flag coat of arms
location of castile-la mancha within spain
|coordinates: 39°52′n 4°01′w / 39°52′n 4°01′w / 39.867; -4.017 · castillalamancha.es|
castilla–la mancha (/, /, spanish: [kasˈtiʎa la ˈmantʃa] (listen)), or castile la mancha, is an autonomous community of spain. comprised by the provinces of albacete, ciudad real, cuenca, guadalajara and toledo, it was created in 1982. it is bordered by castile and león, , aragon, , murcia, andalusia, and extremadura. it is one of the most sparsely populated of spain's regions. albacete is the largest and most populous city. the government headquarters are in toledo and the high court headquarters are in albacete.
castilla–la mancha was formerly grouped with the province of madrid into new castile (castilla la nueva), but with the advent of the modern spanish system of autonomous communities (estado de las autonomías), it was separated due to great demographic disparity between the capital and the remaining new-castilian provinces. also, distinct from the former new castile, castilla–la mancha added the province of albacete, which had been part of murcia; adding albacete placed all of the historic region of la mancha within this single region.
it is mostly in this region where the story of the famous spanish novel don quixote by miguel de cervantes is situated, due to which la mancha is internationally well-known. although la mancha is a windswept, battered plateau, it remains a symbol of spanish culture with its vineyards, sunflowers, mushrooms, olive plantations, windmills, manchego cheese, and don quixote.