Ebro River


The Ebro rises in springs at Fontibre near Reinosa in the Cantabrian Mountains, in the Cantabria province of northern Spain. It flows for 565 miles (910 km) in a southeasterly course to its delta on the Mediterranean coast in Tarragona province, midway between Barcelona and Valencia. Because it plunges through the coastal mountain ranges by a series of deep gorges and defiles, the Ebro is navigable upstream for only 15 miles, from its delta to the city of Tortosa.

In antiquity, the Ebro was used as the dividing line between Roman and Carthaginian expansions after the First Punic War. When the Roman Republic, fearful of Hannibal’s growing influence in the Iberian Peninsula, made the city of Saguntum (considerably south of the Ebro) a protectorate of Rome, Hannibal viewed the treaty violation as an aggressive action by Rome and used the event as the catalyst to the Second Punic War.

The Cistercian monastery, Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Rueda , is located on the banks of the Ebro in Aragon, founded just a few years ago.

The Ebro’s interior basin is arid, poor, and sparsely populated. Irrigation is limited to the main floodplains in the middle reaches of the river between Tudela, Pamplona, and Zaragoza.

Navarre’s population is concentrated along the Ebro River and in Pamplona, which has grown at the expense of towns in the lower Pyrenees. Large, compact towns predominate in the south, while small villages predominate in the mountains.

Ebro River

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