Cultural gems of Extremadura, a travel to the origins

C√°ceres

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  • Theme: Cul¬≠ture, His¬≠to¬≠ry, Her¬≠itage and nature;
  • Place: Region of Extremadu¬≠ra;
  • When:
    • Medi¬≠um: Novem¬≠ber and Decem¬≠ber;
    • Low: Jan¬≠u¬≠ary and Feb¬≠ru¬≠ary;
  • Ser¬≠vices offered dur¬≠ing the itin¬≠er¬≠ary:
    • Tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al accom¬≠mo¬≠da¬≠tion and gas¬≠tron¬≠o¬≠my estab¬≠lish¬≠ments;
    • Guid¬≠ed vis¬≠its;
    • Trav¬≠el guides;
    • Oth¬≠er options on Nat¬≠ur¬≠al Tourism are also includ¬≠ed upon cus¬≠tomers request (as there are two nat¬≠ur¬≠al sites includ¬≠ed in the itin¬≠er¬≠ary);
  • Tar¬≠get: Over 55 who are inter¬≠est¬≠ed in Cul¬≠tur¬≠al Tourism, Gas¬≠tron¬≠o¬≠my, Archi¬≠tec¬≠ture, His¬≠to¬≠ry and Arts;
  • Dif¬≠fi¬≠cul¬≠ty: There are a total of 10 sites of inter¬≠est avail¬≠able to be vis¬≠it¬≠ed and includ¬≠ed in the itin¬≠er¬≠ary, which will be ful¬≠ly adapt¬≠able. Sev¬≠er¬≠al alter¬≠na¬≠tives will be offered by com¬≠bin¬≠ing some of these sites, and offer¬≠ing cus¬≠tomers dif¬≠fer¬≠ent alter¬≠na¬≠tives so that they can choose the one they are inter¬≠est the most and there¬≠fore cus¬≠tomize their own expe¬≠ri¬≠ence. Con¬≠se¬≠quent¬≠ly, the cus¬≠tomized itin¬≠er¬≠aries will have dif¬≠fer¬≠ent lev¬≠els of difi¬≠cul¬≠ty in each case;
  • Par¬≠tic¬≠u¬≠lar offers/services dur¬≠ing the itin¬≠er¬≠ary: 
    • Vis¬≠its to cul¬≠tur¬≠al places and mon¬≠u¬≠ments;
    • Tast¬≠ing menus;
    • Panoram¬≠ic points;
    • Excur¬≠sions to oth¬≠er close sites of inter¬≠est;
    • Vis¬≠its to local fac¬≠to¬≠ries ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ed to hand¬≠i¬≠craft and gas¬≠tro¬≠nom¬≠ic prod¬≠ucts;
    • Local food and organ¬≠ic prod¬≠ucts tast¬≠ing

Description

Cáceres is a City locat­ed in the cen­ter of the Iber­ian Penin­su­la, in the region of Extremadu­ra (it is the cap­i­tal of the Cáceres Province), it has 96,000 cit­i­zens, being the biggest and most pop­u­lat­ed city in the Province.

The Old Town of C√°ceres was declared UNESCO cul¬≠tur¬≠al site in 1986. It is one of the most com¬≠plete and well-pre¬≠served Medieval and Renais¬≠sance urban Ensem¬≠ble in the world.  The city stands out for being one of the cen¬≠ters of the Uni¬≠ver¬≠si¬≠ty of Extremadu¬≠ra, as well as for its active cul¬≠tur¬≠al life.

The ori¬≠gins of C√°ceres date back to 25 b.C., in an ancient Roman Set¬≠tle¬≠ment called Nor¬≠ben¬≠sis Cae¬≠sa¬≠ri¬≠na. Cen¬≠turies lat¬≠er, dur¬≠ing the Arab dom¬≠i¬≠na¬≠tion (12th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry), C√°ceres becomes an impor¬≠tant city due to its strate¬≠gic posi¬≠tion dur¬≠ing the bat¬≠tles between Arabs and Chris¬≠tians. After many years of wars, Alfon¬≠so IX de Le√≥n final¬≠ly re-con¬≠quered the city, which reach¬≠es its max¬≠i¬≠mum splen¬≠dor in the 15th and 16th cen¬≠turies, with the arrival of the Catholics Queen and King. Romans, Arabs, Chris¬≠tians and Jews left many traces in the city, that are reflect¬≠ed in numer¬≠ous and valu¬≠able mon¬≠u¬≠ments such as:

  • The Wall, that sep¬≠a¬≠rat¬≠ed the two city areas (inside the wall and out¬≠side the wall), whose main entrance is the Arco de la Estrel¬≠la (Star¬īs Arch).
  • The Jew¬≠ish Quar¬≠ter.
  • The Main Square (out¬≠side wall) that con¬≠cen¬≠trates numer¬≠ous options for accom¬≠mo¬≠da¬≠tion, shop¬≠ping and gas¬≠tron¬≠o¬≠my.
  • The defen¬≠sive tow¬≠ers (Albar¬≠ran Tow¬≠ers and Buja¬≠co Tow¬≠er).
  • The fortress-palaces, sym¬≠bol of the wars between nobles fam¬≠i¬≠lies, exam¬≠ples are Car¬≠va¬≠jal (with a char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tic arab, cir¬≠cu¬≠lar tow¬≠er), Golfines de Arri¬≠ba and Golfines de Aba¬≠jo, and Las Vele¬≠tas Palaces.
  • The reli¬≠gious mon¬≠u¬≠ments such as San¬≠ta Mar√≠a Con-Cathe¬≠dral (the most impor¬≠tant Chris¬≠t¬≠ian Tem¬≠ple in C√°ceres Province), San Mateo and San Jorge Church.
  • Squares (San¬≠ta Mar√≠a, San Jorge, Las Vele¬≠tas and San Mateo).
  • The Arab Aljibe (inside Las Vele¬≠tas Palace, it still remains in use).

The cul¬≠tur¬≠al and tourism alter¬≠na¬≠tives of C√°ceres also inte¬≠grate oth¬≠er types of attrac¬≠tions, such as:

  • Muse¬≠ums: Archae¬≠o¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal Muse¬≠um of C√°ceres Province, Casa Pedrilla His¬≠to¬≠ry and Cul¬≠ture Muse¬≠um, San¬≠ta Maria Con-Cathe¬≠dral Muse¬≠um, Car¬≠va¬≠jal Place Muse¬≠um , etc.
  • C√°ceres Holy Week, declared fes¬≠tiv¬≠i¬≠ty of inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al tourist inter¬≠est in 2011. The most remark¬≠able fea¬≠ture is the pro¬≠ces¬≠sion of Pen¬≠i¬≠tents of the Broth¬≠er¬≠hood of the Black Christ.
  • San Jorge Fes¬≠tiv¬≠i¬≠ty: the 23rd April, but the cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion takes place the pre¬≠vi¬≠ous day, with a parade with per¬≠for¬≠mances sym¬≠bol¬≠iz¬≠ing the fight between San Jorge and The Drag¬≠on. The Drag¬≠on is final¬≠ly burned in the Main Square.
  • WOMAD: inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al fes¬≠ti¬≠val of alter¬≠na¬≠tive music orga¬≠nized by the orga¬≠ni¬≠za¬≠tion ‚ÄúWorld Of Music, Arts and Dance‚ÄĚ.

Oth¬≠ers: Clas¬≠sic The¬≠atre Fes¬≠ti¬≠val, Three Cul¬≠tures Medieval Fair, Extre¬≠gus¬≠ta, etc 

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M√ČRIDA

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Méri­da was found­ed by the Romans in 25 b.C. under the name of Eméri­ta Augus­ta, the main pur­pose of its foun­da­tion was to award the retired, senior sol­diers who fought against Cantabri­ans and Astures. It was elect­ed as Cap­i­tal of the Lusi­ta­nia Province by the Roman Empire.

Its strate¬≠gic loca¬≠tion made it one of the most rel¬≠e¬≠vant and influ¬≠en¬≠tial places of the Roman Empire, which is reflect¬≠ed in its huge his¬≠toric-artis¬≠tic her¬≠itage.  Among its most rel¬≠e¬≠vant mon¬≠u¬≠ments is The Roman The¬≠atre (where the Inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al Clas¬≠si¬≠cal The¬≠atre Fes¬≠ti¬≠val takes place), the Amphithe¬≠atre, ‚ÄúLos Mila¬≠gros‚ÄĚ aque¬≠duct, the Arch of Tra¬≠jan, the Roman Bridge, the Cir¬≠cus and the Tem¬≠ple of Diana. All of them are evi¬≠dences of the char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tic lifestyle in a Cap¬≠i¬≠tal city of the Roman Imperi¬≠um. The Arab alcaz¬≠a¬≠ba locat¬≠ed next to the roman bridge is the old¬≠est in the Iber¬≠ian Penin¬≠su¬≠la and con¬≠serves a cis¬≠tern with Roman and Visig¬≠oth ele¬≠ments.

From the Mid¬≠dle Ages, it has to be point¬≠ed out the Basil¬≠i¬≠ca of San¬≠ta Eulalia, which was the first Chris¬≠t¬≠ian tem¬≠ple built in the Iber¬≠ian Penin¬≠su¬≠la (4th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry). It keeps a crypt with a remark¬≠able Chris¬≠t¬≠ian necrop¬≠o¬≠lis. Oth¬≠er rel¬≠e¬≠vant mon¬≠u¬≠ments are: the Con-cathe¬≠dral of San¬≠ta Mar√≠a la May¬≠or, Nues¬≠tra Se√Īo¬≠ra de la Antigua Church, the Main Square, Men¬≠zona Palace, etc.

The Archae­o­log­i­cal Roman Ensem­ble of Méri­da was declared UNESCO World Her­itage in 1993. The city has been the cap­i­tal of the region of Extremadu­ra since 1983 and it is an impor­tant admin­is­tra­tive cen­ter, serv­ing as com­mu­ni­ca­tion hub with oth­er major cities such as Madrid, Seville and Lis­bon.

The M√©ri¬≠da Inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al Clas¬≠si¬≠cal The¬≠atre Fes¬≠ti¬≠val is the old¬≠est in Spain of these char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics and has its begin¬≠nings around 1933 with Seneca¬īs play ‚ÄúMedea‚ÄĚ. The plays are per¬≠formed annu¬≠al¬≠ly in July and August in the are¬≠na of the Roman the¬≠atre, mak¬≠ing it the old¬≠est the¬≠atre in the world hold¬≠ing per¬≠for¬≠mances of clas¬≠si¬≠cal texts, its 62 edi¬≠tion took place in sum¬≠mer 2016, receiv¬≠ing a big rep¬≠re¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠tion of rel¬≠e¬≠vant the¬≠atre pro¬≠fes¬≠sion¬≠als and actors from the nation¬≠al scenery. 

Guadalupe

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Guadalupe is a town of approx¬≠i¬≠mate¬≠ly 2000 inhab¬≠i¬≠tants locat¬≠ed in the north-east of Extremadu¬≠ra, in Las Vil¬≠luer¬≠cas Area. It is an impor¬≠tant and artis¬≠tic cen¬≠ter it holds the Roy¬≠al Monastery of Guadalupe, with remark¬≠able exam¬≠ples of Mujedar art, Goth¬≠ic Archi¬≠tec¬≠ture and Zur¬≠bar√°n works. How¬≠ev¬≠er, one piece stands out from the rest: the stat¬≠ue of the vir¬≠gin of Guadalupe, patroness of Extremadu¬≠ra.  This holy place was declared UNESCO World Her¬≠itage in 1993 and is locat¬≠ed in the Main Square, it counts on an aston¬≠ish¬≠ing Goth¬≠ic fa√ßade.

Accord¬≠ing to the leg¬≠end, the statute of the Vir¬≠gin of Guadalupe was found¬≠ed by a shep¬≠herd in the 13th cen¬≠tu¬≠ry, which had been pre¬≠vi¬≠ous¬≠ly hid¬≠den by Sevil¬≠lian cler¬≠ics dur¬≠ing their run¬≠way from the Moors. As a result, a lit¬≠tle her¬≠mitage was built. In 1337 it was extend¬≠ed by ini¬≠tia¬≠tive of the king Alfon¬≠so XI.

The church present in the monastery was re-built three times, being the cur¬≠rent one of goth¬≠ic style, with Latin cross shape. The monastery also pos¬≠sess¬≠es two Clois¬≠ters: the Mude¬≠jar is the most beau¬≠ti¬≠ful, with rep¬≠re¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠tions of Virgin¬īs mir¬≠a¬≠cles.

Dur­ing the peri­od in which the monastery was ruled by the Hieronymite monks, the painter Fran­cis­co de Zur­barán paint­ed eight enor­mous can­vas­es to dec­o­rate the sac­risty, illus­trat­ing dif­fer­ent scenes in the monks’ life.

The Vir­gin niche has octag­o­nal floor and Roco Style, and it was a work from Fran­cis­co Rodríguez Romero. It also pos­sess­es paint­ing of Luca Gior­dano and Francesco Leonar­di.

A vis¬≠it to the monastery is not com¬≠plete with¬≠out see¬≠ing the muse¬≠ums. One of them is an embroi¬≠dery muse¬≠um, with the crafts¬≠man¬≠ship elab¬≠o¬≠rat¬≠ed by the monks in the monastery. The illus¬≠trat¬≠ed books muse¬≠um is in the Mude¬≠jar Clois¬≠ter and holds works of El Gre¬≠co and Goya.

DAY 1. Trujillo and C√°ceres Cities.

First day morn­ing vis­i­tors will be tak­en to a guid­ed tour through the Old Town of Tru­jil­lo. Tru­jil­lo city is known by many as the City of the Con­querors, as it is the place of ori­gin of rel­e­vant con­querors such as Fran­cis­co Pizarro and Fran­cis­co de Orel­lana.

The cen¬≠tral point of Tru¬≠jil¬≠lo is its Main Square or Plaza May¬≠or, which is and has been the cen¬≠ter of the eco¬≠nom¬≠ic and social life of the city dur¬≠ing cen¬≠turies, with the eques¬≠tri¬≠an stat¬≠ue of Pizarro occu¬≠py¬≠ing a cen¬≠tral place.

When walk¬≠ing around Trujillo¬īs Old Town, vis¬≠i¬≠tors will feel as they are trav¬≠el¬≠ling back to times to the late Mid¬≠dle Ages, vis¬≠it¬≠ing church¬≠es, palaces and manor hous¬≠es which were built between the 14th and 16th cen¬≠turies. On the top of the Old Town lays the Tru¬≠jil¬≠lo Cas¬≠tle, which offers breath tak¬≠ing views of the city.

Cáceres city is 45 km far from Tru­jil­lo, vis­i­tors will arrive to the city to have lunch and enjoy the gas­tro­nom­ic spe­cial­ties of the 2015 Gas­tron­o­my Cap­i­tal of Spain. After that, they will be tak­en to a guid­ed tour through the UNESCO Old Town of Cáceres, which is one of the most well-pre­served walled, medieval cities in Europe.

The archi¬≠tec¬≠ture of the Old Town is a blend of Roman, Islam¬≠ic, North¬≠ern Goth¬≠ic and Ital¬≠ian Renais¬≠sance styles. Vis¬≠i¬≠tors will pass through the ‚ÄúArco de la Estrel¬≠la‚ÄĚ to enter the walled area and will vis¬≠it rel¬≠e¬≠vant mon¬≠u¬≠ments and build¬≠ings such as the Buja¬≠co Tow¬≠er (part of the ancient Arab alcazar), the San¬≠ta Mar√≠a Cathe¬≠dral, the Car¬≠va¬≠jal Palace, church¬≠es such as San Jorge or San Mateo, the Arab Cis¬≠tern- Aljibe- (inside the C√°ceres provin¬≠cial muse¬≠um) and many nobil¬≠i¬≠ty con¬≠struc¬≠tions (fortress-hous¬≠es) that are sym¬≠bol of the bat¬≠tles main¬≠tained by the noble bat¬≠tles and the peace gen¬≠er¬≠at¬≠ed by the uni¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tion of the dif¬≠fer¬≠ent king¬≠doms by the Catholic King and Queen dur¬≠ing the late Mid¬≠dle Ages.

DAY 2. Los Barruecos Natural Monument and Mérida city.

Morn¬≠ing will be ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ed to vis¬≠it the Bar¬≠rue¬≠cos Nat¬≠ur¬≠al Mon¬≠u¬≠ment, which was declared Mejor Rinc√≥n de Espa√Īa (best cor¬≠ner of Spain) in 2015. It is a unique nat¬≠ur¬≠al cre¬≠ation and land¬≠scape char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by gran¬≠ite for¬≠ma¬≠tions shaped by the water and oth¬≠er ero¬≠sive agents. The com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠tion of these for¬≠ma¬≠tions and sev¬≠er¬≠al lakes that are present in the place cre¬≠ate the per¬≠fect habi¬≠tat for many ani¬≠mal species such as the storks and the grey heron. Traces of ancient pop¬≠u¬≠la¬≠tion are reflect¬≠ed in their archae¬≠o¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal remains as well.

The Vostell-Mal­par­ti­da Muse­um is locat­ed in the mon­u­ment area. Found­ed in 1976 by Wolf Vostell, a Span­ish-Ger­man artist of inter­na­tion­al pres­tige, the muse­um keeps an impor­tant col­lec­tion of fluxus art.

Vis­i­tors will be tak­en to Méri­da at lunch hour and then they will vis­it the UNESCO Archae­o­log­i­cal Ensem­ble of Méri­da. It is an excel­lent exam­ple of a provin­cial Roman cap­i­tal dur­ing the empire and in the years after­wards.

The colony of Augus­ta Emeri­ta, which became present-day Méri­da in Extremadu­ra, was found­ed in 25 B.C. and was the cap­i­tal of Lusi­ta­nia, as well as one of the three bor­der cap­i­tals of Al-Andalus, along with Tole­do and Zaragoza, ensur­ing con­trol of the west­ern part of the Iber­ian penin­su­la.

This UNESCO Archae¬≠o¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal Ensem¬≠ble is formed by sev¬≠er¬≠al mon¬≠u¬≠ments: Roman The¬≠atre and Amphi-The¬≠atre, Roman Cir¬≠cus, Nation¬≠al Roman Art Muse¬≠um, Arab Alcaz¬≠a¬≠ba, Moor¬≠ish Quar¬≠ter, Saint Eulalia¬īs Crypt and Colum¬≠bar¬≠ios. Apart from these, there are oth¬≠er out¬≠doors mon¬≠u¬≠ments such as Diana Tem¬≠ple, the Roman Bridge, Trajano¬īs Arch, etc.

DAY 3. Olivenza and Badajoz.

Third day morn­ing, vis­i­tors will enjoy a guid­ed tour through Oliven­za. This city was found­ed by the Order of the Tem­plar Knights in the 13th cen­tu­ry and was under Por­tuguese gov­ern­ment until the 19th cen­tu­ry. The mon­u­men­tal Oliven­za pre­serves with pride the remains of its Por­tuguese past. In gen­er­al, its archi­tec­ture com­bines styles from both coun­tries, and its mon­u­men­tal her­itage is quite rich. Being on the bor­der with Por­tu­gal, Oliven­za built many fortress­es lined with bas­tions, as well as many oth­er for­ti­fied struc­tures such as the Arse­nal of San­ta Bár­bara, the watch­tow­ers found by the gates, and the bar­racks.

After lunch, vis¬≠i¬≠tors will be picked to Bada¬≠joz, where the itin¬≠er¬≠ary ends up.  The City of Bada¬≠joz has Arab ori¬≠gins, being found¬≠ed in 875 by Ibn Mar¬≠wan al-Chill¬≠iqui. In that moment Bada¬≠joz is for¬≠ti¬≠fied and becomes a true city in which the three cul¬≠tures coex¬≠ist: Ara¬≠bic, Chris¬≠t¬≠ian and Jew¬≠ish. The old¬≠est part of the city is the ‚ÄúAlcaz¬≠a¬≠ba‚ÄĚ, which is one of the bet¬≠ter pre¬≠served Arab for¬≠ti¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tions in the coun¬≠try. This for¬≠ti¬≠fied area will be the start point of the vis¬≠it, which high¬≠light¬≠ed two rel¬≠e¬≠vant attrac¬≠tion: the ‚ÄúEspan¬≠ta¬≠per¬≠ros‚ÄĚ Tow¬≠er and the Provin¬≠cial Arche¬≠o¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal Muse¬≠um.

Oth¬≠er rel¬≠e¬≠vant attrac¬≠tions that will be vis¬≠it¬≠ed are the ‚ÄúPlaza Alta‚ÄĚ, the ‚ÄúGiraldil¬≠la‚ÄĚ Tow¬≠er, the ‚ÄúSoledad‚ÄĚ Church, the Cathe¬≠dral and ‚ÄúPuer¬≠ta de Pal¬≠mas‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúPal¬≠mas‚ÄĚ bridge.

Contact:

Fuentes del Tram­pal

Place of legal estab­lish­ment:

Aveni¬≠da de Col√≥n 18 (2¬ļ A)

06001 Bada¬≠joz, Spain

 

Web­site and tele­phone:

www.fuentesdeltrampal.com

fuentesdeltrampal@gmail.com

+34 924 12 30 18

 

Con­tact per­son:

Jorge Pri­eto

jorge.fuentestrampal@gmail.com

+34 608 922 785

 

CLUTUREX

Place of legal estab­lish­ment:

Edi­fi­cio Val­hon­do

Avda. de la Uni¬≠ver¬≠si¬≠dad, sn

10003 C√°ceres (Spain)

 

Web­site and tele­phone:

www.clusterturismoextremadura.es

 

 

Con­tact per­son:

María Blázquez

innovacion@clusterturismoextremadura.es

+34 927 260 292 / +34 687 664 715