1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ebro
EBRO (anc. Iberus or Hiberus), the only one of the five great rivers of the Iberian Peninsula (Tagus, Douro, Ebro, Guadalquivir, Guadiana) which flows into the Mediterranean. The Ebro rises at Fuentibre, a hamlet among the Cantabrian Mountains, in the province of Santander; at Reinosa, 4 m. east, it is joined on the right by the Hijar, and thus gains considerably in volume. It flows generally east by south through a tortuous valley as far as Miranda de Ebro, passing through the celebrated Roman bridge known as La Horadada (“the perforated”), near Oña in Burgos. From Miranda it winds south-eastward through the wide basin enclosed on the right by the highlands of Old Castile and western Aragon, and on the left by the Pyrenees. The chief cities on its banks are Logroño, Calahorra, Tudela, Saragossa and Caspe. Near Mora in Catalonia it forces a way through the coastal mountains, and, passing Tortosa, falls into the Mediterranean about 80 m. south-west of Barcelona, after forming by its delta a conspicuous projection on the otherwise regular coast line. In its length, approximately 465 m., the Ebro is inferior to the Tagus, Guadiana and Douro; it drains an area of nearly 32,000 sq. m. Its principal tributaries are—from the right hand the Jalon with its affluent the Jiloca, the Huerva, Aguas, Martin, Guadalope and Matarraña; from the left the Ega, Aragon, Arba, Gallego, and the Segre with its intricate system of confluent rivers. The Ebro and its tributaries have been utilized for irrigation since the Moorish conquest; the main stream becomes navigable by small boats about Tudela; but its value as a means of communication is almost neutralized by the obstacles in its channel, and seafaring vessels cannot proceed farther up than Tortosa. The great Imperial Canal, begun under the emperor Charles V. (1500-1558), proceeds along the right bank of the river from a point about 3 m. below Tudela, to El Burgo de Ebro, 5 m. below Saragossa; the irrigation canal of Tauste skirts the opposite bank for a shorter distance; and the San Carlos or New Canal affords direct communication between Amposta at the head of the delta and the harbour of Los Alfaques. From Miranda to Mora the Bilbao-Tarragona railway follows the course of the Ebro along the right bank.