1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lugo (province)

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LUGO, a maritime province of north-western Spain, formed in 1833 of districts taken from the old province of Galicia, and bounded N. by the Atlantic, E. by Oviedo and Leon, S. by Orense, and W. by Pontevedra and Corunna. Pop. (1900) 465,386; area, 3814 sq. m. The coast, which extends for about 40 m. from the estuary of Rivadéo to Cape de Vares, is extremely rugged and inaccessible, and few of the inlets, except those of Rivadéo and Vivero, admit large vessels. The province, especially in the north and east, is mountainous, being traversed by the Cantabrian chain and its offshoots; the sierra which separates it from Leon attains in places a height of 6000 ft. A large part of the area is drained by the Miño. This river, formed by the meeting of many smaller streams in the northern half of the province, follows a southerly direction until joined by the Sil, which for a considerable distance forms the southern boundary. Of the rivers flowing north into the Atlantic, the most important are the Navia, which has its lower course through Oviedo; the Eo, for some distance the boundary between the two provinces; the Masma, the Oro and the Landrove.

Some of the valleys of Lugo are fertile, and yield not only corn but fruit and wine. The principal agricultural wealth, however, is on the Miño and Sil, where rye, maize, wheat, flax, hemp and a little silk are produced. Agriculture is in a very backward condition, mainly owing to the extreme division of land that prevails throughout Galicia. The exportation of cattle to Great Britain, formerly a flourishing trade, was ruined by American and Australian competition. Iron is found at Caurel and Incio, arsenic at Castroverde and Cervantes, argentiferous lead at Riotorto; but, although small quantities of iron and arsenic are exported from Rivadéo, frequent strikes and lack of transport greatly impeded the development of mining in the earlier years of the 20th century. There are also quarries of granite, marble and various kinds of slate and building-stone. The only important manufacturing industries are those connected with leather, preserves, coarse woollen and linen stuffs, timber and osier work. About 250 coasting vessels are registered at the ports, and about as many boats constitute the fishing fleet, which brings in lampreys, soles, tunny and sardines, the last two being salted and tinned for export. The means of communication are insufficient, though there are over 100 m. of first-class roads, and the railways from Madrid and northern Portugal to Corunna run through the province.

Lugo the capital (pop. 1900, 26,959) and the important towns of Chantada (15,003), Fonsagrada (17,302), Mondoñedo (10,590), Monforte (12,912), Panton (12,988), Villalba (13,572) and Vivero (12,843) are described in separate articles. The province contained in 1900 twenty-six towns of more than 7000 inhabitants, the largest being Sarria (11,998) and Saviñao (11,182). For a general description of the people and the history of this region see Galicia.