Berguedà

Berguedà

Spanish comarca
comarca_name = Berguedà
comarca_

comarca_arms = Escut del Berguedà.svg
location_

province = Barcelona
capital = Berga
largest_city = Berga
demonym =
population = 37,995 (2001)
area = 1182.5
pop_density = 32.1
municipalities = Avià|Bagà|Berga|Borredà|Capolat|Casserres|Castell de l'Areny|Castellar de n'Hug|Castellar del Riu|Cercs|L'Espunyola|Fígols|Gironella|Gisclareny|Guardiola de Berguedà|Gósol|Montclar|Montmajor|La Nou de Berguedà|Olvan|La Pobla de Lillet|Puig-reig|La Quar|Sagàs|Saldes|Sant Jaume de Frontanyà|Sant Julià de Cerdanyola|Santa Maria de Merlès|Vallcebre|Vilada|Viver i Serrateix

Berguedà is a comarca (county) in the interior of Catalonia, Spain, lying partly in the Pyrenees and partly in Catalonia's Depressió Central.

The northern half of Berguedà, known as Alt Berguedà, consists of the upper valley of Llobregat and the mountainous Pre-Pirineu. The northern border is a veritable mountain barrier: Berguedà is separated from Cerdanya (more specifically, from Baixa Cerdanya) by a chain of 2,000 meter peaks. These include the mountain ranges Cadí, Moixeró, Puig d'Alp and Puigllançada. South of these ranges are the valley of Llobregat down to Pobla de Lillet and Castellar de N'hug and the valleys of the rivers Bagà, Bastareny and Saldes. To the east are the mountain ranges Catllaràs and Rasos de Tubau, to the west the high ranges of Pedraforca, Verd, Ensija and Rasos de Peguera.

Climate

Alt Berguedà is rainy and (by Catalan standards) cold, with snow in the winter on the higher peaks. Average annual precipitation exceeds 1000 mm (40 inches), mostly in the warmer seasons. Vegetation is mainly forests of Scots Pine and oak. The shadiest parts have European Beech and, less often, Silver Fir. Above 1700 meters, Mountain Pine dominates and above 2200 meters "orats alpins" (? ). The southern half of Berguedà consists of lower valleys, with a Mediterranean climate tending more towards an internal continental climate as one goes upland. Average annual precipitation is 700 to 900 mm (28 to 36 inches); as in Alt Berguedà, very little of this is in the summer. Average annual temperatures fall between 11 and 13 °C, with cold winters, but without excessively hot summers. The naturally occurring vegetation is "carrascara" (Round-leafed oak, "Quercus ilex" subsp. "rotundifolia") in dry areas with poor soils and oaks where there are better soils and more rain. In the center and to the west, Portuguese oak ("Quercus faginea") dominates, to the west and north Downy oak ("Quercus pubescens", syn. "Q. humilis"). Nowadays, these are intermixed with Scots Pine and Aleppo Pine.

Population and Economy

Berguedà has always been sparsely populated. In 1860 there were 31,544 inhabitants, but by 1887 the population had fallen to a low of 23,257. The 1900 census showed a slight rebound to 27,217 inhabitants. For the next 60 years, growing opportunities in mining, textiles, forestry, cattle ranching, and agriculture led to a slow but steady increase, with 39,600 inhabitants in 1930, 41,938 in 1950 and 47,953 in 1960. Then, with a decline in the local economy (especially a fall-off in mining) coinciding with greater opportunity elsewhere, another decline of the economy and population set in, with the population falling to 44,446 in 1970, 42,152 in 1981, and a mere 37,995 today.

Currently, industrial activity is located mainly in between Berga and Puig-reig. The opening of the Cadí Tunnel and the general improvement of the roads in recent (as of 2004) years may improve the economic potential of the valley of Llobregat and of Berguedà in general.

Agriculture, cattle ranching and forestry have proved generally complementary to one another and compatible with tourism. The growth in tourism has provided some jobs and has been a key factor in reducing emigration from Alt Berguedà. Many farm houses have been converted (in whole or in part) to tourism-related uses.

Municipalities

Populations are from 2005.
* Avià - pop. 2,015
* Bagà - pop. 2,160
* Berga - pop. 16,175
* Borredà - pop. 518
* Capolat - pop. 79
* Casserres - pop. 1,548
* Castell de l'Areny - pop. 60
* Castellar de n'Hug - pop. 184
* Castellar del Riu - pop. 152
* Cercs - pop. 1,342
* L'Espunyola - pop. 270
* Fígols - pop. 48
* Gironella - pop. 4,853
* Gisclareny - pop. 36
* Guardiola de Berguedà - pop. 926
* Gósol - pop. 223
* Montclar - pop. 121
* Montmajor - pop. 460
* La Nou de Berguedà - pop. 159
* Olvan - pop. 897
* La Pobla de Lillet - pop. 1,348
* Puig-reig - pop. 4,197
* La Quar - pop. 68
* Sagàs - pop. 140
* Saldes - pop. 346
* Sant Jaume de Frontanyà - pop. 28
* Sant Julià de Cerdanyola - pop. 258
* Santa Maria de Merlès - pop. 151
* Vallcebre - pop. 284
* Vilada - pop. 507
* Viver i Serrateix - pop. 193

References

* [http://www.ine.es/inebase/cgi/um?M=%2Ft20%2Fe260%2Fa2005%2F&O=pcaxis&N=&L=0%202005 Instituto Nacional de Estadística] (in Spanish). Reference for populations of municipalities as of January 1, 2005.
* [http://www.idescat.net/territ/BasicTerr?TC=3&V0=2&PDF=FALSE&V1=14&VOK=Confirmar IDESCAT: statistical information on Berguedà] (in Catalan), source for list of municipalities, surface area

External links

* [http://www.elbergueda.org/ Official comarcal web site (in Catalan)]
* [http://www.municat.net:8000/omunicat/owa/mun_p01.dad_ens?via=0&cod=8101410007&err=0 Information about Berguedà on the site of the Generalitat de Catalunya]
* [http://www.berguedeja.net Berguedeja - A web promotion news of Berguedà (in Catalan)]


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