La Mancha Geography In Don Quixote

Don Quixote, like many other literary works, makes a fabulous journey through places and enclaves that provide us with very valuable information about the geography of those places. Are you interested in knowing more about them?
La Mancha geography in Don Quixote

There are many literary works that incorporate imaginary landscapes between their pages, or not so imaginary, since there are those that faithfully reflect the geography that their protagonists travel through. A very clear example of this is the geography of La Mancha in El Quijote.

Many stories include landscapes thought and recreated by the different authors from personal experiences that, in turn, serve as the setting for the development of the plot. One of the most valued cases is the most important novel in world literature, the story of Don Quixote’s adventures through the geography of La Mancha.

It is well known by students of geography and the Spanish territory that this type of work provides a valuable source of information between its pages. In fact, many of them make up a recommended study material for college students. Some examples are El Camino and Las Ratas by Miguel Delibes or Campos de Castilla by Antonio Machado.

As a reason for the celebration of Book Day this April 23, we want to offer you a tour of the fields of La Mancha through the passages of this masterpiece of literature.

The agrarian environment of La Mancha geography

In the 16th century, the geography of much of La Mancha was made up of extensive cereal fields and vineyards that lined the plains and moors on all sides. On the other hand, an important cattle herd made up of sheep, goats, mares and cows walked and fed on the stubble in the area.

Landscape in La Mancha, Spain.

In the adventure of the flocks, Cervantes recounts how his protagonist stands on a small hill to contemplate the two opposing armies, which is how the two flocks of sheep that advanced on the plain seemed to Don Quixote.

The karst landscapes of La Mancha geography

In the chapter on the Cueva de Montesinos, Don Quixote and Sancho announce their intention to visit the cave and the Ruidera lagoons, which are famous throughout La Mancha. These two places attest to the type of rock that characterizes an area between the current provinces of Albacete and Ciudad Real.

Here, the geomorphological formations are those of karst lithology such as caves, sinkholes and lagoons of limestone origin.

Karst landscape in the La Mancha geography of Don Quixote.

The passage tells how, upon reaching the entrance of the cave, Don Quixote prepares to descend surrounded by a rope supported by Sancho and a third character, the cousin. After half an hour, they collect the rope without any effort, which makes it seem that the knight is staying inside the cave.

Suddenly, they feel weight and see Don Quixote appear, who came out with signs of being asleep. When he comes to, he says that he is going to tell them what has happened to him down there.

The severe climate of La Mancha

Throughout the work, there are different reviews of the weather that characterizes this area of ​​the interior. The extreme conditions of a harsh climate are almost always emphasized in their summers and no less harsh in their winters.

As in this beginning, repeated references to the characteristics of the climate are used in the description, such as the temperature of summer and the cold of winter.

Plantation in the strong heat of Toledo, in La Mancha.

The footprint of La Mancha geography in Don Quixote

We could choose an infinity of fragments in which the geographical environment and all its components are presented in one way or another in this work of art in Spanish literature, but it would be endless.

Don Quixote constitutes a very important piece for a better understanding of ‘that small portion’ of the geography of this region that we call La Mancha. Do you dare to walk through its passages?

Route through the windmills of La Mancha

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button