About Castile and León

Historical Background

Castile and León both have distinct, but intertwined, histories dating back to the Middle Ages.


Castile is considered by some to be the cradle of Spanish civilization. The Castilian language eventually became the standard language in Spain, and across the Spanish speaking world. Indeed, Spanish and Castilian are generally considered to be synomous. The Kingdom of Castile was created in the 11th Century, and was preceded by the County of Castile in the 9th Century.


The Kingdom of León was formed in 910 AD, and had a tumultuous history, with wars fought against the Moors and the Vikings among others, as well as civil wars within the Kingdom. The County of Castile separated from the Kingdom of León in 931, the Kingdom of Portugal separated in 1139. Parts of León were taken over by the Kingdom of Castile in 1230, followed by a brief period of independence around 1300. It reunited with Castile in 1301. It retained its crown until 1833 (and was part of a united Spain from 1479 onwards), when it was split into Salamanca, Zamora and León provinces. The three provinces comprised the Region of León.


In 1983 Castile and León once again were joined together, as the three provinces of León and six of the provinces of Old Castile came together as part of the Castile and León Autonomous Community.

Modern Map - Castilla y León EN

Quick Facts on Modern Castile and León

Castile and León is an comunidad autónoma (Autonomous Community) in northwestern Spain, created in 1983 by merging the traditional areas of León and Old Castile. Landlocked, the region has a population of just under 2.5 million people. The main cities are Valladolid, León, Salamanca, Burgos, and Palencia.  The de-facto capital of Castile and León is Valladolid.