Castillans - Settlements

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Although there are a number of large urban centers in the Region, Castile is essentially rural, characterized by small towns and villages that are tied closely to a mixed agricultural, vini-cultural, and forestal economy. Nonurban settlements are called pueblos. Small or large, the pueblo is a nucleated settlement, consisting of a central plaza surrounded by shops and (in the larger towns) municipal buildings, themselves surrounded by residential structures. At one side of the plaza is the town church, with its tall belfry that (characteristically) harbors the large nest of a crane. The oldest houses in Castilian villages often combine dwelling, stable, and barn, constructed with separate entrances for the residential and livestock portions. On the residential side, the upper floor consists of bedrooms and perhaps an attic space. The traditional Castilian kitchen has as its center a chimenea —an open-hearthed fireplace, around which are hung great cooking pots. Many village homes lack running water, but every settlement has a public fountain. The houses of the more well-to-do are frequently constructed of stone, although stucco is a frequently encountered building material.

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