Place:Extremadura, Spain


Alt namesEstremadurasource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998)
TypeAutonomous community
Coordinates39.25°N 6.25°W
Located inSpain
Contained Places
Cáceres ( 1833 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Extremadura (; ; ; Fala: Extremaúra) is an autonomous community of Spain. Its capital city is Mérida. Located in the central-western part of the Iberian Peninsula, it is crossed from east to west by the Tagus and Guadiana rivers. The autonomous community is formed by the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. Extremadura is bordered by Portugal to the west and by the autonomous communities of Castile and León (north), Castilla–La Mancha (east) and Andalusia (south).

It is an important area for wildlife, particularly with the major reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007, and the International Tagus River Natural Park (Parque Natural Tajo Internacional). The regional executive body, led by the President of Extremadura, is called Junta de Extremadura.

The Day of Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe.[1]

The region, featuring a huge energy surplus and hosting deposits of lithium, is at the forefront of Spain's plans for energy transition and a decarbonisation.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lusitania, an ancient Roman province approximately including current day Portugal (except for the northern area today known as Norte Region) and a central western portion of the current day Spain, covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura. Mérida (now capital of Extremadura) became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.

Just like the bulk of the Iberian Peninsula, the territory was conquered by the Umayyads in the early 8th century. As part of the Emirate and later Caliphate of Córdoba, it largely constituted a territorial subdivision (kūra) of the former polities centered around Mérida. Following the collapse of the Caliphate in the early 11th century during the so-called Fitna of al-Andalus and its ensuing fragmentation into ephemeral statelets (taifas), the bulk of the territory of current day Extremadura became part of the (First) Taifa of Badajoz (Baṭalyaws), centered around the namesake city and founded by Sapur, a Ṣaqāliba previously freed by Al-Hakam II.

Conversely, the kingdoms of León, Castile and Portugal (most notably the first one) made advances in the 11th and 12th centuries across the territory (with for example the successive Leonese conquests of Coria in 1079 and 1142, the Portuguese attempts at expanding across the Guadiana basin in the second half of the 12th century, or the Castilian founding of Plasencia in 1186) not free from setbacks either caused by the Almoravid and Almohad impetus, which also entailed the demise of the first and second taifa of Badajoz in 1094 and 1150, respectively. In the Almohad case, their 1174 offensive removed Leonese control from every fortress south of the Tagus (including Cáceres). After the Almohad disaster at the 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, the remaining part of current-day Extremadura under Muslim control fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of LeónAlcántara (1214), Cáceres (1227–1229), Mérida (1230), Badajoz (1230)— and later to the military orders of Santiago and AlcántaraTrujillo (1232), Medellín (1234)—on behalf of Ferdinand III of Castile. The last fortresses in the Lower Extremadura were conquered by Christians by 1248.

By the late Middle Ages, the territory of the current-day region consisted of mayorazgos of the military orders of Santiago and Alcántara (about half the territory), nobiliary lordships (about a quarter of the territory) and royal demesne towns (the other quarter of the territory).

In between the 15th and 16th centuries, the concept of the Leonese and Castilian extremaduras diluted and the name eventually came to refer to the territory of the current-day region. The territory lacked nonetheless shared government and administration institutions.

In between 1570 and 1572, in the context of the deportation of Granadans that ensued with the repression of the Alpujarras revolt, the Crown forcibly relocated about 11,000 moriscos in the territory of the current-day region. The distribution was somewhat chaotic although some places with an already "threatening" population of old moriscos such as Hornachos, Magacela and Benquerencia were avoided as resettlement locations for the Granadan moriscos. The expulsion of the moriscos from the region began in 1609, starting with the moriscos of Hornachos, the first in the Crown of Castile. By September 1610 about two thirds of the moriscos of Extremadura had been already expelled and by 1611 the number amounted to 12,776. Those who avoided the early orders of expulsion abided to reports of being 'good Christians' or claimed a status as 'old moriscos'. At the height of 1612, there were reports of remaining moriscos in Trujillo, Mérida and Plasencia.

Located in the most able path from the Meseta Central to Portugal, the territory suffered greatly due to warfare from the 1640–1668 Portuguese Restoration War, characterised not by the movement of large armies but for pillage, skirmishes, raids, and destruction of economic resources and settlements across both sides of the Raya. The growing role of the fortified place of Badajoz—halfway Lisbon and Madrid—in the wake of the installment of the Captaincy General of Extremadura consolidated the clout of the military in the region.

By the late 18th century, the Extremaduran countryside languished, experiencing a deep crisis. There was a diminishing share of land dedicated to crops. The growing cattle sector induced the creation of yet more pastures, adding up to the structural problem stemmed from the extraordinary degree of concentration of land ownership. By the end of the Ancien Régime, the clergy, municipal councils and the royal army mattered more than the lesser role of the entitled nobility.

Railway developed in the second half of the 19th century. In September 1863, a passenger train arrived to Badajoz from Elvas, Portugal—the first train in the region and the first international service in the Iberian Peninsula—. In 1866, the was completed, enabling the link with Madrid. The Madrid−Valencia de Alcántara line, a new connection passing through the province of Cáceres, was fully completed in 1881.

In the context of the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War, the quick advance of the Rebel faction, the so-called Columna Madrid, across the province of Badajoz in August 1936 left merciless repression and mass casualties behind. In the context of the war and the immediate Post-War period, Badajoz was the Spanish province where the Francoist repression comparatively took the highest relative toll of victims: around 12,000 executions in the province (out of the 14,000 in the whole region), compared to around 1,600 victims of the Republican repression.

In the mid 20th century, the Francoist dictatorship pursued a policy of colonization and agrarian reform in the region to foster the economy, transforming thousands of hectares of dryland crops into irrigated lands, also favouring the erection of 63 new settlements by the Instituto Nacional de Colonización (INC). The second half of the 20th century saw a massive rural flight out of the region, both to the industrialised areas of Spain (already started in 1955) as well as to richer European countries (such as Germany, France and Switzerland), both of which notably intensified after 1961, in the wake of the 1959 Stabilization Plan (and in the second case also after bilateral agreements reached with destination countries). The region henceforth was handed a demographic blow in the ensuing years, with the effective expulsion of nearly a 40% of the population, particularly young people.

In the context of the development of the Spanish autonomous communities, the pre-autonomous government entity in Extremadura (the "Junta Regional de Extremadura") with jurisdiction over the provinces of Badajoz and Cáceres was created by means of a 1978 law. The draft of the regional Statute of Autonomy began in 1980. The text passed its final hurdle as it was enshrined as Organic Law in 1982. The first election to the Assembly of Extremadura took place in May 1983.

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