Catalan Central Depression

The Catalan Central Depression (Catalan: Depressió Central Catalana) is a natural depression between the Pre-Pyrenees and the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range in Spain. It widens towards the west, linking with the Ebro Depression, Catalan: Depressió de l'Ebre, of which it could be considered an eastern extension. The Catalan Central Depression is about 180 km long with an average width of 50 km.[1]

Geomorphologic map of Catalonia:
Pla de Bages
The Pla de Bages, in the midst of the Central Depression, with Montserrat in the background.
The Montmeneu, an isolated hill in the western area of the Central Depression.


The Catalan Central Depression consists of a succession of high plateaus between 800 and 1,000 metres in altitude that gradually lose height westwards until the Ebro Depression. There are eroded river basins limiting these heights wherever the ground is made up of clay or marlstone. The Pla de Bages and the Conca de Barberà are examples of these higher regions.

The limits of the Central Depression are different whether considered from the point of view of their origin or their actual relief. Some mountain ranges outside of the depression, like Montserrat and Sant Llorenç del Munt, are formed by the same geologic materials that make up the Central Depression, even though geographically they are situated in the Pre-Coastal Range. These materials were piled up over the more ancient rocks of the Catalan Mediterranean System.[2]

The Central Depression formed in the Tertiary, when a great gulf, that later became a sea, had its boundaries in the Pyrenees and the Catalan-Balearic Massif.[3] Marine sedimentation formed clay, and other limestone materials, like bluish marl where the sedimentation had been part of a quiet and slow process, as well as conglomerate in the areas of the mouths of ancient rivers coming down from the Pyrenees and the former Catalan-Balearic Massif. Evaporation produced sodium and potassium salts, as well as gypsum in certain areas.

Mountain ranges

Some minor mountain ranges are scattered within the Central Depression without a regular pattern. The main ones are:

See also


  1. ^ "Mapa Topogràfic de Catalunya". Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Patronat de la Muntanya de Montserrat - Història i orígens
  3. ^ M. Miró & M. Domingo, Medi natural: relleu Barcelona, 1986. Ed. Els Llibres de la Frontera. ISBN 84-85709-51-9

External links

Coordinates: 41°50′00″N 1°11′00″E / 41.83333°N 1.18333°E


Berguedà (Catalan pronunciation: [bəɾɣəˈða]) is an inland comarca (county) in Catalonia, Spain, lying partly in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees, and partly in the Catalan Central Depression.

Castelltallat range

The Castelltallat range (catalan language: Serra de Castelltallat) is located in central Catalonia (Spain) between the counties of Bages and Solsonès, extending over the provinces of Barcelona and Lleida, and occupying an area of about 65 square kilometres. It is one of the isolated hills of the Catalan Central Depression and is located at its southwestern end.

Catalan Coastal Depression

The Catalan Coastal Depression, Catalan: Depressió Litoral Catalana, is a natural depression between the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range and the Mediterranean Sea. It is part of the Catalan Mediterranean System.

Catalan Coastal Range

The Catalan Coastal Range (Catalan: Serralada Litoral Catalana, IPA: [sərəˈlaðə lituˈɾal kətəˈlanə]) is a system of mountain ranges running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea coast in Catalonia, Spain. It is part of the Catalan Mediterranean System. Its main axis runs between the Foix River and the Roses Gulf and the average altitude is around 500 m. The highest point is 763 m at the Montnegre.

Catalan Mediterranean System

The Catalan Mediterranean System, also known as Mediterranean System, Transversal Ibero-Pyrenaean System, and Catalanid System, is a wide coastal geographical region in Catalonia. It is made up of a double system of coastal mountain chains: The Catalan Coastal Range and the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range, as well as the Catalan Coastal Depression and other coastal and pre-coastal plains located among those mountain ranges.

Catalan Pre-Coastal Range

The Catalan Pre-Coastal Range (Catalan: Serralada Prelitoral Catalana) is a system of mountain ranges running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea coast in Catalonia. It is part of the Catalan Mediterranean System. Its main axis runs between the Catalan Transversal Range and the Serra de l'Espina, which connects with the Ports de Tortosa-Beseit, part of the Iberian System. The highest point is 1.706,7 m at the Montseny Massif.

Catalan Transversal Range

The Catalan Transversal Range (Serralada Transversal) is a system of minor mountain ranges at the eastern end of the Pre-Pyrenees, between the Osona and Garrotxa comarques. The existence of the Catalan Transversal Range has made communications in the northern areas of Catalonia difficult in the past, especially between Northeastern Catalonia (Catalan Coastal Depression, with cities like Girona, Figueres and La Jonquera) and Western Catalonia (Catalan Mediterranean System; Lleida, Cervera and further west to Aragón), a problem that has been partly solved with the development of the Eix Transversal.

Eix Transversal

C-25 or Eix Transversal (English: Transversal Arterial Road; lit. Transversal Axis) is a 280 km long primary highway in Catalonia, Spain.

It crosses the Catalan Transversal Range mountainous region, communicating the northern end of the Catalan Coastal Depression with the Catalan Central Depression.According to the current coding for highways managed by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the first number C-25 indicates that is mainly a west-eastbound highway, and the second number C-25 indicates that is the fifth southernmost. The road begins at the intersection with Autovía A-2, near Cervera (comarca of Segarra), and finishes at Cassà de la Selva (comarca of Gironès), with a total length of 141 km.

List of mountains in Catalonia

This is a list of mountains in Catalonia, Spain.


Lleida (Catalan: [ˈʎɛjðə]; Spanish: Lérida [ˈleɾiða]) is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida.

Geographically, it is located in the Catalan Central Depression. It is also the capital city of the Segrià comarca, as well as the largest city in the province. It had 137,387 inhabitants as of 2010, including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs.

Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period. Until the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for an Iberian people, the Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus. It was reconquered in 1149, after being ruled by the Moors for many centuries, who had conquered the town in the 8th century. In 1297, the University of Lleida was founded, becoming the third oldest in the whole of Spain. During the following centuries, the town was damaged by several wars such as the Reapers' War in the 17th century and the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. Since then, the city has been in a constant urban, commercial and demographic growth.


Penedès (Catalan pronunciation: [pənəˈðɛs]) is a natural and historical region of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. It is located in the south of the Principality of Catalonia between the pre-coastal mountain range (Serralada Pre-litoral) and the Mediterranean Sea. The comarcal division of the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1936 and 1987, divided Penedès into three administrative comarques: Alt Penedès, Baix Penedès and Garraf, and their capitals are Vilafranca del Penedès, el Vendrell and Vilanova i la Geltrú.

From the historical point of view, Penedès was since the start of the ninth century a border region inside the county of Barcelona, which had its center in the former military town Olèrdola, fortified again because of the Christian advance in 929. Olèrdola lost its defensive significance and the capital in the second half of the twelfth century and then Vilafranca del Penedès became the capital. During the thirteenth century formed the Vegueria of Vilafranca including all Penedès and most of Anoia as the sots-vegueria of Igualada.

The provincial division of the 1833 divide the region between the provinces of Barcelona, which includes Alt Penedès and Garraf, and the province of Tarragona, which includes Baix Penedès.

Plain of Vic

The Plain of Vic (Catalan Plana de Vic) is a 30 km long depression located at the eastern end of the Catalan Central Depression in the Osona comarca. It is named after the town of Vic, an important and ancient urban center in this natural region that lies in the midst of the plain. Other significant towns in the plain are Manlleu and Tona.

This natural depression carved by river Ter and its tributaries is longer than it is wide and stretches in a N / S direction. It is completely surrounded by mountains: The Sub-Pyrenees, with Bellmunt mountain towering in the north, the Lluçanès and Moianès high plateaus in the West, the Montseny in the southeast and the Guilleries, located at the apex of the Catalan Transversal Range and the Pre-Coastal Range, in the east.


The Pre-Pyrenees are the foothills of the Pyrenees.


Ripoll (Catalan pronunciation: [riˈpoʎ]) is the capital of the comarca of Ripollès, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is located on confluence of the Ter River and its tributary Freser, next to the Pyrenees near the French border. The population was 11,057 in 2009.

The first traces of humans inhabiting the area date from the Bronze Age and can be seen in form of dolmens such as those found in El Sot de Dones Mortes or in Pardinella. This area was later used by peoples from the Atlantic culture to store bronze weapons and as a passway from the Catalan Central Depression to the Pyrenees. The area also has tombs from the late Roman occupation age and some belonging to the Visigoths.

It has a famous Benedictine monastery built in the Romanesque style, Santa Maria de Ripoll, founded by the count Wilfred the Hairy in 879. The count used it as a centre to repopulate the region after conquering it. In the High Middle Ages, its castle, the Castle of Saguardia, located in the county of Les Llosses was ruled by the Saguàrdia family, of which Ponç de la Guàrdia was a famous troubadour.

An abundance of coal and iron ore, coupled with the ample water supply of the rivers Ter and Freser, encouraged a metal-working industry in the early Middle Ages. The furnaces of Ripoll were a prime source of nails for the peninsula. Later, pole arms and crossbows, always in demand, were added to Ripoll’s exports. Ripoll enjoyed a reputation throughout Europe for the production of firearms. That success as a manufactory of firearms brought frequent trouble to the city. French invasions in 1794, 1809, 1812, and 1813 crippled the city industries. However, the final and utter destruction of Ripoll, resulting from mines and blasting, occurred in 1839 during the Carlist Wars. Due to the loss of records and archives, not much is known of Ripoll and its industry to this day.

Serra de la Fatarella

Serra de la Fatarella is one of the isolated mountain ranges of the Catalan Central Depression located off the southern end of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range between La Fatarella and Ascó in Spain.

The ridge's highest point is 563.5 m; another important summit is 552 m high Punta de l'Home. This smooth range runs in a N - S direction.

The 18th century renaissance style Ermita de la Misericòrdia is located on a 526 m high summit of the range. It has been reconstructed recently.

Serra del Tallat

Serra del Tallat is a mountain range of the Catalan Central Depression, Catalonia, Spain. It has an elevation of 802 metres above sea level.The highest summit of the Serra del Tallat is the Tossal Gros de Vallbona; it is located between the municipal limits of Espluga de Francolí, Conca de Barberà and Vallbona de les Monges, Urgell.

Serra dels Pesells

Serra dels Pesells is a mountain chain located near the southern end of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range between Bot and Arenys de Lledó.

The ridge's highest point is 541,3 m. This smooth range runs in a NNE - SSW direction and divides the basins of the Canaletes and Algars rivers. It is one of the isolated hills of the Catalan Central Depression and it is located at its southwestern end.

Currently wind turbines are being built on top of the Serra dels Pesells ridge. People in nearby Caseres town, who derive some income from rural tourism, are worried that the turbines will mar their picturesque surroundings.

Solsona, Lleida

Solsona is a municipality and capital of the comarca of the Solsonès in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. It is situated in the centre of the comarca in the Catalan Central Depression. It is served by the C-55 road to Manresa, and is linked to Berga and Bassella by the C-26. Until a few years ago, Solsona used to be the main road used by people from Barcelona to go to Andorra.

The old town is known as the Nucli antic: it preserves a large part of its fortifications. The cathedral of Santa Maria de Solsona and the episcopal palace are in a neoclassical style. The latter houses the diocesan and comarcal museum and the Museum of Salt (Museu de la Sal), with crystals and objects made from the salt of nearby Cardona.

One of the most important events in the city is Carnaval, a pagan celebration that marks the beginning of the Quaresma. Tens of thousands of people come from all over Catalonia and beyond, to participate in the celebration that lasts almost one week.

Solsona is home to one of the oldest hunters' association of Catalonia, which held its 75th anniversary in 2015. The city also hosts the only big research centre of Catalonia located outside an urban area, the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), with around 100 people employed.

Tossal Gros de Vallbona

Tossal Gros de Vallbona is a mountain of the Catalan Central Depression, Catalonia, Spain. It has an elevation of 802 metres above sea level.This mountain is the highest summit of the Serra del Tallat; it is located between the municipal limits of Espluga de Francolí, Conca de Barberà and Vallbona de les Monges, Urgell.

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