With 20 days to go until I head to Spain, I decided to take some time to research more about the area in which I’ll be living: Castilla-La Mancha. I’ve included brief histories and photos of some of the region’s highlights!
Castilla-La Mancha is home to the famous literary hero Don Quixote. The book Don Quixote was written by Miguel de Cervantes in two separate volumes written in 1605 and 1615. Considered as one of the greatest works of literature ever published, the book portrays the adventures of Don Quixote and his self-proclaimed mission to revive chivalry with his squire Sancho Panza by his side. Castilla-La Mancha provides an excellent backdrop for Don Quixote’s grand adventure!
Toledo, the capital of Castilla-La Mancha, is a UNESCO World Heritage City and famous for its historical coexistence of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The influences from all three religions can be seen in the city’s architecture. Pretty cool!
Cuenca has Muslim origins, but was overtaken by the Christians in the 12th century. Cuenca is also a UNESCO World Heritage City admired for its Moorish and Christian architecture, Spain’s first Gothic cathedral, and the “casas colgadas” (hanging houses).
The town of Belmonte is famous for its 15th century castle which is notably one of the best-preserved castles in Spain. The castle features a mixture of Gothic and Mudéjar architecture. Don Quixote is also known to have dined at this castle!
Castilla-La Mancha is well known for its abundance of windmills due to the fame of its beloved hero Don Quixote. El hombre de La Mancha is known for his iconic fight with a windmill in Cervantes’ book. (Side note: Did anyone ever watch the episode of Wishbone that featured Don Quixote? Loved it!) Today, the towns of Campo de Criptana and Consuegra are known to have the best Spanish windmills.
So here are some highlights de Castilla-La Mancha! Hopefully I can make it to all of them. What do you think? Have you seen/do you want to see the highlights of Castilla-La Mancha? Did I forget any? Let me know!
“Thou hast seen nothing yet.” – Miguel de Cervantes