belgium or the Netherlands and the fifth largest autonomous community in Spain. Extremadura is made up of the 19,868 km² province of Cáceres and the 21,766 km² province of Badajoz .

The extreme north of the region is mountainous. The western foothills of the central system of the Iberian Peninsula form several mountain ranges and valleys that connect to the Castilian Sierra de Gredos. The highest mountain is the Torreón (2400 m, formerly often confused with the Calvitero) on the border with the province of Salamanca . These areas are rich in water and fertile; Well-known are the cherries from the Valle del Jerte and peppers from the La Vera region.

South of the Tagus River begins drier land with wide plains, which is known for viticulture ( DO Ribera del Guadiana), but above all for its holm oak groves ( Spanish dehesas ), where the black Iberian pig (cerdo ibérico) is kept, which is mainly fed on acorns. The special breed and diet - both are subject to strict regulations to protect the product name “ibérico” - give the famous Jamón Ibérico (air-dried ham ) its special taste and high quality.

In addition, many rare, endangered animals such as As the Iberian lynx , the great bustard , a large ground bird that is also where the emblem, and the crane , the black stork and the wolf .

In the region south of the Tajo and Ebro rivers you can find holm oaks as well as cork oaks , the bark of which is mainly processed into corks for the wine industry in the Portuguese province of Alentejo .

The Tajo flows through Extremadura in the north and the Guadiana in the south .


Extremadura is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Only in the north do continental weather conditions prevail in the mountain region, which cause a climatic division of the region. The soil in the north is rich in water and fertile. In the region south of the Tagus it is dry, which has resulted in large areas with almost untouched nature.

Such a climate is characterized by mild, rainy winters and dry summers. The average annual temperature in Extremadura is 16-17 ° C. In the north an annual average temperature of 13 ° C is reached, in the south it is 18 ° C.

The precipitation in the region is between 450 and 500 mm per year. Summer brings average temperatures around 26 ° C, which can rise to 46 ° C.


The Extremadura derives its name ("Beyond the Duero") from the centuries-long border position of the Duero during the Reconquista , when the Duero, as in Portugal , separated the Muslim from the Christian sphere with regard to the Estremadura there , and with the name Extremadura each from the Moors often referred to areas that were only temporarily reclaimed.

The Alcántara dolmen area is one of the most megalithic regions in Spain with more than 35 dolmens . Since approx. 1000 BC BC Celts from the Vettone tribe settled the region. They were followed by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, and then the Romans . The Romans made Extremadura an important trading region under the name Hispana Ulterior Lusitana and founded the cities of Norba Caesarina , now Cáceres , and Emerita Augusta , now Mérida . To this day, many historical buildings, especially those of the Romans, have been very well preserved, such as aqueducts , theaters and fortresses . Close to the Portuguese border is the Alcántara Bridge, an outstanding example of Roman engineering. Under Ibn Marwan , who founded Badajoz in the 9th century, and under the Aftasids of the 11th century, Extremadura was a Moorish emirate .

In the course of the Reconquista (ending of the Moorish rule) in 1230 King Alfonso IX. owned by León the region for Spain . Since Extremadura was very hotly contested against the Muslims during the Reconquista and was also relatively poor, a sometimes fanatical, Christian mercenary mentality of some sections of the population established itself. This led to the fact that a large part of the conquistadors of the New World such as Hernán Cortés or Francisco Pizarro came from the Extremadura province (especially from Trujillo and Jerez de los Caballeros ) who wanted to take possession of the new world for Christian Spain. The title of Extremadura, tierra de conquistadores y lusitanos, comes from this.

The founding of the autonomous region of Extremadura coincides with the democratization of Spain after Franco's death in 1975. After the second free parliamentary elections in 1979, the most important project of the government under Adolfo Suárez as Prime Minister was to promote the regionalization of the hitherto centralized state and to legislate to pour. But internal disputes weakened Suárez's UCD party , which had only been founded in 1977 through a merger of various small parties and, in Adolfo Suárez, had appointed the first Prime Minister of Spain after the death of Franco. The question of autonomy initially remained unsolved. The internal conflicts ultimately led to the breakup of the ruling UCD party. New elections were scheduled. Only after the overwhelming victory of the socialist party PSOE under the young Felipe González in the early third parliamentary elections in 1982 did the decentralization and regionalization of Spain experience its decisive impetus, which culminated in the founding of 17 autonomous regions between 1979 and 1983. Extremadura was declared an autonomous region on February 26, 1983 as one of the last regions on the basis of the relevant law ley orgánica. Since then, Extremadura has had extensive political competencies and independently determines, for example, urban development, environmental protection, economic development and parts of energy policy. The first parliamentary elections were held on May 8, 1983, and the PSOE's success throughout Spain continued. On June 8, 1983, parliament elected the socialist and González friend Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra as the first Prime Minister, who headed the Extremadura government for 24 years until 2007. Ibarra was already head of government in Extremadura, which was largely ruled by Madrid , before the first parliamentary election. He became president of this government, which had to prepare the first free parliamentary elections in Extremadura, in 1982 only with the votes of two members of the competing UCD party.


In comparison with the GDP of the EU - expressed in purchasing power standards - Extremadura achieved an index of 71 (EU-27: 100) (2006). The gross domestic product per capita is 15,054 euros, which is only 68% of the Spanish average (Ø = 22,152). With a value of 0.847, Extremadura ranks last among the 17 Spanish Autonomous Communities in the Human Development Index .

In the 2000s, Extremadura experienced above-average economic growth. That is why new opportunities are being developed to strengthen and expand the market , especially in tourism and trade. In the tourism sector in particular, demand has grown considerably in recent years - the proportion of the population in the service sector is now 57%.

In 2017 the unemployment rate was 26.3% and was among the highest in the EU.

In addition to the service sector, there are around 8,000 industrial companies in Extremadura, mainly small and medium-sized companies. The most important industries are energy, agriculture, cork, stone, jewelry, textiles and mechanical engineering.

Furthermore, agriculture is still practiced in Extremadura . The main focus here is on chemical-free organic farming.

An important trading partner of Extremadura is the neighboring country Portugal.

Extremadura is ahead in the energy sector. The development and construction of reservoirs and dams leads to a stable use of water electricity. In fact, more energy is produced than would be necessary for the own region.

Furthermore, the use of biomass, wind and solar energy is being researched and developed.

The northern region of Extremadura is rich in water and fertile. Here are kiwis , figs , sunflower , cherries, peppers and lemons grown. A specialty from the north is Pimentón de la Vera , an aromatic paprika powder.

The dry land begins south of the Tagus. Here, in the dehesa , there are plenty of cork and holm oaks , which are mainly used to make corks for wine bottles. The black Iberian pig (cerdo ibérico) lives here and feeds mainly on acorns. It delivers the famous Jamón Ibérico (air-dried ham). Wine is also grown on the shallow, nutrient-poor soils .


In April 2002 the government decided to convert the software in schools and authorities to Linux and free software in order to strengthen the IT sector in particular by investing in the regional economy . For this purpose the own distribution LinEx was launched, which has since helped to save millions. However, this was given up in January 2012 after the handover to the government in Madrid.


In 2007 there were 1,088,728 inhabitants in Extremadura; that was 2.6% of the Spanish population. Due to its size, Extremadura is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe.

29,068 foreigners live in Extremadura. This means that Extremadura has a proportion of foreigners of 2.67%, which is mainly composed of citizens of Colombian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Moroccan, Romanian and Asian origins.

The proportion of the population over 65 years in Badajoz is 17–19%, in Cáceres even between 19 and 23%. The Spanish average is 16.62%. (2005 figures)

Between 1900 and 2000, Extremadura recorded a population growth of 0 to 50%. In contrast, regions like Madrid or Barcelona had a population growth of over 300%. Between 1950 and 1981, the region's population fell between 0 and 20%. It was not until 1981 that the numbers rose again, with the exception of Cáceres. In Badajoz, on the other hand, the population increased between 0 and 10%.



  • Martin Baumeister: Poor “campesinos”. Survival and Resistance in Extremadura 1880 to 1923 , Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-08158-7 .
Spanish edition: Campesinos sin tierra. Supervivencia y resistencia en Extremadura (1880–1923) , transl . Joaquín Abellán, Madrid 1997.
  • Martín Almagro Basch: Megalitos de Extremadura I and II - Excavaciones Arqueologicas en Espafia 4. 1962.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Extremadura  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Extremadura  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Extremadura  - Travel Guide


  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. Domingo Domené: Qué era Extremadura , No. 1 of the Revista Universo Extremeño, 2006 (Spanish), website Paseo Virtual-Extremadura , accessed on January 20, 2010 (PDF; 222 kB)
  3. Dolmens and Menhirs in Extremadura
  4. ^ Spiegel Geschichte 5/2009, Massacre in God's Name, page 92/93 , PDF of the print edition
  5. ine.es ( Memento of the original from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) Instituto Nacional de Estadística @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.ine.es
  6. ^ Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab. Retrieved August 12, 2018 .
  7. File: Regions with highest and lowest unemployment rates in 2017,% .PNG - Statistics Explained. Retrieved on August 14, 2018 .
  8. heise.de

Coordinates: 39 ° 12 ′  N , 6 ° 9 ′  W