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Old 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 among the autonomous communities of Castile and Léon, Castile–La Mancha, and Madrid.
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a historic region in Spain, situated primarily in the Meseta. Area, 66,100 sq km; population, 2.2 million (1971). The region includes the provinces of Santander, Palencia, Burgos, Logroño, Valladolid, Soria, Segovia, and Avila. The administrative center is the city of Burgos.
Old Castile is an agricultural and industrial region. There are large landholdings, but land use is minimal. Pulse crops and sugar beets are the region’s principal crops. In 1971, Old Castile produced 18.9 percent of Spain’s wheat, 14.8 percent of the oats, 31.2 percent of the barley, 16.3 percent of the rye, and 31.1 percent of the sugar beets. Grapes are grown and made into wine in the La Rioja region (Logroño Province). More than 3 million head of sheep are raised in Old Castile, accounting for about one-fifth of the national herd; there is also beef and dairy cattle raising.
Deposits of iron and zinc ores, oil, and coal are worked in the region. In 1971 the various sectors of the manufacturing industry had a work force of approximately 110,000: the metallurgy, machine-building, and metalworking industries employed 26,200 persons, the food-processing industry 22,900 persons, and the chemical industry 14,600 persons. Most of the region’s industrial enterprises are located in Santander Province; for example, there are metallurgical plants in the cities of Reinosa and Los Corrales de Buelna, zinc mines in Reocin, shipyards in the city of Santander, and chemical plants in Torrelavega. Valladolid is also an important industrial center, producing aluminum, fertilizers, and about 20 percent of the country’s motor vehicles. In 1971 electrical energy production, provided mainly by steam power plants, totaled 3.5 billion kW-hr. The freight turnover at the seaport of Santander was 3.7 million tons in 1973.
S. V. ODESSER