Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (532) Page 484Page 484

(534) next ››› Page 486Page 486

(533) Page 485 -
A
It
pore its*
12
Mimates
isd i'eai’ons.
SPA [ 485 ] SPA
it is full, it is about four leagues long, two in breadth,
and fix in circumference } but it is fo (hallow, that fmall
boats can fcarcely float in it. To fupply the deficiency
of water, an engine is employed, by which the neigh¬
bouring waters are drawn into the bed of the lake; and
any fuperabundant water occafioned by heavy rains, is
carried off into the fea by means of an artificial opening.
This lake contains a great many filh, and numerous
aquatic birds make it their haunt. On certain days in
the year the inhabitants of Valencia make excurfions
hither to (hoot the birds, and the furface of the lake is
at thefe times covered with boats.
Many parts ®f the kingdom of Spain abound in large
tracts of wood. Extenfiye forefts are found in Catalo¬
nia, the Afturias, Gallieia, and in the Sierra Morena.
It is in the mountainous chains that the forefts of Spain
are moft remarkable ; and there are few of thefe heights,
except in the fnowy regions of the Sierra Nevada, but
what are covered with wood almoft to their fummits.
The climate of Spain is as delightful as that of any
part of Europe j and though at certain feafons of the
year the eaftern coaft is fubje£t to exceffive heat and
drought, and the north-weftern to almoft perpetual
rains, the temperature is in general mild, and the air
felubrious.
The climate of Spain Jias been admirably depidled by
M. A. de Humboldt 5 and we ftiall here prefent to our
readers the fubftance of his remarks, as they are related
by De Laborde, in his view of Spain.
No country of Europe prefents a configuration fo fin-
gular as Spain. It is this extraordinary form which ac¬
counts for the drynefs of the foil in the interior of the
Caftiles, for the power of evaporation, the want of ri¬
vers, and that difference of temperature which is obfer-
vable between Madrid and Naples, two towns fituated
under the fame degree of latitude.
The interior of Spain is, as we have feen,an elevated
plane, which is higher than any of the fame kind in
Europe, occupying fo large an extent of country. The
mean height of the barometer at Madrid is 26 niches
2|- lines. It is therefore ^ lower than the mean'height
of the mercury at the level of the ocean. This is the
difference of the preffure of the atmofphere that is expe¬
rienced by all bodies expofed to the air at Madrid, and at
Cadiz and Bourdeaux. At Madrid the barometer falls
as low as 25 inches 6 lines, and fometimes even lower.
The following is a table of the variations in the height
of the barometer during the firft nine months of the
year 1793.
Months.
January,
February,
March,
April,
May,
June,
July,
Auguft,
September,
Maximum.
Inches.
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
Lines.
5-8
5-3
4-7
2.4
4.6
4-
4-3
3- 2
4- 3
Minimum.
Inches.
25
25
25
25
25
25
26
25
25
L;nes.
9.8
6.2
6.
6.9
10.5
11.8
0.7
n-5
11.
Mean Height
of the Mercury
Inches.
26
26
25
2 5
26
26
26
26
26
Lines,
2.6
1.6
11.6
11.6
0.8
1.6
2.4
1.4
i-7
From the mean height of the barometer at Madrid, Spam,
we find that capital to be elevated 3091% fathoms above "
the level of the ocean. Madrid, confequently, Hands
as high as the town of Infpruck, fituated on one of the
higheft defiles of the Tyrol, while its elevation is 15
times greater than that of Paris, and three times greater
than that of Geneva.
According to M. Thalacker, the mineralogift, who
has taken feveral heights with the barometer in the en¬
virons of Madrid, the elevation of the king’s palace at
San Ildefonfo is 593 fathoms, which is higher than the
edge of the crater of Mount Vefuvius, and is, ftriftly
fpeaking, in the regions of the clouds, which generally
float from 550 to 600 fathoms high.
The height of the plain of the Cafliles has an evident
effedt on its temperature. We are aftoniflied at not
finding oranges in the open air under the fame latitude
as that of Tarentum, part of Calabria, Theffaly, and
Afia Minor but the mean temperature of Madrid is
very little fuperior to that of Marfeilles, Paris, and Ber¬
lin, and is nearly the fame with that of Genoa and
Rome. The following table (hews the mean tempera¬
ture at Madrid and at Rome, during the firft nine
months of the years 1793 and 1807.
At Madrid.
At Rome.
Months.
Deg. of Fahrenheit.
Deg. of Fahrenheit.
January,
February,
March,
April,
May,
June,
July,
Auguft,
September,
39 3
43 24
47 54
52 *9 3°"
59 4 3°
72 32 15
77 x3 3°
81 34 30
65 45

47

54
65
72
79
79
72
11 x5
49 3°
*5 45
34 3°
56 15

1S
*5
34 3°
Thus, the mean temperature at Madrid appears to >
be 590 of Fahrenheit, while that of the coafts of Spain,
from the 410 to the 36® of Lat. is between 63^° and
68° of Fahrenheit. In the former climate we find that .
orange trees will not flourifli in perfedion, while in the
latter we fee banana trees, he-liconias, and even fugar-
canes, growing in fituations that are flickered from the
cold winds:
Spain prefents few fpecies of animals that are notAnimafe
found in the other parts of fouthern Europe. Among
the quadrupeds, we may remark, as peculiar to Spain,
the genet, (viverra genetta.') The bear is found in fe¬
veral parts of the great Pyrenean chain, efpecialiy on
feme of the mountains of Aragon, as well as thofe of
Occar and Reynofa in Old Caftile. Wolves are met
with in all the higher and mountainous parts of the
country, and wild boars on the mountains of Navarre,
on the Pinar, and the Sierra de Carafcoy, in the king¬
dom of Valencia. The roebuck is found on fome of
the mountains of Navarre, and the lynx and the ibex
on thofe of Cuenca in New Caftile, in the valleys of
Aure and Giftau, as well as in the Pyrenees. The
glory of Spanifti zoology is the horfe, for which this
kingdom has been famous in all ages. The Spanifh
horfes ;

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence