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Castile–La Mancha and Castile–León are like parentheses around Madrid, one north and one south. The name "Castile" refers to the great east–west line of castles and fortified towns built in the 12th century between Salamanca and Soria. Segovia's Alcázar, Ávila's fully intact city walls, and other bastions are among Castile's greatest monuments.
Extremadura, just west of Madrid, covers an area of 41,602 square km (16,063 square miles) and consists of two provinces: Cáceres to the north and Badajoz to the south, divided by the Toledo Mountains. To the west, this region borders Portugal; to the south, Andalusia; and to the east, Castile–La Mancha.
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