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2. LETS DISCOVER CATALONIA BY THE 5TH GROUP OF LES ESCOLES DE GURB 2006 3. 1. WHERE IS CATALONIA? Catalonia is situated in the North East of the Iberian Peninsula, It has more than six million inhabitants and has a surface area of 31,980km2 , which makes it comparable in size to Switzerland. 4. LES ESCOLES AND GURB Les Escoles is the name of our school. Nowadays the school has 212 pupils. It is situated in the centre of Catalonia in a village called Gurb, next to the city of Vic. Gurb is in a rural area with large fields and some woodland. 5. 2. HERITAGE AND HISTORY Catalonia has a history that goes back over an entire millennium. It has seen the arrival of various races, such as the Iberians, the Celts, the Greeks, who founded the colonies of Rhode(Roses) and Emporion (Empries)and the Romans, who established one of their provincial capitals in Tarragona. The Visigoths and Arabs have also had and important influence in Catalonias past. Remains of Emporion 6. In the 12th Century, the principality of Barcelona was united with its neighbour Aragon by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronila of Aragon creating the Kingdom of Catalonia and Aragon, which was a powerful maritime trading empire. The political and legal status of the Catalan-Aragonese Crown was maintained until 1714,the year in which king Philip V took the throne in Spain. Since that time the Catalonian people have struggled peacefully to recover their rights and freedoms. 2. HERITAGE AND HISTORY Tarragona has Roman ruins. If one moves along the Mediterranean coast, the amphitheatre can be seen which was designated as a World Heritage site. 7. 2. HERITAGE AND HISTORY The native language of Catalonia is Catalan. The origins of Catalan date back to the Middle Ages and, although it has suffered phases of prohibition and repression throughout history, it is now used by the majority of Catalans. With the restoration of democracy in 1979, Catalan and Spanish were recognised as the official languages of the territory. The oldest text in Catalan is the "Homilies d'Organy", written at least 800 years ago. Since then, much has been written in Catalan so that now we have a rich literary tradition. Here is an example: Tirant Lo Blanc 8. 2. HERITAGE AND HISTORY One of the most significant episodes in Catalan history was the restoration of self-government in 1979, when the Spanish Parliament passed the current Statute of Autonomy, which was later passed by decree of the Catalan people. The Catalan Parliment.Today Catalonia is an autonomous community within Spain. The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution which governs the country. The Statute of Autonomy is part of the Spanish Constitution. 9. 3. OUR COUNTRY Catalonia has got approximately 580 kilometres of coast line. It has many contrasts. On the Northern Coast we can find the Costa Brava with many steep cliffs and rocky beaches. Costa Brava 3.1. The catalan coast 10. 3. OUR COUNTRY Sa Tuna. Costa Brava LEstartit. Costa Brava Costa del Maresme On the other hand, in the Maresme coast, the beaches are long with fine sand. 11. The Southern coast has become very built-up. The Costa del Garraf is rocky but from there to the Delta de lEbre the beaches are large and sandy. The Ebre Delta, is a natural park and constitutes one of the most important aquatic habitats in the Western Mediterranean. Sitges. Barcelona Vilafortuny Costa Daurada El Delta de lEbre 3. OUR COUNTRY 12. 3. OUR COUNTRY Girona is the main city of the Costa Brava. There is a community of artists and writers within the medieval town. In Figueres we find the Dali museum. Dal is one of the most important artists in Catalonia and is well known abroad for his unusual character and surrealist works. Dal Museum. 13. The Coastal area has a typically Mediterranean climate. Summers are not very hot and winters are warm. Rainfall is not abundant. The countryside changes little throughout the seasons. There are large white pine and stone pine forests, combined with hazel woods. However during the last few years many hazel woods have been substituted by pine. At school we have some examples of Mediterranean trees, which have been planted and cared for by the children. 3. OUR COUNTRY 14. This region includes plains and rolling hills and valleys. It has market towns and cities such as Vic, Manresa, Granollers... and attractive mountain areas such el Montseny. The climate is Mediterranean. Summers are very hot and winters are very cold. Rain in this area is rare. 3. OUR COUNTRY 3.2. Catalonias inland areas 15. 3. OUR COUNTRY Alongside of the rivers Ter and Llobregat there are industrial areas. 16. 3. OUR COUNTRY In the centre is the Montserrat Mountain National Park with its fascinating geological formations and its erratic and originally shaped rocks. It has a famous monastery which is a Catalan symbol. 17. The Terres de Lleida covers Catalonias western region, the capital of which is Lleida. This is an important trading city with many monuments and fine culture. The area is full of character, ranging from the olive fields of the Garrigues, the mountainous regions of Noguera (Montsec), and the plains of the Urgell canal. It includes rich towns like Cervera, Balaguer and Trrega, and the Vallbona de les Monges and Bellpuig de les Avellanes monasteries. It is also an important fruit-growing and horticultural area. It produces local wines from costers del Segre and is famous for its cuisine. The weather is extremely dry in summer. 3. OUR COUNTRY 3.3. The Terres de Lleida Montsec 18. The Pyrennean region covers a major part of northern Catalonia consisting of the impressive Pyrennes mountain range and also the Pre-Pyrennes. The area has an important Romanesque heritage (Val de Bo, a UNESCO world Heritage Listing, la Seu durgell, Ripoll, Besal, etc.) And includes a national park (Aigestortes and the Sant Maurici Lake), nature reserves such the Volcanic area of Garrotxa and colourful towns (Puigcerd, Olot etc.) The summers are quite cool and the winters are very cold. Rainfall is abundant and it snows quite often in winter. 3. OUR COUNTRY 3.4. The Pyrennes 19. 3. OUR COUNTRY The Pyrennes Aigestortes Park and Sant Maurice Lake 20. 3. OUR COUNTRY 3.4. The Pyrennes Vall de Bo 21. 3. OUR COUNTRY La Seu dUrgell Ripoll 22. 3. OUR COUNTRY The climate is Atlantic. Rainfall is very abundant, temperatures are cold and it has some winds from the Atlantic Ocean. We can find pine and fir forests, Beech trees, Chestnuts trees, Elms and Ash trees. The Vall dAran area lies on the western edges of the Catalan Pyrenees, in the north-west of the country. It is located on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees. Its river is called the Garone and it is surrounded by very high peaks. 23. Skiing, adventure sports, hiking excursions, mountaineering and climbing are some of the activities one can do in the area. 3. OUR COUNTRY Pic de la Gelada Pic de Montaubona 24. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of the most important cities in the western Mediterranean. Established in Roman times, the city has grown to be a leading centre of culture in Europe with a strong economic base. Nowadays it has a population of 1,510,000 but this number increases dramatically if you count its surroundings. Barcelona has lovely warm weather, with pleasant temperatures all year around. 3. OUR COUNTRY 3.5. Barcelona, capital of Catalonia Palau St. Jordi Calatravas Bridge Passeig de Grcia. As seen from the roof of La PedreraGeneralitat de Catalunya Parc Gell The Beach Port Olmpic 25. Barcelona is the undisputed capital of Modernism. The Eixample district has many fine examples of this style. 3. OUR COUNTRY Palau de la Msica Typical corner in the Eixample Centre of an Eixample Block. Terraces and trees, all arround 26. World famous building desiged by Gaudi are found through the city. Outstanding examples are Casa Batll, La Pedrera, Puig I Cadafalch Casa Amatller and Domnech I Montaner. 3. OUR COUNTRY Casa Amatller Lle Morera houseLa Pedrera Casa Batll 27. 3. OUR COUNTRY The Sagrada Famlia is know as the symbol of Barcelona throughout the world. It is in the proces of construction. It is Gaud masterpiece. 28. La Rambla is a tree-lined route which runs down from Plaa Catalunya to the Columbus monument. Along this urban promenade is the Liceu, one of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe. 3. OUR COUNTRY 29. 4. FOLKLORE AND TRADITION The giants are figures that are more than three metres high carried by people using a wooden structure. The capgrossos; are big heads made of cardboard paste. They warm up the main festivities with their dances and take part in processions. 4.1. The traditional giants 30. The devils or demons dance and run around streets and hold crowns with fireworks on the top. From time to time they explode and people run so as not to get burnt. This kind of game is celebrated in different towns, usually during the main festivals, or on special days. Children, teenagers, men and, women join the crowds. It s a fun and enjoyable experience. Children love it, but it is also a bit dangerous. Participants disguised as demons. 4. FOLKLORE AND TRADITION 4.2. Fire Festivals: the correfoc 31. At the midsummer in the revetlla de Sant Joan large bonfires are built. 4. FOLKLORE AND TRADITION 4.2. Fire Festivals: the Revetlla de Sant Joan 32. The human towers are formed in street festivals and consist of pyramids formed of people. The one who is on the top is the smallest one. People climb up on to other people, as if they were stairs. There are many people on the ground, to care for people who might fall down and to make the base of the tower stronger. The castellers are very popular in a large number of towns and are named from the