Castilla y Leon is not only the largest region of Spain, but as well the largest region of all the European Union.It consists of 9 provinces, ans it is located in the centre of Spain. The elevated plain is limited by the the mountain ranges Sistema Iberico to the east, Cordillera Central to the south, Cordillera Cantabrica to the north and by Duero river towards Portugal.
Castilla y Leon came together in 1983, when the regions of Castilla la Vieja and Leon were united. Both have been central areas of Spanish medieval history, and the importance during that epoch is still evident in many cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortificated towns, many of which are preserved in perfect state. Apart of its great monumental patrimony, Castilla y Leon offers as well natural parks and kilometers of practically virginal nature, with woods of oaks and cork-oaks.
Gastronomy is distinguished by excellent meat, in particular of lamb, and vegetables like the famous creamy beans of Avila. Artisany and popular celebrations show a rich and varied folklore, often of archaical roots and almost unknown to a wider public.
Salamancas great historical importance is due to its University, one of the oldest of Europe. It is a city of outstanding beauty and rich cultural heritage.
Segovias most famous monument is certainly its colossal Roman aquaeductus which dominates all the town. Additional attractions include the Alcazar and the Gothic cathedral.
A beautiful historic town, entirely enclosed by impressive Romanesque walls.
A monumental town well worth a visit. The famous cathedral,one of the greatest examples of Gothic style in Spain, is its most outstanding attraction.
Formerly the capital of the region, it gave its name to the Community. The citys most famous monuments are its great Gothic cathedral, the church Basilica de San Isidoro with valuable Romanesque frescoes in its crypt, and the San Marcos monastery of Renaissance period. Close to Leon you may visit the legendary Roman gold mines Las Medulas.
Zamora is a beautiful medieval town with a magnificent cathedral and several great Romanesque churches. Nearby there are the 8th century Visigothic church San Pedro de la Nave, and Lago de Sanabria, the largest lake of Spain and the only one of glacial origins.
The capital of Castilla y Leon has one of the most important sculpture museums of all Spain, and the famous Easter week processions are of great touristical interest. The city itself is monumental, and in its surroundings there are innumerable castles. It is said that in Valladolid the most correct Castilian Spanish is spoken.
In Soria, located at Duero river, you should pay special attention to the magnificent Romanesque churches.
Palencia is a medieval town with outstanding Romanesque monuments. Among the major attractions are the beautiful cathedral and the interesting archaeological museum.
The cuisine of Castile and Leon borders between traditional recipes, which keep intact original dishes and ingredients, and the newly designed cuisine that prevails in most European countries.
Due to the large geographical area and, crucially, the landscape and cultural diversity of the region, the variety of popular recipes is very great.
Each County has its particular cuisine that has at least two or three generations of tradition. Dishes such as baked trout remain unchanged since there creation 300 years ago. This is a feature that
characterizes the strength of the cuisine of Castile and Leon.
Specialities of the cuisine of Castile and Leon include roast lamb, suckling pig trout and goat dishes. Fresh beef and veal, are also popular, as the pastures of Castile and Leon support the largest cattle stocks in Spain, and retain many of the indigenous breeds.
Many local sausages and cheeses are produced. Game birds and domestic fowl make up the ingredients of many dishes too.
The cuisine of Castile and Leon also embraces frog legs, snails, beef jerky, horse meat and a long list of vegetables.
The dominant climate in Castile and Leon is a
typically continental Mediterranean one. In the mountains this means cooler weather. The region benefits from ample annual rainfall, and is very productive in agricultural terms. The mountains can be quite snowy in the winter, and there are several ski resorts. The Duero Valley has long fine summers, perfect for wine production. On the higher plains summer temperatures soar.