Tagus

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The Tagus (Spanish Tajo, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtaxo]; Portuguese Tejo, Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈtɛʒu]; Latin Tagus; Ancient Greek Τάγος Tagos) is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,038 kilometers long, 716 km in Spain, 47 km along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic at Lisbon. It drains an area of 80,100 km² (the second largest in the Iberian peninsula after the Douro). The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to most of central Spain, including Madrid, and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a vast alluvial valley prone to flooding. At its mouth is a large estuary on which the port city of Lisbon is situated.

The source of the Tagus is the Fuente de García, in the Albarracín mountains. All its major tributaries enter the Tagus from the right (north) bank. The main cities it passes through are Aranjuez, Toledo, Talavera de la Reina and Alcántara in Spain, and Abrantes, Santarém, Almada and Lisbon in Portugal.

Contents

Course

In Spain

The first notable town on the Tagus is Sacedón. Below Aranjuez it receives the combined flow of the Henares and the Tajuña. Below Toledo it receives the Guadarrama river. Above Talavera de la Reina it receives the Alberche. At Valdeverdeja is the upper end of the long upper reservoir, the Embalse de Valdecañas, beyond which are the Embalse de Torrejon, into which flow the Tiétar, and the lower reservoir, the Embalse de Alcántara into which flow the Alagón at the lower end.

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