Cantabrian Mountains (kăntāˈbrēən) [key], N Spain, extending c.300 mi (480 km) along the Bay of Biscay from the Pyrenees to Cape Finisterre. Torre de Cerredo (8,687 ft/2,648 m) in the Picos de Europa group in the central section is the highest peak. The mountains are rich in minerals, especially coal and iron; the slopes are farmed. The streams on the northern slope are used to generate hydroelectricity. The Ebro River rises on the southeast slope. The mountains are the last Iberian redoubt of the European brown bear, and most of the Picos de Europa range was converted into a national park (1995) in part to protect it.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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