La Mancha is the famous region immortalised in Cervantes’ work Don Quijote de La Mancha. It is bound by La Mancha and Castilla-Leon in the north, Aragon and the Region of Valencia in the east, Murcia and Andalusia in the south and Extremadura in the west. Ciudad Real became the capital of the province of La Mancha in the 17th century, a fact which favored its economic development. A good example of La Mancha Mudejar architecture (14th C.) is the Puerta de Toledo, one of the eight gates which open into the city’s walled area.
In the county of Campo de Calatrava is Almagro, well known for its Open Air Theatre (a national monument) and its International Classical Theatre Festival. This 16th century former convent brings us a little closer to La Mancha’s history and art, as well as its cuisine. It is a wonderful place for doing justice to a cuisine with rural and pastoral origins – La Mancha cheeses and Almagro aubergines serve as an aperitif for game dishes like rabbit with garlic, hare with rice, stewed partridge and so on.