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Durangaldea (Spanish: Duranguesado) is a comarca of Biscay located in the Basque Country, Spain. It is one of the seven eskualdeak/comarcas or regions that compose the province of Biscay. The capital city of Durangaldea is Durango.

Partial view of Durangaldea
Autonomous communityBasque Country

Geography Edit

Oiz mountain.

Durangaldea is located at the southeast of the province of Biscay, limiting with the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Álava. It spans the territory between Oiz mountain and the border with the province of Álava in the south. Its total area is 240.13 square kilometres (92.71 sq mi).

Most of the towns that compose the comarca are located on a great valley formed by the Ibaizabal river, that crosses it from east to west. Otxandio is the only town that belongs to Durangaldea but is not part of the valley.

History Edit

Durangaldea (also known by its Spanish name, Duranguesado) was during the Middle Ages a district apart from Biscay (the Señorío) and a dependency of Navarre, but was conquered by Castile in 1200. It remained separate from Biscay until 1630, and it held its own compilation of laws, with its regional council joining in Gerediaga, Abadiño. Its lords founded four chartered towns, namely Ermua, Elorrio, Durango, and Otxandio.

Municipalities Edit

Matiena, part of Abadiño.

Durangaldea is divided into twelve municipalities, of which Durango is the capital city. The municipalities that compose the comarca are the same ones that made the merindad of Durango, the previous administrative division. Their areas and populations are set out below. Ermua and Mallabia belong to the province of Biscay, but administratively are not part of Durangaldea, being part of another comarca, Debabarrena, which is part of Gipuzkoa.

# Municipality Population Land area
in km2
  Abadiño 7,599 36.06
  Amorebieta-Etxano 19,329 58.46
  Atxondo 1,366 23.21
  Berriz 4,623 30.07
  Durango 29,729 10.91
  Elorrio 7,372 37.32
  Garai 327 7.12
  Ermua 15,880 6.49
  Izurtza 255 4.28
  Iurreta 3,662 18.84
  Mallabia 1,158 23.79
  Mañaria 515 17.73
  Otxandio 1,314 12.43
  Zaldibar 3,043 11.84

Economy Edit

The economy of Durangaldea is mainly industrial, although the primary sector is also important.

Primary sector Edit

It is the second most important sector of the economy in the region after the industry. The animal husbandry is specially important, as well as the wood production. The minery is also an important section of the economy, currently being produced limestone and marble. Mines of iron, lead and copper have also been exploited.

Secondary sector Edit

The siderurgy has been one of the most developed type of industries in Durangaldea. Besides it, other industries like paper producers or tool producers also exist.

Transportation Edit

Durangaldea is connected to the three Basque provinces by roads, Álava in the south by the BI-623 and Bilbao and Donostia by the road N-634. The Cantabric Highway also crosses the comarca, and can be accessed from Durango and connects the city with Bilbao, Donostia and the French border.

EuskoTren also operates in the region, offering commuter rail services. The train line connects with Bilbao and other comarcas of the province and also with Gipuzkoa. EuskoTren has train stations in Abadiño, Amorebieta-Etxano, Berriz, Durango and Zaldibar. The bus company BizkaiBus also operates in the region, connecting all the municipalities with others on different comarcas.

See also Edit

43°09′34″N 2°37′16″W / 43.15944°N 2.62111°W / 43.15944; -2.62111