(; ) is a city in northwestern Spain
, the capital of the province
of the same name in Galicia
Its population of 106,905 (2014) accounts for 30% of the population of the province and makes it the third largest city of Galicia.
In 2010 there were 5,943 foreigners living in the city, representing 5.46% of the total population. The main nationalities are Portuguese
(12%) and Brazilians
By language, according to 2008 data, 19% of the population always speak in Galician
, 25% always speak in Spanish
and the rest use both interchangeably.
The origin of the town can be traced to the Romans
and the presence of hot springs called the Burgas. These can still be seen today. There was also the need to fortify the place to protect one of the easiest ways to cross the Miño River
. After the Romans, Ourense was part of the Suebi (Suevi) kingdom
during most of the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries and was destroyed by the Moors
in 716. It was later rebuilt by Alfonso III of Asturias
about 877. The Norse invasions as well as attacks from the Arab warlord Al-Mansur
once more laid the city to waste. It was only under Sancho II
and his sister Doña Elvira
that the city was resettled during the 11th century. The definitive urban impulse did not arrive until the 12th century when Ourense became an important center of services. Recently the city has made many efforts to provide new parks, bridges, fountains and geothermal springs installations to make the city more attractive.
Geography and geothermal springs
The ancient city of Auria is located on both banks of the Minho
(Miño) River in the south-central part of Galicia, at an elevation of 128 m above sea level.
Four rivers cross the town: Miño (the main river), Barbaña
. The biggest river divides a rather industrial western suburb, which contains the railroad station, from the main town. Three highway and one railroad bridge cross the river in addition to the famous Roman bridge, Ponte Vella
, which is now closed to vehicle traffic. The town is surrounded by forests, mainly oak
One of the main tourist attractions is related to hot springs
, as Ourense holds one of the greatest amount of geothermal water in Europe. There are several places called pozas, with or without entrance fee, where you can have a bath outdoors. One of them is located inside the old town, relating to the ancient Roman tradition, as ruins of a Roman bath were discovered and are now open to visitors. There are more hot springs located along the river Miño: A Chavasqueira, Manantial-bouvette do Tinteiro, Burga do Muíño, Burgas de Outariz, which offer baths at different temperatures, ranging from 36 - 60 degrees Celsius.
Ourense has a Mediterranean climate
( Köppen Csa
). Summers have hot daytime temperatures around , whilst winters are wet with daytime highs at and lows a few degrees above freezing.