The Info List - La Mancha

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La Mancha
La Mancha
(Spanish pronunciation: [la ˈmantʃa]) is a natural and historical region located on an arid but fertile elevated plateau (610 m or 2000 ft.) of central Spain, south of Madrid, from the mountains of Toledo to the western spurs of the hills of Cuenca, and bordered to the south by the Sierra Morena
Sierra Morena
and to the north by the Alcarria
region.[1] La Mancha
La Mancha
includes portions of the modern provinces of Cuenca, Toledo, and Albacete, and most of the Ciudad Real province. La Mancha
La Mancha
historical comarca constitutes the southern portion of Castilla-La Mancha
Castilla-La Mancha
autonomous community and makes up most of the present-day administrative region.


1 Name 2 Geography 3 Climate 4 Culture 5 Agriculture 6 People 7 La Mancha
La Mancha
and Cervantes 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Name[edit] The name "La Mancha" is probably derived from the Arab word المنشا al-mansha, meaning "the dry land" or "wilderness". The name of the city of Almansa
in Albacete
also has the same origin.[2] The word mancha in Spanish literally means spot, stain, or patch, but no apparent link exists between this word and the name of the region. Geography[edit]

Pastures and sheep in La Mancha

The largest plain in Spain, La Mancha
La Mancha
is made up of a plateau averaging 500 to 600 metres in altitude (although it reaches 900 metres in Campo de Montiel and other parts), centering on the province of Ciudad Real. The region is watered by the Guadiana, Jabalón, Záncara, Cigüela, and Júcar

Landscape of the fields in La Mancha

Climate[edit] The climate is cold semi-arid (Köppen BSk), with strong fluctuations. Farming (wheat, barley, oats, sugar beets, wine grapes, olives) and cattle raising are the primary economic activities, but they are severely restricted by the harsh environmental conditions. Culture[edit]

The Spanish imperial eagle
Spanish imperial eagle
can be found mostly in the region of La Mancha.

Culturally, La Mancha
La Mancha
includes the Sierra de Alcaraz, northern Sierra Morena, Montes de Toledo and Serranía de Cuenca, parts of Tajo
river valley, and it is administratively divided among the comarcas of Campo de Montiel and Campo de ras de Ocaña y Manchuela
to the north. The inhabitants are called Manchegos. Agriculture[edit] La Mancha
La Mancha
has always been an important agricultural zone. Viticulture is important in Tomelloso, Alcázar de San Juan, Socuéllamos, Valdepeñas, La Solana
La Solana
and Manzanares, in Ciudad Real
Ciudad Real
and Villarrobledo
in Albacete. Other crops include cereals (hence the famous windmills) and saffron. Sheep are raised and bred, providing the famous Manchego cheese, as are goats, including the La Mancha goat, one of the assumed progenitors of the American La Mancha
La Mancha
goat. La Mancha
La Mancha
includes two National Parks, Las Tablas de Daimiel
Las Tablas de Daimiel
and Cabañeros, and one Natural Park, Las Lagunas de Ruidera. People[edit] Famous Spaniards like the cinema directors Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar
and José Luis Cuerda, painters Antonio López and his uncle Antonio López Torres, footballer Andrés Iniesta, music band Angelus Apatrida
Angelus Apatrida
and actress Sara Montiel
Sara Montiel
were born in La Mancha. La Mancha
La Mancha
and Cervantes[edit]

Don Quixote
Don Quixote
Inn in La Mancha, Spain

Don Quixote
Don Quixote
statue at La Mancha
La Mancha
Inn, Spain

Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
described La Mancha
La Mancha
and its windmills in his novel Don Quixote
Don Quixote
de La Mancha. Cervantes was making fun of the region, using a pun; a "mancha" was also a stain, as on one's honor, and thus an inappropriately-named homeland for a dignified knight-errant.[3] Translator John Ormsby believed that Cervantes chose it because it was the most ordinary, prosaic, anti-romantic, and therefore unlikely place from which a chivalrous, romantic hero could originate, making Quixote seem even more absurd. However, due to the fame of Cervantes' character, the name of La Mancha
La Mancha
did become associated worldwide with romantic chivalry. Several film versions of Don Quixote
Don Quixote
have actually been filmed largely in La Mancha. However, some, including the 1957 Russian film version, and the screen version of Man of La Mancha, were not. The 1957 film was shot in Crimea, while Man of La Mancha
La Mancha
was filmed in Italy. G.W. Pabst's 1933 version of Cervantes's novel was shot in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The 2000 made-for-TV Don Quixote, starring John Lithgow
John Lithgow
as Don Quixote
Don Quixote
and Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins
as Sancho Panza, was shot on several locations in Spain, but not in La Mancha. See also[edit]

("lesser La Mancha")


^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mancha, La". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 542.  ^ Castilla-La Mancha ^ A Noise Within

External links[edit]

 "Mancha, La". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.  Folk music from La Mancha

Coordinates: 39°24′04″N 3°00′54″W / 39.40111°N 3.01500°W /