👼 Set your curiosity free with richer, more connected information.

Castile and León

Autonomous community of Spain

Top 10 Castile and León related articles

Castile and León

Castilla y León  (Spanish)
Location of Castile and León within Spain
Coordinates: 41°23′N 4°27′W / 41.383°N 4.450°W / 41.383; -4.450Coordinates: 41°23′N 4°27′W / 41.383°N 4.450°W / 41.383; -4.450
CapitalNot declared
ProvincesÁvila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora
 • PresidentAlfonso Fernández Mañueco (PP)
 • LegislatureCortes of Castile and León
 • ExecutiveJunta of Castile and León
 • Total94,222 km2 (36,379 sq mi)
Area rank1st (18.6% of Spain)
 • Total2,447,519
 • Density26/km2 (67/sq mi)
 • Pop. rank
 • Percent
5.42% of Spain
DemonymsCastilian, Leoneses (according region)
 (nominal; 2018)
 • Per capita€24,397 2.5%[1]
ISO 3166 code
Official languagesSpanish
Statute of AutonomyMarch 2, 1983
Congress seats31 (of 350)
Senate seats39 (of 265)
HDI (2017)0.888[2]
very high · 7th
WebsiteJunta de Castilla y León

Castile and León (UK: /kæˈstl ...lˈɒn/, US: /-ˈn/; Spanish: Castilla y León [kasˈtiʎa i leˈon] ( listen))[n. 1] is an autonomous community in north-western Spain.

It was created in 1983. Formed by the provinces of Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora, it is the largest autonomous community in Spain in terms of area, covering 94,222 km2. It is however sparsely populated, with a population density below 30/km2. While a capital has not been explicitly declared, the seats of the executive and legislative powers are set in Valladolid by law and for all purposes that city (also the most populated municipality) serves as de facto regional capital.

Castile and León is a landlocked region, bordered by Portugal as well as by the Spanish autonomous communities of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Aragon, Castilla–La Mancha, the Community of Madrid and Extremadura. Chiefly comprising the northern half of the Inner Plateau, it is surrounded by mountain barriers (the Picos de Europa to the North, the Sistema Central to the South and the Sistema Ibérico to the East) and it is drained by the Douro River, flowing west toward the Atlantic Ocean.

The region contains eight World Heritage Sites. UNESCO recognizes the Cortes of León of 1188 as the cradle of worldwide parliamentarism.[3]

Castile and León Intro articles: 24


Symbols of Castile and León in the cathedral of Burgos.

The Statute of Autonomy of Castile and León, reformed for the last time in 2007, establishes in the sixth article of its preliminary title the symbols of the community's exclusive identity. These are: the coat of arms, the flag, the banner and the anthem. Its legal protection is the same as that corresponding to the symbols of the State -whose outrages are classified as crime in article 543 of the Penal Code-.[4][5]

In the articulated statuary, the coat of arms is defined as follows:[4]

The coat of arms of Castile and León is a stamped shield by open royal crown, barracked in cross. The first and fourth quartering: in the field of gules, a merloned golden castle of three merlons, drafted of sable and rinse of azure. The second and third quartering: in a silver field, a rampant lion of purple, lingued, dyed and armed with gules, crowned with gold.

Likewise, the flag is described as follows:[4]

The flag of Castile and León is quartered and contains the symbols of Castile and León, as described in the previous section. The flag will fly in all the centres and official acts of the Community, to the right of the Spanish flag.

Following the same wording, the banner is constituted by the shield quartered on a traditional crimson background. The Statute also expresses: "The anthem and the other symbols [...] will be regulated by specific law". After the promulgation of the fundamental norm, this law was not promulgated, so the anthem does not exist, but de iure is a symbol of autonomy.[4]

Castile and León Symbols articles: 6


Conventual Church of San Pablo and Colegio de San Gregorio, where the Valladolid debate was held, origin of the first theses of human rights (Laws of Burgos) and Palace of Pimentel, place of birth of the king Philip II of Spain.

The autonomous community of Castile and León is the result of the union in 1983 of nine provinces: the three that, after the territorial division of 1833, by which the provinces were created, were ascribed to the Region of León and six attached to the Old Castile, except in the latter case the provinces of Santander (current community of Cantabria) and Logroño (current La Rioja).

In the case of Cantabria the creation of an autonomous community was advocated for historical, cultural and geographic reasons, while in La Rioja the process was more complex due to the existence of three routes, all based on historical and socio-economic reasons: union with Castile and León (Union of the Democratic Centre), union to a Basque-Navarrese community (Socialist Party and Communist Party) or creation of an uniprovincial autonomy, option taken before the majority support of its population.

Skull number 5 of Homo heidelbergensis, it appeared in the 1992 campaign, extracted from the Atapuerca Mountains.

Several archaeological findings show that in prehistoric times these lands were already inhabited. In the Atapuerca Mountains have been found many bones of the ancestors of Homo sapiens, making these findings one of the most important to determine the history of human evolution. The most important discovery that catapulted the site to international fame was the remains of Homo heidelbergensis.

Before the arrival of the Romans, it is known that the territories that make up Castile and León today were occupied by various Celtic peoples, such as vaccaei, autrigones, turmodigi, the vettones, astures or celtiberians.

With the arrival of the Roman troops, confrontations took place between them and the pre-Roman peoples. In the history remains the resistance of Numantia, near the current Soria.

The romanization was unstoppable, and to this day great Roman works of art have remained, mainly the Aqueduct of Segovia as well as many archaeological remains such as those of the ancient Clunia , Salt mines of Poza de la Sal and vía de la Plata, originating in Astorga (Asturica Augusta) and that crosses the west of the community to the capital of Extremadura, Mérida (Emerita Augusta).

Bulls of Guisando, in El Tiemblo, Ávila. These verracos, of Celtic origin, are found in many towns of the western half of Castile and León.

With the fall of Rome, the lands were occupied militarily by the Visigoth peoples of Germanic origin. The subsequent arrival of the Muslims initiate and lead a process known as the Reconquista. In the mountainous area of the current Asturias a small Christian kingdom was formed that opposed the Islamic presence in the Peninsula. They proclaimed themselves heirs of the last Visigoth kings, who in turn had been deeply romanized. This resistance of Visigoth-Roman heritage and supported by Christianity, was becoming increasingly strong and expanding to the south, passing its capital to the city of León and thus creating the Kingdom of León. To favor the repopulation of the new reconquered lands, were granted by the monarchs fueros or letters of repopulation.

Celtiberian castro of Ulaca.

In the Middle Ages the pilgrimage by Christianity to Santiago de Compostela was popularized. The Camino de Santiago runs throughout the region, which contributed to the expansion of European culture throughout the peninsula. Today that Camino is still a tourist and cultural claim of the first order.

In 1188 the basilica of San Isidoro of León had been the seat of the first parliamentary body of the history of Europe in 1188, with the participation of Third Estate. The king who summoned them was Alfonso IX of León.

The legal basis was the Roman law, due to which the kings increasingly wanted more power, like the Roman emperors. This fact is very clearly seen in the Siete Partidas of Alfonso X of Castile, which makes clear the imperial monism that he sought. The King did not want to be a primus inter pares, the king was the source of the law.

Aqueduct of Segovia, Roman construction.

Simultaneously, a county of this Christian kingdom of León, begins to acquire autonomy and to expand. This is the primitive County of Castile, which will grow into a real kingdom of great strength among the Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula. The first Castilian count was Fernán González.

El Cid knight and king Sancho II of Castile, in an illustration of c. 1118 of an armiger regis in the Book of the testaments.

León and Castile continued to expand to the South, even beyond the Douro with its purpose of struggle and reconquest against Islam. We are in the middle of the Middle Ages and the songs of deed tell of the great deeds of the Christian nobles who fought against the Muslim enemy. Despite this, Christian and Muslim kings maintained diplomatic relations. Clear example is Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid, paradigm of the medieval Christian knight, who fought both hand of Christian kings and Muslims.

The bases of the dynastic unification of the kingdoms of Castile and León, separated by only seven decades, had been put in 1194. Alfonso VIII of Castile and Alfonso IX of León signed in Tordehumos the treaty that pacified the area of Tierra de Campos and laid the foundations for a future reunification of the kingdoms, consolidated in 1230 with Ferdinand III the Saint. This agreement has gone down in history as the Treaty of Tordehumos.

Pantheon of kings of the Romanesque Basilica of San Isidoro of León where Alfonso IX convened the Cortes of León of 1188, the first parliamentary body of the history of Europe,[6] with presence of Third Estate. In the same basilica is the Chalice of Doña Urraca, which some researchers assimilate with the Holy Grail.[7][8]

During the Late Middle Ages there was an economic and political crisis produced by a series of bad harvests and by disputes between nobles and the Crown for power, as well as between different contenders for the throne. In the Cortes of Valladolid of 1295, Ferdinand IV is recognized as king. The painting María de Molina presents her son Fernando IV in the Cortes of Valladolid of 1295 presides today the Congress of Deputies along with a painting of the Cortes of Cádiz, emphasizing the parliamentarian importance that has all the development of Cortes in Castile and León, despite its subsequent decline. The Crown was becoming more authoritarian and the nobility more dependent on it.

The reconquista continued advancing in this thriving Crown of Castile, and culminated with the surrender of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, last Muslim stronghold in the Peninsula.

The Catholic Monarchs shared the maritime routes and the New World with the Portuguese crown in the Treaty of Tordesillas.

Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga, that was a symbol of the Romanesque Castile and León, most of its murals were torn and exported in 1926 to different museums of the United States. It is a fact that the United States took quite advantage of the Spanish confiscation period.

Antecedents of autonomy

In June 1978, Castile and León obtained the pre-autonomy, through the creation of General council of Castile and León by Royal Decree-Law 20/1978, of June 13.[9]

In times of the First Spanish Republic (1873-1874), the federal republicans conceived the project to create an federated state of eleven provinces in the valley of the Spanish Douro, that would also have included the provinces of Santander and Logroño.[10] Very few years before, in 1869, as part of a manifesto, federal republicans representatives of the 17 provinces of Albacete, Ávila, Burgos, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, León, Logroño, Madrid, Palencia, Salamanca, Santander, Segovia, Soria, Toledo, Valladolid and Zamora proposed in the so-called Castilian Federal Pact the conformation of an entity formed by two different "states": the state of Old Castile -that is presently built for the current Castilian-Leonese provinces and the provinces of Logroño and Santander-, and the state of New Castile -which conforms to the current provinces of Castile-La Mancha plus the province of Madrid-. The end of the Republic, at the beginning of 1874, thwarted the initiative.[11]

Manifestation of 1978 in Valladolid that sued a Statute of Autonomy for the region.

In 1921, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the Battle of Villalar, the Santander City Council advocated the creation of a Castilian and Leonese Commonwealth of eleven provinces, idea that would be maintained in later years. At the end of 1931 and beginning of 1932, from León, Eugenio Merino elaborated a text in which the base of a Castilian-Leonese regionalism was put. The text was published in the Diario de León newspaper.[12]

During the Second Spanish Republic, especially in 1936, there was a great regionalist activity favorable to a region of eleven provinces, and even bases for the Statute of Autonomy were elaborated. The Diario de León advocated for the formalization of this initiative and the constitution of an autonomous region with these words:

Join in a personality León and Old Castile around the great basin of the Douro, without to fall now into provincial rivalries.

— Diario de León, May 22, 1936.

The end of the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of Franco regime ended the aspirations of the autonomy for the region. The philosopher José Ortega y Gasset collected this scheme in his publications.[13]

After the death of Francisco Franco, regionalist, autonomist and nationalist organizations (Castilian-Leonese regionalism and Castilian nationalism) as Regional Alliance of Castile and León (1975), Regional Institute of Castile and León (1976) or the Autonomous Nationalist Party of Castile and León (1977). Later after the extinction of these formations arose in 1993 Regionalist Unity of Castile and León.[14]

At the same time, others of Leonesist character arose, such as the Leonese Autonomous Group (1978) or Regionalist Party of the Leonese Country (1980), which advocated the creation of a Leonese autonomous community, composed of provinces of León, Salamanca and Zamora. The popular and political support that maintained the uniprovincial autonomy in León became very important in that city.

After the entry into operation of the Castilian-Leonese pre-autonomous body, which was created by the Provincial Council of León in its agreement of April 16, 1980, the same institution of León revoked on January 13, 1983 its original agreement, just when the draft Organic Law entered into the parliament existence of contradictory agreements and which was valid was resolved by the Constitutional Court in the Sentence 89/1984 of September 28 in its foundation of law declares that the subject of the process is not already integrated, as in its preliminary phase, by the councils and municipalities, but it is a new body that is born because it has already manifested the driving will and expresses now that of the territory as a whole; and that will already has a different object, the future legal regime of the territory that has already manifested its will to become an autonomous community through initiatives that have exhausted its effects.

Coinciding with that sentence, there were several demonstrations in León, some of them numerous, in favor of the option only León, which according to some sources brought together a number close to 90 000 attendees,[15] This is the highest concentration held in the city in the Democracy until the subsequent rejection of the 2004 Madrid train bombings.[16]

In an agreement adopted on July 31, 1981, the Provincial Council of Segovia decided to exercise the initiative so that Segovia could be constituted as a uniprovincial autonomous community, but in the municipalities of the province the situation was equal between the supporters of the uniprovincial autonomy or with the rest of Castile and León.

Celebration of the Villalar Day in 1985.

The City Council of Cuéllar initially adhered to this autonomic initiative in agreement adopted by the corporation on October 5, 1981. However, another agreement adopted by the same corporation dated December 3 of the same year revoked the previous one and the process was paralyzed pending the processing of an appeal filed by the provincial deputation against this last agreement this change of opinion of the city council of Cuéllar inclined the balance in the province towards the autonomy with the rest of Castile and León, but it was an agreement that arrived out of time. Finally the province of Segovia was incorporated into Castile and León along with the other eight provinces and legal coverage was given through the Organic Law 5/1983 for "reasons of national interest", as provided for in article 144 c of the Spanish Constitution for those provinces that have not exercised their right on time.

Today, the Villalar Foundation is responsible for the realization of cultural activities on the art, culture or identity of Castile and León.[17]

The community grants each year, on the occasion of the Castile and León Day, the Castile and León Awards to the Castilian-Leonese outstanding in the following areas: arts, human values, scientific research, social sciences, restoration and conservation, environment and sports.[18]

Castile and León History articles: 83


Map of the relief of the autonomous community


Castile and León is an autonomous community with no exit to the sea that is located in the north-western quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory borders on the north with the uniprovincial communities of the Principality of Asturias and Cantabria as well as with the Basque Country (Biscay and Álava); to the east with the uniprovincial community of La Rioja and with Aragon (province of Zaragoza), to the south with the Community of Madrid, Castile-La Mancha (provinces of Toledo and Guadalajara) and Extremadura (province of Cáceres) and to the west with Galicia (provinces of Lugo and Ourense) and Portugal (Bragança District and Guarda District).


Picos de Europa in the Province of León.

The morphology of Castile and León is formed, for the most part, by the Meseta and a belt of mountainous reliefs. The plateau is a high plateau, which has an average altitude close to 800  m.a.s., is covered by deposited clay materials that have given rise to a dry and arid landscape.

Following the morphology of the area can be seen: to the north, the mountains of the provinces of Palencia and of León with high and spiky summits and the mountains of province of Burgos, divided into two parts by the Pancorbo gorge, link between the Basque Country and Castile. Of these, the northern part belongs to the Cantabrian Mountains and reaches the city of Burgos. The east-southeast zone, belonging to the Sistema Ibérico. In the northwest part the mountains of Zamora extend, with peaks inplateauted by the erosion. To the east, in the Soria mountains, you can see the Sistema Ibérico, presided over by the Moncayo Massif, its highest peak. Separating the northern plateau from the southern, to the south, the Sistema Central rises, where the mountain ranges of Gata, Francia, Béjar and Gredos in the western half and those of Ávila, Guadarrama, Somosierra and Ayllón in the eastern half.


The Northern Plateau (Meseta Norte) is constituted by Paleozoic sockets. At the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, once the Hercynian folding that raised the current Central Europe and the Gallaeci zone of Spain, the deposited materials were dragged by the erosive action of the rivers.

During the alpine orogeny, the materials that formed the plateau broke through multiple points. From this fracture rose the mountains of León, with mountains of not much height and, constituting the spine of the Plateau (Meseta), the Cantabrian Mountains and the Sistema Central, formed by materials such as granite or metamorphic slates.

The karst complex of Ojo Guareña, consisting of 110 km of galleries[19] and its caves formed in carbonatic materials of Coniacian which are situated on a level of impermeable marls, is the second largest of the peninsula.

This geological configuration has allowed upwellings of mineral-medicinal or thermal water, used now or in the past, in Almeida de Sayago, Boñar, Calabor, Caldas de Luna, Castromonte, Cucho, Gejuelo del Barro, Morales de Campos, Valdelateja and Villarijo, among other places.



Douro basin
The Douro on its way through Zamora.

The main hydrographic network of Castile and León is constituted by the Douro river and its tributaries. From its source in the Picos de Urbión, in Soria, to its mouth in the Portuguese city of Porto, the Douro covers 897 km. From the north descend the Pisuerga, the Valderaduey and the Esla rivers, its tributaries more plentiful and by the east, with less water in its flows, highlight the Adaja and the Duratón. After passing the town of Zamora, the Douro is confined between the canyons of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park, bordering with Portugal. On the left bank are important tributaries such as Tormes, Huebra, Águeda, Côa and Paiva, all from Sistema Central. On the right they reach the Sabor, the Tua and the Tâmega, born in the Galician Massif. After the Arribes area, the Douro turns west into Portugal until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Other watersheds

Several rivers of the community pour their waters into the Ebro basin, in Palencia, Burgos and Soria (Jalón river), that of Miño-Sil in León and Zamora, that of the Tagus in Ávila and Salamanca (rivers Tiétar and Alberche and Alagón respectively) and Cantabrian basin in the provinces through which the Cantabrian Mountains extends.

Rivers and provincial capitals where they pass
River Capital River mouth Other locations where it passes
Adaja Ávila Douro in Villamarciel Tordesillas and Arévalo
Arlanzón Burgos Arlanza in Quintana del Puente Arlanzón and Pampliega
Bernesga León Esla La Robla
Carrión Palencia Pisuerga in Dueñas Guardo and Carrión de los Condes
Tormes Salamanca Douro in Fermoselle El Barco de Ávila, Guijuelo, Alba de Tormes and Ledesma
Eresma Segovia Adaja in Matapozuelos Coca
Douro Soria and Zamora Atlantic Ocean in Porto Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas, Toro, Aldeadávila de la Ribera and Vilvestre
Pisuerga Valladolid Douro in Geria Aguilar de Campoo, Cervera de Pisuerga, Venta de Baños, Dueñas, Tariego de Cerrato and Simancas

Lakes and reservoirs

El Burguillo Reservoir in Valle de Iruelas Natural Reserve.

In addition to the rivers, the Douro basin also hosts a large number of lakes and lagoons such as the Negra de Urbión Lake, in the Picos de Urbión, the Grande de Gredos Lake , in Gredos, the Sanabria Lake, in Zamora or the La Nava de Fuentes Lake in Palencia. Also emphasize a great amount of reservoirs, fed by the water coming from the rains and the thaw of the snowy summits. Thus, Castile and León, despite not having abundant rainfall, is one of the communities in Spain with the highest level of water dammed.

Many of these natural lakes are being used as an economic resource, boosting rural tourism and helping to conserve ecosystems. The Sanabria Lake was a pioneer in this.


Castile and León has a continentalized Mediterranean climate, with long, cold winters, with average temperatures between 3 and 6 °C in January and short, hot summers (average 19 to 22 °C), but with the three or four months of summer aridity characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. Rainfall, with an average of 450–500 mm per year, is scarce, accentuating in the lower lands.

Climatic factors

In Castile and León the cold extends almost continuously for much of the year, being a very characteristic element of its climate. The coldest periods of winter are associated with invasions of a continental polar front and strata of marine arctic air, rare is that they do not reach temperatures of the order of -5 ° to -10  °C. Likewise, in situations of anticyclone, in the interior of the region they cause persistent fogs, creating prolonged cold situations due to radiation processes. The intense "cold waves" of the winter central months are typical, showing a particular tendency to occur from the second fortnight of December to the first of February. During its course the most extreme minimum temperatures occur, whose values vary between -10 ° and -13  °C of its westernmost sector and -15 ° and -20  °C of the central plains and high moorlands. The lowest recorded records reach -22  °C of Burgos, -21.9  °C in Coca (Segovia), -20.4  °C in Ávila, -20  °C in Salamanca and -19.2  °C in Soria. The high altitude of the Meseta and its mountains accentuates the contrast between winter and summer temperatures, as well as day and night temperatures.[20]

Due to the mountainous barriers that surround Castile and León, the maritime winds are stopped, thus stopping the precipitations. Due to that, the rains fall in a very unequal way in the Castilian and Leonese territory. While in the middle of the Douro basin there is an annual average of 450  mm, in the western regions of the mountains of León, the Cantabrian Mountains and the southern area of the Provinces of Ávila and Salamanca, rainfall reaches 1500 mm per year, with a maximum of 3400 mm per year in the western part of the Sierra de Gredos, in the Candelario-Bejar Massif, which makes this area the rainiest not only from Spain, but from the Iberian Peninsula.[21]

Climatic regions
La Covatilla Ski Resort. The Sierra de Béjar is one of the wettest areas of Castile and León next to the Sistema Central Mountains.

Although Castile and León is framed within the continental climate, in its lands different climate domains are distinguished:[22]

  • According to the Köppen climate classification, a large part of the autonomous community falls within the Csb or Cfb variants, with the average of the warmest month below 22  °C but above 10  °C for five or more months.
  • In several areas of the Meseta Central the climate is classified as Csa (warm Mediterranean), by exceeding 22  °C during the summer.
  • In high elevations of the Cantabrian Mountains and mountain areas, there is a cold temperate climate with average temperatures under 3  °C in the coldest months and dry summers (Dsb or Dsc).



Canal de Asotín Beech, a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site.

Castile and León has many protected natural sites. Actively collaborates with the European Union program Natura 2000. There are also some special protection area for birds or SPA. The solitary evergreen oaks and junipers (Juniperus sect. Sabina) that now draw the Castilian-Leonese plain are remnants of the forests that covered these same lands long ago. The agricultural holdings, due to the need of land for the cultivation of cereal and pastures for the immense herds of the Castilian Plateau, supposed the deforestation of these lands during the Middle Ages. The last Castilian and Leonese forests of junipers are found in the Provinces of León, Soria and Burgos. They are not very leafy forests that can form mixed communities with evergreen oaks, quercus fagineas or pines.

Orbaneja del Castillo village in the Hoces del Alto Ebro y Rudrón Natural Park.

The Castilian-Leonese slope of the Cantabrian Mountains and the northern foothills of the Sistema Ibérico have a rich vegetation. The most humid and fresh slopes are populated by large beechs, whose extension areas can reach 1,500 m altitude. In turn, the European beech forms mixed forests with the yew, the sorbus, the whitebeam, the European holly and the birch. On the sunny slopes the sessile oak, the European oak, the ash, the lime tree, the sweet chestnut, the birch and the scots pine (a typical species from the north of the Province of León).

On the lower slopes of the Sistema Central extensive extensions of holm oaks survive. At a higher level, between 1000 and 1100 masl, chestnut trees abound. Above them predominates the pyrenean oak, very resistant to the cold, whose stratum extends until the 1700 masl. However, many oak groves have disappeared, cut down by man and replaced by pine trees of repopulation. The main native pine forests are found in the Sierra de Guadarrama. The subalpine zones located between 1700 and 2200 masl are home to thickets of cytisus oromediterraneus and junipers.

Much of the Province of Salamanca, especially in the districts of Campo Charro and Comarca de Ciudad Rodrigo, is occupied by dehesas, a type of forest similar to that of the African savannas, with evergreen oaks, cork oaks, quercus faginea and pyrenean oaks. The Province of Salamanca and that of Valladolid in the region of Rueda also has the only Castilian-Leonese olive groves, since these trees do not grow in any of the other regions of the community. Also noteworthy are the wine regions with very good quality wines such as those from Toro, those from Ribera del Duero (Valladolid, Burgos, Soria) those from Rueda, or those of Cigales.


Castile and León presents a great diversity of fauna. There are numerous species and some of them are of special interest because of their uniqueness, such as some endemic species, or because of their scarcity, such as the brown bear. There have been counted 418 species of vertebrates, which make up 63% of all vertebrates that live in Spain. Animals adapted to life in the high mountains, inhabitants of rocky places, inhabitants of fluvial courses, species of plains and forest residents form the mosaic of the Castilian-Leonese fauna.

The isolation to which the high summits are subject leads to the existence of abundant endemisms such as the Spanish ibex, which in Gredos constitutes a unique subspecies in the Peninsula. The European snow vole is a graceful small mammal of grayish brown color and long tail that lives in open spaces over the limit of the trees.

Small and large mammals such as squirrel, dormouse, talpids, European pine marten, Beech marten, fox, wildcat, wolf, quite abundant in some areas, boar, deer, roe deer and, only in the Cantabrian Mountains, some specimens of brown bear tend to frequent the deciduous forests, although some species also extend to coniferous forests and scrubland. The wildcat is slightly larger than a domestic cat, has a short and stout tail, with dark rings and striped fur. The Iberian lynx, however, lives almost exclusively in areas of Mediterranean scrubland.

Castile and León is the main habitat of the Iberian wolf. The naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente promoted the protection of the species.

Small reptiles such as the ladder snake, the coronella girondica and the aesculapian snake are also found in this environment. The smooth snake can be found from sea level to 1,800 m in height and in the community it tends to live on the heights. Further up, in the rocky areas of the subalpine floor at about 2,400 m altitude the Iberian rock lizard lives, one of the few reptiles adapted at this point.

In the mountain rivers live the otter and desman and in its waters the trout, anguillidae, the common minnows and some of the increasingly scarce autochthonous river crabs. The otter and the desman are two mammals with aquatic habits and very good swimmers. The otter feeds mainly on fish, while the desman seeks its food among the aquatic invertebrates that inhabit the riverbed. In lower sections of calmer waters swim barbel s and carps. Among the amphibians, the salamanders and as remarkable species: the Almanzor salamander (Salamandra salamandra almanzoris) and the Gredos toad (Bufo bufo gredosicola), which are two endemic subspecies to the Sistema Central.

Where the rivers are encased forming sickles and canyons, rock-dwelling birds such as griffon vulture, cinereous vulture, Egyptian vulture, golden eagle or peregrine falcon. The Egyptian vulture, a small vulture, is black and white with a yellow head. Downstream and on its banks between the lush vegetation form their colonies the black-crowned night heron and the grey heron and the goldcrest, the eurasian penduline tit, the eurasian hoopoe and the common kingfisher.

Western Spanish ibex, also called Gredos ibex (Capra pyrenaica victoriae), indigenous to Sierra de Gredos.

Among the birds that populate the open Mediterranean forests live two endangered species: the black stork and the Spanish imperial eagle. The black stork, much rarer than its congener the white stork, is of solitary habits and lives far from man. The Spanish imperial eagle nests in the trees and feeds mainly on rabbits, but also birds, reptiles and carrion.

Part of the Reserve of European bison in San Cebrián de Mudá, Province of Palencia.[23]

In the coniferous forests live among others the short-toed treecreeper, the coal tit and the eurasian nuthatch, a bird of gray back and flanks reddish-orange that it nests in holes to which it narrows the entrance with mud. The western capercaillie is a very dark and large rooster that lives in forest environments, so it is very difficult to observe. Among the forest raptors are the accipiter, the eurasian sparrowhawk or the tawny owl, which frequently attack other smaller birds such as eurasian jay, european green woodpecker, fringilla, great spotted woodpecker and typical warbler.

The bustard frequents the open plains with rain-fed crops; It is large and has a grayish head and neck and a brown back. In the Castilian-Leonese wetlands during the winter many specimens of greylag goose, which breeds in northern Europe and visits the area in winter, are concentrated.

The naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente (1928 - 1980), natural from Poza de la Sal, stands out in the scientific study and its dissemination. He had a great research and made the leap to fame with the television series El hombre y la Tierra (TVE).

In the Montaña Palentina, in the municipality of San Cebrián de Mudá, a program of reintroduction of the European bison,[23] animal that had been a thousand years without presence in the Iberian Peninsula, in order to avoid the extinction of the species.

Castile and León Geography articles: 199