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Ourense

Ourense (; ) is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name in Galicia.

Population

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 (18%), Colombians (12%) and Brazilians (11%). 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.

History

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, Loña and Barbañica. 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 and pine. 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.

Climate

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.
"green air" © 2007 - Ingo Malchow, Webdesign Neustrelitz
This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ourense, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ourense&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany