World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tagus

Article Id: WHEBN0000064205
Reproduction Date:

Title: Tagus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aranjuez, List of Roman bridges, Geography of Spain, List of rivers of Europe, Iberian Peninsula
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Tagus

Tagus River
Tajo, Tejo
View of Tagus River in Toledo, Spain
Countries Spain, Portugal
Tributaries
 - left Guadiela, Algodor, Gévalo, Ibor, Almonte, Salor, Sever, Sorraia
 - right Jarama, Guadarrama, Alberche, Tiétar, Alagón, Zêzere
Source Fuente de García
 - location Montes Universales, Sierra de Albarracín Comarca, Teruel, Aragon, Spain
 - elevation 1,593 m (5,226 ft)
Mouth Estuary of the Tagus
 - location Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon, Portugal
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 1,038 km (645 mi)
Basin 80,100 km2 (30,927 sq mi)
Discharge
 - average 500 m3/s (17,657 cu ft/s)
Path of the Tagus through the Iberian Peninsula
Wikimedia Commons:
Website: Confederación Hidrográfica del Tajo
The Tagus near Vila Velha de Ródão, close to the Spanish border
Map of the Tagus river Basin

The Tagus (Spanish: Tajo ; Portuguese: Tejo ; Latin: Tagus; Ancient Greek: Τάγος Tagos) is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,038 km (645 mi) long, 716 km (445 mi) in Spain, 47 km (29 mi) along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km (171 mi) in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon. It drains an area of 80,100 square kilometers (30,927 sq mi) (the second largest in the Iberian peninsula after the Douro). The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to most of central Spain, including Madrid, and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a vast alluvial valley prone to flooding. At its mouth is a large estuary on which the port city of Lisbon is situated.

The source of the Tagus is the Fuente de García, in the Frías de Albarracín municipal term, Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico, Sierra de Albarracín Comarca. All its major tributaries enter the Tagus from the right (north) bank. The main cities it passes through are Aranjuez, Toledo, Talavera de la Reina and Alcántara in Spain, and Abrantes, Santarém, Almada and Lisbon in Portugal.

Course

In Spain

The first notable town on the Tagus is Sacedón. Below Aranjuez it receives the combined flow of the Henares and the Tajuña. Below Toledo it receives the Guadarrama river. Above Talavera de la Reina it receives the Alberche. At Valdeverdeja is the upper end of the long upper reservoir, the Embalse de Valdecañas, beyond which are the Embalse de Torrejon, into which flow the Tiétar, and the lower reservoir, the Alcántara Dam into which flows the Alagón at the lower end.

There is a canal and aqueduct between the Tagus and the Segura river.

In Portugal

After forming the border it enters Portugal, passing Vila Velha de Ródão, Abrantes, Constância, Entroncamento, Santarém and Vila Franca de Xira at the head of the long narrow estuary, which has Lisbon at its mouth. The estuary is protected by the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve. There is the largest bridge across the river, the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi) is the longest bridge in Europe.

The Portuguese regions of Alentejo and Ribatejo take their names from the river. Alentejo, from Além-Tejo ("Beyond the Tagus"), and Ribatejo, from Arriba-Tejo (an archaic form of saying "Upper Tagus").

Geology

The lower Tagus is on a fault line. Slippage along it has caused numerous earthquakes, the major ones being those of 1309, 1531 and 1755.[1]

History

The Pepper Wreck is the name of a shipwreck located and excavated at the mouth of the Tagus River between 1996 and 2001.

The river also had strategic value to the Spanish and Portuguese empires, as it guarded the approach to Lisbon. For example, in 1587, Sir Francis Drake briefly approached the river after his successful raid at Cadiz.[2]

The Tagus in song and story

A major river, the Tagus is brought to mind in the songs and stories of the Portuguese. A popular fado song in Lisbon notes that while people get older, the Tagus remains young ("My hair getting white, the Tagus is always young"). The author, Fernando Pessoa, wrote a poem that begins: "The Tagus is more beautiful than the river that flows through my village. But the Tagus is not more beautiful than the river that flows through my village..."[3]

Richard Crashaw's poem "Saint Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper" refers to the "Golden" Tagus as wanting Mary Magdalene's silver tears. In classical poetry the Tagus was famous for its gold-bearing sands (Catullus 29.19, Ovid, Amores, 1.15.34, Juvenal, Satires, 3.55, etc.).

See also

Notes

  1. ^   Downloadable Google Books
  2. ^ Garrett Mattingly, The Armada, 118-119
  3. ^  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.