Castile and León

Castile and León –lāōnˈ [key], autonomous community, 36,381 sq mi (94,227 sq km), N central Spain, encompassing the provinces of Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, and Zamora. It was established as an autonomous community in 1983. This region rests on the elevated central plateau and is traversed by the Douro river. Two of its provinces are close to the Portuguese border. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, consisting mostly of dry farming except in the irrigated lands of Valladolid and Léon. Crops include wheat, sugar beets, and potatoes. Animal husbandry is also important. Forestry is an industry found chiefly in the mountainous zones. The National Industrial Institute (Instituto Nacional de Industria) provided long-term loans and tax incentives in Valladolid in order to further industrialization there. About a quarter of the nation's hydroelectricity is generated in Salamanca and Zamona provinces. Residents of León, Zamora, and Salamanca speak the Leonese dialect. There is much migration from the region to the provincial capitals.

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