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New Castile,Spain: see CastileCastile
, Span. Castilla , historic region and former kingdom, central and N Spain, traditionally divided into Old Castile and New Castile, and now divided into Castile–La Mancha and Castile and Léon.
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(Castilla la Nueva), a historical region in Spain, in the Tagus River basin, on the southern Meseta plateau. The area is divided into the provinces of Madrid, Guadalajara, Cuenca, Toledo, and Ciudad Real. Area, 72,300 sq km. Population, more than 5 million (1970). The capital is Madrid.
Formerly a backward agricultural region, New Castile is becoming industrialized. Grain and beans are the chief crops, particularly in La Mancha, which is one of the country’s granaries. Grapes are grown throughout the region, and fruit and vegetables are raised on irrigated land. Sheep are grazed in dry mountain pastures.
The region’s mineral resources include mercury (Almadén) and oil shale (Puertollano), and the rivers provide hydroelectric energy. The principal industries are those processing local agricultural raw materials—textiles, leather, and food. In the 1950’s and 1960’s branches of heavy industry developed, including machinery construction, particularly vehicles, metallurgy, and the chemical and petrochemical industries. Traditional handicrafts have survived, and there is flourishing cottage industry producing blades, ceramics, embroidery, and lace. Most of New Castile’s industry is concentrated in such new industrial centers as Guadalajara.