Ciudad Real

Ciudad Real

      city, capital of Ciudad Real provincia (province), in Castile–La Mancha comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), south-central Spain. On a fertile plain watered by the Guadiana and Jabalón rivers, it was founded in 1255 by Alfonso X (the Wise) as Villa Real and declared a city by John II in 1420. Late in the 15th century it became the seat of the Inquisition tribunal, subsequently moved 75 miles (120 km) north to Toledo. Notable landmarks include remains of the 14th-century walls; the Gate of Toledo (Puerta de Toledo; built 1328 in the Mudéjar style), a national monument; and the 15th-century Gothic Cathedral of Santa María del Prado. Ciudad Real is the focus of a road network and an agricultural processing and market centre; lumbering, flour milling, and liquor distilling are carried on. The service sector dominates the local economy. A high-speed-train connection with Madrid (reached in less than an hour) has contributed to economic activity in Ciudad Real. Pop. (2006 est.) 68,311.

      provincia (province), southwestern Castile–La Mancha comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), south-central Spain, one of five provinces formed from the ancient region of New Castile. In the east and centre, high plains form part of the flat, dry windmill region known as La Mancha, characterized in Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote. The remainder of the province is mountainous, crossed by the Morena Mountains to the south and the Toledo Mountains to the northwest. The Guadiana river system drains the region.

      Cereals (barley and wheat), grapes, olives, vegetables, and wine (especially that of Valdepeñas) are the province's main products. Sheep pasturing is carried on in La Mancha. Mercury is mined at Almadén and coal at Puertollano, near which a modern industrial chemical complex has been built (it includes an inland oil refinery). Industrial development, however, apart from that based on agriculture, is slight and is concentrated in the provincial capital of Ciudad Real, Valdepeñas, and in Manzanares. Other principal towns are Puertollano, Tomelloso, and Alcázar de San Juan. Area 7,650 square miles (19,813 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 510,122.

Vicente Rodriguez

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Universalium. 2010.

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