Monthly Archives: October 2017

Mappy Hour: Independent from Spain? One Catalonian Town Already Is (Geographically, at Least)

Events swirling around Catalonia’s lurch toward independence from Spain accelerated rapidly today. Catalonia’s Parliament declared independence and Spain reacted by suspending the region’s government, taking over Catalonia’s police, and calling for December elections.

In the meantime, as the New York Times reported today, the Catalonian town of Llivia has been independent from Spain for 350 years. Geographically, the town is located entirely within France:

The NYT reports that, with regard to independence, “for Llivia, a quaint town tucked about 4,000 feet up in the foothills of the Pyrenees, an important part of that decision was made centuries ago. Llivia is already separated from Spain physically: The five-square-mile municipality is a geographic anomaly resulting from a quirk of the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, which settled a more-than-two-decade round of fighting between Spain and France.

Only “villages,” according to the treaty, were to be ceded to the French crown. Llivia was considered a town, not a village, and so remained part of Spain, and the region of Catalonia.”

Catalonia est non Espana! And, if Catalonia does indeed secede, Llivia won’t be Catalonia (on a map, anyway).

The cartographic coolness never ends.

Categories: Mappy Hour, Maps and Miscellany | 4 Comments

Mappy Hour: Catalonia’s Not the Only European Area Agitating for Autonomy

After an aborted referendum and multiple protests, Catalonia’s president today may or may not have announced that the region will pursue independence (it was so ambiguous that Spain requested that he clarify what he’s actually trying to say). The Washington Post has helpfully published an update on some previous articles they’ve posted on the other restless regions across Europe.

The disappointingly brief article included the usual suspects, including Scotland, Flanders, and the Basque region. However, it also introduced a few we hadn’t known about earlier, including South Tyrol (a German-speaking region in Italy that previously was part of Austria prior to WW I) and the Faroe Islands, who are itching to throw off the distant Danish yoke.

A good quick read if you like European history and geography!

Categories: Mappy Hour, Maps and Miscellany | Leave a comment

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