Talavera de la Reina

Talavera de la Reina (Spanish pronunciation: [talaˈβeɾa ðe la ˈrejna]) is a city and municipality of Spain, part of the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. Its population of 83,303[2] makes it the second most populated municipality of the province of Toledo and the fourth largest in the region.

Talavera de la Reina
Clockwise from top: Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Prado, albarrana tower, general view from the North, San Prudencio, Colegial Church of Saint Mary the Great
Flag of Talavera de la Reina
Coat of arms of Talavera de la Reina
Coat of arms
Talavera de la Reina is located in Castilla-La Mancha
Talavera de la Reina
Talavera de la Reina
Location in Spain
Talavera de la Reina is located in Spain
Talavera de la Reina
Talavera de la Reina
Talavera de la Reina (Spain)
Coordinates: 39°57′30″N 4°49′58″W / 39.95833°N 4.83278°W / 39.95833; -4.83278Coordinates: 39°57′30″N 4°49′58″W / 39.95833°N 4.83278°W / 39.95833; -4.83278
Autonomous communityCastile-La Mancha
 • MayorTita García [es] (PSOE)
 • Total185.83 km2 (71.75 sq mi)
373 m (1,224 ft)
 • Total83,009
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code

Although the city straddles both banks of the Tagus, few kilometres downstream from the junction of the former with the Alberche, most of the urbanisation concentrates on the right (northern) bank. There are two islands in the center of the city called Isla Grande and Chamelo Island. Three bridges cross the Tagus in Talavera.

The city is well known by its pottery craft. The Talavera de la Reina pottery was declared intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2019.[3]


There are remnants of prehistoric cultures in the area. The village was founded by the Celts as a ford of the Tagus. The first mention of the city (with the name Aebura) occurs in Livy's description of a battle between the Romans and the Carpetanoi, a Celtiberian tribe. After the Roman conquest of Hispania, it was known as Caesarobriga, one of many Celtic toponyms preserved in Roman Hispania, with a name connoting "fortified" that was extended to many non-fortified towns: "Caesarburg".[4] Caesarobriga served as an important center for agriculture and ceramics in the 3rd and 4th centuries BCE During the Visigothic period, Talavera reverted to a variant of its Celtiberian name: Elbora or Ebora. Its modern name is derived from Talabayra, the Muslim rendering of this Visigothic name. The city was conquered by Muslim forces in 713 and conquered by Christian forces under Alfonso VI of Castile in 1083.



Talavera de la Reina was founded at the confluence of the rivers Alberche and Tagus. This area of great ecological wealth was the settlement of Celtic people who built the most ancient ruins of the area.

Roman Empire and Visigothic AgeEdit

During the time of the Roman Empire the name of the city was Caesarobriga. In 182 BCE Quintus Fulvius Flaccus conquered the city, establishing it as part of the Roman province of Lusitania as a city that would pay a stipend, and as the capital of an extended area included in the legal convent of the city of Emerita Augusta. The leader Viriato, in his war against the Romans, lived in this territory between 145 and 139 BCE. In this period Talavera de la Reina was a rich city with cattle markets and commercial exchange. Christianity came early to the city, and with the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Visigoths established in the city. Talavera was known then as (Aküis) or (Aibura). In the year 602, King Liuva II made a present to the city: the sculpture of the Virgin Mary, who was from then to the present day the symbol of the Christians in Talavera de la Reina, and the substitute for the goddess Ceres. In honour of the goddess Ceres, Talaverian Romans celebrated the spring festival called Mondas, which is still celebrated for the Virgin Mary.

Middle agesEdit

An albarrana tower of the ancient city walls

The Muslims conquered Talavera in 712. They built new walls and a castle in Talavera. They also brought the use of fountains, water mills and new products brought from Africa and Asia. The fertile soil produced quality vegetables, fruits and grass for animal feed. The markets gained new strength, and the population, a mixture of Christians, Muslims and Jews, lived in harmony for some centuries. Medina Al Talavayra took part in different wars between the kingdoms of Spain, becoming allied with Córdoba and Badajoz. Alfonso VI of León-Castile seized the city in 1083.[5] The city was retaken temporarily by Muslims in 1109.[6]

Formerly a realengo [es] town, sometimes property of queens, such as Maria of Portugal, Talavera was transferred by Henry II of Castile on 25 June 1369 to Gómez Manrique (the transfer was confirmed in the 1371 Cortes of Toro), the Archbishop of Toledo, as payment for the latter's support in the Castilian Civil War, and, since then, the town became attached to the Archbishops of Toledo.[7][8]

The change from the concejo abierto towards a regimiento system of municipal government in Talavera should have happened by the second half of the 14th century.[9] Unlike other locations the chief municipal public offices (regidurías) in Talavera were not subject to transfer from father to son, so the nobiliary elite relied in an alternative strategy to ensure its supremacy, based on a system that allowed them to control the candidates to the regidoría.[10]

King Sancho IV gave the royal privilege to hold two royal markets each year.

15th and 16th centuriesEdit

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Talavera achieved great recognition, thanks to its pottery. Wonderful pieces of pottery and Talavera tiles are found in the main museums of the world and in the most luxurious palaces all over Europe.

Talaverian people participated in the conquest of America, like Francisco de Aguirre, Juan de Orellana and Jofrén de Loaisa.

Other important Talaverian people were Hernando de Talavera, Isabella I of Castile's confessor, and the Admiral Francisco Verdugo. The beginning of the 16th century saw the release of the most important theater work in Spanish literature, The Tragicomedy of Calixto and Melibea, or Celestina, written by the Talaverian mayor Fernando de Rojas.

By the late third of the 16th century the city reached a population of 10,000.[11]

17th centuryEdit

During this century the city lived in a golden age of arts and culture. Its main exponent is the father of Spanish History, Juan de Mariana, who wrote several books about history, law and politics, and who was very important for French revolutionary theories.

18th and 19th centuriesEdit

Upon the death of King Charles II in November 1700, two powerful nations fought for the Spanish Crown. Talavera supported Philip V's French faction, which was the winner. In 1750 the king founded the Royal Seeds Factories in Talavera, and 4,000 people worked there.

The war of independence against Napoleon's army had great consequences for Talavera. On July 27 and July 28, 1809 the Battle of Talavera took place between the Anglo-Spanish army and the French. During the fight the city was hardly damaged. The Duke of Wellington's army expelled the French from the city.

Talavera from the banks of the Tagus, by Edgar T. A. Wigram (1906).

Civil War and Franco periodEdit

The city was getting large during the beginning of the 20th century. The railroad brought new opportunities for improvement. In 1931 the Republic was the new political system in Spain. Talavera changed its name to Talavera del Tajo. The city had a population of 16,654 in 1936.[12] On July 18, 1936, when the Nationalists had risen in arms, the Republicans opened a period of terror in Talavera, killing people. On September 3 the Nationalist army conquered Talavera and reopened the terror, this time against communists and socialists. During the rest of the war Talavera de la Reina was damaged by the Republican bombing attacks. The city had a population of 18,631 in 1940.[12]

During the Francoist dictatorship the Instituto Nacional de Colonización promoted a large irrigated zone in the surroundings of Talavera, following which two new settlements were created, called Talavera la Nueva and Alberche del Caudillo, the latter located in the neighboring Calera y Chozas municipality. During the 1960s a baby boom caused an increase in the population, added to by the immigrants coming from the nearby villages and poor areas of Extremadura.


View of the city centre

In 1975 Franco died, and democracy came to Spain. Talavera's first democratic mayor tried to create the province of Talavera, but the idea was not successful. The next mayor, Pablo Tello from the Socialist Party, made large projects such as the Alameda Park.

In 1989 a feeling of marginalization enveloped the city, and a group of people called "Nosotros Talavera" (we Talavera) started fighting for the creation of a University Campus and other projects for the city.

A Center for University Studies was opened in the city in 1994; it fully integrated as campus of the University of Castile-La Mancha (UCLM) four years later, in 1998.[13]

Main sightsEdit

Rising over 192 metres, the Puente de Castilla-La Mancha [es], built in the outskirts of the city, is the highest bridge in Spain.[14] Given the enormous cost and limited use, it is considered a wasteful investment.[14] Spanning over 318 m over the main channel of the Tagus, the cable-stayed bridge it is nonetheless one of the city's most distinctive features.[15]



The city is internationally known for its ceramics, which Philip II of Spain used as tiled revetments in many of his works, such as the monastery of El Escorial. The nickname of Talavera de la Reina is 'The City of Pottery' (La Ciudad de la Cerámica, in Spanish). Mexico's famous Talavera pottery was named after the city.


Façade of the train station

The city is located at the intersection of Autovía A-5 (part of European route E90) and N-502. Located on the route between Madrid and Badajoz, it has a railway station. Talavera de la Reina's city bus system is Eborabus.

International relationsEdit

Twin cities—Sister towns

Talavera de la Reina is twinned with:

Other partnerships


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  2. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Spanish National Statistics Institute.
  3. ^ "La cerámica de Talavera, declarada como Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la Humanidad". RTVE. 12 December 209.
  4. ^ Juan Luis García Alonso, "-Briga Toponyms in the Iberian Peninsula," e-Keltoi 6
  5. ^ Torres Montealegre & López Vázquez 1998, p. 476.
  6. ^ García Fitz 2001, p. 164.
  7. ^ Pacheco Jiménez 2001, pp. 177–178.
  8. ^ Sánchez González 1992, p. 79.
  9. ^ Lozano Castellanos 2015, p. 40.
  10. ^ Lozano Castellanos 2015, pp. 37–38.
  11. ^ Pacheco Jiménez 1999, p. 201.
  12. ^ a b Atenza Fernández, Mirón González & Díaz Díaz, p. 10.
  13. ^ "Cumple 20 años el campus de Talavera de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha y lo van a celebrar". El Digital Castilla-La Mancha. 16 October 2014.
  14. ^ a b Simón, Pedro (29 September 2014). "Un puente a ningún sitio". El Mundo.
  15. ^ Sánchez de León, Bernal Pérez & Sánchez de León 2012, p. 7.
  16. ^ a b c d Rincón, M. "Talavera estrecha lazos con las ciudades hermanas". La Voz de Talavera.
  17. ^ Fernández, Javier (23 April 2014). "Talavera de la Reina recibió a sus hermanos de Bron, Faenza, Talavera de la Reyna y el Pueblo Saharaui". La Voz del Tajo.
  18. ^ "Radom - Miasta partnerskie" [Radom - Partnership cities]. Miasto Radom [City of Radom] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  19. ^ "Radom - miasta partnerskie" (in Polish). radom.naszestrony.pl. Archived from the original on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2013-08-07.

External linksEdit