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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 473 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CASTELLON DE LA PLANA, a maritime province of eastern Spain, formed in 1833 of districts formerly included in Valencia, and bounded on the N. by Teruel -and Tarragona, E. by the Mediterranean Sea, S. by Valencia, and W. by Teruel. Pop. (1900) 310,828; area, 2495 sq. m. The surface of the province is almost everywhere mountainous, and flat only near the coast and along some of the river valleys. Even on the coast the Atalayas de Alcala and the Desierto de las Palmas form two well-defined though not lofty ridges. The Mijares or Millares is the principal river, flowing east-south-east from the highlands of Teruel, between the Sierras of Espina and Espadan towards the south, and the peak called Pena Golosa (5945 ft.) towards the north, until it reaches the sea a little south of the capital, also called Castellon de la Plana. The Monlleo, a left-hand tributary of the Mijares; the Bergantes, which flows inland to join the Guadalope in Teruel; the Cenia, which divides Castellon from Tarragona; and a variety of lesser streams, render the province abundantly fertile. No considerable inlet breaks the regularity of the coast-line, and there is no first-class harbour. The climate is cold and variable in the hilly districts, temperate in winter and very warm in summer in the lowlands. Agriculture, fruit-growing, and especially the cultivation of the vine and olive, employ the majority of the peasantry ; stock-farming and sea-fishing are also of importance. Lead, zinc, iron and other ores have been discovered in the province; but in 1903, out of 129 mining concessions registered, only two were worked, and their output, lead and zinc, was quite insignificant. The local industries are mainly connected with fish-curing, paper, porcelain, woollens, cotton, silk, esparto, brandy and oils. Wine, oranges and oil are exported to foreign countries and other parts of Spain. The important Barcelona-Valencia railway skirts the coast, passing through the capital; and the Calatayud-Sagunto line crosses the southern extremity of the province. Elsewhere the roads, which are generally indifferent, form the sole means of communication. Castellon (29,904), Villarreal (,6,o68), the port of Burriana (12,962), and Peniscola (3142), a town of some historical interest, are described in separate articles. The other chief towns are Alcala de Chisbert (6293), Almazora (7076), Benicarlo (7251), Maella (7335), Onda (6J95), Segorbe (7045), Vail de Uxo (8643), Villafames (6708) and Vinaroz (8625). CASTELLbN DE LA PLANA, the capital of the province described above, on the Barcelona-Valencia railway, 4 M. from the Mediterranean Sea. Pop. (Igloo) 29,904. The broad and fertile plain in which Castellon is built is watered artificially by a Moorish aqueduct, largely cut through the solid rock, and supplied by the estuary of the Mijares, 5 M. south-east. The town is partly encircled by ancient walls; and, although most of its public buildings are modern, it contains several convents of early foundation, a curious old bell-tower, 150 ft. high, and a parish church chiefly noteworthy for a painting in the interior by Francisco Ribalta, who was born here in the middle of the 16th century. Castellon has a brisk trade, its manufactures comprising porcelain, leather, silk, linen, brandy and cork goods. Its harbour, El Grao de Castellon, about 4 M. east, is annually entered by some 200 small vessels. A light railway, which traverses the numerous and profitable orange plantations on the south-west, connects it with the towns of Almazora, Villarreal, Burriana and Onda. Under its Moorish rulers Castellon occupied a hill to the north of its present site; its removal to the plain by James I. of Aragon (1213–1276) gave the town its dull name, " Castellon of the Plain."

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