Interactive Map of Castilla la Mancha
Castilla la Mancha Map Links:
- Cortes de Castilla-La Mancha district of Ciudad Real
- Cortes de Castilla-La Mancha district of Cuenca
- Cortes de Castilla-La Mancha district of Guadalajara
- Cortes de Castilla-La Mancha district of Toledo
- Cortes of Castilla-La Mancha district of Albacete
- First map of Albacete city, Spain 1776
- Castilla la Mancha within Spain
- New Castile 1785
- Toledo 1572
Castilla la Mancha is a landlocked autonomous region of Spain that covers over 30,000 square miles of the country. It is the third-largest region in Spain, contributing a little over 15% of Spain’s total area. Castilla la Mancha borders seven different territories: Madrid, Aragon, and Castile and Leon to the north, Valencia to the east, Andalucia and Murcia to the south, and Extremadura to the west.
- Ciudad Real
- Talavera de la Reina
- Alcazar de San Juan
- Population: 2 million
- Languages: Spanish, Castilian Spanish
- Ethnicities: Castilian, Andalusian
- Capital: Toledo
The History of Castilla la Mancha
During the Roman Hispania era, Castilla la Mancha was ruled by the Romans, which lasted until the Roman Empire fell during 5th Century AD. A weakened territory and its geographical location made Castilla la Mancha vulnerable to Muslim invasion during the Islamic Al-Andalus period between the 8th and 14th Centuries.
The Muslim Invasion caused the region to become heavily populated and influenced by Muslims and the Islamic faith. It wasn’t until the Christian Reconquest that began during the 11th Century that Christians began to take back the area. By 1248, the Christian Reconquest was successful in pushing Muslims out of modern-day Spain into what we know as Portugal today.
In 1492, under the rule of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, Castilla la Mancha was the center of the Crown of Castile and Aragon after they joined with one another. By 1640, the Crown of Castile covered the majority of what is known today as modern-day Spain. The Crown of Castile was finally abolished in 1715 when the War of the Spanish Succession concluded, and the area formed what was known as the Crown of Spain.
By the late 1700s, cities in Castilla la Mancha were established as provinces, which divided the territory into many smaller regions. These provinces included Cuenca, Guadalajara, Madrid, La Mancha, and Toledo.
Over time, these provinces eventually merged with one another, eliminating provinces along the way. Albacete, Cuenca, and Toledo became the largest provinces, incorporating the smaller provinces during annexation. This is why the cities of Toledo, Cuenca, and Albacete are large in size and population today.
During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in the 1800s, the region became divided, which resulted in the First Carlist War. Ferdinand’s brother, Don Carlos, would be entitled to the crown of Spain if Ferdinand had not overturned the Salic Law of the Succession during his reign.
The Salic Law of Succession states that the crown of Spain must follow the patriarchal lineage of the crown. Because Ferdinand had a brother, the crown must go to him. However, Ferdinand wanted to leave the crown to his daughter, Isabella, so he had the Salic Law of Succession revoked, resulting in Isabella superseding the throne in 1833. This led to the First Carlist War in 1833.
Carlists believed that Don Carlos, Ferdinand’s brother, was the rightful heir to the throne, which led to Spain’s division. The First Carlist War lasted from 1833 to 1839, with Carlists being unsuccessful in overthrowing Isabella from the throne. Isabella would reign until 1868.
In 1869, the Pacto Federal Castellano (Spanish Federal Pact) was signed. The Spanish Federal Pact stated that a new regime was required as Queen Isabella II had fallen. The pact allowed Castilla la Mancha to have its own political party.
The pact of 1869 divided the Castile region into three present-day provinces: Castilla la Mancha, Castilla y Leon, and Madrid. In 1924, Castilla la Mancha was officially recognized as a territory. The Spanish Government granted Castilla la Mancha with autonomy on November 15, 1978, and on August 10, 1982, the Statute of Autonomy was approved to official autonomy to the region.
Spanish is the official language that is spoken and taught throughout the region. The dialect of Spanish in this region is called Castilian Spanish. Castilian Spanish is found in northern and central regions in Spanish and is considered the native or traditional Spanish language of Spain.
Spanish that is found in Mexico, Central, and South America is often called Latin Spanish or American Spanish because it is different than Castilian Spanish that is spoken throughout Spain.
Catholic Christianity is the primary religion practiced in Castilla la Mancha. During the Muslim Invasion, Islam was practiced in the area, but the Christian Reconquest prevailed and gave control of Spain back to the Christians. Catholic Christianity has withstood the tests of time as the primary religion practice in Spain, which is why it prevails as the primary religion today.
Castilla la Mancha is completely landlocked as it is located in the middle of Spain. Castilla la Mancha has terrain on both ends of the spectrum. There are dry plains and valleys in the north and mountains with river basins lying to the south.
Five watersheds provide hydroelectricity to the residents throughout the region: the Tagus, Guadiana, Guadalquivir, Júcar, and Segura. Without these rivers, the region would have to devise an alternative plan to provide electricity for the region.
The geography provides a flourishing agricultural economy. The dry plains are ideal for harvesting barley, olives, grapes, grains, peppers, flowers, and lentils. The region of Castilla la Mancha has become Spain’s leader in wine production. Livestock farms can be found in all typographies of the region. Livestock farms include sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs.
Castilla la Mancha is the setting of Miguel Cervantes’ famous fiction novel, Don Quixote. The novel includes iconic Castilla la Mancha landmarks and monuments, including the well-known windmills. Don Quixote is read throughout the world and has helped attribute notoriety to the region of Castilla la Mancha.
The culture of Castilla la Mancha is also rich in architecture, which is what gives the region its name. Castilla is Spanish for castle, which gave the region its name. There are 15 different castles throughout the entire region.
These castles are scattered throughout the major cities of the region, including Toledo, Cuenca, and Guadalajara, and represent the religion, architecture, and wealth that was found in the region throughout history.
Immigration & Migration Patterns
In the 1900s, there was a large influx of immigrants who entered the bordering territory of Madrid because of the many opportunities that the capital city has to offer.
Poverty, unrest, and economic recession had plagued the region during the Spanish Civil War, which caused many emigrants to move to neighboring Spanish territories and other European nations.
Because of this, Castilians can be found in Madrid, France, Portugal, Germany, England, and various countries in the European Union.
Spanish Castilian genealogy extends to neighboring European countries because of the large number of male migrants that left the region during the early 1900s. These emigrants landed in various countries of the European Union, including France, Portugal, and Germany.
England and the United Kingdom also have Spanish Castilian lineage, as England and the United Kingdom were part of the European Union during this time.