province of Cáceres is one of the most beautiful in Spain. Amazingly intact historical
cities, sleepy rural towns and beautiful natural reserves. Sharply cold in the
Winter, and very hot at the height of Summer, Cáceres is perhaps most stunning
in the Spring, when the cherry groves in Jerte Valley are in blossom, the mountain
snow is thawing, and the flora and fauna seem to come alive. It is also stunning
in the autumn, when vast wooded areas seem ablaze with autumn colours, and the
old buildings in Cáceres and Trujillo become red and orange under the autumn sun.
Cáceres is the capital city of the Region of Extremadura, one of Spain's
poorest regions in terms of per capita, but richest in terms of historical heritage,
gastronomy, wines and unspoilt nature.
Cáceres capital city
was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986 because of the city's blend
of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles, fruit of the
many battles fought here throughout history. An amazing 30 towers from the Muslim
period still stand in Cáceres, of which the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous.
guide of Cáceres gives you some idea of the beauty of the city.
to do and see in Cáceres
The origins of Cáceres go back to prehistoric
time, as evidenced by the paintings in the Cuevas de Maltravieso (Maltravieso
Caves) which date back from the late Paleolithic period. The best way to savour
this unique city is to leave your car in one of the carparks located outside the
historical centre, and then to stroll around the historical quarters at your leisure
to admire the numerous buildings, towers, palaces and plazas most very well conserved
or recently restored, dating from the Middle Ages and Rennaisance. Visitors will
be able to see remnants from Medieval times, Roman occupation, Moor occupation
and Jewish influence. Cáceres has four main areas to be explored; the historical
quarter, the Jewish quarter, the modern center, and the outskirts.
As mentioned above, the first evidence of humans living in
Cáceres is from the Late Paleolithic era, around 25,000 B.C. Cáceres started to
gain importance as a strategic city under Roman occupation, and remains found
in the city suggest that it was a thriving center as early as 25 B.C. Some remains
of the first wall built around the city by the Romans in III and IV A.D. still
exist, including one entrance, Arco del Cristo.
After the end of the Roman
Empire, the city was occupied Barbarians and Visigoths and entered a period of
decline and decay until the Arabs conquered Cáceres in the seven hundreds. The
city spent the next few centuries mostly under Arab rule, although power did exchange
from Moors to Christians several times. During this time, the Arabs rebuilt the
city, including a wall and various towers, including the Torre de Bujaco, and
palaces. Cáceres was reconquered by the Christians in the 13th century. During
this period the city had an important Jewish quarter: in the 15th Century when
the total population was 2,000, nearly 140 Jewish families lived in Caceres. The
Jewish population was expelled in 1492, but many remnants which are a result of
the Jewish influence during this period are still be seen today in the Barrio
Cáceres flourished during the Reconquest and the Discovery
of America, as influential Spanish families and nobles built homes and small palaces
here, and many members of families from Extremadura participated in voyages to
America where they made their fortune. In the 19th Century Cáceres became the
capital of the province, marking a period of growth which was halted by the Spanish
Civil War. The headquarters of the University and several regional government
departments are to be found in Cáceres which today has a population of 85,000
to Cáceres should visit the following monuments:
and Churches: Iglesia y Convento de San Pablo, XV Century church and
convent; Convento de la Compañía de Jesús barroque style
which today is used for art exhibitions; Iglesia y Concatedral de Santa María,
cathedral built in XXIII, Gothic period; Iglesia de San Mateo, XV Century
church built on the site of a former mosque; Iglesia de San Francisco Javier, Baroque period, XVIII century; Iglesia de San Juan, large magestic
church which took five centuries to complete, from 13th to 15th Century; Ermita
de San Antonio Iglesia de Santo Domingo; Ermita de la Paz; Iglesia
- The Wall: Torre de Bujaco XIIc; Arco
de la Estrella XVIIIc; Torre de Sande, XIVc-XVc; Torre de los Púlpitos;
Torre de la Hierba; Arco de Santa Ana; Torre del Horno; Torre del Postigo; Torre
Torre Desmochada; Arco del Cristo; Arco del Socorro
and stately homes: Palacio de los Golfines de Arriba; Palacio de los Golfines
de Abajo - one of the most spectacular. The Reyes Católicos, Isabella
and Ferdinand, lived here; Palacio del Comendador de Alcuescar; Palacio-Fortaleza
de los Torreorgaz, today a Parador
hotel, Palacio Episcopal; Palacio de Carvajal XVc; Palacio de Godoy;
Palacio de Mayoralgo; Mansión de los Sande; Palacio de las Veletas; Palacio
de los Cáceres-Ovando; Casa del Mono; Palacio de los Toledo-Moctezuma;
Casa del Sol; Casa Mudejar; Casa de Carvajal y Ulloa.
- Museum of Cáceres - housed in La Casa de las Veletas
y la Casa de los Caballos in the historical quarter.
- La Casa-Museo
Árabe, between the Plaza San Jorge and the Arco del Cristo. Arab culture,
art and remains.
- Museo Concatedral de Cáceres, in the Plaza Santa
Maria. Religious art.
Fiestas y festivals in Cáceres: Fiesta
de los mártires in January; Fiesta de las Candelas and Fiesta de San Blas in February. The most important local fiestas
in Cáceres are in April, San Jorge, when on 22nd-23rd a dragon is
burnt on a bonfire in the Plaza Mayor, accompanied by a fireworks display. Ferias
de Mayo in May. Semana Santa processions are quite a spectacle as they
wind around the narrow streets in the historical center.
The small streets in the historical center have lots of small shops selling typical
products. The convents sell delicious homemade sweets and pastries. Wines from
Extremadura are cheaper than many other wine-making areas and quite delicious
if you like full-bodied red wine. Also try and buy some cherry liquor made with
cherries from the nearby Jerte valley, or other original liquors such as chestnut
or blackberry. Other local produce you can buy in most towns and villages in the
province of Cáceres include goats cheese (Torta del Casar), fig cake, chestnuts,
hams and other pork products, lamb, olive oil, paprika (pimentón de la
Cuisine: Cáceres is famous for its stews, roast meats
(especially pork, lamb and game), fried breadcrumbs (migas), trout, pastries....
in Cáceres: Atrio, one of Spain's finest restaurants, innovative cuisine; El Figón de Estaquio, one of Cáceres' oldest and most popular restaurants,
traditional cuisine; La Tahona, local cuisine, impressive wineliest, good
Restaurants in the province of Cáceres: El Clavo in Valencia
de Alcántara, good basic food, also offers accommodation; La Taberna
Encantada in Perales del Puerto; Carlos V in Jarandilla de la Vera, very good value for money, traditional cuisine; Viña la Mazuela in Plasencia, innovative and creative cuisine; Asador Corral del
Rey in Trujillo, specialised in roast meats.
in Cáceres: Thanks to its rich heritage, Cáceres is fortunate to have
several paradors in the province, and they are all marvelous and present a great
opportunity to take advantage of one of the special offers available to visitors
wishing to visit various paradors. See our more detailed reviews and photos here
by clicking on the name: Parador
in Cáceres - a splendid hotel in the medieval part of the old town, Parador
in Trujillo, Parador
in Jarandilla de la Vera and Parador in Plasencia, Parador in Guadalupe ****
Hotels in Cáceres city:
Meliá Cáceres **** one of the nicest of the Melia chain of hotels,
set in a XVIc palace in the city center; Cáceres Golf **** on the
outskirts with a 18-hole golf course for visitors wanting to combine sport and
in the province of Cáceres: Hospedería Puente de Alconétar
**** a beautiful XVc Palace in Garrovillas de Alconétar; Convento
de la Luz **** a peaceful hotel set in a XVIc convent in Brozas; Hospedería
del Real Monasterio** a modest hotel with the rooms set around a magnificent
XVIc cloister in Guadalupe; Hospedería Valle del Jerte****, 25km
from Plasencia in a converted olive oil mill with lovely views of the beautiful
Jerte Valley; Isla del Gallo**** in Trujillo.
to visit in the province of Cáceres:
- Plasencia: Declared a World Heritage City by the UNESCO in 1993. See photos of Plasencia.
- Guadalupe: Monastery of Guadalupe where the Virgin of Guadalupe
- Trujillo: Beautiful medieval, monumental town. Birthplace of many of Spain's most famous
conquerors, including Francisco Pizarro (founder of Peru), Francisco Orellano
(Amazon) and Diego García de Paredes (Venezuela).
- Alcántara: Roman bridge, 200m and 60m high with 6 arches. Built in 106 AD.
de la Vera
- The Monasterio de Yuste chosen by Carlos V as
to die is also worth visiting. Only open in the morning on Sundays.
parks and rural tourism:
- Monfrague Natural Park: 17,852
hectares, the Parque Natural de Monfragüecontains the following villages:
Torrejón el Rubio, Serradilla, Malpartida de Plasencia, Toril, Serrejón,
Jaraicejo y Casas de Miravete. With one of the largest forests in Spain with over
1,400 different species of trees. A favourite with birdwatchers, the park has
the world's largest colony of black vultures and imperial eagles,
and is also home to colonies of black storks, eagle owls, black-shouldered kites,
grassland birds including great bustards, sandgrouse.... Camping is not allowed
in the park.
- Monumento natural Los Barruecos - curious rock formation.
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