Interactive Map of Extremadura, Spain
Extremadura Map Links:
- Badajoz map in 1658
- La Algarrovilla on the map of the province of Estremadura 1766
- Extremadura within Spain
- Almendralejo between 1840 and 1870
- Badajoz 1873
- Coria between 1840 and 1870
- Extremadura 1756
- Herrera del Duque between 1840 and 1870
- Jarandilla de la Vera between 1840 and 1870
- Jerte river valley (labeled Plasencia valley) and surroundings 1766
- Logrosán between 1840 and 1870
- Plasencia between 1840 and 1870
- Plasencia in the 16th century
- Olivença region 1766
- Province of Badajoz 1864
- Province of Estremadura 1766
- Herrera del Duque between 1848 and 1868
- Plan of the Badajoz Fortifications 1645
- Region of the Jálama Valley 1766
- Relative population growth by municipality in the province of Badajoz between 1998 and 2008
- Relative population growth by municipality in the province of Badajoz between 2008 and 2018
The autonomous region of Extremadura is located in western Spain. It is a landlocked region that borders Portugal to the west, Castilla y Leon to the north, Castilla la Mancha to the east, and Andalucía to the south. Extremadura covers a little over 16,000 square miles, which makes it the 5th largest autonomous region in all of Spain.
- Don Benito
- Navalmoral de la Mata
- Population: 1.07 million
- Languages: Spanish, Extremaduran dialect
- Ethnicities: Extremadurans, Castilians, Andalusian
- Capital: Merida
The History of Extremadura
The Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Roman Empire who ruled the region for centuries before falling in 476 AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the region was invaded by Muslims who had left Arabia and the middle-east after the death of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims ruled the territory from the 700s AD until the 1200s when the Christians began to reconquer the land that they had been driven out of. By 1248, the Christians had reconquered the region that they had lost to the Muslims.
Extremadura got its name from the Muslims who invaded the region. They called the land to the far west Extremadura because it was a region that was outside of the Moorish territory. As portions of Extremadura was conquered, the borders would fluctuate. In the late 11th Century, the name Extremadura was given to a region further south, which included the cities of Salamanca and Avila.
During this time, Castilla y Leon had also created a territory called Extremadura. Their territory of Extremadura included the cities of Ciudad Rodrigo to Badajoz. For centuries, Extremadura was referred to as two separate territories. King Ferdinand III finally abolished the separation of the territories and created one unified territory that would be the territory Extremadura that we know today.
During the early modern era, the region of Extremadura was impoverished and lacking many employment opportunities. Because of this, many young men from the region embarked on journeys to the New World. Some of the most well-known conquistadors are from Extremadura, including Hernan Cortes and Hernando de Soto. Many of the countries in North, Central, and South America were founded by voyagers who were born in Extremadura.
The Royal Audience of Spain was established in the Kingdom of Castile in 1371, which would lay the foundation for Extremadura to become an autonomous territory in 1790. Extremadura joined the Royal Audience of Spain in 1790 and was officially recognized as an autonomous territory on February 25, 1983.
The primary language of Extremadura is Spanish, and it is not uncommon to hear an Extremaduran dialect spoken throughout the region. The Extremaduran dialect is closely related to the Roman influence that helped establish the region. The Extremaduran dialect can be heard in the town of Salamanca more than any other city.
Throughout history, the Extremdaruans have advocated for Extremaduran to be an official language. They have not been successful; however, in 2013, a feature film was produced in the Extremaduran dialect of Spanish, which was a victory for the Extremaduran people.
The primary religion in Extremadura is Roman Catholic Christianity. For a brief time in history during the Muslim Invasion, Islam was practiced in the area; however, the Christian Reconquest beginning in the 11th Century AD helped Christians reconquer the region and continue to teach and spread Christianity by the denomination of Roman Catholicism. The Romans were a significant influence on the region, and their influence is still seen today in the churches and statues that stand throughout the region.
Extremadura covers each type of geography and typography. There are mountains, plateaus, valleys, and river basins. The southern plains give Extremadura fields that are ideal for growing olives and oak. Pigs eat acorns from the oak trees.
The pigs are then harvested to produce ham, which is what makes Extremadura well-known. Oak trees thrive in the climate and typography of Extremadura, resulting in a higher-quality ham than neighboring territories can produce.
The mountains make Extremadura a great tourist destination. The Sierra de Gredos provides Extremadura with rolling hills for hiking, snow-capped mountaintops for skiing, and flat foothills for camping. The many lakes and rivers of the region provide the region with necessity and recreation.
Much of Extremadura’s culture is found in its architecture, specifically the churches, museums, and castles. There were significant Roman influences in this region throughout history, and these influences are still present today.
Extremadura is also known for its untouchable production in ham. It is known as the world’s best ham, which is accredited to the quality of acorns the pigs eat before they are harvested.
Many of the Spanish explorers came from Extremadura, as it was a poor territory in Spain that caused many young men to venture west to the New World. Today, there are statues of these conquistadors throughout the region, including a large statue of Hernan Cortes with the Castle of Medellin.
Roman architecture, ham, and Spanish conquistadors are all part of the culture that makes up Extremadura today.
Immigration & Migration Patterns
Because Extremadura was so impoverished during the early modern era, many healthy young men took to the seas and traveled westward to the New World to find a better life. This led to many lands being discovered throughout North, Central, and South America. The more lands that were discovered, the more Extremadurans migrated west.
The number of emigrants who left Extremadura during this time was around 4,000 per year, and this mass exodus lasted for nearly a century. Emigration slowed when settlers stayed in the areas to the west, leaving behind Extremadurans who were able to keep the territory alive.
Over time, the population of Extremadura increased; however, by the 1960s, neighboring Spanish territories were wealthier than Extremadura, which caused another small wave in emigration to hit.
Spanish conquistadors who founded Florida, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are all from Extremadura, Spain. Because of this, the Extremaduran genealogy is likely found in regions throughout North, Central, and South America.
Voyagers who set out for a new and wealthy life in the New World remained in the areas that they found. This resulted in conquistadors setting up a new way of life and starting new families, carrying the Extremaduran descent from Spain into the western hemisphere.