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Castilla La Mancha Holidays - Toledo, Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Guadalajara
Castilla La Mancha is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Spain. It is located in the centre of the country and is bordered entirely by other Spanish regions including Andalucia, Castilla & Leon, Madrid, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, and Extremadura. Castilla La Mancha is further divided into 5 provinces, which take their names after their capital cities. These are Toledo, Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Guadalajara. Castilla La Mancha is synonymous with Don Quixote, windmills, sunflowers and Manchego cheese, which is made from sheep's milk.
It is in the province of Castilla La Mancha where the famous novel Don Quixote takes place, written by Miguel Cervantes. The novel covers the adventures of Don Quixote, also known as the knight or man of La Mancha. He is a hero who carries his enthusiasm and self-deception to unintentional and comic ends. His partner is Sancho Panza, a man of low selfishness, who follows in blind confidence in all the extravagant hopes and promises of his master.
Toledo is the capital of Castilla La Mancha and can be found 70km south of Madrid. Toledo is a wonderful city, full of history with one of the greatest number of monuments in any Spanish city. It is also one of Spain's most interesting cities, offering a rich cultural history and architecture from all the civilizations that have occupied, including the Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Christians, Jews and Moriscos. The old city centre is located on a hilltop and is a myriad of steep narrow streets that are enclosed on three sides by the Tagus River. At the very top can be found the Alcazar, a huge palace-fortress built in the 16th century. During the Spanish Civil War, the castle held out against overwhelming Republican forces during the famous 'Siege of the Alcazar' in 1936.
Albacete is a modern and commercial city, with sights to see both new and old. It is a great place to start for excursions to the Lagunas de Ruidera Nature Reserve, and the historic towns of Chinchilla and Almansa. Albacete tourist office can be found at Posada del Rosario (Rosario Lodging House), in a building that has been declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument as a fine example of original Castilian accommodation in La Mancha. Plaza de Altozano is a good place to relax in the many bars on offer, while in Lodares Passage can be found the city's shopping malls set in fine surroundings.
Ciudad Real has become increasingly popular as a long-distance commuter suburb of Madrid since the high speed AVE rail link began to stop here on its way from the capital to Seville. During the middle ages, the city was surrounded by 4 kilometres of walls and over 100 towers to protect the enclosed population. A good example of this 14th century Mudejar architecture can be seen at the Puerta de Toledo, one of the eight gates set within the city walls.
Cuenca is situated in the heart of the Cuenca Mountains, and offers a wealth of monuments for those interested in historical architecture. Its historic centre of cobbled streets looks out over the rocky canyon walls and the remains of its old Moorish castle. Standing proud over the deep gorge of the Rio Huecar, can be seen the protected Casas Colgadas, that house the Spanish Abstract Art Museum. Because Cuenca has good rail links with Madrid, the city has become a popular day or weekend break for those living in the capital city.
Guadalajara was founded by the Iberians and has its roots back to the Roman period. It was the Mendozas in the 15th century who added many of the beautiful buildings that make Guadalajara a wonderful historic place to visit. Located at Plaza de los Caídos, the Infantado Palace is Isabelline Gothic in design built for Íñigo López de Mendoza in the 15th century. It is of great design and recognised as the symbol of the city of Guadalajara. Inside, Mudejar decoration can be seen on the tiles and ceilings and the front of the building displays the Mendoza coat of arms.
About the Author: Steve Greenwood invites you to visit http://www.idealrentals4u.com/spain/castilla_la_mancha.html for Castilla La Mancha Holiday Apartments accommodation and attractions in Toledo, Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Guadalajara. Visit http://www.idealrentals4u.com for holidays and accommodation in all the regions of Spain including the Canary Islands Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma.