Comarca

A comarca (Spanish: [koˈmaɾka], Portuguese: [kuˈmaɾkɐ] or [koˈmaʁkɐ], Galician: [koˈmaɾka] pl. comarcas; Catalan: [kuˈmaɾkə], pl. comarques) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in Portugal, Spain and some of their former colonies: Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co-, meaning "together, jointly".

The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada (IPA: [reðoˈlaða]) and in Basque as eskualde (IPA: [es̺kualde]). In addition, in Galician, comarcas are also called bisbarras (IPA: [bizˈβaras]).

Angola

Accordingly, with the new judicial division of 2015, Angola (a Portuguese-speaking country) will be subdivided into 60 comarcas, each with a court of first instance. The courts of comarca will replace the previous provincial and municipal courts.

Comarca is also the name of a suburb of Luanda, the capital of Angola.

Brazil and Portugal

Historical

Until the 16th century, was divided into comarcas, large administrative regions. There were six traditional comarcas: Entre-Douro-e-Minho, Trás-os-Montes, Beira, Estremadura, Alentejo and Algarve, of which the last had the honorary title of "kingdom". In the 16th century, the comarcas were gradually referred to as "provinces".

The name "comarca" was applied to the administrative and judicial subdivisions of the provinces, a use introduced in the 17th century. Each comarca corresponded to the territorial area of jurisdiction of a corregedor, a high-ranking administrative and judicial officer who represented the Crown in the district.

In the 19th century, the comarcas were replaced by separate administrative and judicial divisions, reflecting the implementation of the separation of executive and judicial powers. The new administrative divisions became the administrative districts and the new judicial divisions kept the name comarca.

Present

Nowadays, in Brazil, Portugal, and some other countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the comarca is the basic territorial division in the judicial system. It corresponds to the territorial area of jurisdiction of a court of first instance.

The comarca may correspond to a municipality or group several small municipalities together. Presently, in Brazil, there are 2,680 comarcas. A judiciary organization reform implemented in Portugal in 2014 reduced the number of comarcas from 231 to 23.

Spain

The term comarca is used in several regions in Spain.

  • In Asturias, the historic division is the conceyu (pl. conceyos, concejo or municipioin Spanish). Currently, there are several comarcas but they are contemporary creations destined to tourism promotions, without administrative or government powers.
  • In Cantabria, the comarca is a traditional or historical division, usually identified with the greatest rivers of the region.
  • In Catalonia and Aragon, the comarca is a local government area, represented by a member on the comarcal council.
  • In the Valencian Community, the comarca is a traditional region with no administrative competences. They are legally referred as homologated territorial demarcations instead of as comarques.
  • In Galicia the comarca or bisbarra are traditional divisions of the land that have limited official recognition, but have no administrative relevance. However, the Galician government is attempting to transform the bisbarras into territorial administrative tiers, to create a new regional network proposed to be more balanced and efficient. Galician comarcas also have a comarcal council.

In other places, such as Extremadura, the comarca may simply refer to a loosely defined region.

Because of the comarca's long-standing use, it is sometimes used as the basis for the promotion of tourism, with emphasis on local cultural tradition and history.

Mexico

The ninth-largest metropolitan area in Mexico is known as the Comarca Lagunera. The region is made up of 15 municipalities, including the cities of Torreón, Coahuila and Gómez Palacio, Durango.

Panama

In Panama, the comarca indígena is an administrative region for an area with a substantial Amerindian population. Three comarcas (Comarca Emberá-Wounaan, Guna Yala, Ngöbe-Buglé) exist as equivalent to provinces. Two smaller comarcas (Kuna de Madugandí and Kuna de Wargandí) are subordinate to a province and considered equivalent to a corregimiento (municipality).

Fiction

Some Spanish-language editions of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's works use the term La Comarca as a translation for the English "The Shire".

See also

External links

Algerri

Algerri is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Agriculture is a principal economy activity, dedicated mainly to dryland farming. Cultivation of cereals, olives, almonds and sheep husbandry are of importance.

Arbeca

Arbeca is a village in the comarca of Les Garrigues, in the province of Lleida, in Catalonia, Spain.

It is the third village of Les Garrigues in number of inhabitants, close to Les Borges Blanques and Juneda.

The population is about 2,500 and the village has given its name to arbequina olives, used to produce a highly valued olive oil for human consumption, grown not only in Les Garrigues but also in many places in Spain, such as Andalusia.

The economy of the village is basically agrarian, with the cultivation on its irrigated and unirrigated land of almonds, cereals, pears, apples, olives, peaches, etc.

Arbeca is situated in the north-northeast of Les Garrigues, near the comarques of Pla d'Urgell and Urgell, and about 30 kilometers from Lleida, the capital of the province of the same name.

Bellcaire d'Urgell

Bellcaire d'Urgell is a municipality in the comarca of the Noguera in Catalonia, Spain.

Bovera

Bovera is a village in Catalonia in Spain. The village is in the comarca (county) of les Garrigues in the region of Lleida. Bovera is close to the town of Flix. The usually dry River Cana valley leads to the Ebre river at Flix.

In early November 2015 there was unusual rain that caused local flooding that was reported as particularly severe compared with other areas. Damage to 20 or 30% of crops such as olives over more than 1000 hectares was estimated.

Castelldans

Castelldans is a village in the province of Lleida and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain.

Cervià de les Garrigues

Cervià de les Garrigues is a village in the province of Lleida and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain.

Comarcas of Spain

In Spain traditionally and historically, some autonomous communities are also divided into comarcas (Spanish: [koˈmaɾkas], sing. comarca).Some comarcas (e.g. in Catalonia or in Aragon) have a clearly defined status, are regulated by law and even their comarcal councils have some power.

In some other cases (e.g. La Carballeda) their legal status is not very formal for they correspond to natural areas, like valleys, river basins and mountainous areas, or even to historical regions overlapping different provinces and ancient kingdoms (e.g. Ilercavonia). In such comarcas or natural regions municipalities have resorted to organizing themselves in mancomunidad (commonwealth), like the Taula del Sénia, the only legal formula that has allowed those comarcas to manage their public municipal resources meaningfully.

There is even a comarca, the Cerdanya that is divided between two states, the southwestern half being counted as a comarca of Spain, while the northeastern half is part of France.

In English, a comarca is equivalent to a district, county, area or zone.

Comarques of Catalonia

This is a list of the 42 comarques (singular comarca, Catalan pronunciation: [kuˈmaɾkə]) into which Catalonia is divided. A comarca is a group of municipalities, roughly equivalent to a "county" in the U.S.A. or the U.K. However, in the context of Catalonia, the term "county" can be a bit misleading, because in medieval Catalonia, aside from the kings of Aragon, the most important rulers were counts, notably the Counts of Barcelona and of Urgell. Comarques have no particular relation to the "counties" that were ruled by counts.

El Cogul

El Cogul is a municipality in Catalonia, Spain. It is in the comarca (county) of les Garrigues in the province of Lleida.

In 2014 the population was 190.It is famous for its rock art site Roca dels Moros.

Foradada

Foradada is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Fulleda

Fulleda is a village in the comarca of Les Garrigues, in the province of Lleida, in Catalonia, Spain.

The population is about 115. The economy of the village is agrarian, with the cultivation on its unirrigated land of almonds, cereals, vineyard, olives, etc.

Fulleda is situated in the east of Les Garrigues, near the comarca of Conca de Barberà, and about 40 kilometers from Lleida, the capital of the province of the same name.

La Sentiu de Sió

La Sentiu de Sió is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Menàrguens

Menàrguens is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Preixens

Preixens is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Torrelameu

Torrelameu is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Economy is based on agriculture (cereals, wheat, maize, potatoes, vegetables, alfalfa, vines and others) and animal husbandry.

Vallfogona de Balaguer

Vallfogona de Balaguer is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Economy is based on agriculture, with, in particular, the cultivation of cereals. Sights include the parish church of St. Michael Archangel (18th century) and a castle, with a Romanesque chapel (renovated in the 18th century) and a square tower of Islamic origin.

Vilanova de Meià

Vilanova de Meià is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Vilanova de l'Aguda

Vilanova de l'Aguda is a municipality in the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.

Àger

Àger is a municipality in the comarca of the Noguera in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated in the north-west of the comarca, and the territory of the municipality stretches between the Noguera Ribagorçana and Noguera Pallaresa rivers. The Terradets reservoir on the Noguera Pallaresa is situated within the municipality. The village is linked to Balaguer and Tremp by the L-904 road.

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