Online Encyclopedia

ALCAZAR DE SAN JUAN, or ALCAZAR

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 518 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALCAZAR DE SAN JUAN, or ALCAZAR, a town of Spain, in the province of Ciudad Real, in the plain of La Mancha, at ALCESTER the junction of the Madrid-Manzanares and Madrid-Albacete railways. Pop. (1900) 11,499. Owing to its position on two important railways, Alcazar has a flourishing transit-trade in the wines of Estremadura and Andalusia; the soda and alkali of La Mancha are used in the manufacture of soap; and gun-powder, chocolate and inlaid daggers are also made here. Alcfizar is sometimes identified with the Roman Alce, captured by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 18o $.c: It derives its existing name from its medieval Moorish castle (al-kasr), which was afterwards garrisoned by the knights of St John. The townsfolk contend that the great Cervantes was a native of Alcazar; and, although this claim must be disallowed, much of the action of his masterpiece, Don Quixote, takes place in the neighbourhood. El Toboso, for instance, a village 12 M. E.N.E. [pop. (1900) 1895], was the home of the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso; Argamasilla de Alba (35o5), 22 M. S.E., is declared by tradition to be the birthplace of Don Quixote himself. Local antiquaries even identify the knight with Don Rodrigo de Pacheco, whose portrait adorns the parish church; and the same authorities hold that part of the romance was written while Cervantes was a prisoner in their town. An edition of Don Quixote was published at Argamasilla in 1864.
End of Article: ALCAZAR DE SAN JUAN, or ALCAZAR
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