PALENCIA, SPAIN, an episcopal city, and the capital of the Spanish province of Palencia; on the left bank of the river Carrion, on the Canal de Castilla, at the junction of railways from Leon and Santander, and 7 m. N. by W. of Venta de Baiios on the Madrid-Irun line. Pop. (1900), 15,940. Palencia is built in the midst of the level plains called the Tierra de Campos, 2690 ft. above sea-level. Three bridges across the Carrion afford access to the modern suburbs on the right bank. The older and by far the more important part of the city is protected on the west by the river; on the other sides the old machicolated walls, 36 ft. high by 9 ft. in thickness, are in fairly good preservation, and beautified by alamedas or promenades, which were laid out in 1778. The cathedral was begun in 1321, finished in 1504, and dedicated to St Antolin; it is a large building in the later and florid Gothic style of Spain. The site was previously occupied by a church erected by Sancho III. of Navarre and Castile (1026-103 5) over the cave of St Antolin, which is stfll shown. The cathedral contains some valuable paintings, old Flemish tapestry, and beautiful carved woodwork and stonework. The church of San Miguel is a good and fairly well-preserved example of 13th-century work; that of San Francisco, of the same date, is inferior and has suffered more from modernization. The hospital of San Lazaro is said to date in part from the time of the Cid (q.v.), who here married Ximena in 1074.
Much has been done for education. Palencia has also hospitals, a foundling refuge, barracks and a bull-ring. Local industries include iron-founding, and the making of rugs, alcohol, leather, soap, porcelain, linen, cotton, wool, machinery and matches.
Palencia, the Pallantia of Strabo and Ptolemy, was the chief town of the Vaccaei. Its history during the Gothic and Moorish periods is obscure; but it was a Castilian town of some importance in the 12th and 13th centuries. The university founded here in 1208 by Alphonso IX. was removed in 1239 to Salamanca.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)