Provinces of Spain

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Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces. These closely follow the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the sub-division of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one.

Since the adoption — in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy — of the current system of autonomous communities, the importance of the provinces has declined. They nevertheless remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical referents: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes. A small town would normally be identified as being in, say, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. The provinces were the "building-blocks" from which the autonomous communities were created; consequently no province is divided between two or more of these communities.

Most of the provinces — with the exception of Álava/Araba, Asturias, Bizkaia/Vizcaya, Cantabria, Gipuzkoa/Gipúzcoa, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares, La Rioja, and Nafarroa/Navarra — are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities — Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia — are not also the capitals of provinces. Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, and Navarre. These are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities.

The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province. The names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Where they have different forms in one or other of the official languages of Spain, these forma are also indicated in subsequent alphabetical order.

Province name Capital Autonomous community Lists of municipalities
A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish) A Coruña (Galician); La Coruña (Spanish) Galicia Municipalities
Álava (Spanish); Araba (Basque) Vitoria (Spanish); Gasteiz (Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Albacete Albacete Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Alicante (Spanish); Alacant (Valencian) Alicante (Spanish); Alacant (Valencian) Valencian Community Municipalities
Almería Almería Andalusia Municipalities
Asturias Oviedo Asturias Municipalities
Ávila Ávila Castile and León Municipalities
Badajoz Badajoz Extremadura Municipalities
Balearic Islands (English); Baleares (Spanish); Illes Balears (Catalan) Palma Balearic Islands Municipalities
Barcelona Barcelona Catalonia Municipalities
Biscay (English); Bizkaia (Basque); Vizcaya (Spanish) Bilbao (Spanish); Bilbo (Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Burgos Burgos Castile and León Municipalities
Cáceres Cáceres Extremadura Municipalities
Cádiz Cádiz Andalusia Municipalities
Cantabria Santander Cantabria Municipalities
Castellón (Spanish); Castelló (Valencian) Castellón de la Plana (Spanish); Castelló de la Plana (Valencian) Valencian Community Municipalities
Ciudad Real Ciudad Real Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Córdoba Córdoba Andalusia Municipalities
Cuenca Cuenca Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Gipuzkoa (Basque); Guipúzcoa (Spanish) San Sebastián (Spanish); Donostia (Basque) Basque Country Municipalities
Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Girona (Catalan); Gerona (Spanish) Catalonia Municipalities
Granada Granada Andalusia Municipalities
Guadalajara Guadalajara Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Huelva Huelva Andalusia Municipalities
Huesca Huesca Aragon Municipalities
Jaén Jaén Andalusia Municipalities
La Rioja Logroño La Rioja Municipalities
Las Palmas Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Canary Islands Municipalities
León León Castile and León Municipalities
Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Lleida (Catalan); Lérida (Spanish) Catalonia Municipalities
Lugo Lugo Galicia Municipalities
Madrid Madrid Madrid Municipalities
Málaga Málaga Andalusia Municipalities
Murcia Murcia Region of Murcia Municipalities
Navarre (English); Nafarroa (Basque); Navarra (Spanish) Pamplona (Spanish); Iruña (Basque) Navarre Municipalities
Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Ourense (Galician); Orense (Spanish) Galicia Municipalities
Palencia Palencia Castile and León Municipalities
Pontevedra Pontevedra Galicia Municipalities
Salamanca Salamanca Castile and León Municipalities
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Canary Islands Municipalities
Segovia Segovia Castile and León Municipalities
Seville (English); Sevilla (Spanish) Seville (English); Sevilla (Spanish) Andalusia Municipalities
Soria Soria Castile and León Municipalities
Tarragona Tarragona Catalonia Municipalities
Teruel Teruel Aragon Municipalities
Toledo Toledo Castile-La Mancha Municipalities
Valencia (Spanish); València (Valencian) Valencia (Spanish); València (Valencian) Valencian Community Municipalities
Valladolid Valladolid Castile and León Municipalities
Zamora Zamora Castile and León Municipalities
Zaragoza Zaragoza Aragon Municipalities

See also