|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (December 2009)|
|• Mayor||Carmen Bayod Guinalio (PP)|
|• Total||1,141.41 km2 (440.70 sq mi)|
|Elevation||686 m (2,251 ft)|
|• Density||150/km2 (390/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||02001 - 02009|
Albacete (Spanish pronunciation: [alβaˈθete]) is a city and municipality in southeastern Spain, 258 kilometres (160 miles) southeast of Madrid and 127 kilometres (79 miles) northwest of Murcia, the capital of the province of Albacete in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is located to the southeast of the Meseta Central, specifically in the historic Manchego region of La Mancha de Montearagón. It currently falls within the region of the Llanos de Albacete, being the only municipality in this region.
The city is the seat of judicial district number 1 in the province, the seat of the diocese that bears the same name, and the seat of the High Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha, the highest court in the Autonomous Community. The municipality of Albacete is the seventh largest in Spain with 1,125.91 km2 (434.72 sq mi) (fourth if only the provincial capitals are taken into account).
In 2012, the city had 172,472 inhabitants, rising to 218,110 in the metropolitan area, being the city with the highest number of inhabitants in all Castilla-La Mancha, and one of the main urban areas of the country. From the mid-twentieth century, the city underwent major population growth which is reflected in its extensive commercial area which encompasses more than 556,723 people from 154 municipalities.
At present, Albacete is a modern capital with large areas for pedestrians and green areas that make it one of the ten cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants with the lowest presence of pollution in all Europe. Further its flat area and the elimination of architectural barriers have also led it to be one of the most accessible cities across the country, and the sixth with the highest quality of life, according to a study by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), 2012.
Albacete is a commercial and industrial city, a major communications hub, which is well connected by highways and by rail (including services AVE) and air passage via its airport that connects it with various locations in the Spanish territory.
The industrial area in the city, known as Polígono de Campollano, has recently been expanded as it is one of the biggest industrial parks in Spain. The local government is pushing to make Albacete a logistic center in the southeastern part of Spain.
The city has many festivals and traditions, among which should be highlighted the Feria de Albacete, declared of international tourist interest, which is held from 7 to 17 September in honor of the Virgin of Los Llanos, and numerous regional events of a national and international nature such as the European Truck Championship, or the international Circus Festival (among others), and even trade fairs and exhibitions.
The aviation industry is one of the main economic drivers of the city, as well as the Albacete Air and Logistics Park, home to major companies, the city also hosts the Training Center for NATO pilots.
Albacete, together with Ciudad Real, has one of the main campuses of the University of Castilla la Mancha. It is estimated that between 9,000 and 10,000 students study at any of the schools that the regional university currently has in the city.
From the beginning of the twentieth century, the city began gaining importance as, during the Spanish Civil War, it was the headquarters and training camp of the International Brigades, whose political commissar was André Marty, also known as the "Butcher of Albacete".
Albacete is home to the football team Albacete Balompié.
The toponym of "Albacete" is derived from the Andalusian name for the area, the city having been originally called البسيط Al-Basit, in Arabic, which translates to "the plain" in reference to the plateau that characterizes the geography of the area.
Pascual Madoz in his famous Diccionario geográfico-estadístico-histórico de España y sus posesiones de Ultramar (Geographical-historical-statistical Dictionary of Spain and its overseas territories) indicates that two hypotheses about the toponym of Albacete are probable. In the first place he highlights the proposal suggested by Bernardo Espinalt y Garcia, who believes that the city was founded by the Cilicians, who called it "Celtide" relying on Liutprando de Cremona, "in Hispaniam venientes Celtide vocaverunt hunc locum, quem vocan Albacene corrupte mauri (in Spain this place is called Celtide, which the Moors called Albacene incorrectly)". The second hypothesis states that its origin may be the "Alaba" of the Celtiberians, mentioned by Plinio y Ptolemy, which could result in "Alba civitas", which later became Albacete.
The most common adjective used to describe the inhabitants of the town of Albacete is albacetense or, albaceteño/a, without prejudice to the demonyms used for the inhabitants of the various population centers that make up the area such as the aguanueveros (inhabitants of Agua Nuevo) or colonos for the neighboring Aguas Nuevas inhabitants (among others).
- The Shield of Albacete
According to a resolution adopted by the Plenary Council, in a session held on February 28, 1986, the shield of Albacete is described as follows: "The city of Albacete has as its shield: three towers neatly arranged on a silver background with battlements, of stone, saber embroidered in azure, clarified and surmounted by a saber-bat with outstretched wings positioned at the top. It is stamped with a Marquis crown, which is gold with stones and pearls, with eight rosettes (four numbered and the other in pyramids of three pearls, one is visible with two halves of the first kind and intercroppings of the second two)."
But the agreement contained a typo, and saying "three towers well ordered", which heraldically would mean two towers above and one below. on being one above and two below, the descriptions should read "three towerswrongly ordered."
Later the Official Journal of Castilla-La Mancha published on January 13, 1987, Decree 137/86 of 30 December, from the Presidency and Government of the Community Board, which approved the amendment of the Heraldic Shield of the City of Albacete, without making corrections to the description of the ordering of the towers.
According to the resolution adopted by the City Council plenary in a session dated April 30, 1992, the City Council acknowledged the Order of the Ministry of Public Administration, dated March 9 of that year, through which the municipality of Albacete was granted a flag, with the following description:
"crimson red canvas, dimensions 90 cm × 155 cm (35 in × 61 in) with the Albacete Shield encamped in the center, according to the amendment by Decree 137/86 of 30 December. The dimensions of the Shield are 40 cm (16 in) high, excluding the Crown and 56 cm (22 in) if included, with a width of 30 cm (12 in) ".
The anthem was launched on September 8, 1926, day of the Virgin of Los Llanos (patron saint of the city), in what was referred to as the "Provincial Anthem feast", which took place at the Plaza de Toros in the Albacete capital. The Municipal Band of Albacete and Spanish Infantry Regiment, among others, performed at this event.
On the night of San Juan in 1975 (day of the patron of the city), the song was re-released at the Teatro Circo de Albacete by the Albacete Municipal Band and the La Mancha Choir, becoming a hallmark of the capital.
The nineteenth century marked the development of the city, given that in 1833 the province of Albacete had been created with territories from the former territories of Cuenca, Murcia and La Mancha, Albacete being accorded the rank of capital.
The following year, in 1834 the Albacete Court was established to exercise jurisdiction over a large territory that comprised the provinces of Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Murcia and the aforementioned Albacete, and which would be the antecedent to the current legal capital of Castilla-La Mancha after the adoption of autonomous state in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the city being the seat of the High Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha, according to article 23 of the Statute of Autonomy of the Community.
The origins of the city are uncertain, although the first few confirmations of its existence are found during the Moorish domination of the area. The earliest documentation is from 1269, when Albacete was only a small village, dependent on the borough of Chinchilla. Before that, it had been a small Moorish village. Its name is derived from the Arabic البسيط Al-Basīṭ, "El Llano" ("the plain") referring to the planiform nature of the geography of the area.. It was taken by Christian troops in 1241 and was under the dominion of Alarcon.
Around the first quarter of the 14th century, in the time of the famous writer Don Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, who was the governor of Murcia and, therefore the Lord of these lands, which were to become later the Marquisate of Villena, the village began to develop and its population to increase. In 1375 it was considered a borough and became independent of Chinchilla, and a century later, in 1476, the Catholic Monarchs rewarded Albacete for supporting the Crown by granting it a licence to hold a market once a week.
During the Revolt of the Comuneros (1520–22), after initial protests, Albacete supported the new emperor Charles V who, in 1526, granted the feudal estate of the town to his wife, the Empress Isabella of Portugal. During this period, building started on the church of San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist), which was later to become a cathedral.
Albacete is located in a strategic position between Madrid and the east coast of Spain and its agricultural wealth led to the growth of the borough during the next few centuries until Philip V granted permission for an annual fair (1710). This fair was later held in an enclosure built by Charles III (1783).
The railway reached Albacete in 1855, and the Madrid‑Alicante route passed through the town. Later, Albacete was also connected by rail to Cartagena. In 1862, Isabel II granted Albacete the title of town. Street electric lighting was inaugurated in 1888, thus being the first capital of a province in Spain with electric lighting in its streets.
Throughout the 19th century, the population of the town doubled from the 10,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the century to around 21,000 by the beginning of the 20th century. During this period, Albacete defended Queen Isabel II against the Carlists (the supporters of Charles, the pretender to the Spanish throne), supported Espartero and, just like other Spanish cities, constituted a revolutionary junta. During the long period of the Restoration (1875–1923), symptoms of caciquismo (or "boss politics," a system of dominance by a local party leader) invaded the political and social life of Albacete.
Between 1900 and the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939), the population tripled. A number of basic public works date back to that time: the water supply and sewer system (1905), the Abelardo Sanchez Park (1910–23), Tesifonte Gallego Street and the Industrial area of the town. During the Spanish Civil War (1935–39), after a brief lapse in the power of the troops who had rebelled against the Republican government, the town fell back into the hands of Madrid. For most of the war, the airbase at Los Llanos was the main headquarters of the Republican air force. It was also the headquarters of the International Brigades (supporters of the Republican cause from other countries who fought in the Spanish Civil war) and a monument has been built recently to commemorate the sixty years' anniversary of those events.
In the time of the transition to democracy, the two most significant events were the establishment in Albacete in 1982 of the High Court of Justice of Castile-La Mancha, Casa de Quevedo, and the consolidation of the University, which brought new life to the town in 1985.
Albacete has become the most important town in the Castile-la Mancha region, with unparalleled services and industrial activity, due to its position on the excellent train and highway communications that link Madrid to the eastern coast of Spain.
The university has 10,000 students that feed a lot of clubs, bars and tapas restaurants. During summer nights, thousands of people visit Tascas de la Feria to eat regional dishes.
In September, the Feria de Albacete (town festival) transforms the city for ten days. A great many visitors fill the city streets, and the population increase fivefold.
Albacete has a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk) with the same Mediterranean characteristics as found across most of Spain. Winters are cool while summers are hot and dry. Precipitation is low and mainly concentrated in winter and early spring.
|Climate data for Albacete|
|Average high °C (°F)||10.1||12.3||15.5||17.7||22.1||27.9||31.9||32.5||26.8||19.8||14.2||10.8||20.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.8||6.6||9.0||11.1||15.3||20.3||24.3||24.0||19.9||13.8||8.8||5.9||13.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||-0.4||0.8||2.5||4.5||8.5||12.7||16.0||16.1||12.9||7.9||3.5||1.1||7.1|
|Precipitation mm (inches)||21||24||28||48||48||36||12||14||32||42||34||28||367|
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||4||4||5||6||7||4||1||2||3||5||5||5||53|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||146||164||216||232||267||315||356||320||245||197||154||129||2730|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia|
Albacete Fair is declared of International Tourist Interest, takes place from September 7 to September 17.In these 10 days, the population of Albacete triples.
Albacete is served by Los Llanos Airport, which is served by Air Nostrum (an Iberia Airlines franchise), with a flight to Barcelona. Additionally, the 10-nation Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) has resided on the military side of the airport/airbase since it moved from Florennes Belgium in July 2009.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Albacete is twinned with:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albacete.|
- "Ranking de los municipios más extensos de España (Ranking of the largest municipalities in Spain)" (in Spanish). Classora Technologies S.L. 2010.
- "Anuario Económico de España 2011 (Economic Yearbook of Spain 2011)" (in Spanish). La Caixa. 2011.
- "Albacete." (in Spanish). Convención sobre Cambio Climático y Sostenibilidad en España (Convention on Climate Change and Sustainability in Spain. 2012.
- "La ciudad de Albacete lidera la accesibilidad en España (The city of Albacete leads accessibility in Spain)" (in Spanish). Diario El Día de Albacete. 2012.
- "Calidad de vida en las ciudades (Quality of life in the cities)". Organización de Consumidores y usuarios (Organization of Consumers and Users). 2012.
- "Nueva York de La Mancha (New York of La Mancha)" (in Spanish). HistoriadeAlbacete.com. Retrieved 2012.
- "La Feria de Albacete consigue la declaración de Interés Turístico Internacional.(La Feria de Albacete achieves declaration of International Tourist Interest)" (in Spanish). Diario La Verdad. 2009.
- "Base Aérea - Aeropuerto" (in Spanish). Parque Aeronáutico y Logístico de Albacete. 2009.
- Juan Antonio Pacheco Paniagua. "Sobre la etimología de Albacete (About the etymology of Albacete)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Revista Zahora nº42 (ed.). "Diccionario de Gentilicios y seudogentilicios de la provincia de Albacete" (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- Decreto 137/86, de 30 de diciembre por el que se aprueba la modificación del escudo heráldico de la ciudad de Albacete (Decree 137/86, of December 30 for the approval of the modification to the heraldic shield of the city of Albacete). Diario Oficial de Castilla-La Mancha. 1987. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Luis G. García-Saúco Beléndez (November 1987). "El escudo heráldico de la ciudad de Albacete" (in Spanish). Boletín Informativo "Cultural Albacete". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Consejo General del Poder Judicial. "Historia del TSJ Castilla-La Mancha (History of the Castilla La Mancha Tribunal Superior de Justicia)" (in Spanish). Consejo General del Poder Judicial. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- "Valores climatológicos normales: Albacete Base Aérea (Periodo: 1971-2000)" (in Spanish). Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- "Neath Port Talbot Twin Towns". Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- Albacete events & tourism Guide
- Albacete City Hall
- Albacete Guide
- Monuments in 3d - Cathedral Albacete 3D
- Albacete Images
- Landmarks in the City of Albacete
- La Realidad de Albacete