provincia (province) in the comunidad autonoma (autonomous community) of Catalonia, northeastern Spain. It borders the Mediterranean Sea. With Barcelona, Girona, and Lleida, Tarragona became one of the four component provinces of the autonomous region of Catalonia in 1979. It comprises a coastal plain and a mountainous northwest and interior. Primarily agricultural, Tarragona is noted for its wines, hazelnuts, almonds, olives, tomatoes, fruits, rice, and vegetables. Although the manufacture of textiles, metals, and paper is significant, the petrochemical industry dominates the province's economy. Petrochemical plants are located in Tarragona city (the provincial capital), close to the harbour. There are nuclear power plants in Vandellos and Asco. Tourism, based on summer seaside resort facilities, centres upon Salou; fishing is practiced in many coastal villages. Aside from Tarragona city, important cities and towns include Vendrell, Valls, Reus, and Tortosa. Area 2,434 square miles (6,303 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 757,795.
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