Coat of arms of Cerdagne.

Cerdanya (Catalan pronunciation: counties of Catalonia.

Cerdanya has a land area of 1,086 km2 (419 sq mi), divided almost evenly between Spain (50.3%) and France (49.7%). In 2001 its population was approximately 26,500, of whom 53% lived on Spanish territory. Its population density of 24 residents per km² (63 per sq. mile) is one of the lowest in Bourg-Madame, which contained 10,900 inhabitants in 2001.

The area enjoys a high annual amount of sunshine – around 3,000 hours per year. For this reason, pioneering large-scale solar power projects have been built in several locations in French Cerdagne, including Mont-Louis.


[edit] Antiquity

The first inhabitants of Cerdanya probably spoke a language related to the old Berbers in North Africa and moved into Spain and then further north to the south of modern-day France.

In Cerdanya they mixed with the native inhabitants, and the resulting people were known as the Kerretes, from the native word ker or kar, meaning rock, related to old Basque karri (modern Basque harri), stone. The Kerretes were probably essentially of Basque and Aquitanian-related stock, as the Iberian clans who mixed with the native inhabitants can have comprised only small numbers of people. The Kerretes retained a language related to old Basque and Aquitanian, although some Iberian words may have entered the language, and Iberians probably occupied positions at the top of the Kerrete society.

The main Hispania Tarraconensis. The pagus Liviensis was itself divided in two: the eastern part around Julia Libyca was known as Cerretania Julia, while the western part was known as Cerretania Augusta. The name Cerdanya comes from Cerretania, itself coming from the old name of the inhabitants, the Kerretes. As for Julia Libyca, the name evolved into Julia Livia and then Llívia.

The Kerretes seem to have kept their old language until very late, probably as late as the 8th or 9th century. Romanization in the area was extremely slow, even though eventually the native language gave way, and the people in Cerdanya ended up speaking diocese (bishopric) of Urgell was founded, Cerdanya was inside its limits.

Devastated by the Abd al-Rahman I´s military campaign across the Ebro region (781), the Cordovan commander received the submission of Ibn Belaskut, or Galindo Belascotenes, in Cerdanya. Under Carolingian pressure, Cerdanya became a Frankish vassal about 785.

[edit] County of Cerdanya

The county of Cerdanya has its origin in the Wilfred the Hairy (count 870–897) had three sons and established the youngest, Miron (died 927), as Count of Cerdanya, a sovereign state.

The sovereign county of Cerdanya bordered the Saint-Martin-du-Canigou (Catalan: Sant Martí del Canigó), dedicated by Count Guifred of Cerdanya in 1009.

However, the line of the counts died out in 1117 and the county was inherited by the counts of Barcelona, later to become kings of Aragon.

[edit] Current division

The modern natural comarca of Cerdanya in Catalonia and Pyrénées-Orientales.

Cerdanya proper was split between Spain and France by the Conflent also became French at that time.

Today, the Spanish side of Cerdanya is a exclave of Spain inside French territory.

The French side of Cerdanya is part of the Font-Romeu.

[edit] Tourism

Like neighboring areas of the Pyrenees, Cerdanya relies upon tourism to provide a strong support for the economy. Spa, skiing, and hiking are long-established activities. In addition the Yellow train is a major tourist attraction.

[edit] Municipalities

[edit] Spanish side

Known as Baixa Cerdanya.

  • Alp
  • Bellver de Cerdanya
  • Bolvir
  • Das
  • Fontanals de Cerdanya
  • Ger
  • Guils de Cerdanyà
  • Isòvol
  • Lles de Cerdanya
  • Llívia
  • Meranges
  • Montellà i Martinet
  • Prats i Sansor
  • Prullans
  • Puigcerdà
  • Riu de Pendís
  • Urús

[edit] French side

Known as Cerdagne française (Catalan: Alta Cerdanya).

  • Angoustrine-Villeneuve-des-Escaldes (Catalan: Angostrina)
  • Bolquère (Catalan: Bolquera)
  • Bourg-Madame (Catalan: La Guingueta d’Ix)
  • Dorres
  • Égat (Catalan Èguet)
  • Enveitg (Catalan Enveig)
  • Err (Catalan Er)
  • Estavar
  • Eyne (Catalan Eina)
  • Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via (Catalan Font-Romeu or Odelló i Vià)
  • La Cabanasse (Catalan La Cabanassa)
  • Latour-de-Carol (Catalan La Tor de Querol)
  • Llo
  • Mont-Louis (Catalan Montlluís)
  • Nahuja (Catalan Naüja)
  • Osséja (Catalan Osseja)
  • Palau-de-Cerdagne (Catalan Palau de Cerdanya)
  • Planès (Catalan Planès)
  • Porta
  • Porté-Puymorens (Catalan Portè)
  • Saillagouse (Catalan Sallagosa)
  • Saint-Pierre-dels-Forcats (Catalan Sant Pere dels Forcats)
  • Sainte-Léocadie (Catalan Santa Llocaia)
  • Targassonne (Catalan Targasona)
  • Ur
  • Valcebollère (Catalan: Vallsabollera)

[edit] External links

42.44667; 1.95278

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Cerdanya, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.