A comarca (Spanish: [koˈmarka], Portuguese: [kuˈmaɾkɐ] or [koˈmaʁkɐ], Galician: [koˈmaɾka] pl. comarcas; Catalan: [kuˈmarkə] or [koˈmaɾka], pl. comarques) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co- meaning "together, jointly".

The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada (IPA: [reðoˈlaða]) and in Basque as eskualde (IPA: [es̺kualde]). In addition, in Galician comarcas are also called bisbarras (IPA: [bizˈβaras]).



The term comarca is used in several regions of the Iberian Peninsula.

  • In Cantabria, the comarca exists as a traditional or historical division, usually identified with the greatest rivers of the region.
  • In Catalonia and Aragon, the comarca exists as a local government area, and has a representative comarcal council.
  • In the Valencian Community, the comarca exists only as a traditional region with no administrative competences. They are legally referred as homologated territorial demarcations instead of as comarques.
  • In Galicia the comarca or bisbarra are traditional divisions of the land and enjoy limited official recognition, but have no administrative relevance. However, the Galician government is attempting to transform the bisbarras into territorial administrative tiers, forming up a new regional network allegedly more balanced and efficient. Galician comarcas also have a comarcal council.

In other places, such as Extremadura, the comarca may be simply a loosely-defined region.

Because of the comarca's long-standing use, it is sometimes used as the basis for the promotion of tourism, with emphasis on local cultural tradition and history.


In Panama, the comarca indígena is an administrative region for an area with a substantial Indian population. Three comarcas (Comarca Emberá-Wounaan, Kuna Yala, Ngöbe-Buglé) exist as equivalent to a province, with two smaller comarcas (Kuna de Madugandí and Kuna de Wargandí) subordinate to a province and considered equivalent to a corregimiento (municipality).

Portugal and Brazil

Nowadays, both in Portugal and Brazil, the comarca is a territorial division in the judicial system. It indicates the area covered by a lower level court. It may correspond to a municipality, or group together several small municipalities under one court.

Until the 16th century, the comarca was a large administrative region of Portugal. There were six tradicional comarcas, Entre-Douro-e-Minho, Trás-os-Montes, Beira, Estremadura, Alentejo and Algarve, of which the last had the honorary title of "kingdom". In the 16th century, the comarcas started to be known as "provinces". The name "comarca" was given to the administrative and judicial subdivisions of the provinces, introduced in the 17th century and replaced by the current administrative districts and judicial comarcas in the 19th century.


Some Spanish-language editions of J R R Tolkien's works use La Comarca to translate "The Shire".

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • comarca — sustantivo femenino 1. División territorial más o menos homogénea geográfica, comercial y culturalmente, compuesta de varias poblaciones: En esta comarca siempre ha habido industria textil. Esta comarca ha pertenecido a diferentes entidades… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Comarca — (weiblich; Spanisch und Katalanisch) ist eine traditionelle Bezeichnung für einen regionalen oder lokalen Verwaltungsbezirk, der in Teilen Spaniens, in Teilen von Südfrankreich, in Panama, Portugal und Brasilien verwendet wird. Die Comarca ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • comarca — (De co y marca, provincia). f. División de territorio que comprende varias poblaciones. en comarca. loc. adv. ant. cerca2 …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Comarca — (portug. u. italien.), Gerichtsbezirk. C. di Roma, Theil des Kirchenstaates, begreift außer der Stadt Rom noch die Gebiete von Tivoli u. Subiaco u. grenzt südlich an die Legationen von Velletri u. Frosinone, östlich an Neapel, nördlich an die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Comárca — (ital.), Gerichtsbezirk; C. di Roma, das Gebiet der Stadt Rom und seiner Umgebung, das zur Zeit der weltlichen Herrschaft des Papstes eine besondere Provinz des Kirchenstaates bildete …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • comarca — s. f. 1. Divisão territorial que tem julgado de primeira instância. 2. Região. 3. Território …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Comarca — Para otros usos de este término, véase Comarca (desambiguación). Comarca de Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). La comarca se define en el Diccionario de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua como una división del territorio que configuran varias… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Comarca — (Derivado de marca.) ► sustantivo femenino ADMINISTRACIÓN, GEOGRAFÍA División de un territorio con unos límites precisos debidos a una clara unidad geográfica, o a razones históricas o políticas, donde se asientan varias poblaciones: ■ los… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • comarca — {{#}}{{LM C09387}}{{〓}} {{SynC09614}} {{[}}comarca{{]}} ‹co·mar·ca› {{《}}▍ s.f.{{》}} Territorio geográfica, social y culturalmente homogéneo y con una clara delimitación natural o administrativa: • Normalmente una comarca comprende varias… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • Comarca — Comarque Voir « comarque » sur le Wiktionnaire …   Wikipédia en Français

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