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Albacete Province - Introduction
Albacete is a Spanish Province located in the southeastern part of the Central Plateau, in the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha. To the north lies Cuenca, to the east Valencia and Alicante, to the south Murcia and Granada and to the west Ciudad Real and Jaen.
The largest city in Castilla-La Mancha, the provincial capital Albacete, stands in the centre of extensive open countryside of great natural worth. From this peculiar orography came its old Arab name, Al-Basit (The flat). One tour of its geography enables you to get to know the commercial pulse which beats in its principal arteries, the La Mancha tranquility of its street corners and the boisterous character which appears in the festivals of September, one of the best dates to visit. Lovers of tradition and La Mancha art can enjoy a modern city which has kept all of its flavour.
Albacete is also a good starting point for excursions to natural areas such as the Montes de Chinchilla, the Parque Natural de las Lagunas de Ruidera and the Sierra de Alcaraz, where you can find the source of the Río Mundo.
In the northern area of the province the Valle del Júcar is found, where villages of strong La Mancha flavours can be found in between oak groves and working fields. Towards the East are the Campos de Montiel, whereas towards the South in the Campo de Hellín y Tobarra it is possible to visit one of the most important archaeological sites of Castilla La Mancha, the Tolmo de Minateda. As the climax, there is the monumental richness of places such as Chinchilla y Almansa.
Cultural Wealth:The scenic, cultural, hisoric-artistic and architectural diversity of the regions and districts of the province of Albacete make these lands an undoubtedly attractive place for visitors. Trips to any of these places will amaze the visitor when the places and corners are seen and they will stick in the memory.
The remains of the cave called the Cueva del Niño in the area of Ayna date from the Paleolithic period. There are also a multitude of cave paintings, albeit from the Neolithic period, in natural shelters, the most striking being in Minateda (Hellín), Alpera, Nerpio and Socovos.
From the Bronze Age there are abundant remains of what was called the Culture of the Motillas, also called "morras", the most striking being Chinchilla, Agramón and Tiriez. It is also possible to visit various walled centres, of which the most striking is that of Acequión in the municipal district of the provincial capital. The Iberian civilization also left interesting remains such as the Tolmo de Minateda of Hellín, the necropolis of Los Villares in Hoya Gonzalo or the sanctuary of Cerro de los Santos in Montealegre del Castillo whereas the Visigoths remains are located in Torre Uchea in Hellín and those of Casas Viejas.
From the period of Arab dominance there are a great quantity of place names which come from the name of the province and its capital going towards other important locations such as Abengibre, Almansa, Alcalá del Júcar, Alcaraz amongst many others. This is demonstrated by the presence in centres such as Alcalá del Júcar, Chinchilla, Jorquera or in the mountains of Alcaraz, in which the stand out element is the village which gives the mountain range its name.
With the end of the Reconquest at the hands of the Military Orders such as Santiago, territories in the south of the province were occupied, amongst those Yeste (with its castle) and Socovos (with the Almohade walls of Jorquera and the remains of the fort). The gothic style from the Christian Lower Middle Ages was maintained for a long time, including in the 16th century, coexisting in the Modern Age with completely Rebaissance solutions. The Mudejars borrowed artistic forms from the Christians from the very first moments; the ancient convent of Santo Domingo and the parish church of Santa María del Salvador, both in Chinchilla, are also Mudejar.
Just as in many other Castilian provinces there are many many castles in Albacete. Its advanced position on the front line of the Reconquest meant that many of its castles had Arab origins, only to fall later into Christian hands after the Castilian advance following their victory in the Battle of las Navas de Tolosa.
Also of assistance is that the eastern sector of the current Province of Albacete is located in the same place as the old frontiers of the Kingdom of Aragon.
In this summary of the castles of Albacete we have chosen some of the most picturesque and unique ones, such as Alcalá de Júcar , Chinchilla de Montearagón, Almansa and Yeste.
Sources: Spain.info, ArtesGuias, Castilla La Mancha Tourism
Accomodation in the Province of Albacete
- Rural Houses in the Province of Albacete
- HOTELS IN ALBACETE, Reserve NOW!
Nature and Active tourism:
In Albacete it is possible to find places ranging from the La Mancha plains or the Corridor of Almansa to the harsh area of the mountain ranges of Sierra de Alcaraz, Segura y Las Cabras, belonging to the Baetic Cordillera and classified as medium sized mountains.
Also found in this province are areas of lakes of the size of Lagunas de Ruidera (which is an exceptional ring of 15 lakes which are scattered along many kilometres) and scenery such as Hoces del río Cabriel, the Cañón del río Júcar or the Hoz del río Mundo (One of the most visited for its spectacularity is the source of the River Mundo in the well known Los Chorros, declared “Natural Park of Calar del Río Mundo y de la Sima”.). In contrast to the places mentioned previously, full of water and life, here are arid steppes, avenues and places which are subdesert which precede the nearby Levantine locations.
Also in the district of Villamalea, next to the River Cabriel, is a unique enclave whose crystalline waters are striking and serve as habitat for an interesting collection of fauna such as in the Sierra del Segura where the quarries of the River Mundo offer extraordinary possibilities for active sports 365 days a year such as bungee jumping, zip-lining, rappeling, ultralight aviation, rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing and canoeing. In the places mentioned above educational hiking, horse riding and 4 x 4 biking is also possible.
Albacete City:Lovers of tradition and La Mancha art can enjoy a modern city which has conserved all of its flavour intact. In the oldest parts of its perfect urban structures the cathedral de San Juan Bautista can be found. It is a Gothic work which mixes different styles. Its long duration of construction, four hundred years, has given, as a result, a Gothic Chapel, four large Renaissance columns, differing Baroque elements and a Neogothic façade.
The religious architecture of Alabcete is also demonstrated by the ancient monastery of Encarnación (16th century), now a cultural centre, and in the church of Purísima Concepción.
Our trip also takes us to the inn called Posada del Rosario, now the Tourist Office, in which there is a mixture of styles including Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance. The area is a Historic Artistic Monument as it contains a large amount of theses types of accomodation of the purest Castillian style, which was abundant in yesteryear La Mancha.
The economic prosperity which was found in this area at the start of the 20th century can be seen in the Pasaje de Lodares. Commercial galleries covered by iron and glass separated by Renaissance columns transport us to the best of the spirit of Modernism.
It is impossible to leave the city without experiencing the shade of the trees in the Parque de Abelardo Sánchez and visiting the Museo de Albacete. The Archaeology, Humanities and Ethnology Sections have exceptional collections. If you wish to get to know the game of bocha, similar to petanque, it is certain that there will be residents of Albacete in the Parque de la Fiesta del Árbol playing a game.
ALBACETE PROVINCE, Spain. Travel guide and travel information for the province of ALBACETE, Spain. SOL Spain On Line.
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