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Province of Ciudad Real

Ciudad Real is a city in Castile–La Mancha, Spain, with a population of c. 75,000. It is the capital of the province of Ciudad Real. It has a stop on the AVE high-speed rail line and has begun to grow as a long-distance commuter suburb of Madrid, which is located 115 miles to the north of Ciudad Real.HistoryCiudad Real was founded by King Alfonso X The Wise in the 13th century (1255) to fight with the Military Order of Calatrava. During the Middle Ages, four kilometres of walls and one hundred and thirty towers protected a population made up of Christians, Muslims and Jews.After the unification of the Iberian kingdoms under the Catholic Monarchs, Ciudad Real became the capital of the province of La Mancha in 1691. This fact favoured its economic development which was shown by the construction of several important buildings. In 1755, however, an earthquake centred on Lisbon destroyed many of these buildings. In 1809, during the Peninsular War, French troops defeated their Spanish counterparts and occupied the city, using the local hospital as their headquarters and barracks.Main sightsThe Plaza Mayor sits in the centre of Ciudad Real. Today, only two parts of the wall that surrounded the city in medieval times remain standing. Don Quixote's Museum is situated next to Parque de Gasset.
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