Caceres information

Introduction to the Province of Caceres
Caceres is a stunningly beautiful province in Extremadura in the west of Spain, bordered by Portugal to the west and the other Extremaduran province, Caceres, to its south. It’s one of Spain’s remotest regions, largely unspoilt and unaffected by mass tourism, a laid back place for a holiday destination and is especially attractive in the spring when the cherry blossom is out and in the autumn when the leaves turn on the trees.

Caceres City
The capital city of the province, Caceres, is a lively place with a perfectly preserved walled town, the Ciudad Monumental, at its centre, which is best explored on foot. In 1986 Caceres was declared a UNESCO World Heritage City because of its wealth of monuments and rich architectural history. Roman remains uncovered in Caceres indicate that it was a thriving Roman city as early as 25BC.

Start your city exploration in Plaza Mayor, just outside the walls of the old city. From here the city is stunning when it’s illuminated at night. You enter the old part of the city from here via the Arco de la Estrella (the star arch) and you will be immediately struck by the total lack of modernity within. Caceres has been the location for many a film for this very reason. Here, just outside the Arco, is also the imposing Casa de Toledo - Moctezuma, with its domed tower. Inside the old city, wander round the maze of streets and simply admire the architecture. The 15 Century Gothic Cathedral, the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo (where Franco was proclaimed General in 1936), the Iglesia de San Fransisco Javier and the Casa de la Ciguena (the house of the stork). If you look up at the tops of the myriad of towers in Caceres you are sure to see the nests of the giant storks for which the city is so famous.

Outside the city walls, visit the supposedly haunted Casa Museo Arabe “Yusuf Al-Borch” which has been restored and decorated to represent an exact replica of how it would have been in 12th century Moorish times.

Take a break from architecture and dip in and out of the many bars in the Plaza Mayor area to sample local wines and tapas. See below for more on the gastronomy of Caceres.

Around Caceres City and Beyond
To appreciate the province of Caceres at its best try to visit in spring when the countryside is awash with cherry blossom or in the autumn when the trees become a riot of colour. This way you will avoid the extreme heat of summer and the icy cold of winter to which Caceres is prone.

Aside from Caceres city, the small town of Trujillo is actually considered to be the most attractive in the whole of Extremadura. With a skyline of towers topped with storks and their nests, a dense central web of streets, Conquistadorian mansions and castle walls it remains virtually unchanged since the 16th Century. Life revolves around the Plaza Mayor and be sure to visit the Palacio de la Conquista in one of its corners, the grandest of Trujillo’s mansions.

The smallest monastery in the world (allegedly) is that at Palancar, the Convento del Palancar. A more modern monastery still houses a community of monks alongside the original building, ring the bell and one of the monks will give you a guided tour.

Make sure to go to Guadalupe to see the beautiful 14th Century Real Monasterio de Nuestra Senora Guadalupe. It has always been, and still is, an important and popular place of pilgrimage and is positively bursting at the seams with treasures and artefacts.

Monfrague Natural Park offers wonderful opportunities for walking and nature-watching as do the rolling plains of Llanos de Caceres and the mountains of Sierra de Fuentes. The Natural Monument of Los Barruecos is a protected landscape of fantastic granite rock formations reflected in tranquil pools of water.

The Gastronomy of Caceres
Caceres is renowned for its intensely flavoursome food: stews and roast, pork and hams and its rich, full-bodied red wines and fruit liqueurs, cherry particularly and even chestnut. Paprika (Pimenton) and garlic (Ajo) are widely grown and used in dishes as are bay leaves (Laurel). Try a local speciality known as Migas Extremenas, a fried dish of breadcrumbs, bacon, garlic and peppers, often eaten for breakfast. Another typical dish is Sopa de Obispo, a hearty chicken and ham soup. For dessert try Flan de Cerezas, an egg custard topped with locally grown cherries. A famous cheese from Caceres is Torta del Casar, a soft organic sheep’s milk cheese, often served topped with caramelised onions.

Wines from Caceres are high quality and good value. Full-bodied reds are the speciality. Try a chestnut (Marron) liqueur with your coffee to round off your meal.


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