The continent of Ansalon is approximately 1,300 miles from east to west, and 900 north to south. It is in the southern hemisphere of Krynn.
Ansalon is the primary setting for the Dragonlance Saga, and is the location in which most of the Dragonlance novels are set. As such, much more is known about Ansalon than is known about the other major continent of Krynn, Taladas. In fact, few Ansalonians know of the existence of Taladas.
Before the Cataclysm, an event precipitated by the Kingpriest of Istar, Ansalon was a solid land mass. Great plains ran from Silvanesti and Balifor in the east to Ergoth in the west. In addition, the Blood Sea used to be fertile lands, which were farmed and which made the now decimated city of Istar prosperous.
The Cataclysm changed everything. When the fiery mountain struck Krynn, it created the Blood Sea, separating the Minotaur Isles from the rest of the continent and plunging the plains of Istar far beneath the waves. The northern peninsula, near Kalaman, was forced up from the bottom of the ocean. Ergoth split into two separate isles, and the southern Ergothian and Solamnic plains became the New Sea.
The Chaos War scarred the land even further, and left thousands dead.
Ansalon is home to many races, including elves, humans, ogres, dragons, draconians, dwarves, and many others. For more information go to List of Dragonlance creatures.
Ansalon is an exception among fantasy settings in that it lies in the southern hemisphere, whereas most areas where the events of fantasy novels (such as Tolkien's or Edding's) take place are in the northern hemisphere (specifically, the northwestern portion), and south is reserved for hostile and/or strange lands.