Valladolid is a province of central/northwest Spain, in the central part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered by the provinces of Zamora, León, Palencia, Burgos, Segovia, Ávila, and Salamanca.
Of the provincial population of 720,157 (2005), nearly two-thirds live in the capital, Valladolid, which is also the capital of the autonomous community. There are 225 municipalities in the province, of which more than a third are villages of fewer than 1000 people.
Valladolid is the main economic centre of the autonomous community of Castile-Leon.
Valladolid is also the capital of the Valladolid province.
Valladolid was captured from the Moors in the tenth century, being a small village improved by count Pedro Ansúrez in the eleventh century; in 1469 Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were married in the city and by the fifteenth century it was the residence of the kings of Castile and remained the capital of the Kingdom of Spain until 1561, when Philip II, born here, moved the capital to Madrid. Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506 in a house which is now a Museum dedicated to him. It was made the capital of the kingdom again between 1601 and 1606 by Philip III. It was in that period when Cervantes published his first edition of Don Quixote in 1604.
The city nonetheless boasts few architectural manifestations of its former glory. Some monuments include the unfinished cathedral, the church of Santa Maria la Antigua, the Plaza Mayor (the template for that of Madrid and of future main squares in the Castilian-speaking world), the National Sculpture Museum, next to the church of Saint Paul, which includes Spain's greatest collections of polychrome wood sculptures, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolid, whose façade is one of the few surviving works by Narciso Tomei, the same artist who did the transparente in Toledo Cathedral. The Science Museum is next to Pisuerga river. The only surviving house of Miguel de Cervantes is also located in Valladolid. Although unfinished, Cathedral of Valladolid was designed by Juan de Herrera, architect of El Escorial.
Valladolid is an economic motor of the autonomous community, having an important automobile industry (IVECO, FASA-Renault, Michelin). There is an airport at nearby Villanubla, with connections to London-Stansted, Paris, Brussels-Charleroi, Milan, Lisbon, Barcelona and Vigo.
Map of Valladolid: