El Hierro


El Hierro

Infobox Islands
name = El Hierro


image caption =
image size = 225px
locator

locator map size = 225px
native name =
native name link =
nickname = "Isla del Meridiano"
location = Atlantic Ocean
coordinates =
archipelago = Canary Islands
total islands =
major islands =
area = 278 km²
highest mount = Malpaso
elevation = 1,501 m
country = Spain
country admin divisions title = Autonomous Community
country admin divisions = Canary Islands
country admin divisions title 1 = Province
country admin divisions 1 = Santa Cruz de Tenerife
country admin divisions title 2 =
country admin divisions 2 =
country capital city =
country largest city = Valverde
country largest city population = 5,797
country leader title =
country leader name =
population = 10,162
population as of = 2003
density = 37
ethnic groups =
additional info =

El Hierro, nicknamed "Isla del Meridiano" (the "Meridian Island"), is a Spanish island. It is the smallest and furthest south and west of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is situated at 27°45' north, 18°00' west.

History

The name of the island is derived from the Guanche language toponym Hero, which by the process of folk-etymology was transformed into "Hierro," meaning "iron" in Spanish, due to its similarity to that word. Thus, Ferro (Latin "ferrum", "iron") was and is used as an alternative name for the island. It is the name for the island in other languages, including French, German, and Danish. Pliny the Elder, who used Juba II as his source, names a series of Canary Islands, and it is believed that his "Capraria" may have been Hierro.

The ancient natives of the island, called "bimbaches", were conquered by Jean de Béthencourt –more through the process of negotiation than by military action. Béthencourt had as his ally and negotiator Augeron, brother of the island's native monarch. Augeron had been captured years previously by the Europeans and now served as mediator between the Europeans and the Guanches. In return for control over the island, Béthencourt promised to respect the liberty of the natives, but he eventually broke his promise, selling many of the "bimbaches" into slavery. Many Frenchmen and Galicians subsequently settled on the island. There was a revolt of the natives against the harsh treatment of the governor Lázaro Vizcaíno, but it was suppressed.

Geography, flora and fauna

Like the rest of the chain, the island is sharply mountainous. It has an area of 278 km².The highest point is situated in the middle of the island, in Malpaso, 1501 meters high. El Hierro is home to many unique species, such as the El Hierro Giant Lizard ("Gallotia simonyi").For more information on the flora and vegetation of the island see http://www.hierro-flora.de.

Tourism & Transportation

Like all of the Canary Islands, El Hierro is a tourist destination. It is served by a small airport, El Hierro Airport at Valverde and a ferry terminal, both of which connect to Tenerife.

Political organization

The island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It includes three municipalities:
*Frontera
*Valverde
*El Pinar

Valverde is situated in the northeast and Frontera in the southwest, both contain several villages.

The seat of the island government ("cabildo insular") is in Valverde town. 10162 people lived on the island in 2003.

The "Meridian Island"

The island was known in European history as the prime meridian in common use outside of the future British Empire. Already in the 2nd century A.D., Ptolemy considered a definition of the zero meridian based on the western-most position of the known world, giving maps with only positive (eastern) longitudes. In the year 1634, France ruled by Louis XIII and Richelieu decided that Ferro's meridian should be used as the reference on maps, since this island is the most western position of the Old World and also thought to be exactly 20 degrees west of the Paris meridian, so indeed the exact position of Ferro was never considered. Old maps (outside of Anglo-America) often have a common grid with Paris degrees at the top and Ferro degrees offset by 20 at the bottom. Louis Feuillée also worked on this problem in 1724.

It was later found that the actual island of El Hierro itself is in fact 20° 23' 9" west of Paris, but the Ferro meridian was still defined as 20 degrees west of Paris.

According to the European longitude adjustment of Theodor Albrecht (ca. 1890) the Ferro meridian is 17° 39' 46.02" west of the Greenwich meridian. But for the geodetic networks of Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia, the value 17° 40' 00" was adopted in the 1920s, not only for practical reasons but also as it was discovered that the longitude of the Berlin (Rauenberg) fundamental point was miscalculated by 13.39". For the geodetic networks of Hungary and Yugoslavia, the value of Albrecht was used prior to the switch to the Greenwich prime meridian.

Energy

According to the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce El Hierro will become the first island in the world to be energy self-sufficient. This will be achieved through a €54 million project combining a 10 megawatt wind farm with two water reservoirs to store excess energy. [ [http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_9513.shtml El Hierro to be the first island in the world solely powered by renewable energy ] ]

El Hierro in literature

* The island of Hierro is mentioned in Umberto Eco's novel "The Island of the Day Before" "("L'isola del giorno prima", 1994)", a novel about a 17th century Italian nobleman trapped on an island on the International Date Line.

See also

* Prime meridian

Notes

External links

* [http://www.hierro-flora.de/ Information on flora and vegetation of El Hierro]
* [http://maps.inthecanaryislands.com/elhierro-map/ Watch from above El Hierro points of interests and add your preferred ones (map provided by Google)]
* [http://www.elhierro.tv/ Info-Portal of El Hierro (Spanish, English, German)]
* [http://www.elhierro.com/ Information about El Hierro (Spanish, English, German)]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • hierro — (Del lat. ferrum). 1. m. Elemento químico de núm. atóm. 26. Metal muy abundante en la corteza terrestre, se encuentra en la hematites, la magnetita y la limonita, y entra en la composición de sustancias importantes en los seres vivos, como las… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Hierro (desambiguación) — Hierro puede referirse a: Química: Hierro, el elemento químico. Metalurgia: Hierro forjado, una de las variedades de uso comercial con más pureza, pero también mayor fragilidad. Hierro fundido, un tipo de aleación conocida como fundición, cuyo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • hierro — sustantivo masculino 1. Área: química, metalurgia Fe. Elemento químico metálico, de color gris azulado, muy usado en la industria: La estructura de hierro es la que aguanta el edificio. hierro dulce Hierro sin impurezas que se trabaja con… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Hierro fundido — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El hierro fundido o hierro colado es un tipo de aleación conocida como fundición, cuyo tipo más común es el conocido como hierro fundido gris. El hierro gris es uno de los materiales ferrosos más empleados y su… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hierro de Wolfsegg — Hierro de Wolfsegg. El Hierro de Wolfsegg (o Cubo Salzburgo) es un pequeño trozo de hierro encontrado dentro de un bloque de carbón en el pueblo de Wolfsegg Austria. Este objeto es interesante porque su origen es un misterio. A veces se ha… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hierro — (spanisch für Eisen) bezeichnet: El Hierro, Insel der Kanarischen Inseln Cruz de Hierro, Kreuz auf dem spanischen Jakobsweg Hierro ist der Familienname von Fernando Hierro (* 1968), spanischer Fußballspieler Luis Hierro López (* 1947),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hierro — m. bioquím. Oligoelemento que forma parte de la molécula de hemoglobina. La ingestión de cantidades excesivas de hierro puede provocar corrosión de la mucosa gástrica, depresión respiratoria, toxicidad hepática y nerviosa, hipotensión, acidosis… …   Diccionario médico

  • hierro no hémico — Una de las dos formas de hierro en la dieta. Se absorbe con menor eficiencia que el hierro hémico. Todas las fuentes de alimentos vegetales y el 60% de las fuentes de alimentos de origen animal contienen hierro no hémico …   Diccionario médico

  • Hierro (película) — Hierro Título Hierro Ficha técnica Dirección Gabe Ibáñez Producción Álvaro Augustín Jesús de la Vega Guion …   Wikipedia Español

  • hierro total — Concentración total de hierro en la sangre. Las concentraciones normales en el suero son de 50 a 150 μg/dl. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • hierro — 1. ‘Metal maleable y resistente, muy empleado en la industria’; además, en general, ‘objeto, instrumento o arma hechos con este metal’ y, en especial, ‘instrumento de hierro usado para marcar el ganado’. En el español de América es frecuente la… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas


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