1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Toledo (province)

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39302261911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 26 — Toledo (province)

TOLEDO, a province of central Spain, formed in 1833 from part of New Castile; bounded on the N. by Avila and Madrid, E. by Cuenca, S. by Ciudad Real and W. by Caceres. Pop. (1900), 376,814; area 5919 sq. m. The surface is throughout lofty, and in a great part of its extent mountainous. Towards the centre there are extensive plains or tablelands, but the whole of the south and east is occupied by the Montes de Toledo, and the hills which separate the waters of the Tagus on the north from those of the Guadiana on the south. These mountains are of no great height; until late in the 19th century they were densely covered with forests. Toledo is well watered by the Tagus (q.v.) and its numerous affluents, including the Guadarrama and Alberche on the north and the Algodor, Torcon, Pusa and Sangrera on the south. The Giguela waters the eastern districts. Gold, silver, lead, iron, quicksilver, copper, tin and other minerals have been discovered, but the mining industry does not prosper and there is little export trade in agricultural products. The number of sheep, goats, asses and mules is large; dairy-farming and the breeding of draught oxen and fighting bulls are also practised. Bees and silkworms are kept in considerable number. Manufactures once flourished, but now silk and woollen cloth, earthenware, soap, oil, chocolates, wine, rough spirit (aguardiente), guitar strings and arms are almost the only articles made. There is also a small trade in charcoal and timber. The province is traversed by three lines of railway—that of Madrid-Seville-Cadiz in the east, Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real through the centre, and Madrid-Cáceres-Lisbon in the north.