List of provinces of Spain

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Division of Spain into regions and provinces

Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla) with different degrees of autonomy. Below the autonomous communities, the state association is divided into 50 provinces . The current division is essentially based on the territorial reform carried out under Francisco Javier de Burgos in November 1833 - at that time there were 15 regions with a total of 49 provinces.

Many of the Spanish provinces are named after their respective capital. Only two cities, Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia , are capital of an autonomous region, but not capital of a province.

Seven autonomous regions are made up of a single province: Asturias , Balearic Islands , Cantabria , La Rioja , Madrid , Murcia and Navarra .

The provinces themselves are subdivided into municipalities (span. Municipios ). See the list of municipalities in the respective provinces.

Institutions and function

In those Autonomous Communities that consist of several provinces, the provinces each have a Diputación Provincial as a self-governing body between the region and municipalities ( municipios ). The Canary Islands are an exception. Here the Cabildos take the place of the Diputaciones.

In addition, the division into provinces is used by the Spanish central administration and for statistical purposes.

In the elections to the Spanish parliament, the provinces and the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, which do not belong to any province, serve as constituencies. In each province, a number of representatives corresponding to the number of inhabitants is elected according to proportional representation.

In contrast to the German rural districts , the functions are not combined in one administration, but are organizationally separated from each other: on the one hand there is the Diputación Provincial with its administration, on the other hand the Subdelegación del Gobierno (or in the uniprovincial autonomous communities the Delegación del Gobierno ) as territorial unit of state administration. This is similar to the situation in Bavaria, where on the one hand, the districts with the district administration as a self-governing body, and secondly, the district government as State resources authority for the same area of the same comprehensive administrative region coexist.

Provinces by Autonomous Communities

The 50 provinces are divided into the autonomous communities as follows:

region Capital Provinces main place location
Bandera de Andalucía.svg
Andalucía (English: Andalusia) is the southernmost of the autonomous communities on the mainland. Of all the Spanish regions, Andalusia was the longest under Arab rule. The influences of the Muslims can still be seen today mainly in the architecture. Seville Flag Almería Province.svg Almeria Almeria Localización de Andalucía.png
Flag of Cadiz Province.svg Cadiz Cadiz
Provincia de Córdoba - Bandera.svg Cordoba Cordoba
Bandera de la provincia de Granada (España) .svg Granada Granada
Bandera de la Provincia De Huelva.svg Huelva Huelva
Bandera de la provincia de Jaén.svg Jaén Jaén
Flag Málaga Province.svg Málaga Málaga
Flag of Diputacion de Sevilla Spain.svg Seville Seville
Flag of Aragon.svg
The territory of the Autonomous Community of Aragón (Aragon) corresponds to the former Kingdom of Aragon. The north of Aragon is characterized by the Pyrenees, the main ridge of which forms the northern border of the autonomous community along its entire length. Zaragoza Flag of Zaragoza (province) .svg Huesca Huesca Localización de Aragón (NUTS ES5) .png
Teruel (provincia) .svg Teruel Teruel
Flag of Zaragoza province (with coat of arms) .svg Zaragoza Zaragoza
Flag of Asturias.svg
The territory of the Autonomous Community of Asturias (Asturias) is identical to that of the Province of Asturias (formerly Oviedo Province for a short time. Asturias is called Asturies in Asturian (called Asturiano or bable)). The vegetation is dominated by a lot of green (España Verde, the "green Spain"). Oviedo Flag of Asturias.svg Asturias Oviedo Localización de Asturias.png
Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg
Illes Balears
The autonomous community of Illes Balears (Balearic Islands) includes the main islands Mallorca and Menorca as well as the Pityuses with Ibiza and Formentera . In addition to these four and the fifth, by far the smallest inhabited island, Cabrera , the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands comprises 146 uninhabited islands. Palma Flag of the Balearic Islands.svg Islas Baleares Palma Localització de les Illes Balears.png
Flag of the Basque Country.svg
Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa
For Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa (Basque Country) is a part of the Spanish Basque country to which some have also parts of the Community of Navarra count. The Basque Country as a whole also includes the French Basque Country. Gasteiz / Vitoria Álava.svg Araba / Álava Gasteiz / Vitoria Localización de la CA de Euskadi (NUTS ES1) .png
Gipuzkoa flag.svg Gipuzkoa / Guipúzcoa Donostia-San Sebastian
Bizkaikobanderea.svg Bizkaia / Vizcaya Bilbo / Bilbao
Flag of the Canary Islands.svg
The Islas Canarias (Canary Islands) are an archipelago in the Atlantic that is geographically part of Africa, but politically part of Spain. All islands are of volcanic origin. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Provincia de Las Palmas - Escudo.svg Las Palmas Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Localización de Canarias.png
Provincia de Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Escudo.svg Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Flag of Cantabria.svg
The Autonomous Community of Cantabria (Cantabria) consists only of the province of the same name (formerly Santander Province). Cantabria is hilly to mountainous. The highest peaks are in the Picos de Europa with peaks of over 2,000 m. Santander Flag of Cantabria.svg Cantabria Santander Localización de Cantabria.png
Bandera Castilla-La Mancha.svg
Castilla-La Mancha
Castilla-La Mancha (Castile-La Mancha) belongs to the historical central Spanish landscape of Castile and is also known as New Castile. The province of Madrid also traditionally belonged to New Castile. The landscape of the Mancha became known through the figure of Don Quixote from the Mancha. Toledo Bandera antigua provincia Albacete.svg Albacete Albacete Localización de Castilla-La Mancha.png
Flag Ciudad Real Province.svg Ciudad Real Ciudad Real
Flag Cuenca Province.svg Cuenca Cuenca
Flag Guadalajara Province.svg Guadalajara Guadalajara
Bandera antigua de la provincia de Toledo.svg Toledo Toledo
Flag of Castile and León.svg
Castilla y León
The eastern half of Castilla y León (Castile and León) belongs to the historical central Spanish landscape of Castile and is known as Old Castile, the western half forms the landscape of León. Valladolid Bandera de la provincia de Ávila.svg Ávila Ávila Localización Castilla y León.png
Flag Burgos Province.svg Burgos Burgos
Bandera de León.svg Leon Leon
Bandera de la provincia de Palencia.svg Palencia Palencia
Bandera de la provincia de Salamanca.svg Salamanca Salamanca
Flag Segovia province.svg Segovia Segovia
Flag Soria province.svg Soria Soria
Bandera de la provincia de Valladolid.svg Valladolid Valladolid
Escudo de la provincia de Zamora.svg Zamora Zamora
Flag of Catalonia.svg
Due to its historical and cultural characteristics, Catalunya (Catalonia) is one of the “historical autonomous communities” alongside the Basque Country and Galicia. Due to the historical, linguistic and cultural differences to the rest of Spain, many residents of the region believe that Catalonia is a nation in its own right. Barcelona Flag of Barcelona (province) .svg Barcelona Barcelona Localització de la CA de Catalunya.png
Bandera antiga de la provincia de Girona.svg Girona Girona
Bandera de la provincia de Lérida.svg Lleida Lleida
Bandera actual de la provincia de Tarragona.svg Tarragona Tarragona
Flag of Extremadura (with coat of arms) .svg
Extremadura is one of the poorest regions in Spain. With a population density of 26.1 inhabitants per km², Extremadura covers 8.3% of the Spanish land mass, but only makes up 2.6% of the population of Spain. Merida Provincia de Badajoz - Bandera.svg Badajoz Badajoz Localización de Extremadura.png
Flag of the province of Cáceres.svg Cáceres Cáceres
Flag of Galicia.svg
The name Galicia (Galicia) goes back to the Celtic Galläker (also Callaik, Latin: Callaici ), a Celto-Iberian people who settled in this region in ancient times. The region is characterized by high mountain ranges that separate Galicia from the rest of Spain. Santiago de Compostela Escudo de la provincia de A Coruña.svg A Coruña A Coruña Localización de Galicia.png
Flag of Lugo province.svg Lugo Lugo
Provincia de Ourense - Bandera.svg Ourense Ourense
Flag Pontevedra Province.svg Pontevedra Pontevedra
Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg
Comunidad de Madrid
The Comunidad de Madrid (Autonomous Community of Madrid) consists only of the province of the same name and the metropolitan area around the capital Madrid. Madrid Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Madrid Madrid Localización de la Comunidad de Madrid.png
Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg
The Murcia region is identical to the province of the same name. The region is one of the driest areas in Europe (approx. 300 days of sunshine a year) and therefore suffers from water scarcity. Murcia Flag of the Region of Murcia.svg Murcia Murcia Localización de Murcia.png
Flag of Navarre.svg
Navarre comprises the part of the historical Kingdom of Navarre located south of the Pyrenees . The Autonomous Community collects the taxes on its own territory and only pays a sum to the central state, which is determined by an agreement. Pamplona Flag of Navarre.svg Navarre Pamplona Localización de Navarra.png
Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms) .svg
La Rioja
The name La Rioja is a combination of “Río-Oja”, which means “Oja River”, which flows through the region into the Ebro. The climate is dry with a continental influence. Logroño Flag of La Rioja (with coat of arms) .svg La Rioja Logroño Localización de La Rioja.png
Flag of the Land of Valencia (official) .svg
Comunidad Valenciana
The Comunidad Valenciana (Land Valencia) is located on the Mediterranean coast. The territory is largely identical to that of the former Kingdom of Valencia, which belonged to the Crown of Aragon. Valencia Escut de la Província d'Alacant.svg Alicante Alicante Localització del País Valencià.png
Escut de la Província de Castelló.svg Castellón Castellón de la Plana
Escut de la Província de València.svg Valencia Valencia
Flag Ceuta.svg
Ceuta is an autonomous Spanish exclave on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, near the Strait of Gibraltar, which belongs politically to Spain, but geographically to Africa. The 18.5 km² peninsula is known as a port of call for illegal immigration of Africans into the European Union. Ceuta Localización de Ceuta.png
Flag of Melilla.svg
Melilla belongs politically to Spain, but geographically to Africa. Until 1995, Melilla was considered part of the province of Malaga. The city is located on a peninsula on the African continent and is secured with two fences, motion detectors, night vision devices and cameras to protect against illegal immigration. Melilla Localización de Melilla.png

Alphabetical overview table

province Capital Autonomous Region Communities
Álava (Basque Araba ) Vitoria (Basque Gasteiz ) Basque Country list
Albacete Albacete Castile-La Mancha list
Alicante (valencian. Alacant ) Alicante (valencian. Alacant ) Valencia list
Almeria Almeria Andalusia list
Asturias Oviedo Asturias list
Ávila Ávila Castile and Leon list
Badajoz Badajoz Extremadura list
Balearic Islands (Catalan. Illes Balears , Spanish Islas Baleares ) Palma (Spanish Palma de Mallorca ) Balearic Islands list
Barcelona Barcelona Catalonia list
Bizkaia (Spanish Vizcaya ) Bilbao (Basque Bilbo ) Basque Country list
Burgos Burgos Castile and Leon list
Cáceres Cáceres Extremadura list
Cadiz Cadiz Andalusia list
Castelló (Spanish Castellón ) Castellón de la Plana (Valencian. Castelló de la Plana ) Valencia list
Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Castile-La Mancha list
Cordoba Cordoba Andalusia list
A Coruña (Spanish La Coruña ) A Coruña (Spanish La Coruña ) Galicia list
Cuenca Cuenca Castile-La Mancha list
Gipuzkoa (Spanish Guipúzcoa ) Donostia (Spanish: San Sebastián ) Basque Country list
Girona (Spanish, no longer officially Gerona ) Girona (Spanish, no longer officially Gerona ) Catalonia list
Granada Granada Andalusia list
Guadalajara Guadalajara Castile-La Mancha list
Huelva Huelva Andalusia list
Huesca Huesca Aragon list
Jaén Jaén Andalusia list
Cantabria Santander Cantabria list
Leon Leon Castile and Leon list
Lleida (Spanish, no longer officially Lérida ) Lleida (Spanish, no longer officially Lérida ) Catalonia list
Lugo Lugo Galicia list
Madrid Madrid Madrid list
Málaga Málaga Andalusia list
Murcia Murcia Murcia list
Navarre (Basque Nafarroa ) Pamplona (Basque Iruña ) Navarre list
Ourense (span. Orense ) Ourense (span. Orense ) Galicia list
Palencia Palencia Castile and Leon list
Las Palmas Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Canary Islands list
Pontevedra Pontevedra Galicia list
La Rioja Logroño La Rioja | list
Salamanca Salamanca Castile and Leon list
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Canary Islands list
Saragossa (span. Zaragoza ) Saragossa (span. Zaragoza ) Aragon list
Segovia Segovia Castile and Leon list
Seville Seville Andalusia list
Soria Soria Castile and Leon list
Tarragona Tarragona Catalonia list
Teruel Teruel Aragon list
Toledo Toledo Castile-La Mancha list
Valencia (valencian. València ) Valencia (valencian. València ) Valencia list
Valladolid Valladolid Castile and Leon list
Zamora Zamora Castile and Leon list


The present Spanish provinces were created in 1833 by the administrative reform of Javier de Burgos . The larger historical territorial units were dissolved and the Spanish territory was divided into provinces of roughly equal size based on the model of the French departments , each named after their capital. Only the Basque provinces of Vizcaya , Guipúzcoa and Álava as well as Navarra retained their traditional tax autonomy and their old names.

The division into provinces remained the basis of the territorial division of Spain until the adoption of the new Spanish constitution of 1978 . Only during the second Spanish republic did Catalonia (from 1931) and the Basque Country (from 1936) have autonomous regional governments.

The 1978 constitution made it possible to form autonomous regions ( Comunidades Autónomas ) from one or more provinces. In the seven autonomous regions, which consist of only one province ( Asturias , Balearic Islands , Cantabria , La Rioja , Madrid , Murcia and Navarra ), the self-government functions of the provinces were transferred to the newly created regions. The provinces of Oviedo (Asturias), Palma de Mallorca ( Balearic Islands ), Santander (Cantabria) and Logroño ( La Rioja ) also adopted the name of the respective region instead of the name of the capital. In the other regions, the provinces continue to exist as a separate level of self-government. Especially in Catalonia, however, the provincial division is seen as artificial. Since 2010, a regional law has provided for the previous four provinces to be replaced by seven vegueríes .

Web links

Commons : Provinces of Spain  - Collection of images, videos and audio files