Garrotxa

Garrotxa is a comarca (county) in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Its population in 2016 was 55,999, more than half of them in the capital city of Olot. It is roughly equivalent to the historical comarca of Besalú.

Garrotxa
Localització de la Garrotxa
Country Spain
Autonomous community Catalonia
ProvinceGirona
CapitalOlot
Municipalities
Area
 • Total734.5 km2 (283.6 sq mi)
Population
(2016)
 • Total55,999
 • Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Demonym(s) 
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Largest municipalityOlot

Geography

Garrotxa borders the comarques of Ripollès, Osona, Selva, Gironès, Pla de l'Estany, Alt Empordà, and Vallespir. It includes the upper basin of the River Fluvià and the headwaters of the rivers Muga, Amer and Llémena.

From both the human point of view and that of physical geography, the comarca has a clear division into two subcomarques. Extending north from the valley of the Fluvià, is Alta Garrotxa (Upper Garrotxa), while the southern part is sometimes called the comarca of Olot, after the capital city.

The Fluvià flows toward the Mediterranean, and has a relatively small flow of water (1.07 m³/s at Olot).

The high humidity of Garrotxa contrasts with that of the neighboring comarques. Annual rainfall is over 1000 mm (about 40 inches). It is said that "Si no plou a Olot, no plou enlloc" ("if it's not raining in Olot, it is not raining anywhere."). Winter temperatures hover around freezing; in August, temperatures average 27.7 °C (about 80 °F). Thermal inversions are relatively common; Alta Garrotxa and Puigsacalm, particularly, have more of a mountain climate, with snowfall figuring more prominently.

Vegetation varies with the climate. Alta Garrotxa and the east part of the comarca have typically Mediterranean climate and vegetation; the rest has a sub-Mediterranean climate, tending toward an Atlantic climate in the most humid areas.

Volcanic zone

In the western part of the comarca, the land around Olot and Santa Pau contains some 40 well-preserved volcanic cones at Croscat, important flows of basaltic lava, and the volcano of Santa Margarida. This zone is protected within the 120.07 km² Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa.

The populated areas are mostly located on the plain and hillsides of Olot. A field of lava covers most of the plain (some 25 km²), and lava flows continue down the valley of the Fluvià to Sant Jaume de Llierca. Another important sector is in the tectonic valley of the River Ser, at the foot of the fault scarp of the Corb and Finestres ranges, with the volcanoes of Santa Margarida and Croscat. Lava flowed down the valley, past Sallent de Santa Pau to the Gibert mill. A third group of volcanoes lies in the Llémena river valley and the stream of Adri.

Sant Joan les Fonts Monastir Romaneque 001
Romanesque monastery of Sant Joan les Fonts

The field became active about 700,000 years ago,[1] with the last eruption occurring 11,500 years ago.[2][3] There appear to have been old eruptions around Olot, because one can find basalt boulders from the Pliocene era in the valley of the Fluvià.

In 1982, the Generalitat de Catalunya declared the zone comprising the valleys of the Fluvià and Ser and the upper part of the valleys of Aiguavella and Sant Iscle to be Natural Places of National Interest. They also declared most of the volcanic cones and the Fageda d'en Jordà (beech woods rooted in lava) to be Integral Geobotanical Reserves.

Population and economic activity

9.4% of the population are engaged in agriculture and primary production, 59.4% in industry and energy, and 31.2% in the service sectors. Agricultural land has been shrinking, but Garrotxa remains the leading producer of maize. The livestock sector is actually expanding, especially pigs and cattle.

Industry, centered on Olot, Sant Joan les Fonts, and Besalú, has been generally on the rise since 1940. The most important industries are textiles, especially knitwear, the processing of locally grown food, and metallurgy. Behind these come papermaking, chemistry, and plastics.

Arts and crafts are traditional also, being the Olot Art School (Escola d'Art i Superior de Disseny d'Olot) one of the oldest ones in Catalonia.

Municipalities

Municipis de la Garrotxa
Municipalities of la Garrotxa
Municipality Population
(2014)[4]
Area
km2[4]
Argelaguer 425 12.5
Besalú 2,400 4.9
Beuda 200 35.9
Castellfollit de la Roca 1,013 0.7
Maià de Montcal 443 17.3
Mieres 326 26.3
Montagut i Oix 970 93.7
Olot 33,913 29.0
Les Planes d'Hostoles 1,694 37.5
Les Preses 1,772 9.4
Riudaura 463 23.6
Sales de Llierca 133 35.8
Sant Aniol de Finestres 351 47.7
Sant Feliu de Pallerols 1,353 34.9
Sant Ferriol 240 42.2
Sant Jaume de Llierca 812 6.8
Sant Joan les Fonts 2,919 31.9
Santa Pau 1,567 49.0
Tortellà 772 11.1
La Vall d'en Bas 2,965 90.7
La Vall de Bianya 1,305 93.6
• Total: 21 56,036 734.5

See also

References

  1. ^ Dades del Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa, Department of the Environment and Housing, Generalitat de Catalunya, April 2006, retrieved 2009-10-11.
  2. ^ "Descubren que volcanes Croscat y Santa Margarida los formó la misma erupción" [They discover that the Croscat and Santa Margarida volcanoes were formed by the same eruption]. EFE (in Spanish). abc.es. 27 January 2011. Retrieved X March 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Martí, J.; Planagumà, L.; Geyer, A.; Canal, E.; Pedrazzi, D. (2011). "Complex interaction between Strombolian and phreatomagmatic eruptions in the Quaternary monogenetic volcanism of the Catalan Volcanic Zone (NE of Spain)". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 201: 178. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.12.009.
  4. ^ a b "El municipi en xifres". Institut d'Estadística de Catalunya. Retrieved 2015-05-25.

External links

Coordinates: 42°10′17″N 2°33′17″E / 42.17139°N 2.55472°E

Besalú

Besalú (Catalan pronunciation: [bəzəˈlu]) is a town in the comarca of Garrotxa, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.

The town's importance was greater in the early Middle Ages, as capital of the county of Besalú, whose territory was roughly the same size as the current comarca of Garrotxa but sometime extended as far as Corbières, Aude, in France. Wilfred the Hairy, credited with the unification of Catalonia, was Count of Besalú. The town was also the birthplace of Raimon Vidal, a medieval troubadour.

Besalú was designated as a historical national property ("conjunt històric-artístic") in 1966. The town's most significant feature is its 12th-century Romanesque bridge over the Fluvià river, which features a gateway at its midpoint. The church of Sant Pere was consecrated in 1003. The town features arcaded streets and squares and also a restored mikveh, a ritual Jewish bath dating from the eleventh or twelfth century, as well as the remains of a medieval synagogue, located in the lower town near the river.

Besalú also hosts the Museum of miniatures created by jeweler and art collector Lluís Carreras.

Beuda

Beuda is a Spanish municipality located in the comarca of Garrotxa, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is located on the slopes near the Mont massif, to the north of Besalú.

Castellfollit de la Roca

Castellfollit de la Roca is a municipality in the comarca of Garrotxa, in the Province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. The urban area is bordered by the confluence of the Fluvià and Toronell rivers, between which the town's basalt cliff rises.

La Vall d'en Bas

La Vall d'en Bas is a municipality in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain.

Les Planes d'Hostoles

Les Planes d'Hostoles is a village and municipality in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 37.51 square kilometres (14.48 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 1,694.

Les Preses

Les Preses is a village and municipality in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 9.42 square kilometres (3.64 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 1,772.

Maià de Montcal

Maià de Montcal is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 17.28 square kilometres (6.67 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 443.

Mieres, Girona

Mieres is a village and municipality in the comarca of Garrotxa, in the province of Girona, in Catalonia, Spain.

Montagut i Oix

Montagut i Oix is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 93.76 square kilometres (36.20 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 970.

Olot

Olot (Catalan pronunciation: [uˈlɔt]) is the capital city of the comarca of Garrotxa, in the Province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. The city is known for its natural landscape, including four volcanoes scattered around the city center. The municipality is part of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. Olot is also well known for its cultural activity, with historical art movements like Olot school or factories of religious imagery, which contributed to the location in the city of the main Design and Arts & Crafts school of the province of Girona, the Escola d'Art i Superior de Disseny d'Olot.

Riudaura

Riudaura, sometimes also spelled Riudaure, is a municipality in the comarca of Garrotxa in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.

The local river, riera de Riudaura, caused a flood further downstream in Olot town in 1940.

Sales de Llierca

Sales de Llierca is a village and municipality in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 35.84 square kilometres (13.84 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 133.

Sant Aniol de Finestres

Sant Aniol de Finestres is a municipality in the comarca of Garrotxa in

Girona, Catalonia, Spain.

Sant Feliu de Pallerols

Sant Feliu de Pallerols is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 34.8 square kilometres (13.4 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 1,353.

Sant Ferriol

Sant Ferriol is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 42.26 square kilometres (16.32 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 240.

Sant Jaume de Llierca

Sant Jaume de Llierca is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 6.73 square kilometres (2.60 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 812.

Sant Joan les Fonts

Sant Joan les Fonts is a municipality of the comarca of Garrotxa, located in Girona, Catalonia, northern Spain. As of 2014, the population is 2,919. Until 1949 it was known as Begudà.

It is part of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park.

Santa Pau

Santa Pau is a village and municipality in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain.

Tortellà

Tortellà is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain.

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