Extremadura

Travel to Extremadura, on the borders of Portugal

In central-western Spain, Extremadura borders Portugal. The Spanish region preserves architectural and artistic remains that bear witness to the cultural diversity of its successive peoples.

Long ignored by tourists, the region is divided into two provinces, Badajoz and Cáceres. Extremadura, whose capital is Merida, with its varied landscapes, is crossed from east to west by the rivers Guadiana and Tagus.

Celts, Lusitans, Romans, then Arabs with the foundation of Badajoz in the 9th century, left many testimonies including the archaeological complex of Merida, listed as a UNESCO heritage.

An opulent ancient Roman city, you can admire a theatre, a temple and aqueducts, a medieval and renaissance heritage as well as the Umayyad Alcazaba built by the Muslims.

Cáceres surrounds by its ramparts of Arab origin an old medieval city with cobbled streets. It is one of the region’s favourite destinations.

Northeast of Cáceres, Monfragüe National Park is renowned for its ornithological richness. Classified as a biosphere reserve, the park is an enclave of Mediterranean forest in which oak groves, woods and scrublands meet in an environment of torrents and mountains.

The Extremadura region is also famous for its gastronomy, and the region is particularly famous for its Dehesa de Extramadura designation of origin ham. The dehesas, unique to the Iberian Peninsula, are sparsely scattered communal undergrowth, there of holm oaks, used as pasture for the pigs destined to make this famous ham.

Picturesque for its colours, the Jerte valley road attracts many visitors, especially in spring, when cherry trees bloom well.

Stages to see in Extremadura

Mérida

Founded by the Romans in 25 BC, the political capital of Extremadura was also the capital of Roman Lusitania. All this ancient culture can be seen in many places of the city, so that the Roman archaeological site of Merida, one of the best preserved in Spain, is listed as a World Heritage Site. Among other things, there is a temple dedicated to the goddess Diana, a theatre and its amphitheatre, the Arc de Trajan, the gateway to the city, the aqueduct of los Milagros and a Roman bridge 800 metres long.

The National Museum of Roman Art in Merida exhibits more than 36,000 objects discovered in Merida and its surrounding area, relating to this period.

Badajoz

Founded at the end of the 9th century by Abd al Rahman Ibn Marwan, a descendant of a family converted to Islam, Badajoz became with almost 25,000 inhabitants, one of the most important cities of the Iberian Peninsula. Of this rich historical past, there remains the Alcazaba, walls of Arab origin as well as a cathedral whose crenels remind more of a fortress than a place of worship.

On the outskirts of Badajoz you can discover the Cornalvo Natural Park and the Tierra de Barros.

Jerez de los Caballeros

This city declared a property of cultural interest whose origin dates back to the Phoenicians derives its name from the Knights of the Temple to which it belonged.

You can see the remains of the ancient Arab ramparts 1500 meters long which house the castle of the Templars built in the 13th century.

Linked to the discovery of the New World by the many discoverers and conquerors native to its walls, the city has a civil and religious monumental heritage.

Cáceres

Part of UNESCO’s heritage, the old town of Cáceres, known as the Antiguo Barrio, presents a quarter of cobbled streets lined with old fortified houses, seigniorial residences and Renaissance palaces.

Near the Plaza Mayor stands the Carvajal Palace, which houses the Turismo de la Diputation area, the Provincial Tourist Office, in the inner patio.

A tourist centre, Cáceres is located on the Vía de Plata, a place used by pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela.

Plasencia

Of Roman origin then occupied by the Muslims, the regional nobility who settled in Plasencia in the fifteenth century will be scattered with religious buildings, palaces and mansions.

Nevertheless, this medieval past is still present through the remains of walls, towers and gates such as those of the Puerta del Sol or the potern of Santa Maria, giving access to this city with the peculiarity of being equipped with two cathedrals.

A few kilometres from Plasencia, Galisteo offers ramparts of Almohad origin. They were erected in the 13th century using rounded pebbles taken from the nearby river, which gives them a particular and unique appearance.

Galisteo

A few kilometres from Plasencia, Galisteo offers ramparts of Almohad origin. They were erected in the 13th century using rounded pebbles taken from the nearby river, which gives them a particular and unique appearance.

Jerte

It is during the blossoming of the cherries in the second half of March that we must go to the valley of Jerte located a few kilometers from Plasencia, to appreciate the beauty of it. Celebrations around cherry and regional products are organized there on this occasion.

Alcántara

The banks of the Tagus river and the dam on which Alcántara is located at the gates of the Sierra de San Pedro, offer nautical activities and nature.

To see: the old Roman bridge of the 2nd century which spans the Tagus for two hundred meters in length and is one of the most important monuments of the province.

The military orders that controlled this city on the borders of Portugal and for a long time at the frontier of the Christian and Muslim kingdoms left their mark on it from the 12th century through many religious and civil buildings.

Trujillo

Trujillo, a city of explorers and conquistadores, Trujillo, of Roman origin and occupied by Muslims for five centuries, inherited a vast monumental and architectural complex from the 16th century onwards. Numerous castles, palaces, emblazoned houses and religious buildings are to be discovered in its old town, which has been declared a place of cultural interest.



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