Huesca temática

Number 126 - November of 2008Spanish language Principal menu


Natural frontier
with neighboring France

      Pyrenees, or Pirineo, are a mountain range located at North of the Iberian Peninsula, among Spain, Andorra and France. It is prolonged throughout 415 km. from the Mediterranean sea to the East, until the Cantabrian sea in the West. In its central part has a width of about 150 kms. and is the geographical area of the mountain range of Pyrenees that extends approximately among the summits of Somport, in the western part, and the massif of Maladeta, in the oriental one.
      In the North hillside - in France - it lapses for the regions of Aquitaine (Atlantic Pyrenees), Noon-Pyrenees (High Pyrenees, High Garona and Ariège) and Rosellón (Oriental Pyrenees). In the South hillside - in Spain - it does for Navarrese, Aragon (Huesca) and Catalonia (Lérida and Gerona). The small country of Andorra is also in Pyrenees, between Spain and France. In these mountains there are picks of more than 3.000 meters high, as Aneto (3.404 m), Posets (3.375 m), the Monte Perdido (3.355 m) and Vignemale (3.298 m); there are also small glaciers, lakes and circuses of origin glacier, and great number of valleys and canyons.
      The word Pyrenees seem to come from the mythological daughter of Atlas, Pirene. According to the Greeks, Pyrenees received this name of Pirene, a youth of the region to which Hercules took in one of his trips; when she died he accumulated stones to seal here her tomb. Another version that it is an old toponym, of íberian origin or Basque. According to this language, the mountain range was denominated ilene os that means "mounts of the Moon", ilene is the Moon.
     In the geological, the slopes in the traverse sense are much more accented in the French slope that in the Spaniard, while lengthwise descends smoothly toward the Cantabrian sea but in a more abrupt way toward Mediterranean one. They were formed in the Tertiary Era, with the great alpine-himalayan folding, but it differs since Alps: while in these play a decisive part the landslide layers, Pyrenees can be qualified on the whole like a mountain range of autochthonous folding.
      Aragonese Pirineo belongs almost totally to the central sector of the Pyrennes Mountain range, where the biggest bench marks and the maximum width of the mountainous system are reached. Inside the great complexity of this mountain range, of structures aligned according to the address W-N-W and -E-S-E, in Aragonese Pirineo they are also recognized pleats of orientation North-south, being the whole Prepirineo an alóctona (from another country) unit, several kilometers to the South displaced, that is denominated layer of landslide of Gavarnie-Monte Perdido.
      The picks of Pyrenees that overcome the 3.200 meters of altitude, orderly according to height, are the following ones: Aneto, 3.404 m., Posets, 3.375 m., Monte Perdido, 3.355 m., Maldito, 3.350 m., Espadas, 3.332 m., Cilindro de Marboré, 3.325 m., Maladeta, 3.312 m., Vignemale, 3.298 m., Tempestades, 3.290 m., Soum de Ramond, 3.259 m., Marboré, 3.252 m., Margalida, 3.241 m., Perdiguero, 3.222 m., Russell, 3.205 m.
      The glaciation of the Quaternary Era affected Pyrenees in a more decisive way that to the Spanish other mountain ranges, some prints of modeling glacier exist from Canigó until the pick of Adi. Most of the current ibones (mountain lakes) are from glacier origin. Nowadays Pyrenees only possess circus glaciers or with small length above the 3.000 meters: Balaitus, Vignemale, Monte Perdido and Maladeta.
      The Pyrenees mountain range is origin of many and important rivers: Adur, Garona, Nivelle, Tec, Têt, Aglí and Ande , belonging to the French slope. Bidasoa, Aragón, Gállego, Cinca, Ésera, Segre, Ter, Llobregat, Muga and Fluviaá are those that belong to the Spanish slope.

     The representative 'par excellence' of the pyrenees flora has always been the Edelweiss or flower of snow. At the moment only it is in certain areas of difficult access, like in the slope between Canyon of Añisclo and Pineta, or in the high areas of the valley of Ordesa
      We should be cautious when ingesting some vegetable species, because for example, the aconite and the seeds of the tejo are poisonous. In the humid areas they are also very common the black pine, and the beech, very significant in the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido.
      Pirineo constitutes an unique place for the view of several animal species. The abrupt of the land has impeded the human masificación that is always a danger for the biodiversity. Between almost 200 animal species that survive in the mountain range, highlights on all the presence of the mythical Brown Bear, even pursued and exhausted, seems to recover very slowly of its decline, although its population reaches the 20-25 specimens only.
      Highlights the rebeco that passed of being on the edge of the extinction at the beginning of the XIX century to the 45.000 today specimens. Equally happens to the deer or the roe deer, extended by the whole low mount, as well as the omnipresent wild boar. It doesn't happen similar with the bucardo (Capra pyrenaica) or mountain goat of Pyrenees that was extinguished in the year 2000. They are easy to see the groundhogs among the alpine pasturelands. In total about 42 species of mammals exist in Pirineo.      
     Among the birds, the unquestionable king is the osprey. Extinguished in almost all Europe, is here, in Pirineo, where the species has found its last refuge, at the moment in expansion and providing specimens for breeding projects and recovery in Alps. They are considered in some 90-95 couples and 500-600 osprey. The great predator of the Pyrenees airs is the real eagle, followed by varieties of night and day species: abejeros, real or black kites, hawks, kestrels, real owls or the northerly strange owl that passed of being considered extinct to offer a population around the 80 couples, as well as ghoulish birds: the tawny vulture, the alimoche (Egyptian vulture) and lately a recently arrived in expansion, the black vulture.
      In the forest the capercaillie, in clearing extinction danger and very affected by the massive tourism, seems in setback when one speaks of the Spanish slope (4 males in Navarrese, 75 in Aragon and about 450 in Catalonia) and very well conserved in the French one (around the 3.500 males). Next to it, about 120 species of small birds among those that highlight the black hooter, real pito, pito dorsiblanco, torcecuello and treparriscos. In the high mountain lives one of the big pyrenees jewels, the white partridge or alpine lagópodo. The 700 couples of this prodigious one shy animal indicates that we are still before the last virgin regions of Western Europe.

  Click, otra foto

     Pirineo offers us in all splendor, just as it is, and allows multitude of sport activities, today already regulated. It demands us to change, nothing else that taken care for this beautiful sample and prodigy of the nature can be transmitted and offered in inheritance for our descendants.


 Wikipedia Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa  Manuel Tomé *    Wikipedia
**  Aragonese Great Encyclopedia
*** Manuel Tomé Bosqued

  Hay más artículos !!All literary articles of Upper Aragon (Huesca, España)

 Visite Huesca, le sorprenderá ....