Finely crafted map of the area around Ciudad Real from the Atlas de España.
The map is crowned by the coat of arms of Ciudad Real, showing Alfonso X the Wise with a medieval five-floret crown open holding sword and scepter and sitting on a throne.
Ciudad Real, which translates to "Royal City," is a city located in the Castile-La Mancha region of central Spain. Its history dates back to the 13th century, making it relatively younger compared to many other Spanish cities.
The city was founded by King Alfonso X of Castile in 1255 with the aim of fighting the Order of Calatrava. The order, a military and religious group, had too much power in the region, so Alfonso X sought to limit their influence by establishing a free, non-feudal city nearby. He named it Villa Real (Royal Town), and it was granted the status of "city" by King Ferdinand IV in 1420, hence becoming Ciudad Real.
During the Middle Ages, Ciudad Real prospered due to its location along the trade routes between Toledo and Andalusia. It had a significant Jewish population, contributing to the city's cultural diversity and economic strength.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Ciudad Real experienced periods of decline due to plague epidemics and economic difficulties. The city was also greatly affected by the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the subsequent expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims who had converted to Christianity) in the early 17th century.