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Segovia, Province Of

SEGOVIA, PROVINCE OF, a province of central Spain, formerly part of Old Castile, bounded on the N. and N.E. by the provinces of Burgos and Soria, S.E. by Guadalajara and Madrid, S.W. by Avila, and N.W. by Valladolid. Pop. (1900) 159,243; area, 2635 sq. m. The greater portion of the country consists of an arable tableland, some 2500 ft. above the sea, monotonous enough in appearance, and burnt to a dull brown during summer, but yet producing some of the finest corn in the Peninsula. Along the whole southeastern boundary the Sierra de Guadarrama rises up suddenly, like a huge barrier, separating Old from New Castile and the basin of the Duero from that of the Tagus. The province is well watered by the streams which rise in the Guadarrama range and flow northwards to the Duero, and by careful irrigation. The Eresma, Cega, Duraton and Riaza are the principal watercourses. Except the capital, Segovia, there is no town of more than 5000 inhabitants; but Sepulveda and other small towns contain monuments of some historical and ecclesiastical interest. At the foot of the Navacerrada pass lies the royal demesne and summer residence of La Granja (q.v.). After the completion (1883) of the railway from Medina del Campo to the city of Segovia, and its subsequent extensions to Madrid and Aranda de Duero, the towns adjoining these lines showed signs of increased prosperity and animation. There are manufactures on a small scale of coarse pottery, dyes, paper, alcohol, rosin, hats, pins and needles, flour, oil and beer. Such prosperity, however, as Segovia retains is dependent upon its agricultural produce wheat, rye, barley, peas, hemp, flax, etc. together with the rearing of sheep, cattle, mules and pigs. There are extensive forests in the sierras, which yield excellent granite, marble and limestone; but the difficulty of transport has prevented any systematic development of these resources.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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