and Aragonese: Aragón, Catalan: Aragó) is a modern
autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval
kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the region
comprises three provinces from north to south: Huesca,
Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza (also called
Saragossa in English).
Aragon's northern province of Huesca borders France and is positioned in the middle of the Pyrenees. Within Spain, the region is flanked by Catalonia on the east, Valencia and Castile-La Mancha to the south, and Castile and Leon, La Rioja, and Navarre to the west.
Covering an area of 47,719 km2 (18,424 sq mi), the region's terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro—Spain's largest river in volume, which runs west-east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza. It is also home to the Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
As of 2006, the population was 1,277,471—with half of the region's people living in Zaragoza, its capital city.
In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into 33 comarcas or counties; all with a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman and Roman days; and from the four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom (or taifa) of Saraqustah, and as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Spanish March or Marca Hispanica; and counties that later formed the Kingdom of Aragon and eventually the empire or Crown of Aragon.