Ciudad Real

Coordinates: 38°59′N 3°55′W / 38.983°N 3.917°W / 38.983; -3.917
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Ciudad Real
Plaza Mayor de Ciudad Real
Puerta de Toledo
Flag of Ciudad Real
Coat of arms of Ciudad Real
Location of Ciudad Real
Coordinates: 38°59′N 3°55′W / 38.983°N 3.917°W / 38.983; -3.917
Autonomous communityCastilla–La Mancha
ProvinceCiudad Real
 • MayorPaco Cañizares (PP)
 • Total289.98 km2 (111.96 sq mi)
628 m (2,060 ft)
 • Total74,743
 • Density260/km2 (670/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
WebsiteOfficial website

Ciudad Real (US: /sjˌdɑːd rˈɑːl, -ˌðɑːð/,[2][3] Spanish: [θjuˈðað reˈal]; English: "Royal City") is a municipality of Spain located in the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha, capital of the province of Ciudad Real. It is the 5th most populated municipality in the region.


It was founded in 1255 with the name Villa Real ('Royal Town') under the auspices of Alfonso X,[4][5] who granted it a charter that followed the model of Cuenca's.[6][7] It was not founded from scratch, but founded over Pozuelo de San Gil, a hamlet belonging to the land of Alarcos.[7] An independent royal demesne enclave embedded within the dominion of the Military Order of Calatrava, repopulation struggled initially.[8] Weary of the influence of Villa Real, the masters of the Order of Calatrava established a rival market in nearby Miguelturra seeking to disrupt the town's economic activity.[9]

Jews soon settled in Villa Real, with the existence of a middle-sized jewry already documented by 1290, only three decades after the foundation of Villa Real.[10]

Friction between Villa Real and the Order of Calatrava reached its climax towards 1323, with an armed conflict between the two parties.[11]

Villa Real hosted the Cortes of Castile in 1346.[12]

The local aljama was by and large dismantled upon the 1391 pogroms.[13] The endogenous element of antisemitism was underpinned by the Jews' deals with the Calatravans throughout the 14th century and their local reputation as loan sharks.[14]

Juan II of Castile granted Villa Real the status of city in 1420, thus becoming Ciudad Real ('Royal City').[4] The city most probably did not have more than 2000 inhabitants by the time and despite having celebrated Cortes once, the dominant city in the area was still Almagro.[15]

City panorama by Johann Friedrich Leonart (1687).

After the unification of the Iberian kingdoms under the Catholic Monarchs, Ciudad Real became the capital of the province of La Mancha [es] in 1691. This fact favoured its economic development which was shown by the construction of several important buildings. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed many of these buildings. In 1809, during the Peninsular War, French troops defeated the Spanish army and occupied the town, using the local hospital as their headquarters and barracks.

Following the creation of the province of Ciudad Real as per the 1833 territorial division, the status of provincial capital of Ciudad Real was challenged by the cities of Almagro and Manzanares, with a similar population by the mid-nineteenth century.[16] However the initiatives intending to take the provincial capital out of Ciudad Real did not succeed.[16]

Much of the centre was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.



Satellite view of Ciudad Real and Miguelturra.

Ciudad Real is located in the southern half of the Inner Plateau, in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula, at about 625 metres above sea level.[17]

The city is part of the Campo de Calatrava natural region, a transitional region between the Montes and La Mancha, remarkable in the context of the Iberian Peninsula because of its volcanic origin.[18] The plaza del Pilar is precisely built on the centre of a shallow volcanic maar.[19] As Ciudad Real itself was the capital of the province of La Mancha in the 18th century, the whole province of Ciudad Real is often considered as part of La Mancha in a wider sense.[20]

The location of Ciudad Real—without any major water stream passing through the city—leaves the Guadiana to the North and the Jabalón [es] (a left-bank tributary of the former) to the South.[20]

The urban nucleus was founded 7.5 km to the North-East of Alarcos (a fortified archeological site located on a hill).[21][22] Despite enjoying a location at the crossroads of the MadridAndalusia and the LevantePortugal corridors, the city did not particularly prosper historically thanks to this circumstance.[23] The city currently forms a near urban continuum with neighbouring Miguelturra.[24]


The city has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk),[25] with cool winters (due to its altitude) and hot to very hot dry summers. Like many other cities of Castilla-La-Mancha, the precipitation is limited throughout the year. It has one of the highest annual temperature ranges in the Iberian Peninsula, exceeding 20.0 °C (68.0 °F).

The precipitation in the Campo de Calatrava is sparse, with a high year-to-year variability and the area features high levels of evapotranspiration, particularly in Summer.[26]

Climate data for Ciudad Real 628m (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 10.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.0
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.1
Record low °C (°F) −13.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 35.0
Average precipitation days 5.9 5.7 4.7 7.8 6.3 3.4 0.8 1.0 3.6 6.4 6.4 7.4 59.4
Average relative humidity (%) 78.0 71.0 61.0 59.0 55.0 46.0 40.0 43.0 54.0 67.0 76.0 81.0 61.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 150.4 180.9 230.3 251.2 290.3 339.7 380.2 349.4 275.5 218.4 155.9 137.4 2,664
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[27][28]


Kids playing pick-up handball in Ciudad Real

The city previously had a handball team, the BM Ciudad Real, which was the winner of the handball EHF Champions League in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The handball club was one of the best in the world and its home arena, the Don Quixote Arena, was one of the biggest in the Spanish professional league. BM Ciudad Real, however, moved its team to Madrid in 2011; renamed as "Atlético Madrid", it dissolved in 2013.


The city has a railway station on a high-speed rail line, the Ciudad Real railway station.

Ciudad Real Airport

A high-capacity airport (Ciudad Real Central Airport) was built in the city, but closed in 2012. The privately funded airport cost an estimated €1 billion to build, and was for sale for €100 million plus payment of the developer's debt. In July 2014 this was reduced to €80 million in a further attempt to find a buyer. In July 2015 the airport was auctioned to the lone bidder, Chinese company Tzaneen International offering €10,000.

The airport was reopened on 12 September 2019.[29]

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Ciudad Real, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 33 min. 3% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 8 min, while 1% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 2 km, while 0% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.[30]

Main sights[edit]

The Gate of Toledo [es], dates from the 13th or 14th centuries.[31]
Old Bank of Spain building

The Plaza Mayor sits in the centre of Ciudad Real. Today, only two parts of the wall that surrounded the city in medieval times remain standing: The Toledo Gate.

Don Quixote's Museum is situated next to Parque de Gasset.

The Museo Elisa Cendreros exhibits an old collection of fans and carved wood.

The Ermita de Alarcos is the oldest church in Ciudad Real. The Iglesia of Santiago is also the most beautiful and oldest church in Ciudad Real, it was built at the end of the 13th century in romanic style. Its style is Gothic. It is decorated with gothic paintings and with seven-headed dragons, the ceiling is decorated with stones forming eight pointed stars.

Another important church in Ciudad Real is Iglesia de San Pedro (Church of Saint Peter). It is the most interesting and typical monument of the city. It was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. Its style is Gothic, and it houses the tomb of Chantre de Coca, confessor and chaplain of the Catholic Monarchs.

Ciudad Real Cathedral, built in the 16th century, has the second-largest nave in Spain and a magnificent Baroque altarpiece.[32]


General library of the UCLM part of its Ciudad Real Campus
People during La Pandorga

Ciudad Real has 24 primary schools and 6 secondary schools.

The high school "Torreón del Alcázar" was founded in 1987. In the first years there were only vocational studies, thirty teachers and 350 students. Some years later the high school incorporated the compulsory secondary studies and A levels. At the moment there are 80 teachers and 1200 students. In the year 1995 the high school was offered the opportunity to become a bilingual school. In the year 2005 the first bilingual group arrived.

See University of Castilla–La Mancha (UCLM), Campus of Ciudad Real.


One of the most popular festivals in the city is La Pandorga, which takes place July 30 and 31. On the last day of the month the festival honours its patroness, La Virgen del Prado. The usual attire of the participants consists of jeans, a white shirt, and the traditional handkerchief.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  2. ^ "Ciudad Real". Oxford Dictionaries US English Dictionary. Oxford University Press.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Ciudad". Dictionary. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b Real, La Tribuna de Ciudad (2019-07-26). "Un impulso de 600 años para ciudad real". La Tribuna de Ciudad Real (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ciudad Real (city)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 402.
  6. ^ Villegas Díaz, Luis Rafael (1983). "Calatrava y Ciudad Real: unas notas sobre las relaciones entre la Ciudad y la Orden (siglos XIII-XV)" (PDF). Cuadernos de Estudios Medievales y de Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas (8–9): 218. ISSN 1132-7553.
  7. ^ a b Anaya Fernández 2012, p. 49.
  8. ^ Villegas Díaz 1983, p. 218.
  9. ^ Blázquez 1915, p. 292.
  10. ^ Anaya Fernández 2012, p. 64.
  11. ^ Villegas Díaz 1983, p. 239.
  12. ^ "El archivo de Toledo expone cuadernos de Cortes de los años 1346 a 1563". La Vanguardia. 11 September 2017.
  13. ^ Anaya Fernández 2012, p. 65.
  14. ^ Anaya Fernández, Antonio Tomás (2012). "Ciudad Real. Núcleo urbano medieval" (PDF). Cuadernos de Estudios Manchegos. 37: 65. ISSN 0526-2623.
  15. ^ Bachiller, Carmen (2 February 2020). "El curioso origen de Ciudad Real que se fraguó en Toledo". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  16. ^ a b Burgueño 1997, p. 371.
  17. ^ "Altitud núcleos de población" (.pdf). Diputación Provincial de Ciudad Real. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  18. ^ García Ráyego 1997, p. 12.
  19. ^ Campos, Andrés (13 April 2012). "Tapeo en tres plazas manchegas". El País.
  20. ^ a b García Ráyego 1997, p. 16.
  21. ^ "Parajes de interés del término municipal" (PDF). Ayuntamiento de Ciudad Real.
  22. ^ "Historia". Oficina de Turismo. Ayuntamiento de Ciudad Real.
  23. ^ Cañizares et al. 2009, p. 97.
  24. ^ Cañizares et al. 2009, p. 101.
  25. ^ Meteorología, Agencia Estatal de. "Evolución de los climas de Köppen en España en el periodo 1951-2020 - Agencia Estatal de Meteorología - AEMET. Gobierno de España". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  26. ^ Becerra Ramírez et al. 2009, p. 92.
  27. ^ "Valores Normales. Ciudad Real".
  28. ^ "Valores extremos. Ciudad Real".
  29. ^ LaInformacion (15 November 2019). "El aeropuerto de Ciudad Real revive con jets privados de cazadores y empresarios". La Información (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  30. ^ "Ciudad Real Public Transportation Statistics". Global Public Transit Index by Moovit. Retrieved June 19, 2017. Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  31. ^ Blázquez 1915, pp. 291–292.
  32. ^ "Catedral de Santa María del Prado", Turismo de Castilla-La Mancha. (in Spanish) Retrieved 31 August 2013.