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The settlement was named Al-Basit, "the plain," by the Arabs. The city has been known as a center for the manufacture of fine daggers, scissors, and knives. An assembly plant of Eurocopter, a subsidiary of EADS, began operation in 2007.
Although Albacete has never been considered a city with an industrial tradition, the industrial area in the city, known as Polígono de Campollano, has recently been expanded as it is one of the biggest industrial parks in Spain. The local government is pushing to make Albacete a logistic center in the southeastern part of Spain.
Albacete, together with Ciudad Real, has one of the main campuses of the University of Castilla la Mancha. It is estimated that between 9,000 and 10,000 students study at any of the schools that the regional university currently has in the city.
Albacete is not known as a tourist destination, but its sights include the cathedral and the Museo de Albacete.
During the Spanish Civil War, it was the headquarters and training camp of the International Brigades.
Albacete is home to the football team Albacete Balompié.