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Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

 

 

Location: Lleida, Catalonia

Area: 141 km2 (54 sq mi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is a nature reserve in Catalonia region of Spain that covers an area of 141 km2 (54 sq mi). The National Park of Aiguas Tortas and Lake of San Mauricio (in Catalan: National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici, in Occitan, Parc Nacionau d'Aigüestòrtes and Estanh de Sant Maurici) was created in 1955 and is the only Spanish national park located in the autonomous community of Catalonia. With 525,067 visitors annually (2015), the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the eighth national park in Spain in number of visitors. It is located in the central part of the Pyrenees divided between four regions of the Pyrenees: Alta Ribagorza, Pallars Sobirà, Pallars Jussà and Valle de Arán, in the province of Lleida, encompassing, in its central part, territory of the municipal boundaries of Espot and Valle de Bohí.

It has two areas: the eastern, continental climate and irrigated by the tributaries of Noguera Pallaresa, which feed the lake of San Mauricio, and the western (Aiguas Tortas), Atlantic high mountain climate and bathed by the tributaries of Noguera Ribagorzana. The geography of the park is high mountain because much of the territory exceeds 1,000 meters above sea level, with peaks that exceed 3,000 meters. Highlights, among all, two valleys: to the west the valley of the San Nicolás River, with its characteristic meadows and meanders from which comes the name of "Aiguas Tortas" (tortuous waters).

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park has a great biological value. The large slopes that it presents originate the different ecosystems: meadows, crops and deciduous forests in the lower elevations, evergreen forests in the middle elevations, and meadows and rocks of high mountain in the highest levels. For years it has been a protected space and its relatively inaccessible access, it has preserved the flora and fauna in a rather wild state. In spite of everything, the footprint of man is inevitable and the park is still exploited by cattle, tourism and hydroelectric power plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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