The Leonese (Leonese: Llioneses) are an ethnic group whose homeland is the former Kingdom of Leon, now known as region of Leon. This area was formerly a country in Southwestern Europe that covered a territory in northwestern Spain and northeastern Portugal. The Leonese Kingdom was an independent country in the Middle Ages, keeping its status as a kingdom under the Spanish rule until the 1833 territorial division of Spain. The languages of Leon are the Leonese language and Spanish in Spain and the Leonese language and Portuguese in Portugal. A variety of Leonese called Mirandese is spoken in the Mirando del Douro Region of Portugal. The former Kingdom of Leon was divided into three historical regions: Asturias, Leon and Extremadura, with the southern territories integrated into Andalucia, and some of the eastern territories into Castile. The Spanish division of 1833 recognised as Leonese the provinces of Leon, Salamanca and Zamora.
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