Albacete

Albacete
/ahl'vah the"te/, n.
a city in SE Spain. 92,233.

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Spain
      city, capital of Albacete provincia (province), in the Castile-La Mancha (Castile–La Mancha) comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), southeast-central Spain. Albacete is located in the historic La Mancha region, on the Don Juan River at its juncture with the María Cristina Canal. Of Moorish origin (Arabic: Al-Basīṭ), it was the scene of two battles between Christians and Moors, in 1145 and 1146. Refounded in 1365 as Albacete, it played an important part in the War of the Spanish Succession: the Battle of Almansa was won near there by King Philip V in 1707. Development came only after the construction in the 19th century of the María Cristina Canal, which drained malarial swamps to the south.

      The city is now a market centre for agricultural produce (fruit and saffron). Industry is primarily based on agriculture, but textile and metallurgical manufacturing play a large role in the economy. Knives and daggers from Albacete, now sold chiefly as souvenirs, are well known throughout Spain. Services and regional commerce are the most notable tertiary activities in Albacete.

      Albacete is divided into the upper town (Alto de Villa), or old quarter, and the lower, modern town (Villa de Abajo). Notable landmarks include the 16th-century San Juan Bautista Cathedral (restored after a fire in 1936) and a museum. A provincial museum displaying the work of regional and local artists was opened in 1978. Pop. (2006 est.) 155,506.

      provincia (province) in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Castile–La Mancha, southeast-central Spain. It occupies the southeastern end of the Meseta Central (plateau). Albacete is the driest interior province of the Iberian Peninsula, with about 14 inches (350 mm) average annual rainfall. The south is mountainous or hilly and is crossed by the Júcar and Segura rivers, which are the chief local sources of power and water for irrigation. The Sierra de Alcaraz rises in the west.

      Albacete is a stock-raising province, but barley growing is increasing steadily, with a corresponding decline in livestock (though sheep raising remains important). Cheese is sent to all parts of Spain, and the province is known for its wine. Olives and apricots also are cultivated. Other products include saffron, esparto grass, and pine lumber.

      Manufacturing, mainly of foodstuffs and leather products, is concentrated in the provincial capital, Albacete, and in the towns of Almansa, Hellín, and La Roda. A large portion of the province is accessible only by road, although there are good railway connections with Madrid and Alicante. Area 5,763 square miles (14,926 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 392,110.

Vicente Rodriguez
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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