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Guadalajara is a province of central/north-central Spain, in the northern part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is bordered by the provinces of Cuenca, Madrid, Segovia, Soria, Zaragoza, and Teruel.

Its population is 213.505 (2006). The area of the province covers 12.190 km². Its capital is Guadalajara, where nearly 35% of the province's population lives. There are 288 municipalities in Guadalajara, of which more than three-quarters are villages with populations less than 200.

Guadalajara is a city and municipality in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain, and in the natural region of La Alcarria. It is the capital of the province of Guadalajara. It is located roughly 60 km northeast of Madrid on the Henares River, and has a population of 75,493 (2006).

It is known that in the area there was a Roman town called Arriaca, possibly founded by a pre-Roman culture. But there is no archeological proof of it, only reference to it in certain texts such as the Ruta Antonina, where it was described as being in the hands of the Carpetani (It. Ant. pp. 436, 438) when encountered by the Romans. The city, as Caracca (Greek: Κάραιεκα, Ptol. ii. 6. § 57; Geog. Rav. iv. 44) or Caraca (Ukert, i. 2. p. 429), was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The city was on the high road from Emerita (modern Mérida) to Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza), 22 M. P. northeast of Complutum (modern Alcalá de Henares).qwejr meade fnhfmudbutt

The town of Guadalajara was founded by the Moors in the 8th century. They named it Wadi-al-Hajara, meaning "Valley of Stones"; in theory the literal translation of the Iberian name (Arriaca), meaning "Stony River".

The history of the town during the Muslim period was significant. They built monuments including the Moorish Bridge over the River Henares, the ruins of the old Alcazar (Arabic for "castle"), and the former Cathedral of St. Mary, which was by then a mosque.

In 1085, Guadalajara was taken by the Christian forces of Alfonso VI (king of Leon and Castile). The chronicles say that the Christian army was led by Alvar Fanez de Minaya, one of the lieutenants (and according to the legend, nephew) of El Cid. From 1085 until the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, the city suffered wars against the Almoravid and the Almohad Empires. In spite of the wars, the new Christian population could definitely settle down in the area thanks to the repopulation with people from the North (Castilians from the mountains and Merindades, Basques and Navarreses mainly) who received their first fuero in 1133 from Alfonso VII. In 1219, the king Fernando III gave a new fuero to the city (the one know as Fuero Largo or Big Fuero). During the reign of Alfonso X of Castile, the protection of the king allowed the city to develop its economy by protecting merchants and allowing markets.

During the 14th century, the Mendoza family was prominent in Guadalajara. This family included Íñigo López de Mendoza, also known as Marqués de Santillana (1398-1458), and Pedro González de Mendoza (1428-1495), Great Cardinal of Spain and adviser of the Catholic Monarchs. The Mendoza family held the title of Dukes and Duchesses of El Infantado from 1475. In 1460, King Henry IV gave Guadalajara the title of 'City' and other privileges like the Cortes.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Guadalajara was sacked. King Philip V ordered the establishment of the Real Fábrica de Paños (Royal Factory of Clothes) which was situated in the Alcazar till the early 19th Century.

The 19th century started with two major setbacks: the damages caused by the Peninsular War (1808-1814) and the closing of the Real Fábrica de Paños in 1822. In 1808, Guadalajara was taken by the French Army led by General Hugo and the city was destroyed.

In 1840 Guadalajara was established as capital of the province with the same name by the Plan de Burgos. The Academy of Military Engineers was brought to the city. The development during the second half of the 19th Century till the first quarter of the 20th century was slow and centred on the developing of the administration without any special interest on industrial development.

After the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), that led to great damage to the city, Guadalajara was included in 1959 in the development plans, increasing specially the industry that was brought from the Descongestion of Madrid's Industrial Estates. Since then, Guadalajara has been one of the cities in Spain with greatest relative growith.

Nowadays, Guadalajara is involved in urban development plans that are quickly increasing the population of the city. New districts like Aguas Vivas (Live Waters) have recently been inaugurated. Ciudad Valdeluz will give 30,000 inhabitants more to Guadalajara, creating a whole brand new city around the AVE Station (Spanish High-Speed Trains).

The recent town-plannings have dramatically increased the cost of the new houses, changing in the last 10 years of being one of the cheapest provinces in Spain for house-buying to be the 3rd province in Spain with most expensive square meter.

Map of Guadalajara:

1 comment:

Brandy said...

I went to the town of Sigüenza (in Guadalajara) this castle is one of the most representative castles of the area; built on top of an earlier Moorish structure, and is now a Parador Hotel.

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