1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Palencia (province)

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PALENCIA, an inland province of Spain, one of the eight into which Old Castile was divided in 1833; bounded on the N. by Santander, E. by Burgos, S. by Valladolid, and W. by Valladolid and Leon. Pop. (1900), 192,472; area, 3256 sq. m. The surface of the province slopes gradually S. to the Duero (Douro) valley. The principal rivers are the Pisuerga and the Carrion, which unite at Dueñas and flow into the Duero at Valladolid. The chief tributaries of the Pisuerga within the province are the Arlanzon, the Burejo, the Cioza, and the united streams of the Buedo and Abanades; the Carrion is joined on the right by the Cueza. The north is traversed by the Cantabrian Mountains, the highest summit being the culminating point of the Sierra del Brezo (6355 ft.). There are extensive forests in this region and the valleys afTord good pasturage. The remainder of Palencia, the " Tierra de Campos," belongs to the great Castilian table-land. In the south is a marsh or lake, known as La Laguna de la Nava. The mountainous district abounds in minerals, but only coal and small quantities of copper are worked. The province is crossed in the south-east by the trunk railway connecting Madrid with France via Irun, while the line to Santander traverses it throughout from north to south; there are also railways from the city of Palencia to Leon, and across the north from Mataporquera in Santander to La Robla in Leon. A branch of the Santander line gives access to the Orbo coal-fields. The main highways are good; the other roads often bad. The Canal de Castilla, begun in 1753, and completed in 1832, connects Alar del Rey with Valladolid. Wheat and other cereals, vegetables, hemp and flax are extensively grown, except in the mountainous districts. Flour and wine are made in large quantities, and there are manufactures of linen and woollen stuffs, oil, porcelain, leather, paper and rugs. Palencia rugs are in great demand throughout Spain. The only town with more than 5000 inhabitants is Palencia (q.v.).

For the history, inhabitants, &c., see Castile.