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W EEKEND R OUTES IN E XTREMADURA

JUNTA DE EXTREMADURA Consejer铆a de Cultura y Turismo Direcci贸n General de Turismo

2008


PRESENTATION Society and its values inevitably change and, with them, the ways in which we engage in tourism. Our way of travelling has particularly changed recently, becoming a reflection of the interests of people nowadays and, above all, reflecting the way we understand relaxation and the contemporary manner of enjoying our leisure time. The main reason for travelling is usually to escape from monotony and forget about work and everyday life. However, our desire to disconnect from everything doesn’t mean we want to waste our time. A worthwhile trip is one that has some substance, that makes us face up to a genuine reality, that involves learning, development, the stimulation of the five senses, etc. After all, human beings have always sought to feel alive and one of the most invigorating ways of achieving this is to experience the sensation of travel. Extremadura is an ideal destination for those who, although they don’t have enough time to travel far, still wish to experience a new, surprising and stimulating reality. Extremadura is a unique area; a place that has balanced development with the conservation of natural spaces, the preservation of local identities and traditions and the protection of its historical heritage and folklore as a living inheritance. This is a land of contrasts. By making just short trips it is possible to transform any route into a true journey through history and mark every trip with different backdrops, with the change from one landscape to another. From the leafiness of its mountain ranges and deciduous forests to the vast horizons of its steppe areas, from Roman times to the era of Muslim domination, from the extensive and omnipresent meadows to some of the largest wetland areas in Europe, from medieval historic districts trapped in time, to suggestive Renaissance and Mudejar surroundings. Every weekend in Extremadura is a choice in which nothing is foregone. A safe bet that has its best guarantee in the varied richness of its regions. A destination that makes a short break a true journey.


2 3 4

1

5 18

20 16

Croquis de la ciudad de Badajoz con la ubicacion de sus Museos 7 11

6

19

17

8 15

14

12 9 21 10

13

22


INDEX Nº

ROUTE

1

The Gata Mountain Range

08

2

Between the Hurdes and the north of the Alagon

16

3

The Ambroz Valley

24

4

The Jerte Valley

30

5

To La Vera from Plasencia

36

6

To Guadalupe through the Villuercas

44

7

The Ibores

51

8

The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

56

9

Tierra de Barros

66

10 The Southern Mountain Range

PAGE

76

Croquis de la ciudad de Badajoz con la ubicacion de sus Museos

11 From La Raya Northwards

84

12 La Serena

92

13 The Campiña Sur

100

14 To Merida through the Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

108

15 To Cornalvo through the Vegas Altas del Guadiana

116

16 From Plasencia to the Nacional Park of Monfragüe

124

17 To Trujillo from Montanchez

130

18 The Alagon Valley

140

19 Around Caceres

148

20 Campo Arañuelo

158

21 The Raya Sur to Badajoz

166

22 Tentudía

174


1

W EEKEND R OUTES

A ROUND

THE

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G ATA M OUNTAIN R ANGE


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Robledillo de Gata Descargamaría CIUDAD RODRIGO

Valverde del Fresno

Gata

EX-109

San Martín Eljas de Trevejo

Cadalso

Torrecilla de los Ángeles

Torre de Don Miguel Villasbuenas Hernán Pérez Villanueva de Gata de la Sierra Santibáñez el Alto Perales del Puerto

Acebo

Villamiel Trevejo Hoyos

Cilleros EMBALSE DE BORBOLLÓN MORALEJA

ITINERARY

TOURIST ROUTE

Cilleros - Trevejo - Villamiel - San Martín

Our starting point, to go from Coria or Moraleja, will be Cilleros, village located at the foot of the Gata mountain range, famous in the whole of Extremadura for its wine and vineyards. Among other buildings, we can visit the parish church of Ntra. Sra. De los Apóstoles, the Town Hall or the so-called Casa Grande. From Cilleros, on the rural road EX – 205, we can see the Castle of the village of Trevejo, a large Arab fortress, around which the village grew. The village has been declared of Cultural Interest and it displays an example of beautiful popular mountain architecture. A few kilometres away is the village of Villamiel, which has an interesting Palace of the Dean from the 17th century, the parish church of La Magdalena is 16th century and has some curious inscriptions and popular sayings on its walls. The mountain countryside is admirable on the way to San Martín de Trevejo, village that has preserved with pride a

de Trevejo - Eljas Valverde del Fresno - Hoyos - Acebo Perales del Puerto Villasbuenas de Gata - Santibáñez el Alto - Hernán Pérez Torrecilla de los Ángeles - Villanueva de la Sierra - Torre de Don Miguel Gata - Cadalso - Descargamaría Robledillo de Gata.

INDICATIONS The Sierra de Gata (Gata mountain range) is located in the north west of the region of Extremadura, bordering in some parts with Portugal and the province of Salamanca, which makes it even more attractive having typical customs from other regions in La Raya. This route will allow you to see magnificent examples of popular mountain architecture, where chestnut wood-framed buildings are the most typical. Some of the most important historical buildings are mediaeval, the castles and churches are outstanding; of great beauty and historical importance. 9


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Castle of Trevejo

interesting buildings such as the Casa de los Frades (18th century), parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, built by the architect Pedro de Ibarra in the 16th century, the hermitage of Cristo del Humilladero, and the Main Square with its picturesque arcade. From Valverde del Fresno, again on the Ex –205 rural road, we reach Hoyos, with important noble buildings; summer residence of the bishops of Coria. Among its religious buildings is the important parish church of Nuestra Señora del Buen Varón, built between the 15th and 16th centuries. Before continuing to the east of the Sierra de Gata, we shall visit the village of Acebo, with numerous examples of popular architecture and clearly Gothic and Renaissance influence in its parish church of Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles. Further south on the road that goes from Moraleja to Ciudad Rodrigo, we will stop in the village of Perales del Puerto, located in the heart of this mountain range where the pine trees and the oaks reign, it has

Main Square of San Martín de Trevejo

dialect called “mañegu” or “fala de Xalama” also spoken in Eljas and Valverde del Fresno. In the centre of the village there are beautiful typical corners, and we can highlight the Main Square (Plaza Mayor) with its beautiful arches. The church of San Martín de Tours, and the Palace of the Comendador (Knight Commander), all of great historical and artistic interest. Continuing our route to the most western part of the Gata mountain range, visiting the village of Eljas, with its 14th century castle reformed in later centuries. In the village we can find the church of La Asunción, built in the 15th -16th century. Very near Eljas is the border village of Valverde del Fresno, just next to Portugal. Which proudly preserves some very 10


Around The Gata Mountain Range

The village of Villanueva de la Sierra almost at the eastern limits of the Gata mountain range, is the doorway to the neighbouring region of Las Hurdes, inside the village the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (16th century) is of interest. As well as its altarpiece dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. Going back a few kilometres on the C –513 road to the intersection that will take us to Torre de Don Miguel, so we can visit this typical mountain village with important 16th

interesting houses in the typical mountain style of the region. Of interest is the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (15th-16th century). Continuing on the Ex -203 along the eastern part of the Sierra de Gata, we come to the village of Villasbuenas de Gata with its large Main Square and the church of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación (16th century). Behind the church one can see some beautiful Gothic pointed windows and the famous and original Casa de la Mujer Panzuda. Santibañez el Alto can be seen from its fabulous viewpoint. The top of the village is crowned with the Castle, of Arab origin and which dates from the 9th century, which in the 12th would be taken over by the Order of Alcántara. The church of San Pedro, built between the 16th and 16th centuries. The landscape from these heights is unforgettable. Hernán Pérez, where interesting Bronze Age Stella have appeared, has two important religious buildings: the church of Santa María Magdalena (16th century) and the 18th century hermitage of Santo Cristo de la Paz. Very near, next to Las Hurdes, are the villages of Torrecilla de Los Angeles and Villanueva de la Sierra. In Torrecilla de los Angeles, near the river Tralgas. Rough stonebuilt mountain constructions are abundant, and this is what the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (16th century) is built of, it has a beautiful Mudéjar style ceiling in its chancel.

View of Acebo

Main Square of Villasbuenas de Gata

11


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Parish church of Torre de Don Miguel

the Reyes Católicos above the water fountain Fuente del Chorro. A nearby natural swimming pool located in a beautiful site on the Rivera de Gata, is the natural prologue to one of the most charming campsites in northern Extremadura. Returning to Torre de Don Miguel, we can continue to the village of Cadalso, surrounded by magnificent and exuberant vegetation, near the river Árrago. The village of Cadalso, temporary residence of King Alfonso IX, a keen hunter, preserves an interesting structure, highlighting the parish church of La Concepción, with its fortress aspect, built between the 15th and 16th centuries in granite, with the assistance of the architect Pedro de Ibarra. We must not forget the interesting hermitage of El Cristo. A few kilometres away, in mountain countryside, is the village of Descargamaría, on the river Árrago. It has typical streets and alleys. Its church San

Chorro fountain in Gata

century buildings such as the Casa de la Encomienda, the beautiful Renaissance hermitage of el Cristo and its interesting and impressive parish church with Gothic influence. Going west we will come to Gata, with its excellent examples of popular mountain and religious architecture such as the parish church of San Pedro, with its excellent Raredos made by the sculptor Pedro de Paz. From its attractive Main Square we can see the majestic Crest of 12


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Juan El Hospitalario was built in the 16th century. It also has a hermitage of the Santo Cordero, built between the 15th and 16th centuries, with a Mudéjar style wooden ceiling, and also the hermitage of the Humilladero (16th century). Robledillo de Gata is the last village on this route, and perhaps the most attractive and picturesque of the Sierra de Gata, declared of Cultural Interest. It is surrounded by trees and vineyards and is crossed by streams and fountains that end up in the river Árrago. The perfect preservation of its buildings, some of which are now rural lodgings, with beautiful wood frames, passages, bridges and tunnels, is one of its main attractions, being a most beautiful collection of buildings. At the top of the village is the church of the Asunción (16th century), with a wide circular portico. In this part of the village there are also some

La Concepción church in Cadalso

curious and beautiful wall paintings on some of the houses. In the outskirts of the village there is a quiet natural swimming pool surrounded by beautiful landscape. Descargamaría

13


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Santibáñez el Alto from Borbollón

GASTRONOMY

parias” (sponge cake) from San Martín de Trevejo, or the “cañas” from Villamiel, are famous in the whole region. The oranges from the numerous fruit orchards are also excellent. The home-made wine “vino de pitarra” is especially good in Cilleros, Valverde del Fresno, San Martín de Trevejo, Descargamaría and Robledillo de Gata, without forgetting the liqueurs.

This is an authentic paradise for wild mushrooms during a large part of the autumn and winter. The Sierra de Gata region has a large variety of wild mushrooms that the good local cooks can turn into succulent dishes. Lamb and above all kid are the preferred meats traditionally for stews and other dishes such as grilled meat. There are also good cured sausages (embutidos) and home made hams. The local olive oils are also magnificent, some of the best in Extremadura, like the cheeses. The home-made cakes such as the “roscas de huevo” (donuts) from Descargamaría, “bizcochos de

CRAFTS Wrought iron work and goldsmith work in Gata. Wicker work in San Martín de Trevejo and Cadalso. Magnificent woodcarving in Valverde del Fresno, and lace in Acebo.

Robledillo de Gata

14


Around The Gata Mountain Range

Wicker work

FEASTS

numerous vegetable gardens and a great deal of birds, many of them protected birds of prey that nest in the hills. Clean rivers and natural swimming pools make up the beautiful landscape and invite one to swim in the summer in an area that has mild temperatures for most of the year. From the heights of the mountains the landscape is unforgettable, one can even see the neighbouring regions. This is also an important refuge for the Iberian lynx.

The ancient Carnivals, the Easter processions are interesting as well as the Capazo in Torre de Don Miguel.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE This is the reign of the oak and the pine tree, which make these lands green for most of the year, especially in summer. Autumn brings contrasts of reds and browns in the abundant forests where Boletus Edulis and other varieties of wild mushroom are very common. There are 15


2

W EEKEND R OUTES

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B ETWEEN LAS HURDES AND THE NORTH OF

ALAGÓN


Robled o

Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

Riomalo Ladrillar de Arriba Cabezo Casares de las Hurdes Las Mestas Asegur Nuñomoral El Gasco Cerezal Rubiaco Riomalo Aldehuela Fragosa Martilandrán de Abajo Vegas de Coria Erías HorcajoAvellanar Cambrón Cambroncino Huerta Castillo Dehesilla Robledo Caminomorisco La Pesga Ovejuela Mesegal Muela Pinofranqueado Sauceda Rivera Oveja Azabal Casar de Palomero Huetre Carabusino

Pantano de Gabriel y Galán

EX-204

EX-205

PLASENCIA

we will be surprised by magnificent waterfalls and beautiful meandering rivers. The popular buildings made of slate are common in most villages, and there are abundant tiny villages where the brown colour of the buildings contrasts with the green of the surrounding pine trees and the incredible colour of the flora.

ITINERARY Ovejuela - Pinofranqueado - Sauceda Robledo - Muela - Avellanar - Castillo Horcajo - Erías - Aldehuela Caminomorisco - Casar de Palomero La Pesga - Rivera Oveja - Azabal Cambrón - Dehesilla - Huerta Mesegal - Cambroncino - Vegas de Coria - Nuñomoral - Cerezal - Martilandrán Fragosa - El Gasco - Asegur Casares de las Hurdes - Casarrubia -

TOURIST ROUTE

Huetre - Cabezo - Robledo - Carabusino -

From Villanueva de la Sierra, southern gateway to the area of Hurdes, we can start our route on the Ex –204 road, which goes from the town of Coria to the region of Salamanca. Ex – 204 will take us to the main villages of Las Hurdes, where we can visit the nearby small villages right in the hills of the area. The first village to visit will be Ovejuela, a few kilometres away from Villanueva de la Sierra, which you can reach on Ex – 204,

El Rubiaco - Horcajada - La Batuequilla Riomalo de Arriba - Ladrillar Las Mestas - Riomalo de Abajo.

INDICATIONS The Hurdes are located in the north west of Extremadura, bordering with regions of Salamanca, Portugal and Sierra de Gata, Ambroz Valley, and on the south with the lands of the Alagón Valley. This route will take us through very beautiful mountains where 17


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

Ángeles, to see its famous “Chorro” (spring), well known in the area for being the birth place of the river Ovejuela. Going back to Ex –204 to see Pinofranqueado, one of the main villages in Hurdes and frequently visited in spring and summer due to its large natural swimming pool on the river Los Ángeles, and with an excellent camp site nearby, a showpiece of nature and good restaurants. In the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) of the village is the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Encina, modified in the 18th century. The village feast of “La Enramá” in August, has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. On the river Los Ángeles and very near Ovejuela is the tiny village of Sauceda. In the beautiful valley of the river Esparabán there is an important collection of tiny and attractive villages: Robledo, Muela and Avellanar, with an important and attractive natural swimming pool.

Lanscape of Huedes in Horcajo

near Pinofranqueado. Ovejuela is surrounded by beautiful landscape, small rivers and clear natural swimming pools, abundant in oak trees, pine trees, chestnuts and ferns. It would be interesting to visit the birth of the river Río de los Ovejuela on the mountainside

18


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

To the north of the region there are three other quiet and beautiful little villages: Castillo, which has picturesque wooden balconies and overhead bridges/corridors connecting buildings, just like Horcajo, or the beautiful village of Erías, with a nostalgic entrance under an impressive typical archway. This was an ancient fortress in prehistoric times. If we continue up a little we can reach the last of the villages: Aldehuela, where the road ends. Here one can see one of the best displays of popular architecture of Hurdes. If we go back down to the Ex –204 road, we can reach Caminomorisco, important village in the area, its popular architecture, with an abundance of wooden balconies and overhanging eaves, is of the best of Hurdes. The Chorreón del Tajo, stream where the river Alavea or Aceña is born, is very near and can be reached on a forest path through pine trees. On this path, at the outskirts of Caminomorisco, is a

magnificent natural swimming pool. The typical wood frame and adobe and the slate constructions of Las Hurdes are magnificently displayed in the nearby village of Casar del Palomero, where in the past there lived together the three great cultures of the peninsula: Jews, Arabs and Christians, who still have their typical quarters in the village. There are two interesting parish churches in Casar de Palomero, both from the 18th century: Espíritu Santo and Inmaculada Concepción. Near the village is the river Los Ángeles surrounded by one of the largest extensions of olive groves in Extremadura that also reach the villages of La Pesga and Rivera Oveja, almost beside Ex –204, the reservoir of La Pesga is a magnificent place for fishing. There are interesting examples of popular architecture in the nearby tiny villages of Azabal, Cambrón, Dehesilla, Huerta and Mesgal.

Church in Pinofranqueado, 18th century

Las lastimas church in Cambroncino

19


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

Arrozereal reservoir

An important village to visit, dependent on Caminomorisco, is Cambroncino, with the most important religious building in all of Las Hurdes: the church of Santa Catalina, known as “Las Lástimas” from the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with an attractive classical entrance. The most important village in the west of Las Hurdes is Nuñomoral, which you can reach from Vegas de Coria, on the Ex – 204 road, and where one can find one of the largest

natural swimming pools in the area, on the river Hurdano. Eleven tiny villages depend administratively on this one. Its parish church, near the original town hall, is Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, made of masonry. From Nuñomoral we can go west or north, so on the route of La Minacera, we can visit El Gasco and its impressive fountain, on the way we pass by the rivers Hurdano and Malvedillo, where the small

La Fragosa

20


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

Alagón River in Riomalo de Abajo

Near Casar de Hurdes is Riomalo de Arriba, which still preserves most of its typical houses built with large sheets of black and grey slate. The same as Ladrillar, which seems to melt into the surrounding countryside as one. The way the houses are placed together gives a special aspect to its sinuous streets. A few kilometres away, on the road to Las Mestas, we will pass by the Convent of Las Batuecas, surrounded by woodland and

village El Cerezal is located; to the north west on passing La Sierpe gorge is Martilandrán, and on abrupt ground La Fragosa, with its houses situated on the mountain side and the river Malvedillo at its feet. Nearby is the religious centre of Cotolengo, real natural balcony of the area. From El Gasco, in half an hour, you can reach the famous chorro de la Minacera spring, the highest in Las Hurdes. Back to Nuñomoral and following the course of the river Hurdano, we come to one of the most beautiful small villages of the area, Asegur, with traditional slate and rough stone buildings beside the river. Casarrubia, Huetre, Cabezo, Robledo and Carabusino, are the villages near Casar de Hurdes on the road, which takes us there from Asegur. Close by is the beautiful birthplace of the river Hurdano and the peaks of Rayado and Bordoya. Other small villages round Nuñomoral are El Rubiaco, Horcajada and La Batuequilla.

Typical beehives made of cork

21


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

rivers with crystal clear water and in a quiet and peaceful environment. Las Mestas is famous in the whole of Spain for its honey and pollen. Located in incomparably beautiful landscape, a few kilometres off the Ex –204 road, which will take us to the last village on the route: the enchanting and friendly little village Riomalo de Abajo, on the border with the region of Castilla y León and with a very rich countryside. The beautiful meanders of the Alagón river and the crystalline waters of the Ladrillar river, which flows into the Alagón, whose reservoir is rich in fish.

Wood and stone craft

through the year, and the appreciation of their wild mushrooms (boletus and niscalos) is growing day by day and is the base for succulent dishes.

GASTRONOMY The meat products of the area are famous: the cured sausages (“embutidos”) with their peculiar mountain taste – “chorizo” and “morcillas de calbaza” (blood sausage), as well as the cured hams and “lomos”. The olive oil from Las Hurdes is highly appreciated both inside and out of the region. The dishes of beans and stews with roasts are famous in Las Hurdes. The roast kid is especially good in Riomalo de Abajo and Caminomorisco. Chestnuts and figs (“Jigus curinus”) of the Hurdes are also famous. Home made cakes such as the “perrunillas” (type of biscuit) of La Pesga, bread donuts of Pinofranqueado and the “flores”(flowers) and “tiroletes” in Cabezo. Don’t forget to buy some magnificent pollen and honey. There is also a production of magnificent goat cheeses all

CRAFT Stone and volcanic rock lamps in Aldehuela and El Gasco. The famous castanets of Fragosa, Casares de las Hurdes and Cerezal, as well as the making and carving of chairs. In Fragosa drums are made, and in Asegur pretty wooden recorders. Without forgetting the pipes made of briar, the stone lamps and the straw hats from Pinofranqueado and Erías. Baskets in Casares de las Hurdes. And embroidery is also popular in all of the Hurdes.

FEASTS The Feast of the Day of Hurdes is especially important, and above all the “Fiesta de la Enramá” in Pinofranqueado, around the 23rd of August, 22


Between The Hurdes and the North of Alagón

declared Feast of Regional Tourist Interest.

invite the visitor to crown them, and for bird watching. There are small reservoirs that sprinkle the landscape where water is more needed, such as the ones in La Pesga, Caminomorisco, Árrago, Atalaya, etc. Streams with crystal clear water, natural swimming pools, incredible waterfalls, and rivers with incomparable meanders, all within forests of pine and oak trees. Multitudes of fruit trees flower in spring, and they are getting more and more abundant in a region where there are important bee keeping installations, which are famous in Extremadura.

LANDSCAPE AND NATURE The rivers in Hurdes have a common denominator: the cleanness of the water throughout the year, the river Los Ángeles and those which flow into the Alagón such as Hurdano, Ovejuela, Esparabán, Riomalo or Malvellido, of prime importance for the villages on their banks. In the woods chestnut trees, oaks, olives, pines and cherry trees, etc. are abundant. The mountains that surround this area are attractive both for their medium heights, which

Feast of “La Enramá” in Pinofranqueado

23


3

W EEKEND R OUTES

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T HE AMBROZ VALLEY


The Ambroz Valley

La Garganta Pantano de Gabriel y Galán

Baños de Montemayor Granadilla

Zarza de Granadilla

Aldeanueva Abadía del Camino

La Granja

Hervás

Gargantilla Segura de Toro Casas del Monte

Guijo de Granadilla

Jarilla Cabezabellosa

Villar de Plasencia Oliva de Plasencia

EX-110

PLASENCIA

ITINERARY

TOURIST ROUTE

Our starting point will be Plasencia. Strategically located at the beginning of the route along the valley of the river Ambroz, and from which we will access the nearby Oliva de Plasencia, just at the beginning of Tras Sierra. Where we can visit the 18th century Palace of the Condes de Oliva and the parish church of San Blas, from the 16th century with its interesting 18th century Baroque altar-piece. A few kilometres away are the archaeological remains of the Archway of Cáparra and some traces of the Roman city of Cáparra, on the ancient Vía de la Plata (Silver road). Going back to the N-630 road, we can see at the foot of the mountains Villar de Plasencia, which can be visited for its interesting religious buildings, the 16th century church of la Asunción with certain Gothic traces, and the hermitages of San

Oliva de Plasencia - Villar de Plasencia - Cabezabellosa - Jarilla Casas del Monte - La Granja Granadilla - Zarza de Granadilla Guijo de Granadilla - Abadía Segura de Toro - Gargantilla Aldeanueva del Camino - Baños de Montemayor - La Garganta - Hervás

INDICATIONS The Jerte Valley gets its name from the river that flows through it, between the Tras Sierra Mountains and the Tormantos sierra. This valley and all the area has a pleasant temperature all year round, which gives it a very special climate for agriculture. To this excellent climate, we can add the gastronomy, magnificent landscape and good lodgings. The popular mountain architecture is some of the most representative in the north of Extremadura, made of stone and wood-framed. 25


The Ambroz Valley

Popular architecture in Aldeanueva

Bartolomé and San Antonio de Padua. A little to the north of this beautiful mountain, on the slopes we can find the village of Cabezabellosa, surrounded by oak and evergreen oak trees, with beautiful viewpoints and areas to practice hangliding; inside the village is the church of San Lorenzo Mártir(16th-17th century) and the Baroque hermitages of San Antonio, Virgen del Castillo and los Mártires. Back to the N-630 to Jarilla, which can bee seen from the road: its church was declared Artistic Monument in 1982 – San Gregorio Magno (16th century). In the Cerro de Las Piedras Labradas (Hill with the carved stones) you can visit the remains of a Roman temple. On the right side of the N-630 is Casas del Monte, which still preserves some interesting remains of the ancient Roman road Vía de la Plata. Inside the village is the church of San Mateo.

At the foot of the Sistema Central Mountains is La Granja, on the river Ambroz, which has an interesting parish church – Santa María Magdalena (16th century) with a Baroque altarpiece. On the other side of the road, on the edge of the Gabriel y Galán reservoir is the village of Granadilla, which was abandoned and is currently being rehabilitated by schoolchildren from all of Spain. Founded in the 9th century by the Arabs, it has been declared Historical-Artistic Enclave, and its walls and Gothic tower -Torre del Homenaje- are outstanding. In Zarza de Granadilla, one of the main villages in this area, is the church of San Ramón and the hermitage del Cristo and a few kilometres away is the village of Guijo de Granadilla with an interesting and romantic museum dedicated to the famous writer José María Gabriel y Galán. 26


The Ambroz Valley

Crossed by the N-630 road and on the ancient roman road Vía de la Plata, is Aldeanueva del Camino…There are two interesting parish churches in the village; Nuestra Señora del Olmo (late 15th early 16th century) and San Sevando, built in the 16th century and enlarged in the 18th. The popular architecture here is some of the most interesting in the area. Located in the south of the Sistema Central mountains and in the valley of the river Baño, famous since Roman times for its thermal spa, one of the most modern in Europe, is the village of Baños de Montemayor. This village has two parishes, each with different dioceses. The church of Santa Catalina (15th – 16th centuries) and Santa María, declared Artistic-Historical Monument in 1982 (16th – 17th century). Continuing further up the N630, we take a turning to La Garganta, village at more than 1000-m altitude, on the slopes of the Candelaria sierra. The

Built in the shade of an ancient Cistercian abbey is the nearby village of Abadía with its Palace of the Duques de Alba, in Renaissance style, declared Historical-Artistic Monument and also known as Palacio de Sotofermoso. The parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán is 16th century displaying a portico with polygonal columns and a stone tower. Nearby and at the feet of Tras Sierra, perhaps of ancient Vetonic origin, as the discovery of a “verraco” suggests, is Segura de Toro with a 15th century parish church – San Juan. There are also remains of a Castle built in the 13th century whose tower is used as the parish belfry. We continue up to Gargantilla, very near to Aldeanueva del Camino and Hervás, which has some interesting examples of popular mountain architecture and a 16th century parish church – Santiago Apóstol. It quarter called Barrio Perché is famous.

Gabriel y Galán reservoir

27


The Ambroz Valley

of San Juan in Baroque style (18th century), the old convent of the Padres Trinitarios and the Palace of the Dávila, also 18th century baroque, which presently holds the magnificent Museum Pérez Comendador, born in Hervás.

landscape to be seen on the way is some of the best in northern Extremadura. In the village the church of La Asunción is of interest (17th – 18th century). From La Garganta, through the mountain range, covered in snow in the winter, we come to Hervás, village, which belonged to the feudal domain of Béjar and was a territory of the Order of the Templars. Its beautiful Jewish Quarter has been declared of Historical-Artistic Interest. The parish church of Santa María, (17th century) in Renaissance style is also interesting, as well as the church

GASTRONOMY Kid meat dishes, trout and magnificent cured pork sausage products (“embutidos”) also excellent home made cakes, chestnuts in Baños de Montemayor and doughnuts and home made wines in Hervás.

Jewish quarter in Hervás

28


The Ambroz Valley

Local handicrafts in Baños de Montemayor

CRAFT

covered in snow in the winter, are excellent for the mountaineers. Many birds of prey can be seen flying over the valley, especially in the forest areas and the small valleys around Hervás and Baños de Montemayor.

The basketwork of Baños de Montemayor is famous, as well as the leatherwork in Hervás. The wood carving in Aldeanueva del Camino and Hervás is interesting. In Hervás there are also furniture, barrel, soap and cosmetics manufacturers.

FEASTS

Roman arch of Caparra

The feasts of Carnival and Easter are colourful, and the Easter processions in the small villages in the Ambroz valley are especially solemn. In the summer there are theatre plays related to Jewish culture and customs.

LANDCAPE AND NATURE Attractive mountain landscape with large extensions of forests of evergreen oaks, pines and chestnut trees crossed by small streams all through the year, product of the snows in the heights. The large reservoirs provide good fishing and water-sports areas, and the mountains, 29


4

W EEKEND R OUTES

IN

E XTREMADURA

T HE JERTE VALLEY


The Jerte Valley

Tornavacas Jerte Cabezuela del Valle Navaconcejo

Rebollar El Torno

Valdastillas Piornal Cabrero Casas del Castaテアar

PLASENCIA

ITINERARY

TOURIST ROUTE

El Torno - Rebollar - Casas del Castaテアar -

Our route through the valley of the river Jerte will be on the N110 road, which goes from Plasencia to Barco de テ」ila and the river Tormes. The first village we will visit is El Torno, on the slopes of Tras Sierra, an ideal viewpoint to see the whole of the valley. El Torno is well known for its production of spirits and liquors. Inside the village we can see the parish church of Nuestra Seテアora de la Piedad, made of rough stone and granite (17th century). Not far away, going down the N110, is the village of Rebollar, on the right bank of the river Jerte, surrounded by terraces with cherry and olive trees. From here we can get to the Pico de Cerbunal mountain peak, 1,587 metres above sea level, and see the valleys of Ambroz and Jerte. The church of Santa Catalina is 17th century.

Cabrero - Piornal - Valdastillas Navaconcejo - Cabezuela del Valle Jerte - Tornavacas.

INDICATIONS The valley of Jerte takes its name from the river that flows over it, narrowed among the Montes de Tras Sierra and the Sierra de Tormantos. This valley and the whole area benefit from mild temperatures all the year long, what confers it a very special natural charm and a privilege for the crops. An excellent gastronomy joins the climatology, together with magnificent natural places and a good network of lodgings. The popular mountain architecture, made of stone and wood frames, is one of the most representative ones in northern Extremadura. 31


The Jerte Valley

Panoramic view of Rebollar

village of Piornal, in the Jerte valley but neighbouring with La Vera, and a very attractive access to this other valley. It is at 1,200 metres above sea level and its gastronomic products are famous, the same as its feast, declared of Regional Tourist Interest “El Jarramplas”, in January, on the day of the festivity of San Sebastián. The church of San Juan was originally 15th century. Before going back down to the N-110 road, we can stop in Valdeastillas, on the side of the San Bartolomé sierra, with its beautiful narrow streets and houses adapted to the mountain terrain, typical examples of mountain architecture in reddish coloured adobe and wood framing. The church of Santa María de Gracia is 16th century, built in cut granite. Going north and following the river we reach the village of Navaconcejo, on the left bank of the Jerte river, its attractive houses are lined on both sides of two long streets and have wooden frames and overhanging balconies and eaves, so typical of this area. One outstanding building is “La Fabrica” (The

Popular architecture in Tornavacas

Back to the N-110 road, we can go up the right side of the valley, to the north and reach Casas del Castañar, with interesting mountain buildings, such as the church of San Juan, built in carved granite and with a semicircular arched doorway. The nearby village of Cabrero is equally famous in the area for its spirits and liquors and its strategic location in the valley, surrounded by chestnut and cherry trees. The parish church of San Miguel, built in rough stone in the 18th century, is of interest, as well as the houses and streets of the beautiful mountain village. Very few kilometres away is the 32


The Jerte Valley

Factory) built in the 17th century for cloth making. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (16th century) is also of interest. From here we can go to two beautiful locations: La Garganta de San Pedro or go up the Camocho Peak. A few kilometres away, on the N110 is Cabezuela del Valle, village declared of Artistic-Historical Interest due to its magnificent buildings with balconies, drying areas, galleries with wooden balustrades, overhanging eaves and magnificent wooden framed construction. The oldest part is called “la Aldea” and has steep little streets. The church of San Miguel Arcángel is of interest, built in the 16th – 17th century probably on the site of an ancient synagogue. It is also worth seeing the main square, in the centre. The N-110 road goes through the village and over a beautiful Roman bridge on the Jerte river.

Continuing on our route northwards, we come to Jerte, on the river the gives it its name and surrounded by fields and plantations of cherry trees which on flowering in spring create a beautiful white spectacle. In the village one can see the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (18th century) and the “Barrio de los Bueyes”, an ancient quarter of the village which survived the destruction during the War of Independence in 1809. Nearby is the Nature Reserve “Reserva Natural de la Garganta de los Infiernos”, a beautiful place with impressive landscape and magnificent flora and fauna. Jerte produces some of the best alabaster in Extremadura. At the highest point of the Jerte valley is Tornavacas, located at the source of the Jerte river and on the border with the region of Castilla-León, between the Béjar

Square and church in Jerte

33


The Jerte Valley

and Gredos sierras. This village has beautiful corners and mountain style buildings as well as a magnificent view of the whole valley. The Baroque style 16th century church of la Asunción has been declared of Historical-Artistic Interest. Tornavacas was formerly called Villaflor de las Cadenas up to the reign of Ramiro II, king of León. A few kilometres further up in the well-known Tornavacas mountain pass (“Puerto de

Tornavacas”), an ideal natural balcony from which to contemplate the Jerte valley and the areas round it.

GASTRONOMY Excellent cherry liquors. Cured hams and pork sausages (“chorizo”). Soups (“cachuela”). Trout dishes (“Truchas al moje). Cherries and chestnuts. A great industry has arisen around the production of cherries with the production of liquors and spirits, the most outstanding being its famous kirsch.

Fruit liquors

CRAFT Hand made carpentry products. Crochet work in Tornavacas and Jerte. Embroidery in Cabezuela del Valle and El Torno.

FEASTS The Feast of the Cherry Blossom (“Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor”) at the beginning of spring, which is held in a different village of the valley every year. Las Candelas in Jerte and the Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Feast) in Tornavacas. El Jarramplas, January in the village of Piornal, during the Trouts

34


The Jerte Valley

Jerte river by Navaconcejo

feasts of San Sebastiรกn, declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

Feast of Jarramplas in Piornal

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE Spring brings to the valley the spectacular beautyof the blossoming of thousands of cherry trees that are grown on its slopes. The Jerte river and its affluents offer beautiful crystalclear gorges with abundant trout. The Nature Reserve of Garganta de los Infiernos. Autumn has its own special colour here in the immense forests that cover the valley, in winter snow is present at the high points and there are numerous wild mountain goats. The Ruta de Carlos V, route between Tornavacas and Jarandilla de la Vera is also interesting.

35


5

W EEKEND R OUTES

IN

E XTREMADURA

T O LA VERA FROM

PLASENCIA


To La Vera From Plasencia

a er aV

ra Ve

EX-203

Torremenga

la

PLASENCIA

l de

de

Pasarón de la Vera

Madrigal de la Vera

la ue er lav Ta

o ill ed bl Ro

Barrado Gargüera

Guijo de a Sta. Bárbara Ver e la Aldeanueva ad Villanueva l l i de la Vera and Losar de Viandar de la Vera Garganta la de la Vera Jar la Vera Olla Va lve Monasterio de Yuste rd ed Cuacos de Yuste el aV Arroyomolinos Jaraíz de la Vera er a de la Vera Collado

Tejeda de Tiétar

ITINERARY Gargüera - Barrado - Arroyomolinos de la Vera - Pasarón de la Vera Tejeda de Tiétar - Torremenga Jaraíz de la Vera - Collado - Garganta la Olla - Monasterio de Yuste - Cuacos de Yuste - Aldeanueva de la Vera Guijo de Santa Bárbara - Jarandilla de la Vera - Losar de la Vera - Robledillo de la Vera - Viandar de la Vera Talaveruela de la Vera - Valverde de Popular architecture in Garganta la Olla

la Vera - Villanueva de la Vera Madrigal de la Vera

INDICATIONS

natural beauty and for sports and swimming. History impregnates many villages and monuments of La Vera, of which the most outstanding is the famous Monastery of Yuste, location chosen by Emperor Carlos I to spend his last years, and the famous Place of the Condes de Oropesa in Jarandilla de la Vera.

In La Vera, area between the Jerte valley and Campo Arañuelo. Bordering with the lands of Ávila, we will find magnificent examples of popular architecture, some of the best examples of wooden-framed buildings combined with water often running down the streets. The abundant and attractive vegetation is another characteristic of this area acquiring a special colour from spring to autumn. Water is ever present in this area both as an element of

TOURIST ROUTE This route goes along the Ex -203 road from Plasencia to Madrigal de la Vera, bordering with the region of Ávila. 37


To La Vera From Plasencia

Church of Sta. Maria in Jaraíz de la Vera

The first village to be found on the route is Gargüera, a good example of a mountain village on the way to the Tormantos mountain range. Its most interesting building is the parish church of la Asunción, built in granite, 15th century. Close by is the village of Barrado, surrounded by cherry tree orchards and beautiful landscape with chestnut and oak trees, typical of this area, its church is San Esteban. A few kilometres away is Arroyomolinos de la Vera, where we can see the famous gorge of La Desesperada. In the Plaza de España is the parish church of San Nicolás (16th – 16th century, built in masonry and with an 18th century altarpiece. Located on the southern slope of the Tormantos mountain range, on what was most probably a preRoman Celtic settlement, is the village of Pasarón de la Vera, with the Palace of the Condes de Osorno (16th century) and the Salvador church (15th century) with interesting Baroque altar-pieces.

From Pasarón, down the Ex –203, we go through Tejeda de Tiétar, a typical village with white houses and a Gothic style church San Miguel (16th century), village is famous for its “perunillas”. A few kilometres away, on the same road and very near Jaraíz is Torremenga, where prehistoric and Roman remains have been found. Bust of Carlos I in the Monastery of Yuste

38


To La Vera From Plasencia

There are also some remains of its mediaeval castle. The village has the traditional woodenbeamed porches on granite pillars. The parish church of Santiago is 18th century. Two kilometres away is Jaraíz de la Vera, the most important village in la Vera. In the oldest part of the village one can see the magnificent church of Santa María with its Romanesque doorway, declared HistoricalArtistic Monument )14th-15th century). Other religious buildings of interest are the parish church of San Miguel (15th – 16th century) and the Place of Obispo Manzano, a good example of 18th civil architecture in Extremadura. On the road to Cuacos de Yuste one can find the largest natural lake in the area, known as “La Garganta de Pedro Chate”, an

Fountain in Cuacos de Yuste

ideal place for swimming and resting. Nearby, but off the Ex –203 road, is Collado, a small and attractive village with an interesting 15th century church – San Cristóbal, built with small blocks of granite and brick. Leaving the C-501 road at the Jaraiz de la Vera exit, we can

Gorge in Guijo de Sta. Bárbara

39


Guía Turística de Museos y Colecciones de Extremadura. Badajoz

Castle of the Condes de Oropesa in Jarandilla

visit Garganta la Olla, at the foot of the Tormantos sierra. Surrounded by vegetation and trees which give its a unique aspect, there are crystal-clear streams around it and inside the village are interesting 15th and 17th century buildings as well as its admirable Main Square (“Plaza Mayor”). The church of San Lorenzo is 16th century with a Renaissance style tower. Here are some of the best examples of popular architecture in La Vera. From this village we can go to the Monastery of Yuste and the village of Cuacos de Yuste by way of a road that goes through magnificent woodland, this is the route we recommend, although it is also possible to get there from Jaraíz, by the Ex –203. The Monastery of Yuste was built in the 15th century and was chosen by Emperor Carlos V as the place to spend his last years of life. Located 2 km away from Cuacos, it is surrounded by trees, the water from little streams and impressive tranquillity. Here we can visit the rooms of

the Emperor’s palace, in the morning and afternoon. As well as important and very well preserved examples of Gothic religious architecture in the monastery and its cloister and church. In Cuacos de Yuste there are admirable examples of popular architecture, fountains and the Main Square with its colonnade. The house where John of Austria, also known as Jeromín, natural son of Carlos I, was born is also in the village. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is 16th century. On the Ex –203, a few kilometres away, is Aldeanueva de la Vera, very famous for it production of paprika and the streams of Cuacos and San Gregorio, this latter with a Roman bridge. In the village it is interesting to see the house of Obsipo Godoy, 16th century teologian, built in carved granite, and the parish church of San Pedro Apóstol (16th century). The popular architecture is of the most interesting in the area. On the way to Jarandilla de la Vera, we will move off the main 40


To La Vera From Plasencia

road to visit an attractive mountain village – Gujo de Santa Bárbara, the highest village in la Vera, right in the mountain surrounded by beautiful streams. El Guijo also preserves interesting examples of popular architecture and the 17th century parish church of Nuestra Señora del Socorro is also interesting. From here we can descend to Jarandilla de la Vera, in a privileged location and with the Castle of the Condes de Oropesa (15th century), which has been converted into a Parador de Turismo. Among the examples of religious architecture are the church of Nuestra Señora de la Torre (14th century), the convent of the Agustinos Recoletos and the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Sopetrán (17th century). In the Main Square of the village the famous feast of “Los Escobazos” is held on the night of the 7th of December, this feast

has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. On the outskirts of the village there is the spectacular Garganta de Jaranda gorge. Not far away is the village of Losar de la Vera, in a transition area between the Tormantos mountain range and the valley of the Tiétar river with attractive streams and natural swimming pools such as Cuartos or Vadillo. Its parish church of Santiago Apóstol is 16th century, with a beautiful Gothic Hispano – Flemish doorway. The beautiful gardens on the sides of the C-501 road that goes through the village is also typical. Near Losar de la Vera, off the C105 road and located on an undulating platform is Robeldillo de la Vera, a magnificent natural viewpoint for the Gredos mountain range and the valley of the Tiétar river. Its church of San Miguel is 16th century and has been declared Historical-Artistic Monument. It

Gorge in Pedro Chate. Natural swimming pool

41


To La Vera From Plasencia

also has the typical houses of the area with their porches and overhanging balconies, as well as the Main Square. The Garganta de Cuartos gorge is also near. Back on the Ex –203 we come to Viandar de la Vera, located on the slopes of the Tormantos sierra, this is one of the villages which has best preserved its popular architecture. It has a 16th century parish church – San Andrés, built in masonry and some carved granite. On the route and very close by is Talaveruela de la Vera, which goes up the Vera mountains; very near is the river Tiétar, which together with the Gredos mountain range, conforms the beautiful landscape round this village. It has an interesting colonnaded square with a typical granite fountain in the middle, surrounded by wood and adobe buildings with colourful balconies. Valverde de la Vera is also close by, a historical-artistic village with a spectacular popular feast “Fiesta de los Empalaos” on Easter Thursday, this feast has been declared of Regional and National Tourist Interest. The popular architecture is some of the best in the area. The Main Square is interesting with its famous Four spouts fountain and the Rollo Picota (pillory). The parish church (15th century) is called Fuentes Claras. Villanueva de la Vera, a few kilometres from Valverde, is well known for its beautiful popular buildings and the Main Square, as well as for its feast called “El Peropalo”, which is held during the Carnival and has been

“Los Empalaos” in Valverde de la Vera El Peropalo in Villanueva de la Vera

42


To La Vera From Plasencia

declared of National and Regional Tourist Interest. The old quarter of Villanueva de la Vera has also been declared of Historical-Artistic importance and its church – La Concepción is dated from 16th century and built of rough stone. On the border with the region of Ávila and the Gredos mountain range, making it the northern gateway to those areas, lies the village of Madrigal de la Vera, where traditional architecture is abundant; beautiful buildings with magnificent balconies and wooden overhanging gables. The large parish church San Pedro Apóstol was built in the 15th century and has been restored. Not far from the village one can find one of the largest and most beautiful gorges and natural swimming pools in the north of Extremadura, on the river Alardos, with its magnificent single arched bridge, possibly Roman.

Fried tenches Paprika

la Vera during the Carnival; “Los Escobazos” on the 7th of December in Jarandilla de la Vera, and “Los Empalaos” in Valverde de la Vera on the night of Easter Thursday to Good Friday. This latter also declared of National Tourist Interest.

GASTRONOMY Magnificent trout and kid dishes. The excellent paprika is famous. The liquors of Gloria, cherry, raspberry, etc., without forgetting the famous “tasajo” (cured goat meat). Home made cakes are also present in most of the villages.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE The excellent microclimate present in most of this area makes it the green zone of Extremadura, with an incredibly beautiful landscape all the year round. Its gorges with their crystal-clear water make attractive natural swimming pools, ideal for swimming in the summer and a magnificent habitat for trout. As well as a rich native flora, there are also abundant birds of prey, wild mountain goats and wild pigs.

CRAFT Beautiful embroidery. Cabinetmaker work, wrought iron and leather.

FEASTS Three feasts in this area have been declared of Regional Tourist Interest in Extremadura: “El Peropalo” in Villanueva de 43


6

W EEKEND R OUTES

IN

T O GUADALUPE

E XTREMADURA

TROUGHT

THE VILLUERCAS


To Guadalupe Through The Villuercas

Campillo de Deleitosa

Deleitosa

Robledollano Retamosa Cabañas del Castillo

Roturas

EX-118

Navezuelas Solana GUADALUPE Alía

Berzocana EX-102

Cañamero

Logrosán

beautiful in spring and autumn, both for its variety and the mild temperatures of the area.

ITINERARY La Puebla de Guadalupe- Alía Cañamero - Logrosán - Berzocana Solana - Navezuelas - Roturas -

TOURIST ROUTE

Cabañas del Castillo - Retamosa -

The route through the Villuercas begins in La Puebla de Guadalupe, one of the main artistic and cultural centres of Extremadura and of the area, due to the fact that located in this village is the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe, declared World Heritage Monument. The Royal Monastery was declared National HistoricalArtistic Monument and holds an important collection of illustrated manuscripts, embroidery, relics, works by the painter from Extremadura Zurbarán, by El Greco, goldsmith work, etc. The church was built in Gothic

Robledollano - Campillo de Deleitosa Deleitosa.

INDICATIONS

Las Villuercas is in the east of Extremadura, bordering with the region of Toledo, at a considerable altitude which gives this area its special aspect; abundant vegetation and many places for wildlife to live. On this route one can visit the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe, Declared a World Heritage Monument, as well as a series of villages where the popular mountain architecture is ever present. The landscape is specially 45


To Guadalupe Through The Villuercas

style in the 15th century, the choir and the seats were made by Manuel de Larra Churriguera in the mid 18th century, the wrought iron railing of the chancel is Gothic-renaissance style, and the magnificent main altar piece is in classical style. The image of the Virgen Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is from the 12th-13th century. In the 17th century sacristy there are eight paintings by the brilliant and famous artist Francisco Zurbarán. The fantastic paintings in the chamber are by Luca Giordano. The sepulchre of Fray Gonzalo de Illescas, by Egas Cueman is also magnificent. In the village the old school Colegio de Infantes o de Gramática in Mudéjar style, now a Parador de Turismo, is of

interest, as well as the popular architecture of many of its streets. Not many kilometres away from the village is an excellent little temple in Mudéjar style, on the Altamira mountain range called “Humilladero”. It would also be interesting to visit the Farm-Palace of Mirabel, the aqueduct and the Villuercas Peak, all very near Guadalupe. From Guadalupe we can go to Alía, near the river Guadarranque, which has one of the most beautiful GothicMoorish style religious buildings in the whole of Extremadura; the parish church of Santa Catalina, built in the mid 15th century. You can also visit the small village of La Calera and the Peak of Sobacorbas, at 1,312

Town hall and arcade in Logrosán

46


To Guadalupe Through The Villuercas

Panoramic view of Cabañas del Castillo

metres of altitude. Also the 15th century Hospital, made thanks to the Medical School of the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe. From Alía we return to Guadalupe to go on to Cañamero, famous in Extremadura for its good wine, near the village is the river Ruecas and some shelters with prehistoric paintings. The parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, built in rough stone, the hermitage of Belén was built in the Middle-Ages and there you can find the image of Nuestra Señora de Belén, patron of Cañamero. Very near Cañamero, surrounded by cork and evergreen oak trees is Logrosán, which has an interesting 16th century church; San Mateo with a proto-Gothic sculpture from the 13th century- the Virgen de Carrascal, patron of the village. In the village the Town Hall square, with its beautiful arches and some noble mansions from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Continuing to Berzocana, where we can find different shelters with prehistoric paintings (Morales, los Cabritos, Canchos de las Sábanas, etc.). This village is also known for the BronzeAge treasure found there “The Treasure of Berzocana”. The parish church of San Juan Bautista is interesting for its size and beauty and because it holds the relics of San Fulgencio, bishop of Écija, and Santa Florentina, brother and sister of San Isidoro de Sevilla. Entering the Villuercas mountain range we will visit Solana, and the nearby Cancho del Reloj, with its Bronze-Age paintings. The parish church – San Miguel Arcángel is 16th century and built of rough stone. A little to the west is Navezuelas, on the slopes of the Villuercas sierra. In the village we can visit the 16th century church of Santiago. There are abundant and beautiful views with the natural landscape of thick chestnut and oak forests as 47


To Guadalupe Through The Villuercas

Craft in Guadalupe

well as beautiful gorges. Roturas has a privileged situation on the slopes of the Villuercas sierra. This small village, dependant of Cabañas del Castillo, is a magnificent place surrounded by nature; one can observe an abundance of birds of prey from here. Inside the village is the 16th century parish church of San Bernardino. Cabañas del Castillo is nearby, attractive due to it situation on the mountain. The castle is from the 14th century and, the same as the village, belonged to the domains of the Álvarez de Toledo and later to the Duques

de Frías. The parish church Nuestra Señora de la Peña has a Mudéjar style doorway. Retamosa, located in the Villuercas sierra and dependent on Cabañas del Castillo has some of the most beautiful landscape of the region round it. In the village one can find the 15th century church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, with an interesting western doorway in Mudéjar style, made of whitewashed brick. We arrive at Robledollano, called Medio Robledo in the past due to it belonging both to the municipalities of Deleitosa and Cabañas del Castillo. The 48


To Guadalupe Through The Villuercas

parish church is 17th century with an altar made of Talavera ceramic tiles. Surrounded by beautiful landscape of aromatic bushes and located at the foot of the peak Risco del Gordo (821 m altitude), is Campillo de Deleitosa, probably established in the 17th century, the same date as its parish church; San Sebastián. Part of the domains of the Duques de Frías in the past, we can still see what was their Palace in the village. Deleitosa was where San Pedro de Alcántara lived and the house he lived in still stands. The large parish church of San Juan Evangelista was built between the 15th and 16th centuries and contains an interesting 16th century baptism font.

“Muédago” ring pie

blankets in Alía, Cañamero and Logrosán.

FEASTS The Virgin of Guadalupe, patron of Extremadura, on the 8th of September and El Corpus and San Juan in Guadalupe. On Easter Monday the Romería de la Virgen de Belén in Cañamero. “Las Candelas” in Alía.

GASTRONOMY Magnificent stews and roasts of lamb and kid, the most famous dish being the “Caldereta de Cordero”. Many of the typical dishes of Extremadura are especially good in Guadalupe, the “morcillas de berza y calabaza” are very popular. Dishes made from game are also excellent. Home made cakes: “perrunillas”, “pestiños” and “roscas de muédago”. The wine from Cañamero is excellent, the “Gloria wine” from Guadalupe and Berzocana, this latter also famous for its honey and cheeses.

NATURE AND LANSCAPE The landscape of this area is some of the most varied in Extremadura; there are peaks such as Pico Villuercas at 1,6000 m at the foot of which are beautiful valleys with majestic forests of alder, ash, cork and evergreen oak trees. The two main rivers are Brezocana and Almonte. The climate is one of abundant rainfall, which is responsible for the dense and beautiful vegetation. In the regional hunting grounds there is an abundance of doe, boar and deer.

CRAFT Embroidery in Alía, Cañamero and Guadalupe. Works in copper, brass, cane and ceramics in Guadalupe. Interwoven cloth 49


7

W EEKEND R OUTES

IN

E XTREMADURA

THE IBORES


The Ibores

Bohonal de Ibor Mesas de Ibor Peraleda de San Román Garvín

Valdelacasa del Tajo Villar del Pedroso

Fresnedoso de Ibor

Carrascalejo Castañar de Ibor

Navalvillar de Ibor

GUADALUPE

of birds of prey. The small villages in this area preserve an interesting historical and artistic heritage, complemented by a rich gastronomy where the excellent goat cheeses are a speciality.

ITINERARY Carrascalejo - Villar del Pedroso Valdelacasa del Tajo - Garvín Peraleda de San Román - Bohonal de Ibor - Mesas de Ibor - Fresnedoso de Ibor - Castañar de Ibor Navalvillar de Ibor

TOURIST ROUTE INDICATIONS

Following the river Guadarrenque from Guadalupe the first village we reach is Navatrasierra, surrounded by the attractive mountain landscape of the Ibores, between the Valdelacasa and Altamira sierras. Despite it being a very small village, there are some typical buildings that can be seen from the road, which will take us to Carrascalejo, almost on the

Between Campo Arañuelo and Las Villuercas, in the west of Extremadura, lies the region of Los Ibores, bordering with the region of Toledo. The Ibores has magnificent mountainous landscape with the typical vegetation of chestnut and evergreen oak trees, an excellent habitat for multitudes 51


The Ibores

Natural swimming pool in Castañar de Ibor

banks of the river Gualija. Carrascalejo is located between the Valdelacasa and Altamira sierras, bordering with the province of Ciudad Real. Its church was built between the 17th and 18th centuries and has an interesting late 17th century baptismal font. Going northwards to the river Tagus, we come to Villar del Pedroso, where according to several historians, the Roman town of Augustobriga was located. It has some interesting 16th century buildings in the Hospital street. The parish church of San Pedro is one of the most important religious buildings in the area, built in the 15th century and reformed in the

18th, it also has a beautiful 18th century altar piece made with Talavera ceramic tiles. On entering Valdelacasa del Tajo there is an attractive Vía Crucis made in 1821 and paid for by the village, this is the location of the famous “cruces” in May and religious celebrations in Easter. In the village there is an interesting church; Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, and nearby, on the banks of the river Tagus, we can visit the ruins of an Arab castle -Espejel. On the slopes of the Valdelacasa sierra and the banks of the river Tagus, we can find the village of Garvín with its 16th century church built in cut granite and 52


The Ibores

with Gothic tracery – Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. In Peraleda de San Roman there is abundant game, it is popular with hunters. It also has a magnificent church – San Juan Bautista, built in the 16th century in rough stone and cut granite. Its baroque altarpieces are interesting especially the main one in classical style. The Main Square of Bohnal de Ibor has some typical arcades built of brick with semicircular arches of clearly Mudéjar influence. The parish church of

San Bartolomé is 17th -18th century. Near the village you can visit the remains of a Roman Temple, declared Historical-Artistic Monument in 1931, which belonged to the Roman town of Augustobriga (Talavera la Vieja), it was brought to its present location before the waters of the Valdecañas reservoir flooded its original site. Mesas de Ibor, near the Valdecañas Reservoir, has some interesting typical buildings and the attractive 17th century parish

Peraleda de S. Román. S. Juan B. Church

53


The Ibores

the 16th century in rough stone. The nearby river Ibor has some beautiful natural swimming pools. The last village to visit on this route is Navalvillar de Ibor, well known for its famous cheeses and embroidery. It is on the slopes of the Villuercas sierra and on the river Ibor. It has an interesting 16th century parish church with a Gothic altarpiece with some paintings on wood.

church of San Benito Abad. Near the village is the river Ibor, and there is a beautiful mediaeval bridge over it, built by the Mesta (sheep breeder association). Fresnedoso de Ibor is surrounded by mountains and placed in a small valley with natural swimming pools on the river Ibor. The parish church is 15th century and built in rough stone and cut granite. Casta帽ar de Ibor, as well as its popular architecture, has a famous cave: Gruta de la Cruz, declared Natural Monument, with an underground lake and beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. At the highest point in the village, the parish church of San Benito is located, built in

GASTRONOMY This area is famous for its excellent goat cheeses with Designation of Origin (Denominaci贸n de Origen), there are also magnificent dishes made from game, kid meat, lamb and

Via Crucis in Valdelacasa del Tajo

54


The Ibores

Roman temple of Augustobriga

pork and the famous “chicharrones” from Villar del Pedroso.

NATURE AND LANSCAPE This is an area of parallel mountain ranges (Deleitosa and Altamira sierras) with impressive peaks inhabited by a great number of birds of prey. The landscape is made up of large extensions of chestnut, oak, cork and evergreen oak forests. There are picturesque rocky slopes and important olive groves. The natural swimming pools are another attraction to add to this area. There is big game in the whole of the area.

CRAFT Embroidery and lace in Fresnedoso de Ibor and Navalvillar de Ibor. Wooden chairs in Bohnal de Ibor.

FEASTS San Antón in Fresnedoso, Deleitosa and Cabañas del Castillo. Las Candelas in Valdelascasa del Tajo and Navezuela. Carnival in Bohnal de Ibor. Without forgetting the famous “Encuentro” during Easter in Deleitosa. 55


8

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T HE L AKES

AND

IN

E XTREMADURA

M OUNTAINS

LA SIBERIA

OF


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

Pantano del Cíjara Bohonal Castilblanco Helechosa de los Montes Valdecaballeros Embalse de García Sola

Villarta de los Montes

Peloche Herrera del Duque Navalvillar de Pela

Casas de Don Pedro

Orellana de la Sierra Orellana la Vieja Embalse de Orellana

Fuenlabrada de los Montes

Garbayuela

Talarrubias Puebla de Alcocer Esparragosa de Lares Galizuela

Tamurejo Siruela

Baterno

Sancti-Spiritus Embalse del Zújar

Embalse de la Serena

El Risco

Garlitos

that flow through the most fertile land in Badajoz. The combination of mountains, hills and reservoirs give the area an attractive appearance most of the year. Here are the best places for water-sports in Extremadura, without forgetting the pleasant spa of Valdefernando in the village of Valdecaballeros. Its interesting artistic and historical heritage is the best in western Extremadura.

ITINERARY Orellana la Vieja - Orellana de la Sierra Navalvillar de Pela - Casas de Don Pedro - Valdecaballeros - Castilblanco Helechosa de los Montes - Bohonal Villarta de los Montes - Fuenlabrada de los Montes - Herrera del Duque Peloche - Talarrubias - Garbayuela Tamurejo - Baterno - Siruela Sancti Spiritus - El Risco - Garlitos Puebla de Alcocer - Esparragosa de Lares - Galizuela

TOURIST ROUTE

INDICATIONS

This route begins in Orellana la Vieja, on the edge of the Orellana Reservoir. A village that belonged to the domains of San Juan de la Cámara in the 18th century. In the village one can see the remains of the Castle–Palace of the Beljida.

This area is located in the east of Extremadura, bordering with the province of Ciudad Real and the area of La Serena. It has an attractive combination of reservoirs and mountains and is the birthplace of many rivers 57


Guía Turística de Museos y Colecciones de Extremadura. Badajoz

Square and church in Valdecaballeros

The church – Inmaculada Concepción – is 16th century and preserves its original wooden ceiling. Just next to Orellana la Vieja on the way to Navalvillar de Pela is the village of Orellana de la Sierra, located in the Pela sierra and also by the reservoir. Its houses are part of the beautiful landscape. Here one can find the remains of the Palace of García Bejarano, built in granite and very near the parish church of Espiritu Santo. Going through an unforgettable mountain landscape we come to Navalvillar de Pela, on a plain at the feet of Trasierra de Pela.

Very near the village one can visit the remains of the Roman town of Lacipea. The Orellana Reservoir and the Pela sierra are both protected areas. There is a very popular feast in January, which has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest; “La Encamisá” where people on horseback are the protagonists of a great cordial feast and the visitors are offered home made wine and cakes. There are two interesting religious buildings in Navalvillar: The parish church of Santa Catalina (18th century) and the hermitage of la Caridad (17th century).

Parish church in Castilblanco

58


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

to Valdecaballeros, near the Chimenea Sierra, surrounded by beautiful evergreen oak woods and bushland. It has a famous spa – Balneario de Valfernando – an important thermal centre. There is also a Regional Hunting Ground. In the town one can see the 15th century parish church of San Miguel, built in Mudéjar style. At the entrance one can read some Roman inscriptions on the stones referring to the Emperors Vespasian and Domician. Fishing and hunting are abundant in this area. In the nearby village of Castilblanco we can still see buildings with typical Arab influence, especially in the quarters called “Picocerro” and “Perchel” with whitewashed fronts, small windows and Arab style roof tiles. The parish church of San Cristobal, 15th century Mudéjar style, is located in an area popularly called “el castillo” (the castle). If we continue northward we will reach the dam of the Cíjara Reservoir and continue through the Regional Hunting Reserve (Reserva Regional de Caza de

Regional Hunting Reserve of the Cíjara

On the right bank of the Guadiana river is Casas de Don Pedro, with some magnificent examples of Mudéjar style work in the parish church of San Pedro. Casa de Don Pedro got its name from King Pedro I of Castille, who, according to tradition, after defeat in the Battle of Montiel was buried in the parish church. From Casas de Don Pedro on the N-430 road we come to the Puerto Peña dam, surrounded by magnificent landscape with a large number of birds among which are the black stork and the vulture. On the left edge of the García Sola Reservoir we come Town Hall square in Helechosa

59


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

the reservoir to reach the village is also interesting. Continuing through this attractive countryside we come to Villarta de los Montes, located at the foot of the Umbría sierra, in the Montes de Toledo range, here we can see the “Valle del Castañar” with its waterfalls, and the “Hoces del Guadiana” and “Robledillo”. The parish church of Santa María Magdalena has an interesting baroque altarpiece by Juan Correa de Vivar. The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, of Mudéjar style is on the outskirts. Travelling through the mountain range to the N-430 road which goes to Ciudad Real, and on this road we will stop in Fuenlabrada de los Montes, surrounded by typical Extremadura plains countryside and very near to the Natural Park of Robledillo.

Typical street in Villarta de los Montes

Cíjara) until we reach Helechosa de los Montes, at the end of the Rinconada sierra and on the slopes of the Batanes sierra. It has a surprisingly beautiful mountain landscape. Here big game and fishing are also abundant. Some of the facades of the buildings are covered in inscriptions and paintings. The parish church; Nuestra Señora de Altagracia is 16th century. There is a famous feast called “Los Diablucos” on Corpus Christi day. On the edge of the Hunting Reserve of Cíjara, in the Dehesilla Sierra and next to the reservoir is the Bohnal, bordering with the region of Ciudad Real. This village is situated in a mountain landscape with pine woods and attractive locations round the reservoir, which makes it especially attractive. In the small but typical village one can visit the 16th century parish church of San Juan Bautista. The enormous bridge built over

Parish church in Fuenlabrada de los Montes

60


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

The large Square in Herrera del Duque

Fuenlabrada is the capital of honey production in this area, it has a parish church – La Asunción – built with enormous buttresses and containing an interesting altar-piece by Juan de Holanda and Diego de Aguilar. Nearby is the village of Herrera del Duque, whose name comes from the fact that it was the domain of the Duques de Osuna for many years. It has several ancient mansions with very impressive facades of great historical interest such as the Casa de la Encomienda de Alcántara also known as “Casa del Congo”. It has a magnificent Main Square with arcades. It also has an important castle built of masonry and brick. The main religious building is the church of San Juan Bautista, built in the 15th century, which contains a solid silver monstrance made in the 16th century by Gregorio Borja and Franco Morales, which weighs more than 40 Kg. One can also see the remains of the 16th

century Franciscan convent San Jerónimo, founded by D. Antonio de Sotomayor. Continuing round the edge of the García Sola reservoir we come to Peloche, which has some interesting prehistoric paintings nearby. The parish church is San Antonio Abad. Near the river Guadiana and the Zújar and also close to the Golondrinas and the Chimeneas sierras is Talarrubias with an interesting artistic-historical legacy such as the parish church of Santa Catalina, built in Gothic style with many Mudéjar and Renaissance elements. Other interesting religious buildings are the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, with a Rococo interior, and on the outskirts, the hermitages of San Roque and La Coronada. Around Talarrubias there are some important prehistoric paintings in the shelter called “La Panda”. Just next to the Villares mountain range is Garbayuela, surrounded by typical Extremadura plains 61


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

Parish church in Talarrubias

countryside. The parish church is consecrated to San Pedro and is 16th century with a Gothic Christ from the same era. On the “border” with the province of Ciudad Real and almost on the banks of the river Siruela, lies Tamurejo, which has some interesting buildings in the typical popular style of the area. The parish church of San Toribio de Liébana was rebuilt in the late 19th century. Baterno is close by. This village was founded in the 19th century at the foot of the “Cerro del Morro” hill.

It is just next to the province of Ciudad Real and there are two interesting religious buildings there: the 16th century whitewashed parish church of San Andrés and, on the outskirts, the beautiful and well-known Hermitage of the Virgen del Fuego. Siruela is only a few kilometres away, located in the shady part of the Siruela mountain range and near the river with the same name. In the Middle ages it was known as Villanueva de Siruela. Stella from the Tarteso

Hermitage of the Virgen del Fuego. Baterno

62


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

Castle of Puebla de Alcocer

Palacio de los Duques, with a baroque 17th century facade. The Hospital de San Francisco dates from the 16th century. Close by is the village of Sancti Spiritus on the edge of the magnificent Serena Reservoir, on a plain beside the Cuchillo sierra. The parish church is consecrated to the Espíritu Santo and built of whitewashed masonry with a strong Mudéjar influence. Without losing sight of the Serena reservoir and on its edge, we come to El Risco with its parish church of San Blas, built in stone and brick with a classical doorway. The village of Garlitos, which for centuries belonged to the dominions of the Ducado de Benavente, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and the reservoir of la Serena. The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Nazaret displays some tombstones from the Roman times, perhaps from the town of Mirobriga. The castle of Puebla de Alcocer, one of the most important villages in the Siberia region, can be seen from many of the other villages in the area. The village is

Hospital de S. Francisco. Siruela

civilisation, pre-Roman and Roman remains all point to a great historical past which will continue during the Arab domination and the following centuries. It was one of the most important centres of the Mesta (sheep breeder’s association) during the reign of the Catholic Kings, and you can still see remains of the old castle built by the Templars in the 13th century and called “La Cava”. The parish church is Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, an important religious building. The Clarisas Convent is from the 16th century and opposite is the 63


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

historic Casa de la Inquisición, without forgetting the beautiful Main Square. In the westernmost part of the Siberia, almost on the border with the Serena region, is Esparragosa de Lares, which belonged to the dominions of the Templars and through which the flocks of sheep of the Mesta passed, as it was part of the “Real Dehesa de la Serena”. Here one can see the church of Santa Catalina de Alejandría and the Town Hall with its arcade. Galizuela is very near Esparragosa de Lares, and for centuries belonged to the dominions of the Order of Alcántara, it is located near the “Puerto de Alcozarejo” – mountain pass for the flocks of the Mesta. Of interest is the Fortified House of the Marqués de Someruelo. The hermitage of the Encarnación, the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Lares, called “de la Cueva” or “del Risco” are also of interest.

Spa of Valdefernando. Valdecaballeros

located below the castle, on the southern slopes of the Lares sierra, there was an older location further down the slope known as Aldeavieja. In the village the parish church – Santiago -is of interest, it was built in Mudéjar style and contains the tomb of the Maestre de Alcántara, Gutierrez de Sotomayor. There are also interesting buildings of noble families; Palacio del Duque de Osuna, the famous Casona de San Juan de la Puebla or the

GASTRONOMY Abundant production of honey in most of the area, above all in

Panoramic view from Puerto Peña

64


The Lakes and Mountains of La Siberia

NATURE AND LANSCAPE

Fuenlabrada de los Montes. The “Escarapuche de Peces” (a fish dish) is well known in Peloche. Rabbit in Valdecaballeros. The home made cakes with honey are made in all of the area, especially the “bollos dormidos” in Castilblanco. Wine is made in Esparragosa de Lares.

Thanks to the fact that the largest reservoirs in Extremadura are located here, it has become an area of exceptional beauty combining mountains, hills and enormous pine and evergreen oak forests with hundreds of kilometres of freshwater shoreline. The Regional Hunting Reserve of Cíjara and the Regional Hunting Ground of Valdecaballeros are outstanding, and there are many other places for swimming and bathing as well as water sports on the reservoirs. The areas of Puerto Peña, Orellana, Apretura de la Hoz and Sierra de Peloche are magnificent habitats for birds of prey like the vulture. The plains are also visited by cranes, especially round the Orellana reservoir.

CRAFT Leather work, lace and embroidery in most of this area. Good pottery. The famous “mantas de tiras” (striped blankets) are still made in Navalvillar de Pela.

FEASTS “La Encamisá” in Navalvillar de Pela during the festivities of San Antón in January. Feast declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Festivity of “El Corpus” in Helechosa de los Montes with its famous “Diablucos” (little devils). The feast of the Virgin of Nazaret in Garlitos on the 8th September. The “Lumbre de los Quintos” in Valdecaballeros, is also interesting.

“La Encamisá” in Navalvillar de Pela

65


9

W EEKEND R OUTES

TIERRA

DE

IN

E XTREMADURA

BARROS


Tierra de Barros A-66

Entrín Bajo La Albuera

Corte de Peleas

Embalse de Alange

Aceuchal Puebla de la Reina Villalba de los Barros

La Morera

Villafranca de Puebla del Prior los Barros

Fuente del Maestre La Parra

Palomas

ALMENDRALEJO

Entrín Alto EX-1 Torre de Miguel 05 Santa Marta Sesmero de los Barros Almendral Nogales

Alange

Solana de los Barros

Ribera del Fresno

Hornachos

Feria Los Santos de Maimona

Hinojosa del Valle

A-66

ITINERARY

and there are still many remains of their legacy. Lands of extense and well looked after vineyards which give name to the famous Denomination for wines of the region – Tierra de Barros. There is also good food and popular feasts such as “Las Candelas” and “La Cruz”. Trekking, hangliding, fishing and sailing on the reservoirs are other attractions of this area.

Almendralejo - Aceuchal - Solana de los Barros - Corte de Peleas - Entrín Bajo - Entrín Alto - La Albuera - Almendral Torre de Miguel Sesmero - Nogales Santa Marta de los Barros - Villalba de los Barros - Fuente del Maestre La Parra - La Morera - Feria - Los Santos de Maimona - Villafranca de los Barros Ribera del Fresno - Puebla del Prior Hinojosa del Valle - Hornachos Puebla de la Reina - Palomas - Alange

TOURIST ROUTE The route will begin in Almedralejo, the most important town in Tierra de Barros, a town that was established in the Middle Ages by the Order of Santiago in the 13th century, becoming an “Encomienda” (feudal concession) in the mid 14th century. Almendralejo is the birthplace of two famous Spanish writers: José de Espronceda and Carolina Coronado. This wine- producing centre has important cellars and an Enological Centre. Its bullring is one of the most beautiful in

INDICATIONS Tierra de Barros is one of the most fertile areas of Extremadura, it is crossed by the N-630 road, built on the old Roman Vía de la Plata. It is a transition area between the Vegas del Guadiana area and the hills in southern Extremadura. This route is loaded with history, and one can visit important towns from the Middle Ages, which belonged to the Military Orders that established themselves here from the time of the Reconquest from the Arabs 67


Tierra de Barros

Tourist Interest. Less than 10 km from Almendralejo is Aceuchal, which during the Reconquest was a fortress of the Templars, and in the 14th century, would belong to the Order of Santiago, becoming the head of the Domain. Monuments of interest are the hermitage of San Andrés, in Mudéjar style, the old 18th century Granary, the Casa de la Encomienda, the 15th century parish church of San Pedro and the Town Hall. Aceuchal is famous for its production of garlic. Solana de los Barros, located on the left bank of the river Guadajira, was under the rule of the Templars after the Reconquest, and in the mid 14th century was to form part of domains of Feria. The 16th century parish church is dedicated to Santa María Magdalena. Located on the road from Solana to Barcarrota and from Badajoz

Parish church of Almendralejo

Spain. The parish church of la Purificación is 16th century with a baroque style tower and some Gothic-renaissance doorways. The churches of San Roque and San José are also of interest. There are several convents; las Clarisas de Nuestra Señora del Amparo (16th century) and San Antonio, Franciscan (17th century), declared HistoricalArtistic Monument. The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Piedad was built in the early 16th century. Of the mansions and palaces the most interesting are the Palace of the Marqués de Monsalud (18th century), now the Town Hall, the building of the Sociedad del Obrero Extremeño is also very interesting as well as the Casino del Círculo Mecantíl Agrícola, decorated with paintings by Adelardo Covarsí. The feast of “Las Candelas” held on the night from the 1st to the 2nd of February is famous in the whole of the region and has been declared Feast of Regional

Monsalud Palace in Almendralejo

68


Tierra de Barros

to Villalba is the village of Corte de Pelas, konwn for may years as “Cortecilla”. The old 14th century church of Santa María Egipciaca was demolished and replaced by a modern whitewashed building. Entrín Bajo is near the stream called Entrín, and its origin is from the troops from León who settled here after the Reconquest from the Arabs. The church is early 20th century. Entrín Alto, the same as the other, was founded after the Reconquest. Its parish church – Santa Rita – has tracery vaults. Near this church is a MuseumHouse, which has some interesting remains from the Pijotilla excavation. Between Entrín Alto and Entrín Bajo there are some mediaeval bridges, and nearby there are the manors of Cartagena and Retamal. The N-432 road goes through La Albuera, which is famous for the battle that took place near the

village in 1811 – The Battle of La Albuera, during the War of Independence. There is an interesting Museum about this battle in the village. The 16th century parish church is called Nuestra Señora del Camino and near it is a monument commemorating the above-mentioned battle. In the main square there is an interesting municipal ethnographical collection. Nearby is Almendral, located on the edge of the Sierra Sur and belonging in the past to the domains of Feria. It has two churches in the same square: San Pedro and La Magdalena (Gothic 15th century). The hermitage of Finibus Terrae, built in Mudéjar style with visigothic details on the doorway, is magnificent. Torre de Miguel Sesmero has a 16th century parish church – Ntra. Sra. De la Candelaria, and a 18th century convent- Claras o Molino.

Church in Solana de los Barros

69


Tierra de Barros

Castle of Nogales

On the edge of the Sierra Sur we can visit Nogales, a strategic viewpoint for the domains of Feria from the late 14th century and built beside the impressive castle, an important military enclave in the Middle Ages with its magnificent 35m high Torre del Homenaje (tower), next to the castle is the 15th century church of San Cristóbal with a Gothic facade. Santa Marta de los Barros is a typical village of the Tierra de Barros area, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards which give it is fame in the production of good oil and wines (there are numerous cellars). The present village was founded in the 16th century by the first Duque de Feria, D. Gómez Suárez de Figueroa. In the mid 17th century Santa Marta was destroyed in the war against Portugal and rebuilt. Inside the village one can see the 16th century parish church of Santa Marta. Built over a former hermitage and with an interesting Gothic granite doorway. Villalba de los Barros was for

many years the residence of the Lords of Feria who lived in the castle until the mid 15th century when they move their residence to the fortress of Zafra. The beautiful Castle is the most interesting building in the village, built in 1418 by D. Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, first Duke of Feria. The parish church- la Purificación is Gothic, from the 16th century. The wine production of this village is famous. We now come to Fuente del Maestre, with remains from the times of the Roman and Arab domination. In the Middle Ages it belonged to the Order of Maestre and later Santiago, which will make it the head of the domain. The present name comes from Maestre Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa. In the Plaza del Corro square we can see the Palacio del Gran Maestre, built in Mudéjar style, and the Fuente del Corro fountain, nearby is another beautiful square, the parish church and the Town Hall. The Town Hall is 18th century and has a beautiful arcade. The 70


Tierra de Barros

style brick arcade. Opposite the Town Hall is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. De la Asunción. There is also an old 17th century Convent of the Clarisas, now and excellent inn. On the outskirts one can find the hermitage of San Juan, built in the 16th century by the Duques de Feria. This is a specially good location to practice hangliding. Nearby and surrounded by beautiful landscape is the village of La Morera, known in the past as “Carpio de Mérida”, one can see here typical buildings made of adobe. On the outskirts is the parish church of San Lorenzo Mártir Battle Museum in La Albuera

Panoramic view of Villalba de los Barros Parish church of Fuente del Maestre

parish church of la Candelaria, rebuilt in the 16th century on the foundations of another dedicated to Santa María la Mayor and declared HistoricalArtistic Monument, the same as the rest of the town. The Convent of San Francisco is 16th century. La Parra is located in the sierra and on the old road from Mérida to Jerez de los Caballeros. The centre of the village is the Plaza Mayor (main square) with its Town Hall that has a Mudéjar 71


Tierra de Barros

Fiesta de La Cruz in Feria

Panoramic view of Hornachos

with its simple Mudéjar style doorway. In the distance one can see Feria, on the outskirts of the village there is a dolmen called “La Casa del Monje”. The most famous monument here is the 15th century castle built by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, which gave birth to the domains of the Feria. The church of San Bartolomé is Gothic, from the late 16th century and nearby is the beautiful Square with its 17th century Mudéjar style brick arcades. The so-called “Rincón de la Cruz” is also interesting. Feria has been declared National

Historical-Artistic Enclave since 1970. At the beginning of May the feast of La Santa Cruz is celebrated, this has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. From Feria we continue south to Los Santos de Maimona, which belonged to the Order of Santiago. The parish church – Ntra. Sra. De los Ángeles was built in the 16th century in Gothicrenaissance style with very beautiful plateresque doorways. Near the church is the Casa de la Encomienda, in the past a Hospital and Convent of la Concepción, today the Town Hall.

Church and square in La Parra

72


Tierra de Barros

Castle of Feria

Cristo de la Misericordia (18th century). The parish church is Ntra. Sra. De Gracia, from the 15th century with two towers. Puebla del Prior is very near, this village was founded after the Reconquest by the Order of Santiago, and the House of the Prior of the Order was established here. The parish church of San Esteban is 15th century and next to it is a Palace, which was the residence of the priors of the Order of Santiago in the 15th century. The hermitage of Ntra. Sra, de Botoz is located by the brook with the same name. Hinojosa del Valle, founded in the 13th century by the Knight Commander of Hornachos, Pedro Pテゥrez, is located in the south of Tierra de Barros. In the village one can see the parish church of Ntra. Sra. De los テ]geles (16th century GothicMudテゥjar). Hornachos, the ancient Roman Fornacis or Fornace has some interesting prehistoric paintings near the remains of the castle, an

On the outskirts is the sanctuary of Ntra. Sra. De La Estrella (18th century), patron of the town. On the road built over the Roman Vテュa de la Plata we reach Villafranca de los Barros, which after the Reconquest from the Arabs was to belong to the Order of Santiago, becoming in the mid 16th century the head of the Domain. Among its religious buildings the parish church of Ntra. Sra. Del Valle (16th century) and the totally whitewashed hermitage of la Coronada (15th century) are worthy of mention. Wine, olive oil and lace making from this town are famous. Located on the banks of the stream Valdemedel is Ribera del Fresno, of Arab origin, in the 13th century under the rule of the Order of Santiago, becoming head of the Domain. Near the hermitage of Santa Cecilia one can still see the remains of the 15th century castle. There are other hermitages such as Virgen del Valle, patron of the village, and 73


Tierra de Barros

area of great ecological value, declared Zone for Special Preservation. In 1234 the Order of Santiago named it head of the Domain and seat of the Ambassador. King Felipe II in 1610 ordered the expulsion of almost 10,000 moriscos (Arabs that stayed in Spain after the end of the Arab rule of the peninsula) that lived in the area and were expelled to what is now Morocco, creating the Republic of Salé. The parish church of la Purísima Concepción, rebuilt during the reign of the Catholic Kings, is one of the most interesting examples of Mudéjar style art in Extremadura, it has been declared a monument of Historical-Artistic Interest. Thirteen kilometres away is Puebla de la Reina, beside the Palomillas brook. This village was repopulated in the 13th century by the Order of Santiago. It was known in the past as “Puebla de la Jara”. It has an interesting church; Santa Olalla

built in the 15th century in Mudéjar style with a beautiful facade tower built of brick and decorated with polychomed tiles. In the outskirts is the hermitage of the Mártires de San Fabián y San Sebastián, also in Mudéjar style and from the late 15th century. Five kilometres away we reach Palomas, on the right bank of the Palomillas river, its origin was probably Arab, although in the 13th century it was under the rule of the Order of Santiago who made it the head of the Domain. In the village one can see the 16th century parish church of Ntra. Sra, de Gracia, in Mudéjar style with an extraordinary brick tower. Over the river Palomillas there is a beautiful Mudéjar bridge, probably built over the remains of a Roman bridge. Twelve kilometres away, following the majestic Alanje Reservoir on the river Matachel, we come to the ancient town of Alanje, famous since Roman times for its thermal waters,

Parish church in Los Santos

Parish church in Vfca. de los Barros

74


Tierra de Barros

de los Barros and Ribera del Fresno.

FEASTS Las Candelas in Almendralejo (night of 1st to 2nd of February). La Cruz, 3rd and 4th of May in Feria, both declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE Magnificent agricultural land for cereals, olives and vines, some of the best in western Spain. This agricultural land is sprinkled with hills and low altitude sierras such as Sierra Vieja in Feria or the one on Los Santos, and also the typical plains of Extremadura with their evergreen oak forests. The Sierra of Hornachos is a Protected Area. Castles are a typical characteristic if the landscape of this area, symbol of its history of frontier between Christians and Moslems.

Las Candelas in Almendralejo

declared Historical-Artistic Monument and around which one of the most important Spas in Spain has been built. The 15th – 16th century parish church, built in Mudéjar style is in the main square. The castle is on the highest point of the town and is a symbol of its strategic importance during the Arab domination. There are abundant prehistoric paintings in the neighbourhood and the countryside is very beautiful.

Palomas. Church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia

GASTRONOMY “Cojondongo”, “Zorongollo” (red pepper salad), “Gazpacho” (cold vegetable soup) as well as the typical “Migas Extremeñas” (dish made of breadcrumbs) in the whole of the area. Excellent dishes made from game, “embutidos” and “jamones” (cured hams). Excellent wines and liquors in Almendralejo, Villalba de los Barros and Villafranca de los Barros, where we will also find good olive oil and table olives. Tench fish in Feria.

CRAFT Paper flowers and decorations in Feria. Embroidery in Villafranca 75


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The Southern Mountain Range

Barcarrota Salvatierra de los Barros

Salvaleón Higuera de Vargas

La Lapa Zafra Alconera Valle de Matamoros

Burguillos del Cerro

Valle de Santa Ana Brovales

Zahínos JEREZ DE LOS CABALLEROS

Puebla de Sancho Pérez Medina de las Torres

Valverde de Burguillos

Valuengo

La Bazana

Higuera la Real

Fregenal de la Sierra

goes back to prehistoric times, the Middle Ages, the period of Arab domination and the Military Orders and specially the baroque period. The proximity to Andalucia and Portugal makes it especially attractive and is reflected in its food, folklore and customs.

ITINERARY Fregenal de la Sierra - Higuera la Real - Valverde de Burguillos - Puebla de Sancho Pérez - Medina de Las Torres Zafra - La Lapa - Alconera Burguillos del Cerro - Brovales Valuengo - La Bazana Salvatierra de los Barros - Salvaleón - Barcarrota - Higuera de Vargas -

TOURIST ROUTE

Zahínos - Jerez de los Caballeros -

This route begins in Fregenal de la Sierra, town with two possible origins, one Phoenician –Acinus- and another Celtic –Nertobriga-, when the Romans took over it was called Concordia Iulia. King Fernando III was to regain the town from the Arabs and it came under the jurisdiction of the Order of the Temple and later Santiago. The fortress dates back to the time of the Templars and was built on an Arab fortress and today the central

Valle de Santa Ana - Valle de Matamoros

INDICATIONS

Its southern position in Extremadura means it is neighbouring with Andalucia (Huelva) and Portugal (“La Raya”) on most of its limits. It is the reign of “pata negra” (Iberian pig) and has become the most important producer of hams and other cured products from the Iberian Black Pig. Its historical- artistic heritage 77


The Southern Mountain Range

Plaza Mayor in Fregenal de la Sierra

courtyard is an attractive bullring. Adjacent to this fortress is the parish church of Santa María del Castillo (15th century). Other very interesting religious buildings are the hermitage of the Virgen de los Remedios, patron of Fregenal de la Sierra, and around which the famous festivity of the “Romería de los Gitanos” is held at the end of October. The churches of Santa Catalina and Santa Ana, the convents of Santa Clara and La Paz, as well as the Jesuit College. Of the civil architecture we will mention the 18th century Town Hall and the Casa del Tribunal de la Inquisición or Casa de la Sangre. Higuera la Real is located on the route from the province of Huelva and the Atlantic coast to Extremadura, route established thousands of years ago by the Tartesos. Here we can see the celebrated Losa de Capote of Celtic origin.

Good Iberian cured ham give fame to this village, the beautiful parish church of Santa Catalina with its 6 paintings by the brilliant Luis de Morales is also worthy of mention. The hermitage of Ntra. Sra. De Loreto has a Gothic doorway. On the way to Zafra we will stop in Valverde de Burguillos with its Megalithic dolmen in the nearby Los Jacintos sierra. The most interesting building in the village is the parish church of San Benito Abad, made of whitewashed masonry. Puebla de Sancho Pérez is not far away, at the feet of the Sierra Sur and belonging to the Order of Santiago. The Casa de la Encomienda is interesting, as well as the 16th century church of Santa Lucía, built over another that was in Mudéjar style. In the village we can find the renowned Balneario de El Raposo. The city of Zafra is located at the feet of the Castelar sierra and its 78


The Southern Mountain Range

access to the Plaza Chica, with its arcades and the location of the old market. Of the religious buildings in Zafra the most remarkable are the church Colegiata de la Candelaria, from the mid 16th century, which contains in the Remedios chapel ten paintings by Zurbarán. The Convent of Santa Clara was built in 1428 and holds the carved alabaster monument of the Lords of Feria. The Convent of Santa Catalina, with its Mudéjar wooden ceiling and dome, was built in 1500. The Hospital de Santiago has an interesting Gothic doorway. Zafra has a large number of noble mansions dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, among which the most remarkable are the Casa Grande with its magnificent 18th century cloister, or the so-called Casa del Marqués de Solana in imitation neo-Arab style. From 1380, thanks to King Juan I

name comes from the supposed Túrdula occupation of the area, known then as “Ségeda”. During the Arab domination it was an important enclave between the kingdoms of Seville and Badajoz. In the late 14th century it entered the dominions of the Duques de Feria in the figure of the first Duke Gómez Suárez de Figueroa. The second Duke of Feria built in 1437 the Fortress (“Alcázar”) which is now a Parador de Turismo declared Historical-Artistic Monument in 1931. The layout of the streets is typically mediaeval with narrow streets and buildings huddled round the Fortress. Very close to it are the two squares; the socalled Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica. The arcades in the Plaza Grande are covered with wood and composed of buildings that date back to the 16th to 18th centuries. The “Arquillo del pan” gives

Parador de Turismo in Zafra

79


The Southern Mountain Range

Plaza Chica in Zafra

de Castilla, Zafra has held a cattle fair: Feria de Ganado de San Miguel which is still held and has become an international fair: Feria Internacional de Ganado. King Alfonso XII gave it the title of city in 1883, and since 1965 it has been declared National Historical-Artistic Enclave. From Zafra we can go to La Lapa at the foot of the sierra with the same name, this is a small village of whitewashed houses where the main building is the parish church of San Onofre. In the nearby mountains San Pedro de Alcántara wrote his “Tratado de la Oración” (Treatise on Prayer). Very near Zafra and on as plain

is the village of Alconera renowned for its marble and limestone; In the village the most remarkable building is the parish church of San Pedro Apóstol with its nave in four sections. The house of the Duques de Feria is still recognisable. We continue to Burguillos del Cerro, of Visigothic and Arab origin, occupied by the Order of the Templars in the early 13th century and even belonging to the powerful Baylato de Jerez de los Caballeros. It was also known as Burguillos en Señorío. It belonged to the Lords of Béjar up to the 19th century. The castle is 15th century, built 80


The Southern Mountain Range

products. Barcarrota, between Jerez de los Caballeros and Badajoz, was called in the past Villanueva de Barcarrota and Albarcarrota. Its “castle with seven towers” is 14th century and has been used as a bullring since the 19th century. The church of Ntra. Sra. Del Soterraño is 16th century and Gothic, the same as the parish church of Santiago Apóstol. Every two years a tribute is held to Hernando de Soto, lieutenant of Pizarro, who intervened in the conquest of Florida, in which The Association of Conquistadors of Brandentton from the United States also takes part dressed in 16th century costumes. On the way to Almendral you can visit the beautiful Franciscan convent of Rocamador, now rehabilitated, residence of San Pedro de Alcántara for some time. At the edge of the Sierra Sur is Higuera de Vargas, perhaps founded by Iván de Vargas in the late Middle Ages or before 1240 by García Pérez de Vargas. There are still some remains of its 16th century castle or Casa Fuerte and nearby is the 16th century parish church of la Concepción, with Portuguese influence in its style. Getting close to Jerez de los Caballeros, we come to Zahínos, renowned for its charcoal made from evergreen oak, the typical charcoal makers are abundant here. The countryside is the typical Mediterranean forest with an abundance of birds of prey flying over thick evergreen oak forests. It belonged to the Order of the Templars in the 13th century and

over an older Arab fortress, and nearby was the church of Santa María de la Encina (13th century Mudéjar style). The parish church of San Juan Bautista is 18th century, a union of the two parishes existent in Burguillos, and it has a baroque style tower. There are abundant noble mansions and typical whitewashed dwellings. Very near to Jerez de los Caballeros and Burguillos del Cerro are the picturesque villages of Brovales, Valuengo and La Bazana, right in the hills. These are agricultural villages and are surrounded by attractive reservoirs that are ideal for fishing. From Burguillos del Cerro we go to Salvatierra de los Barros, also in the hills and renowned for its pottery and holding annual contests on this craft. Belonging to the domains of Feria, it has a beautiful Fortress built in the 15th century by Hernán Gómez de Solís, the village is at its feet on the slopes of the hill. The parish church is San Blas and has a military aspect with a quadrangular tower. Near this village is the so-called “Pozo de la Nieve” built in the 16th century by the lords of Feria and declared of Cultural Interest in 1990. On the way to Barcarrota we can visit Salvaleón in the sierra of Monsalud and which can be seen from a distance due to the ruins of its castle, only a few towers remain. This was the area where the founder of Badajoz Ibn-Marwuan found refuge. The parish church is Santa Marta, with a magnificent main altarpiece. Santa Marta is renowned for its Iberian pig 81


The Southern Mountain Range

Castle of Burguillos del Cerro

there is still one tower left from the original Arab fortification. Beside the Town Hall one can see the parish church of Ntra. Sra. De los Remedios. From Zahínos we go to the main town in this area; Jerez de los Caballeros, of Phoenician origin, known in Roman times as Fama Iulia and during the Arab occupation as Xerixsa, a very important southern enclave in the post caliphal era. Near the town is the famous “Toriñuelo Dolmen”; some Roman tombs, Visigothic remains, etc. Which prove the ancient occupation of Jerez. The Order of the Templars made it the centre of the Bayliato up to the 14th century, when it would go under the rule of the Order of Santiago, in 1525 it was declared a city by King Carlos I. From the Templar times is the Fortress, and beside it the parish church of Santa María de la Encarnación, probably built over a Visigothic basilica. Other religious buildings are the

churches of San Barlolomé and San Miguel, begin in the 15th century, in Gothic style with baroque style towers. There are numerous palaces and noble mansions in Jerez as well as beautiful convents and hermitages. The Easter celebrations have been declared Feast of Regional Tourist Interest. In May there is a renowned exhibition of Iberian cured ham “Salón del Jamón Ibérico”. Whitewashed houses around parish churches with baroque towers are one of the characteristics of this town. On the N-435 road, a few kilometres from Jerez de los Caballeros, in an impressive mountain landscape, we come to Valle de Santa Ana and Valle de Matamoros, two very attractive neighbouring villages with whitewashed houses. In Valle de Santa Ana we can see the church of Santa Ana (16th century Gothic-Mudéjar). In Valle de Matamoros the most important building is also the 82


The Southern Mountain Range

church; Ntra. Sra. De la Asunción (16th century.

Fregenal de la Sierra (10th to 15th of August), also declared feast of Regional Tourist Interest. The Romerías de la Virgen de los Remedios and de la Salud in Fregenal de la Sierra are also important. The very important ‘Salón del Jamón Ibérico” (Exhibition of Iberian Ham) in Jerez de los Caballeros.

GASTRONOMY Cured hams and pork products from the “pata negra” pig. Wild mushrooms and Asparagus in most of the area. Typical dishes of Extremadura made with lamb and kid are made in all the towns of the area.

NATURE AND LANSCAPE

CRAFT

Great plains with magnificent Mediterranean forests as well as hilly areas. Habitat for a great many birds of prey and other species that live in this beautiful vegetation. Singular landscape in the whole area, very special on the slopes of the sierras.

Embroidery, pottery, leather and wicker work. Woodcarving.

FEASTS Easter in Jerez de los Caballeros, declared feast of Regional Tourist Interest. “Festival Inernacional de la Sierra” in

Iberian Ham

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F ROM LA RAYA N ORTHWARDS


From La Raya Northwards Valverde del Fresno

Zarza la Mayor Ceclavín

Piedras Albas

Alcántara

Herrera de Alcántara Santiago Cedillo de Alcántara

EMBALSE DE ALCÁNTARA

Carbajo Membrío Valencia de Alcántara La Fontañera Las Lanchuelas Jola

San Vicente de Alcántara

La Aceña de la Borrega Alcorneo Alburquerque La Codosera EX-110

Villar del Rey

Bótoa

dolmens on this route as well as other historical and artistic monuments in this area of western Extremadura so closely linked to Portugal. The food, folklore and historical heritage are the same on both the Spanish and Portuguese sides of La Raya due to centuries of exchanges.

ITINERARY Bótoa - Villar del Rey - Alburquerque La Codosera - San Vicente de Alcántara Valencia de Alcántara - La Fontañera La Aceña de la Borrega - Las Lanchuelas - Alcorneo - Jola - Cedillo Herrera de Alcántara - Santiago de Alcántara - Carbajo - Membrío Alcántara - Piedras Albas Zarza la Mayor - Ceclavín -

TOURIST ROUTE

Valverde del Fresno

Very near Badajoz, on the way to Alburquerque, is the village of Bótoa, where the famous “Romería de la Virgen de Botoa” (festive pilgrimage) is held on the Sunday after Easter Sunday, tens of thousands of people congregate in this beautiful place among the evergreen oak trees. Surrounded by cork trees and granite rocks and near the Peña del Aguila Reservoir is Villar del Rey, internationally famous for

INDICATIONS The route of La Raya to the north of Extremadura will allow you to see a surprising variety of landscapes where evergreen oak and cork tree forests are predominant. You will also visit the towns on the banks of the rivers Tagus (Tajo) and Gévora. There are numerous prehistoric 85


From La Raya Northwards

Hermitage in Botoa

its production of slate for building. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. del Rosario is 16th century and on the outskirts of the village is the hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Rivera, where a renowned “romería” (festive pilgrimage) is held. Continuing north we come to

Alburquerque at the edge of the San Pedro Sierra, with its impressive and well preserved castle; Castillo de Luna from the early 14th century, presently a youth residence of the Junta de Extremadura (regional government). It has an impressive tower; Torre del Homenaje, and mediaeval scenes are represented there in August. The village, which once had a wall, still preserves some of the original gateways such as the gateway “de la Villa”. Santa María del Mercado is the parish church, from the 13th century, rebuilt in the 14th and with Romanesque and Mudéjar elements. The church of San Mateo is 16th-17th century. Houses with granite doorways, pointed doors and streets with a typically mediaeval layout are characteristic of the mediaeval quarter. La Codosera is on the river Gévora, surrounded by many small villages and a very beautiful countryside. This

Parish church in San Vicente de Alcántara

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From La Raya Northwards

Parish church of Cedillo

and also in hills with cork and oak trees, is Valencia de Alcántara, on an important granite platform. It has a marvellous heritage of perfectly preserved prehistoric dolmens, easy to visit and well signposted. Making it an obliged visit for anyone interested in prehistoric remains. In the town the impressive church of Ntra. Sra. de Rocamador (15th-16th century), declared Historical-Artistic Monument. This was where

border village is crowned by an interesting castle next to which is an image of the Heart of Jesus. The most important building is without doubt the magnificent hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de Chandevila, very near the village, a place of pilgrimage and where every 27th of May one of the most famous and important “romerías’ (festive pilgrimage) in the west of Extremadura is held. San Vicente de Alcántara is situated between sierras and plains with cork and evergreen oak trees. It is the base of an important cork industry, which gives it the title of “cork capital of Extremadura”. The parish church of San Vicente Mártir is in 18th century classical style. The area around the village has many dolmens for which there are established routes; one can also visit the 14th century castle Castillo de Piedrabuena, home of the Order of Alcántara. A few kilometres to the north,

Panoramic view of Alburquerque

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From La Raya Northwards

Regional Tourist Interest, is held. Very near Valencia de Alcántara is “La Raya”, which is the border with Portugal, and along it there are several villages neighbouring with el Alentejo: La Fontañera, La Aceña de la Borrega, Las Lanchuelas, Alcorneo and Jola, in some of the most attractive landscape in Extremadura with cork and pine trees as well as dolmens. The nearby San Pedro sierra has been declared Special Preservation Area. From Valencia de Alcántara, going northwards, we come to the village of Solana, just before Cedillo, the most western village in Extremadura, on the river Tagus which makes an attractive border with Portugal from near Alcántara. In Cedillo the most interesting religious building is the church of San Antonio de Padua, from the mid 19th century.

Drying the cork

Isabel, the daughter of the Catholic Kings married Manuel el Afortunado, King of Portugal in 1497. The town has one of the most attractive and best-preserved Gothic quarters in Spain with abundant pointed arch doorways. The church of la Encarnación is in Renaissance style with a Gothic facade. On the 15th of May the traditional Romeriá de San Isidro (festive pilgrimage), declared of

Popular architecture in Valencia de Alcántara

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From La Raya Northwards

Herrera de Alcántara is about 5 km away from Cedillo, where the river Tajo flows beautifully through the hills making this one of the most attractive views in La Raya. The 18th century parish church is San Sebastián, made in masonry and in baroque style. Continuing to the west we come to Santiago de Alcántara with some prehistoric paintings in a place known as the “Cueva del Borrico”. An important building is the 15th century church of Ntra. Sra. de la Consolación. On the way to Membrío and Alcántara, we come to Carbajo, at the feet of the Santiago Sierra. It has an interesting 18th century Baroque parish church; Santa Marina, built on a Latin cross plan, next to the Main Square. On the way to the San Pedro Sierra, we come to Membrío almost on the border (“Raya”) and in the hills. It has an interesting 18th century Baroque parish church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, surrounded by whitewashed houses. On the banks of the River Tajo lies the historic town of Alcántara, which preserves numerous historic remains to testify its occupation in prehistoric, Roman and Arab times. The establishment of the Military Order of San Julián de Pereiro, known from then on as Orden de Alcántara, made it a very important town for several centuries. Its Roman Bridge, over the River Tajo, was built in the 2nd century AD. By Gaius Iulius Lacer and dedicated to the Emperor Trajan, is more than 200 metres long and is the most significant emblem of the town. Another important edifice in the

Convent of San Benito in Alcántara

town is the Convent of San Benito, built by the Order of Alcántara over an Arab fortress in the 16th century, with an attractive Gothic cloister. The proto-Gothic church of Ntra. Sra. de Almocóvar was built in the 13th century and finished in the 16th. Inside one can see the sepulchre of Comendador Antonio Bravo and some beautiful paintings by Luis de Morales. The 17th century church of San Pedro de Alcántara is next to a beautiful monument erected in honour of this Saint. In the town there are other palaces, hermitages and convents from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. After crossing the Roman Bridge one can see the modern Alcántara Dam and the waters of its grandiose reservoir, if we continue a few kilometres, we come to Piedras Albas, on the border with Portugal, with its 15th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Romana with traces of gothic. Continuing to the north we come to Zarza la Mayor, which was once head of the domain of the Order of Alcántara. Near the village is the castle of Peñafiel, built right on the “Raya”(border 89


From La Raya Northwards

Church in Zarza la Mayor

with Portugal) in the 15th-16th century. In the main Square of Zarza is the old Real Fabrica de Seda (Silk factory), made in the 18th century by King Fernando VI, as well as the parish church of San Andrés (16th century).

The 17th century hermitage of San Juan is in classical style, and the Fuente Conceja has some beautiful pointed granite arches. Ceclavín is not far away, this village is renowned for its silversmith work and its pottery It has a magnificent Main Square and a parish church; la Asunción, known as Ntra. Sra. de los Apóstoles, built in the 15th – 16th century with an excellent main altarpiece. From Ceclavín on the way to Valverde del Fresno, we will go through Cilleros to reach Valverde del Fresno, end of this route, located right in the Gata Sierra, one of the last refuges of the Iberian lynx.

Church of San Andrés in Valverde

GASTRONOMY Home made cakes in Alburquerque and Alcántara. Game dishes, partridge and 90


From La Raya Northwards

rabbit in Alcántara. Lamb and kid stews in the whole area. Home made cured pork products (“embutidos”).

CRAFT Craft in cork in San Vicente de Alcántara. Pottery and silversmith work in Ceclavín.

FEASTS Romería de San Isidro in Valencia de Alcántara, declared of Regional Tourist interest. Theatre Festival in Alcántara (August). Romería de la Virgen de Botoa in May. Mediaeval Festival in Alburquerque (August).

San Isidro in Valencia de Alcántara

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE of the landscape, which will continue with plains and forests on both sides of “la Raya”. The San Pedro Sierra and the river Tajo are the defining elements of this landscape with abundant wildlife such as the Imperial eagle, wolf, lynx or the black stork.

The hills and mountains are predominant in this area, with large and excellent forests of evergreen oak and cork trees. This is an ideal habitat for many birds of prey that live in these forests. When the cork is stripped from the trees they change the colour Dolmen “El Mellizo”

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LA SERENA


La Serena

La Coronada

La Haba Magacela

Embalse de La Serena

Campanario

Peñalsordo EX-104

La Guarda

Capilla

EX-114

Zarza Capilla

Quintana de la Serena Valle de la Serena

Castuera Benquerencia de la Serena Malpartida de La Nava la Serena Higuera de Esparragosa de la Serena la Serena Helechal Zalamea de la Serena Puerto Hurraco Monterrubio de la Serena

Cabeza del Buey Almorchón

Peraleda del Zaucejo

ITINERARY

renowned cheese “Torta de la Serena”. This area is also the habitat of a large number of birds of prey and other species such as bustards and little bustards, there are also thousands of cranes that are in the great plains from autumn to spring.

La Haba - Magacela - La Coronada Campanario - Quintana de la Serena La Guarda - Valle de la Serena Higuera de la Serena - Zalamea de la Serena - Peraleda del Zaucejo Monterrubio de la Serena - Puerto Hurraco - Esparragosa de la Serena Malpartida de la Serena - Castuera Benquerencia de la Serena - La Nava -

TOURIST ROUTE

Helechal - Almorchón - Cabeza del Buey -

We will begin the route in Villanueva de la Serena, to continue on to La Haba a few kilometres away, founded in the 14th century with the name of Aldehuela by Maestre Pérez Gallego of the Order of Alcántara. There are many noble houses in Villanueva with their beautiful facades and shields; the parish church is San Juan Bautista, on a Latin cross plan. From La Haba we can see the castle of Magacela, which perhaps gets its name from the

Zarza Capilla - Peñalsordo - Capilla.

INDICATIONS

This route will take us round the area of La Serena in the south east of Extremadura, bordering with the province of Córdoba. This has always been a land of shepherds and the route between the cultures of the Central Plain and Levante, with constant exchanges of culture. It is interesting to walk through the great plains with their larks flock of sheep, foundation of the 93


La Serena

Roman times “Magna Cella”(great larder). Nearby there is a magnificent megalithic dolmen. The castle was built over a Roman building. In side the village we can see the hermitage of San Antonio and los Remedios. From Magacela we can see La Coronada and in this village there is a 16th century church; San Bartolomé with the crest of the Order of Alcántara. A few kilometres away we come to Campanario, which would be very important in the Middle Ages as it belonged to the Order of Alcántara and was part of the “Real Dehesa de la Serena”. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción is 15th century and next to it is the Convent of the Clarisas Franciscanas. Near the village is the Sanctuary of Piedraescrita, where on Easter Monday the famous Romería de la Virgen de Piedraescrita is held, feast declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Quintana de la Serena is located on a plain and is renowned for its granite industry. In the village there are abundant buildings with granite facades and with noble shields on the mansions. The parish church is Ntra. Sra. de los Milagros, 15th century, restored in the 19th century. earby village of La Guarda you can visit the 15th century church of Santiago el Mayor with a gothic doorway and gable ended facade. To the south we reach Valle de la Serena, surrounded by the Sierras of Guadamez and Arrozano, known until the 19th century as Valle de Zalamea. The

Feast of Piedraescrita in Campanario Column in Zalamea

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La Serena

parish church is la Concepción or Ntra. Sra. del Valle (16th century). In Higuera de la Serena, which is nearby, there are interesting examples of popular architecture, the most outstanding building being the parish church of la Purísima Concepción, 16th century, built in rough stone. Zalamea de la Serena has some very interesting archaeological remains in its vicinity; dolmens from the megalithic era and the famous oriental style sanctuary of “Cancho Roano”. In the Roman times Zalamea was called Iulipa, and there is a grandiose 25-metre high column, a unique Roman funerary monument in Spain, declared Historical Monument in 1931. The castle, an Arab fortress, still has its Torre Alta or Del Homenaje. This was where Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first Grammar of the Spanish language. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de los Milagros was built in the 13th century and reformed in the 15th. The old house of Pedro Crespo is still standing, protagonist of the play by Calderón de la Barca “El Alcalde de Zalamea”, which is represented by the village every year in August. To the south is Peraleda del Zaucejo, separated from the province of Córdoba by the river Zaucejo, this village belonged to the Order of Alcántara since the Middle Ages, becoming an “Encomienda”(protectorate). The original church of San Antonio Abad no longer exists and there is a modern building to replace it. Zalamea is

Quintana de la Serena

renowned for its game (both small and big). From Peraleda we go on to Monterrubio de la Serena, created in the Middle Ages by the Order of Alcántara, with some interesting historical and artistic buildings. Such as the Casa del Cordón (16th century) and the parish church Ntra. Sra. de la Consolación or de la Armentera, gothic, 16th century. To the north. On the way to Castuera we go through Puerto Hurraco in the Loro Sierra. Here we can see the beautifully whitewashed church Ntra. Sra. de Belén. Near Castuera is Esparragosa de la Serena, also known in the past as “Esparagosilla” located on a plain. Here we can see the parish church of Santa María Magdalena with an interesting granite doorway. Although Roman remains have been found round this village, Malpartida de la Serena was founded in the Middle Ages after the expulsion of the Arabs. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. 95


La Serena

Parish church of Castuera

de la Asunción is 16th century and on the facade there is the crest of the Order of Alcántara. Castuera is the most important town in this area, famous for its turrones and cheeses; it is located near the sierras of Pozón and los Pinos and was the centre of the “Real Dehesa de la Serena”. Among the religious buildings we will mention the hermitage of San Juan (15th century) and the parish church of la Magdalena (18th century), with a crest of the Order of Alcántara over its main entrance. The hermitage of Santa Ana or the hermitage of Los Mártires are mediaeval. In civil architecture the Audiencia Vieja and el Pósito (both from the early 16th century) are worthy of mention. In September a Sheep Exhibition is

held which is becoming more important each year. On the way from Castuera to Cabeza del Buey we come to Benquerencia de la Serena, on the sierra of the same name and near the mountain passes of la Nava and Mejoral, this village has an important castle and the parish church is Ntra. Sra, de la Asunción (15th century). On the same road we come to La Nava, a picturesque and attractive village at the foot of the mountains, its main religious building is the parish church of Corazón de Jesús. Carrying on a few kilometres we come to Helechal, near the socalled Tiros Sierra, with some prehistoric paintings and the church of San Diego de Alcalá. We will go past the railway station of Almorchón; a very important railway junction in 96


La Serena

the past, near this is the splendid Castle; Very near, in the municipal area of Cabeza del Buey, is the sanctuary of the Virgen de Belén, built by the Templars in the 13th century, this is where one of the most important “romerías” (festive pilgrimage) in eastern Extremadura is held. Located on the slopes of the Pedregoso sierra, in the east of La Serena and very near the Valle de los Pedroches (Córdoba) and Campo de Calatrava (La Mancha), lies Cabeza del Buey, next to the pre-Roman Turobriga. Near the Nava mountain pass we can visit the remains of some Roman thermal baths. Cabeza del Buey went from the dominion of the Templars to that of the Order of Alcántara, becoming an important domain, and this is the time which most of the buildings date from, highlighting the Town Hall, the house of Las Valdivias, of the Rol, of the Muñoz, the Audiencia, La Casa de la

Church in Cabeza del Buey

Encomienda and the Hospital of Santa Elena. Of the religious buildings we will highlight the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Armentera or La Divina Pastora (16th century). Entering the area round the Serena Reservoir we come to Zarza Capilla, which has remains of prehistoric paintings in its vicinity. This village was destroyed in the Civil War and is now divided into two villages: Zarza Capilla de Arriba (the old destroyed village) and Zarza

Castle of Benquerenda de la Serena

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Panoramic view of a typical plain (“dehesa”) in La Serena

Capilla de Abajo (built up to 1955). The inhabitants have rebuilt their old homes and most of them now live in the houses of their ancestors. The church of San Bartolomé was begun in the 16th century. Peñalsordo is very close by; founded in the Middle Ages and belonging to the Order of Alcántara it was later to become part of the Ducado de Osuna. The old Casa de la Encomienda is still standing. At the highest point of the village is the old parish of Santa Brígida (16th century). Peñalsordo is famous in the whole of Extremadura for its feast “La Octava del Corpus” declared feast of Regional Tourist Interest. This is held after the Corpus Christi and it commemorates the capture of the Castle of Capilla in the 13th century from the Arabs. Capilla is the last stop on our route, located in the past on an important intersection of routes to the mines of Almadén and the sheep migration of the Mesta in the 13th century. It belonged to the Order of the Templars and later to the Order

of Alcántara and the Ducado de Béjar. Its tortuous streets contrast with the beauty of its whitewashed houses. The Mudéjar style church; Santiago Apóstol, was built over an old mosque in the 16th century. The Castle is the most important building in the village.

GASTRONOMY It is a land of magnificent cheeses made with sheep milk with Designation of Origin (“Denominación de Origen”) “Quesos de la Serena”. Castuera makes excellent turrón (type of nougat) and liquors. The lamb stews are some of the best in Extremadura, the same as the roasts, without forgetting the kid dishes. “Escarapuche de peces” (fish dish), cured pork sausage products (“embutidos”) and a magnificent production of homemade cakes. Home made wine (“pitarra”) from Higuera de la Serena and Malpartida.

CRAFT Pottery in Cabeza del Buey. Handmade lace in Quintana and Zalamea de la Serena. Stone in Quintana de la Serena. 98


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FEASTS

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE

La Octava del Corpus in Peñalsordo, feast declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Romería de la Virgen de Belén in Cabeza del Buey. Romería de la Virgen de Piedraescrita, Easter Monday in Campanario, feast declared of Regional Tourist Interest. In Magacela: the typical “Carreras de Gallos” (cock races) the first Sunday of Lent. Representations of the play El Alcalde de Zalamea, August in Zalamea de la Serena.

A beautiful contrast between the extense plains, hence the Arab name of Serna – Plain, where cereals are grown or there are pastures for Merino sheep, and the sierras where there are evergreen oaks. Multitude of birds of prey live in the numerous sierras and peaks and there are also migratory birds such as cranes in certain parts of the area. The reservoir of La Serena, together with Orellana, García Sola and Zújar have made this region especially beautiful and an ideal habitat for bustards.

Octava del Corpus in Peñalsordo

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The Campiña Sur

Retamal

Campillo de Llerena Llera Valencia de las Torres

Usagre

Maguilla

Higuera de Llerena

Granja de Torrehermosa

Villagarcía de la Torre Berlanga

Bienvenida

Ahillones

Azuaga

Llerena Casas de Reina Reina

Valverde de Llerena Regina Fuente del Arco Malcocinado

especially from the times of the Order of Santiago, without forgetting the Visigothic and Roman eras, such as in Regina. The contrast between the Campiña and Sierra Morena is great, as can be seen from some enclaves located in the southernmost parts of the route. Do not forget to visit the Mine of Jayona in Fuente del Arco. The nearby Sierra Morena has left its mark on the history and architecture of this area, called Baeturia in ancient times and a part of Bética during the Roman occupation.

ITINERARY Llerena - Casas de Reina - Regina Reina - Fuente del Arco - Ahillones Valverde de Llerena - Berlanga Maguilla - Azuaga - Malcocinado Granja de Torrehermosa - Retamal Campillo de Llerena - Valencia de las Torres - Llera - Higuera de Llerena - Usagre - Bienvenida Villagarcía de la Torre

INDICATIONS Located in the south of Extremadura, bordering with Sierra Morena in Andalucia, provinces of Córdoba and Sevilla. Cereal granary since Roman and Arab times, it became a chosen place of residence for those who came through this region. It is a route with a great historical and artistic attraction with magnificent displays of art

TOURIST ROUTE Our route will begin in Llerena, called in Arab times Ellerina, and was for centuries the Home of the Masters of the Order of Santiago. Dioceses since the 15th century. From 1478 it was also to become the main home of the 101


The Campiña Sur

Mudéjar style and not far from here are the remains of the Roman Town of Regina in the Sierra Morena, where you can see a magnificent Roman theatre with a capacity for 1000 spectators. From the theatre you can see the ruins of a majestic Arab fortress (Alcazaba), in Reina and declared Historical-Artistic monument. And which contains an old Visigothic Basilica. Reina is a marvellous example of a mountain village with whitewashed houses from where we can contemplate the landscape of La Campiña and the beautiful Sierra Morena. Going back down we regain the road to Fuente del Arco, the last village of Extremadura on the road through Sierra Morena to the Guadalquivir valley. The village is made up of whitewashed houses and a beautiful Mudéjar style hermitage; Virgen de Ara. Not far from the village is the Mina de la

Llerena, typical street

Santo Oficio (Inquisition), with jurisdiction over almost five hundred cities. There are abundant and beautiful examples of both Mudéjar and Baroque style art, of which we could highlight the 14th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Granada, the Patio of the Tribunal of the Inquisition and the attractive Palacio de Obispo. A special mention must be made of the Main Square (Plaza Mayor), a most beautiful architectural enclave where one of the main points is the above mentioned church and the arcade of semicircular arches. It is also interesting to visit the church of Santiago, 15th, century where Alonso de Cárdenas, the last Master of the Order of Alcántara is buried, the Palace of Luis de Zapata, currently Palace of Justice, in Plateresque style and the convent of Santa Clara (early 16th century). On the local road to Fuente del Arco, almost in the province of Sevilla we come to Casas de Reina, with a parish church in

Ruins in Reina

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Jayona, with very beautiful landscape and declared Natural Monument. From Fuente del Arco we go back to Llerena and then on the N-432 road to Berlanga, first passing through Ahillones and taking the turning to Valverde de Llerena. Ahillones is on the N-432 road; it was called Ayllón up to the 17th century. Here we can visit the church of Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios, in Baroque style with a beautiful whitewashed facade. The next town before Berlanga will be Valverde de Llerena, probably founded in the 13th century be the knight of the Order of Santiago, Rodrigo de Valverde. The parish church; Inmaculada Concepción is a magnificent gothic-Mudéjar 16th century building. Back on the N-432 we come to Berlanga, ancient Roman settlement on the road from Mérida to Córdoba. It has interesting examples of religious architecture such as the parish

Parish church of Berlanga

church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, 16th century with Renaissance and Baroque elements, and the hermitage of Santo Domingo (15th century). Berlanga also has an attractive Recreational Park. On this same ancient Roman road we come to Azuaga, one of the main towns in the area with important historical remains. But before Azuaga we will take a turning to visit Maguilla, which Church of the Humilladero in Azuaga

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Guía Turística de Museos y Colecciones de Extremadura. Badajoz

Belfry of the church in Usagre

Morena, where there are two curious pillars more than 15 metres high, the Grande and the Fuente de la Machacona, as well as the parish church of San Antonio Abad. Back on the N-432 road we come to Granja de Torrehermosa, whose name comes from the beautiful and impressive Mudéjar tower of the church Purísima Concepción (early 16th century). This village was founded in the 16th century and also has two interesting hermitages: Cristo del Humilladero and La Magdalena. The Casino is also an interesting building (neo-Mudéjar style). Leaving the N-432 road we travel to the north on the Ex –103 to reach Retamal de Llerena, between La Serena and La Campiña, with numerous Roman remains. It was founded in the 13th century by the Master of the Order of Santiago Pelai Pérez Correa, the church of San Pedro Apóstol (16th century) is

has Visigothic and late Roman remains. In Maguilla, possibly founded by the Arabs, we can see the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia built in the 18th century in masonry and brick and over a former temple. Continuing on the route to Azuaga, which, on the route from the Roman Betica to Lusitania, will be important for centuries. It has a Castle; Miramontes of Arab origin. The beautiful Church of Ntra. Sra. de la Consolación is 16th century with influence of florid Gothic and Conopial. The doorway of Perdón and the important facade tower are interesting. The church of La Merced is Mudéjar style and the Cristo del Humilladero Baroque. Do not forget to visit the magnificent Ethnographical Museum. Before continuing our route on N-432 we can visit the Malcocinado, picturesque village in the Sierra 104


The Campiña Sur

Church in Retamal

interesting. From Retamal we can go to Campillo de Llerena, beside the Agallanes Sierra, village which has an important GothicMudéjar style church; San Bartolomé, with a brick main facade which is one of the most beautiful in the area.

Travelling to the south-west on the Ex –103 we come to Valencia de las Torres, where we can see the 15th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, with a Mudéjar style tower and facade. Near Valencia, on the river Matachel there is a beautiful mediaeval bridge from the times Church in Granja de Torrehermosa

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when this village belonged to the Order of Santiago. Llera, of Visigothic origin, was to come under the control of the Order of Santiago. Its most important building is the parish church of San Sebastián (15th century), the hermitage of San Bartolomé is 18th century. Higuera de Llerena is only a few kilometres away, perhaps founded by the Master of the Order of Santiago Pelai Pérez Correa in the 13th century. It has three interesting religious buildings: The parish church of Ntra. Sra. del Valle (16th century), the interesting hermitage of Cristo del Humilladero, and the church of San Isidro. On the Ex –202 we go south to the village of Usagre, of Túrdalo origin, known in the past as Ursaria and populated by Visigoths and Arabs, coming under the jurisdiction of the Order of Santiago in the 13th century. Becoming an “Encomienda”. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia is 15th century GothicMudéjar, also of interest is the

hermitage of Cristo de la Piedad, the so-called House of the Inquisition and an original Roman Bridge. Bienvenida has an interesting church; Ntra. Sra. de los Angeles - in its main square, with a beautiful tower with one stage in Mudéjar style and the other in 17th century Baroque. In the same square one can see the Casa de la Encomienda of the Order of Santiago, today the Town Hall. Villagarcía de la Torre will be our last destination, near Llerena, it has remains of a 16th century castle. The parish church; Ntra. Sra. de Araceli was built in the 15th-16th century. The 16th century Convent of la Merced and the Casa de los Grajeras (both in Baroque style) are also of interest.

GASTRONOMY Game dishes in the whole of the area and magnificent “embutidos” (cured pork sausages) and cured hams. “Cachofro” in Granja de Torrehermosa. Home made cakes in Llerena. White doughnuts in Azuaga. Wines in Cranes in Campiña Sur

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The Campiña Sur

Park in Berlanga

festivity of San Isidro. September Fair in Llerena.

Azuaga. Home-made “pitarra” wine in Granja de Torrehermosa.

CRAFT

NATURE AND LANSCAPE

Leather work and pottery . Embroidery in Llerena and Granja de Torrehermosa. Wrought iron and leather work in Campillo de Llerena. Crochet and basket work in Azuaga. Wood and tinsmith work in Granja de Torrehermosa. Pottery and leather boots in Berlanga.

South eastern limits of Extremadura, bordering with Sierra Morena, where there are great plains alternating with undulating terrain, which creates a landscape of wide horizons with cork and evergreen oak forests and land where cereals, olives or vines are cultivated. The “dehesa” (typical plain in Extremadura) is visited by cranes from autumn to spring, there are also multitudes of birds of prey.

FEASTS Easter in Llerena and Azuaga. Carnivals are celebrated in the whole of the area as well as the 107


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Alcazaba Novelda del Guadiana Pueblonuev Guadiana o del Guadiana del Caudillo Gévora MONTIJO Sagrajas Balboa Valdelacalzada

Villafranco Talavera del Guadiana la Real

Puebla de la Calzada

Guadajira

Lobón

Esparragalejo

La Garrovilla MÉRIDA Torremayor Barbaño Calamonte Arroyo de San Serván Torremejía

other created recently and whose livelihood comes mainly from agriculture.

ITINERARY Mérida - Esparragalejo - La Garrovilla Torremayor - Montijo - Valdelacalzada Guadiana del Caudillo - Alcazaba -

TOURIST ROUTE

Novelda del Guadiana - Sagrajas -

This interesting route will start in Mérida, Capital of the Autonomous Region of Extremadura, going through the villages that make up the Vegas Bajas of the Guadiana River to end up in Mérida again. On the road to Montijo first we will go through Esparragalejo, surrounded by evergreen oaks and near the Guadiana river. Village founded in the 15th century by the Order of Santiago who in the 16th century built its church of Ntra. Sra. de la Concepción, built in rough stone and cut granite. A few more kilometres on the same road we take us to La Garovilla, founded by the Arabs in the 13th century and coming under the jurisdiction of the Order of Santiago that same century. This village is on the banks of the Guadiana and is renowned for its agriculture. Its parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la

Gévora - Pueblonuevo del Guadiana Villafranco del Guadiana - Balboa Talavera La Real - Guadajira - Lobón Puebla de la Calzada - Barbaño Arroyo de San Serván - Torremejía - Calamonte

INDICATIONS An interesting route round the lands surrounding the Guadiana river, from east to west of central Extremadura, lands conditioned by the river and with large extensions of cultivated terrain. Mérida is the most visited town by the tourists due to its world famous historical Roman heritage to which have been added many other many other cultural and architectural elements. The Guadiana river is the axis of the route and the villages in this area live thanks to this river. Some loaded with history and 109


To Merida Through The Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

important Mannerist style facade. Not far away is Montijo, in the centre of the Vegas Bajas del Guadiana, renowned for its excellent agricultural products. Near the village important Roman remains have been found such as the villa of Torre Águila, one must not forget that the Roman road from Mérida to Lisbon passed through here. There are some interesting buildings in the village such as the Town Hall, with its beautiful arcades (17th century), and the magnificent 16th century parish church of San Pedro, built in Gothic-Renaissance style with an impressive tower. The beautiful monastery of the Clarisas Descalzas is 17th century, founded by the Condes de Montijo. From Montijo we can go to Talavera la Real passing through Valdelacalzada, whose name comes from the proximity of the Roman road (“calzada”) from Mérida to Lisbon. Today it is an important agricultural town with magnificent extensions of

Church of San Pedro in Montijo

Asunción is 15th century and has a very attractive Plateresque style doorway. Torremayor, also of Arab origin, was known in the past as “La Alguijuela” and has one of the most attractive churches in the area; the church of Santiago, declared of Historical-Artistic interest and with a very Canoenig in the Guadiana

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To Merida Through The Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

The Guadiana river

Carlos V, Doña Leonor de Austria, died here in 1558. There are two interesting religious buildings in the village: the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, built in the 15th century with a magnificent Renaissance altarpiece and the convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas (17th century). On the N-5 road we come to Lobón, on a high point of the road that joined Mérida with Badajoz, perhaps it was the Lycon of the Greeks or Romans. The most important historical building is the 15th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, in Gothic-Mudéjar style. The so-called “Balcony of Extremadura” is an interesting viewpoint from which we can contemplate the land round the Guadiana river. From Lobón on the dual carriageway, crossing the Guadiana again, we come to Puebla de la Calzada, which like

crops. Continuing along these areas beside the river Guadiana we will reach Talavera la Real and on the way we can see interesting agricultural villages that were created recently with the irrigation plans; Guadiana del Caudillo, Alcazaba, Novelda del Guadiana and Sagrajas, famous for the Battle of Sagrajas when the Arabs defeated King Alfonso VI, that occurred nearby. A pre-Roman treasure was also found in the vicinity. Other villages on the river are Gévora, Pueblonuevo del Guadiana, Villafranco del Guadiana, with its fish farms and Fish centre, Balboa and Guadajira, with the white buildings so typical of these New Villages. The old N-5 road goes through Talavera la Real, which is only a few kilometres from the Airport. The name “Real” (royal) probably comes from the fact that the sister of the Emperor 111


To Merida Through The Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

many other villages in this area gets its name from the old Roman road (“calzada”) which went through it, although it was founded in the Middle Ages as a settlement on the river Guadiana. In this growing village one can see the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Encarnación, restored in the 18th century and the hermitage of la Inmaculada Concepción, of the same era. The building of Marqués de la Vega (19th century, eclectic style) is also interesting). Very near Puebla de la Calzada and also on the banks of the Guadiana river is Barbaño, which holds and important “romería” (festive pilgrimage) in May. Continuing on the N-5 road we come to Arroyo de San Serván, around which many birds of prey live and we can also see interesting prehistoric paintings. On the river Tripero there is a

well-preserved Roman bridge with three arches. In the village one can see the parish church of Santa Cruz (16th century). Near Arroyo is the ever more prosperous Calamonte, near Mérida. Probably of Roman origin and repopulated in the 14th century by the Order of Santiago, the parish church is Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, early 16th century with a beautiful Plateresque doorway. From Calamonte we go on to Torremejía, of mediaeval origin and on the N-630 road. In this village we can see some Roman sculptures at the base and facade of the Palace of los Mexia later called Becerra de Moscoso. Opposite this palace is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Concepción, 16th century with later reforms. From Torremejía we come to our last destination on this route; Mérida, city built on the Guadiana river and founded in 25 BC. As Emerita Augusta, capital of the Roman province of Lusitania and one of the most important Roman administrative centres in the west of the peninsula. In the 5th century it was conquered by the Visigoths and thus continued to be an important cultural and economic city, this was to continue with the Arab domination in the 7th century. In the early 13th century the city was conquered by the Christian troops of king Alfonso IX in 1230 and it became the home of the priory of San Marcos de León of the order of Santiago. From the early 1980’s it became the Capital of the Autonomous region of Extremadura. The most important monuments

Palace in Torremejías

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National Roman Art Museum. Mérida

Vallés. With an eminently didactic intention to teach the visitor about the Roman world. It contains numerous examples of Roman art and history from the best excavations. In the Casa del Mitreo, ancient roman house, we can see the socalled “cosmogony mosaic”, nearby one can visit the Circus or Hippodrome built in the 1st century AD. With a capacity for 30,000 spectators; just next to this is the aqueduct ; Acueducto de San Lázaro or Rabo de Buey, which took water to the area of the theatre and amphitheatre. Not far away is the Xenodoquium, a Visigothic hospital from the time of bishop Mausona, and the magnificent

are from the Roman era, declared World Heritage site. We can highlight the Theatre, sponsored by Agripa, brother-inlaw of Octavius Augustus, in 16-15 BC. With a capacity for 6,000 spectators. The Amphitheatre for spectacles with gladiators or wild animals was opened in 8 BC. Nearby is the Casa del Anfiteatro, built in 3rd to 4th century with magnificent mosaics displaying Venus and Eros and also a grape-picking scene. Next to the theatre is National Roman Art Museum (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano) opened in 1986 and designed by the architect Rafael Moneo 113


To Merida Through The Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

Roman theatre in Mérida

Basilica of Santa Eulalia, the remains of this saint were probably buried. Inside one can see excavated areas. Outside is the famous “hornito” (little oven) built in honour of the martyr Santa Eulalia, built with stones from an Roman temple dedicated to Mars. The Acueducto de los Milagros, built to bring water from the reservoir on lake Proserpina in the 1st century BC. To 3rd century AD, is 830 metres long and 25 metres high. We can also see in Mérida the socalled Roman bridge over the river Albarregas, the Arch of Trajan (15 metres high), and the Temple of Diana, for Imperial devotion, built in the 1st century BC., the Portico del Foro built in the 1st century AD. with a modern restoration, and the magnificent Roman bridge over

the river Guadiana, 792m long, 60 arches, built in 25 BC. From other historical times we can see the Arab fortress (Alcazaba) from the 9th century with an interesting water deposit (aljibe). The Convent of the Order of Santiago now the presidency of the Junta de Extremadura (regional government) and the archaeological site of “Morería”, and incredible historical summary of the city with a necropolis, roads, walls, houses, etc. Which refer to Roman, Arab and Visigothic areas and industries, rescued and prepared for the delight of the tourist and the historian alike. The Con-Cathedral of Santa María, in the Main Square, was originally from the 13th century and was probably built on the side of the ancient cathedral of 114


To Merida Through The Vegas Bajas del Guadiana

FEASTS

Santa María de Jerusalén. The Museum of Visigothic Art displays and preserves many of the Visigothic remains found in Mérida and is one of the best collections in Spain. Five kilometres from the town we can visit the Proserpina reservoir and dam built by the Romans and the largest known in the Mediterranean world. Also the Roman Dam of Cornalvo, near Trujillanos, in the Natural Park of the same name.

Holy Week in Mérida, declared Feast of Regional Tourist Interest. The Classical Theatre Festivals in the Roman Theatre and amphitheatre of Mérida.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE The banks of the Guadiana river have their own type of vegetation used as a habitat for birds and otters. This contrasts with the enormous cultivated fields where corn and rice predominate. There are also typical vineyards and olive groves with large extensions of evergreen oak and Mediterranean forests. The stork is the most characteristic bird of this area, there are also cranes and other migratory birds.

GASTRONOMY Special lamb stew (“caldereta”). Gazpacho (a sort of cold vegetable soup). Moje de bogas y barbos (a river fish dish). Cured Iberian pork products (“embutidos”) in all of the area.

CRAFT Pottery and wicker work in Mérida. Wrought iron and cabinet making.

Holy week in Mérida

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To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

Madrigalejo Villar de Rena Hernán Rena Santa Cortés Amalia Ruecas

Embalse de Cornalvo

Vegas Altas Obando

Acedera Zurbarán Gargáligas Valdivia

Mirandilla

Entrerríos Villanueva de la Serena Medellín Don Benito Valverde de Mérida Mengabril Valdetorres Villagonzalo Guareña Don Álvaro Cristina Manchita La Zarza Oliva de Mérida

Trujillanos

San Pedro de Mérida

Torrefresneda

Embalse de Alange

ITINERARY

years ago and now have a very bright future. There are beautiful spots all along the river for swimming or enjoying water activities. A special mention must be made of the Natural Park of Cornalvo and Sierra Bermeja, with 10,000 hectares and an interesting flora and fauna typical of this region with magnificent examples of Mediterranean forest.

Villanueva de la Serena - Valdivia Entrerríos - Gargáligas - Acedera Obando - Vegas Altas - Madrigalejo Zurbarán - Rena - Villar de Rena Don Benito - Ruecas - Hernán Cortés Santa Amalia - Medellín - Mengabril Valdetorres - Guareña - Cristina - Manchita - Oliva de Mérida - La Zarza Villagonzalo - Valverde de Mérida Don Álvaro - Torrefresneda San Pedro de Mérida - Trujillanos -

TOURIST ROUTE

Mirandilla - Parque Natural de Cornalvo

Almost on the river Guadiana is the town of Villanueva de la Serena, founded in the 13th century with the name of “Aldeanueva”. In the 15th century it is granted the title of town (“villa”) and in 1504 the Priory of the Order of Alcántara is established there, during the reign of Queen Isabel II it is granted the title of City. Some of its most important buildings are the Town Hall (16th and 18th centuries) and opposite it is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción (16th century, Classical style) and the

INDICATIONS This route will allow us to follow the Guadiana river and the rich land on its banks from its birth in the neighbouring areas of La Serena and La Siberia to the capital of the region Mérida. On this route we will also see the important towns and villages of the Vegas Altas, with an interesting artistic and historical heritage and many that were created due to the irrigation plans less than fifty 117


Guía Turística de Museos y Colecciones de Extremadura. Badajoz

Parish church in Vva. de la Serena

monument to Pedro de Valdivia, who discovered Chile. The Monastery of San Benito, also called Palacio Prioral is worth visiting. Not far from Villanueva is the Castle of Castelnovo or De la Encomienda, near Valdivia. Near Villanueva de la Serena and also next to the river Guadiana and dedicated to agriculture with irrigation are a collection of recently founded villages which are growing all the time such as Entreríos, Gargáligas and Yelbes. In Acedera we can see the 16th century parish church, which was badly damaged in the Lisbon earthquake (18th century), close by are some other recent villages Obando, Vegas Altas and Zurbarán. Near to Madrigalejo some “verracos” (sculptures of wild

boar) and objects from the Celtic era were found, which can now be seen in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Cáceres and the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. The parish church is San Juan Bautista, from the early 16th century. In Rena one of the most interesting prehistoric idols in Extremadura was found, which can be seen in the Provincial Archaeological Museum in Badajoz. This village is near the Ruecas river and its parish church; Ntra. Sra. de los Ángeles was built in the 15th century and modified later. On the way to Don Benito we will go through Villar de Rena, founded by the Order of the Templars in the 13th century and 118


To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

belonging to the Count of Medellín up to the 18th century. Its most important building is the parish church of San Pedro Apóstol in 15th century late gothic style. Don Benito was founded in the Middle Ages but interesting Roman remains have also been found here. It is the most important town in this area of Vegas Altas of the Guadiana river, an authentic cultural and commercial metropolis with important historical buildings as well as being the place where FEVAL (trade and agriculture fair)is held every year. The most interesting religious building is in the Main Square; the parish church of Santiago Apóstol, begun in the early 16th century and finished in 1611, it has clear influence of the Herrerian style.

The oldest religious building is the hermitage of San Sebastián y San Fabián, and there are a series of other 17th century hermitages such as Ntra. Sra. de las Cruces or San Gregorio. In the Main Square there is also a vanguardist Cultural Centre, designed by the renowned architect Rafael Moneo. And this is next to the attractive market building. On our way to Santa Amalia, we will go through the villages of Ruecas and Hernán Cortés, agricultural villages that are characteristically whitewashed and with the most important buildings in the main square. Santa Amalia was founded in the 19th century, during the reign of King Fernando VII, and has grown incredibly quickly thanks to its hard-working inhabitants, it has become an important Parish church in Don Benito

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To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

centre for the area. The Main Square is interesting, with its parish church; Santa Amalia, built in whitewashed masonry. On the outskirts of the village there is a magnificent park with splendid areas for recreation and fishing. From Santa Amalia we go to Medellín, founded by the Romans on the banks of the Guadiana river, perhaps by Quinto Cecilio Metello in the year 80 BC. This was where the Conquistador of Mexico Hernán Cortés was born, and we will find a monument to him in the well looked after gardens of the Main Square, next to the Town Hall. Medellín also has remains of a Roman Theatre at the foot of the majestic Castle, of Arab origin and which has a view of the whole area including the Guadiana river and the important 18th century bridge. Not far away is the ruins of the church of San Martín and Santiago; a magnificent 13th century building. Inside the village one can find the 16th

century Renaissance style and unfinished parish church of Santa Cecilia. On the way to Guareña we will go through Mengabril with its interesting 16th century Gothic parish church of Santa Margarita, built in granite, very close to the river Ortiga. If we leave the road to Guareña for a few kilometres, we can visit Valdetorres, also on the river. This is an agricultural village with beautiful landscape around it and places for fishing. Its main historical building is the 16th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción. Guareña is famous for its good wine and olive oil and around it remains from the Roman and later eras have been discovered, which point to an interesting history. Of the buildings of interest in this hard-working village is the Town Hall, magnificent and rare example in Extremadura of a Neo-classical civil building, located in the Main Square. Very nearby is the parish church

Town Hall of Guareña

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To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

Hermitage of La Zarza

settlement have been discovered. In the village one can see the 16th century parish church of the Purísima Concepción. 14 kilometres from Oliva de Mérida we come to La Zarza, renowned for its furriers and good cakes and in the nearby Sierra de la Calderita there are some famous prehistoric paintings of the same name. This village, near the Guadiana river has two religious buildings of importance; the 16th century parish church of San Martín, built in masonry, and the hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de las Nieves, excellent 18th century Baroque. Going back on the N-432 road, we come to Villagonzalo, of mediaeval origin, established after the Reconquest from the Arabs and also on the Guadiana river. Its parish church is Ntra.

of Santa María, perhaps one of the largest temples in Extremadura, dating from the mid 16th century and built by order of the bishop of Plasencia Vargas de Carvajal, with the technical assistance of Gil de Ontañón. Very near this village we can see others such as Manchita and Cristina, the first with its parish church Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, rebuilt in the 15th century, and in Cristina, on the route to Oliva de Mérida, where we can see the parish church of Santa Cristina, patron of the village. In Oliva de Mérida, the beautiful Peñas Blancas sierra around it is a refuge for multitude of birds of prey and also has examples of prehistoric paintings. In the outskirts of the village the remains of a pre-Roman 121


To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

In San Pedro de Mérida, located within the Natural Park of Cornalvo, we will find one of the few religious buildings in Extremadura with clear Hispano-Visigoth style; the parish church of San Pedro Apóstol (15th century). A few kilometres away is Trujillanos, founded in the 16th century and surrounded by great evergreen oak forests. Its parish church is Santísima Tranidad (16th century). Here the Water Interpretation Centre and the Natural Park of Cornalvo are located. In Mirandilla, also in the Natural Park, there are some interesting religious buildings such as the parish church of Santa María Magdalena and the hermitage of San Roque (both 16th century), and the House of the Marqués de la Encomienda. From Trujillanos, taking a turning on the N-V road, we reach the Parque Natural de Cornalvo y Sierra Bermeja, an

Sra. de la Concepción, 16th century, finished in the 18th century. Less than 10km away, and after crossing the “Badén” of the river Guadiana we will reach Valverde de Mérida, surrounded by olive and evergreen oak trees with its majestic church; Santa Marina, built in masonry and with a beautiful classical tower and doorway with Mannerist elements. Before continuing to San Pedro de Mérida and from Valverde de Mérida we can go to the village of Don Álvaro, of mediaeval origin and also on the river Guadiana, with beautiful riverside landscape and its 15th century parish church of Santa María Magdalena. Back to Valverde de Mérida, we will take the road to San Pedro de Mérida, on the N-V dual carriageway and going through Torrefresneda, born, like many others here due to the irrigation plans in the recent past. Cornalvo reservoir

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To Cornalvo Through The Vegas Altas Del Guadiana

Magnificent examples of barbels

exceptional place in the region, a natural park of more than 10,000 hectares, with a rich flora and fauna where we can see the magnificent Roman hydraulic work in the reservoir and dam, which supplied water to Emerita Augusta (Mérida). The natural park has established and signposted routes for its exploration, which will take the visitors to the most interesting points. The centre of the park is the Cornalvo reservoir, which stores water for the villages around it, the same as in the Roman times.

FEASTS “La Carrerita” on Resurrection Sunday in Villanueva de la Serena. The Trade Fairs FEVAL in DonBenito. San Martín on the 10th of November in La Zarza.

NATURE AND LANSCAPE There are contrasts between the extense corn fields, olive groves, fruit orchards and vineyards and the magnificent evergreen oak forests and the typical plains with flocks of sheep. The Guadiana river is the main protagonist in the whole area and conditions the life of the farmers and shepherds around it. The establishment of large irrigated farms has benefited them. This is also an excellent territory for birds and game that is abundant here. The opportunities for angling and practising water-sports are also great. As well as places for fishing.

GASTRONOMY Home-made cakes in Don Benito, Villanueva de la Serena, Guareña and La Zarza. Wines in Mengabril, Guareña and Don Benito. Olive oil in Guareña. “Migas” (bread-based dish), “caldereta extremeña” (lamb stew) and “Moje de peces” (fish dish) in all of the area. Cheeses in Villanueva de la Serena.

CRAFT Leather work in La Zarza, Don Benito and Guareña, traditional knife-making in Don Benito.

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16

W EEKEND R OUTES

IN

E XTREMADURA

F ROM PLASENCIA T O THE N ATIONAL PARK OF MONFRAGÜE


From Plasencia To The National Park Of Monfragüe

PLASENCIA Malpartida de Plasencia

Villarreal de San Carlos

Mirabel Casas de Millán

Serradilla PARQUE NATURAL DE MONFRAGÜE Torrejón el Rubio

TRUJILLO

ITINERARY

information centres in Villareal de San Carlos. Other villages to see on the route are Jaraicejo, Serrejón, Toril and Casas de Miravete, also in the Natural Park.

Plasencia - Casas de Millán Mirabel - Serradilla - Torrejón el Rubio Villarreal de San Carlos Parque Nacional de Monfragüe Malpartida de Plasencia

INDICATIONS

TOURIST ROUTE

This route is in the north of the region of Extremadura, just where the northern valleys join in the town of Plasencia, beginning of our route to the National Park of Monfragüe, next to the plain of CáceresTrujillo and the Alagón valley. This route will allow you to see the incredible historical and artistic heritage of Plasencia and some of the nearby villages, combining this with a visit to the Marvellous Natural Park of Monfragüe, which you can go through or stay there in an ever-growing offer of lodgings, or camping. The park has several established routes with excellent

This route starts in Plasencia, on the banks of the Jerte river. Ever since its foundation in the 12th century (1186) by King Alfonso VIII it has always been a strategic point for the surrounding areas on the socalled “Ruta de la Plata” (silver route) – the A-66 dual carriageway and the N-630 road, which connects the north of Extremadura to the south. From the 15th century, the town of Plasencia will be the residence of important noble families in the region who after centuries will leave one of the most important artistic and historical heritages in western Spain. 125


From Plasencia To The National Park Of Monfragüe

Martes Mayor feast in Plasencia

The main religious building is the Cathedral, or should we say Cathedrals: The Old Cathedral (13th century) in RomanesqueGothic style, and the New, built from the 16th century on. Inside the Cathedral there is an important museum- Museo Catedralicio, as well as magnificent examples Romanesque, Gothic, renaissance and Baroque sculpture. The Main Altar piece is 17th century by Gregorio Fernández, the Altar de las Reliquias (mid 17th century) and the Choir seats, master work by Rodrigo Alemán (16th century). Outside the Cathedral it would be interesting to visit the old quarter of Plasencia starting from the beautiful Main Square, centre of the town, where every first Monday in August there is the celebration called Martes

Mayor, feast declared of Tourist Interest. Wandering round the streets and alleys of the mediaeval town we will see many palaces such as those of Monroy, Dos Torres Mirabel, Trejo, Vargas, CarvajalGirón, la Casa del Dean or the renowned Palacio Episcopal. The main churches of the town are excellent examples Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles: San Nicolás, San Martín, San Salvador, and San Pedro. Do not forget to visit the Ethnographical Textile Museum “Pérez Enciso”, one of the best in Spain, the Hunting Collection in the Mirabel Palace, have a look at the majestic walls of the town and visit the sanctuary of the Virgen del Puerto, with a view of the whole town. The route will take us to the 126


From Plasencia To The National Park Of Monfragüe

Monfragüe, Villarreal de San Carlos

Victoria, as well as an excellent collection of Baroque paintings. The parish church of the Asunción is 16th–17th century. Torrejón el Rubio, located between the Almonte and the Tajo rivers is famous for the decorated Roman Stella discovered there and is also one of the main gateways to the National Park of Monfragüe. The parish church is San Miguel Arcángel. On the road to Villareal de San Carlos, where the information centres for the Natural Park of Monfragüe are, we will see the remains of a castle of Arab origin, and at the foot of the hill on which the castle is built there are many caves with prehistoric paintings, which indicates the historical importance of this privileged enclave where we can find species of animals unique in

Natural Park of Monfragüe, continuing on the N-630 road to Casas del Millán, with its interesting 16th century parish church dedicated to San Nicolás de Bari. Near the village there is an 18th century hermitage; Ntra. Sra. de Tebas with a 16th century image of the Virgin. From Casas del Millán we continue north on the N-630 road to visit Mirabel, which has the remains of a 13th century castle on the “Peña del Acero” rock. In the village there is a 15th century parish church with some later additions dedicated to the patron of Mirabel the Virgen de la Jarreta. Now inside the Natural Park of Monfragüe, we come to Serradilla with its locally famous Baroque Convent of Santo Cristo, with a beautiful image of the Cristo de la 127


From Plasencia To The National Park Of Monfragüe

Europe can survive in the Park thanks to its vegetation. A few kilometres away we will end our route, first stopping in Malpartida de Plasencia, very near Plasencia, surrounded by evergreen oaks and with a 16th century parish church San Juan Bautista, with a tower on which one can see the crest of the Bishop of Plasencia Gutierrez de Vargas Carvajal.

Extremadura and in the peninsula. Several routes have been established to explore this unique national park. In Villareal de San Carlos the visitor can obtain all the necessary information abut the Park, which is the refuge for species that have disappeared in the rest of Europe and also has a varied and well preserved flora. This is the reign of the griffon vulture, the Egyptian Vulture and the black vulture, the Imperial Eagle and the Black Stork and a large amount of birds of prey that nest in the forests on the rocky cliffs. The lynx and other species almost extinct in the rest of

GASTRONOMY Cheeses, honey, “bollos de chicharrones” and game dishes in Torrejón el Rubio. “Migas Extremeñas” (bread based dish), “caldereta de cordero” (lamb stew) and kid meat dishes in the whole area. Trout and homemade cakes in Plasencia.

Panoramic view of the National Park of Monfragüe

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From Plasencia To The National Park Of Monfragüe

Griffon vulture in the Park

FEASTS

NATURE AND LANSCAPE

Martes Mayor in Plasencia (first Tuesday of August) declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Las Candelas in Torrejón el Rubio. Ntra. Sra. de la Jarrera in Mirabel. Cristo de la Victoria in Serradilla.

The area is a confluence of mid altitude sierras, a continuation of the sierras of Miravete, Mirabel, Serradilla or Corchuela, which give the landscape its special aspect. It is a magnificent example of coexistence of farmers and shepherds inside the National Park of Monfragüe. An important example of Mediterranean forest (17,582 hectares) with multitudes of species of flora and fauna in the confluence of the rivers Tajo and Tiétar.

CRAFT Wooden acorns in Torrejón el Rubio. Pottery, embroidery, cork and leather work in Plasencia. Lace and typical costumes in Mirabel. Woodwork in Villareal de San Carlos.

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17

W EEKEND R OUTES

T O TRUJILLO

FROM

IN

E XTREMADURA

MONTÁNCHEZ


To Trujillo From Montanchez

Jaraicejo

Aldea de Trujillo

Torrecillas de la Tiesa Aldeacentenera

Santa Marta de Magasca

TRUJILLO Madroñera Garciaz La Cumbre Plasenzuela

Herguijuela Contreras

Botija Torremocha

Conquista de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Ruanes Benquerencia

Ibahernando Santa Ana Salvatierra de Santiago

Puerto de Santa Cruz Zorita

Valdefuentes Albalá

Zarza de Montánchez Torre de Santa María

Montánchez

Abertura Villamesías

Alcollarín

Valdemorales Campo Lugar

Alcuéscar Almoharín Arroyomolinos de Montánchez Carmonita

Escurial MIAJADAS

ITINERARY

beautiful forests of evergreen oaks and cork trees around rocks sierras inhabited by game and birds of prey. This area has good food and popular festivities. The historical and artistic heritage is abundant and admirable, especially in Trujillo, birth place of Conquistadors. The Spa of Trampal is in an exceptionally beautiful enclave, the same as the HispanoVisigothic Basilica of Santa Lucía del Trampal.

Alcuéscar - Arroyomolinos de Montánchez - Montánchez - Albalá Torre de Santa María - Valdefuentes Benquerencia - Torremocha - Botija Plasenzuela - Santa Marta de Magasca La Cumbre - Contreras - Ruanes Salvatierra de Santiago - Zarza de Montánchez - Valdemorales - Almoharín Santa Ana - Ibahernando - Santa Cruz de la Sierra - Puerto de Santa Cruz Villamesías - Abertura - Campo Lugar Miajadas - Escurial - Alcollarín - Zorita Conquista de la Sierra - Herguijuela Madroñera - Garciaz - Aldeacentenera -

TOURIST ROUTE

Torrecillas de la Tiesa - Jaraicejo - Aldea

The first village to visit will be Alcuéscar, near which is one of the most important examples of Visigothic religious art: the Hispano-Visigothic Basilica of Santa Lucía del Trampal. Alcuéscar is only a few kilometres off the N-630 road at the edge of the San Pedro Sierra. It also has a late 15th century

de Trujillo - Trujillo.

INDICATIONS This route goes across the Trujillo-Cáceres plain, north of the centre of Extremadura and the sierras of Montanchez and San Pedro. It is a route of contrasts with 131


To Trujillo From Montanchez

parish church of La Asunción. Nearby and at the foot of the Montánchez sierra is Arroyomolinos de Montánchez with good examples of popular architecture. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Consolación was built in masonry in the late 15th century. We continue to Montánchez, presided by its Castle. Its origin is pre-Roman and it was of strategic importance during the Arab domination and later when it came under the control of the Order of Santiago. The Castle, built in the 12th century by the Almohade Arabs and later reformed by the Christians, is an ideal viewpoint to contemplate the region. The parish church of San Mateo is 18th century, and there are multitudes of interesting noble houses and some Baroque style hermitages, highlighting the one in the castle. Montánchez is famous for its cured hams and

other cured pork products as well as for its wine. The feast of Carnival “Jurramachos” is also interesting. Continuing on our route we reach Albalá, very near the Trujillo-Cáceres plain. This village has popular architecture and a religious building of interest; the late 15th century granite built parish church of María Magdalena. From Albalá we continue to Torre de Santa María, on the plain, which like many villages here has beautiful whitewashed houses with granite facades. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción is of interest (16th century granite construction). Valdefuentes has some remains of its 16th century Palace of the Marqueses de Valdefuentes. The Baroque parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Bienvenida is 17th century. There is also an interesting 18th century church built over the old convent of San

Panoramic view of the Castle of Montánchez

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To Trujillo From Montanchez

Agustín, konwn popularly as “the little Escorial” On the way to Torremocha we take a turning to Benquerencia, near the river Tamuja with its 18th century granite parish church of San Pedro Apóstol. The Town Hall and the 17th century hermitage of the Cristo del Amparo are also interesting. In Torremocha we can see some buildings that still bear the Cross of Malta on their facade. The parish church Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción is 16th–17th century and some of the hermitages are Baroque style. From Torremocha, on the Trujillo-Cáceres plain we come to Botija, famous for the IronAge excavation nearby and the pre-Roman Tamusia. It has a 17th century parish church; Santa María Magdalena. The same as Botija, Plasenzuela has supplied rich archaeological discoveries form pre-Roman eras. Its parish church; Ntra. Sra.

Archaeological excavation in Villasviejas de Botija

de la Asunción is 15th century Gothic, reformed in the 18th century. To the north we reach Santa Marta de Magasca, with an attractive Main Square and a typical 16th century “rollo” (pillory). It has an interesting 16th century parish church; Santa Marta and the well-known Palacio de Pascualete, which belonged to the Condes de Romanones. To the south and of mediaeval Parish church of Almoharín

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To Trujillo From Montanchez

church; Santiago is 17th century. Outside the village we can see the 17th century hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Estrella. The next stop is Zarza de Montánchez, at the foot of the Toledo mountains, with an important religious building; the parish church of San Miguel, begun in the 16th century and with Gothic and Renaissance elements. From Zarza de Montánchez we go to Valdemorales, with its interesting 17th century parish church of San Andrés. Almoharín is famous for its production of figs, near the San Cristobal Sierra, it was probably founded by the Arabs and later became under the control of the Order of Alcántara. Its parish church of El Salvador has a magnificent two-storey gallery, which makes the Main Square one of the most interesting in the area. Continuing to the north we reach Robledillo de Trujillo, whose stone tower of the 17th century parish church of San

Parish church in Ibahernando

origin is La Cumbre, related to the domains of the Barrantes, whose 16th century palace is still in the village. There is an interesting church; Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción (16th and 18th centuries). We go by Contreras and stop in Ruanes, with its 15th century church of La Asunción. Salvatierra de Santiago is near the Tamuja river, with Roman and Arab remains. In the Main Square is the so-called Hospital del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s hospital) from the 16th century. The parish Panoramic view of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

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To Trujillo From Montanchez

Parish church of Miajadas

see the 18th century hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Jara. The most outstanding building in the village is the beautiful 16th century church of San Juan Bautista, built in stone and with a three arch doorway. Protected by the Sierra we can see from the road Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a magnificent natural viewpoint where testimonies of pre-Roman, Roman and even Visigothic cultures have been found, there are remains of an Arab castle, the church of Vera Cruz was built in the 16th-17th

Pedro, that can be seen from a distance. In the nearby village of Santa Ana, known with this name since the mid 17th century, the parish church is also dedicated to Santa Ana and was built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Leaving Ruanes we come to Ibahernando, where interesting Roman and Visigothic remains have been found. The Basilica of Santa MarĂ­a, which dates from the 7th century, is near the village, and also in the outskirts we can

Parish church of Zorita

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To Trujillo From Montanchez

buildings of the area; the parish church of Santiago, built in the 15th to 16th centuries and finished in the 19th, the famous architect Pedro de Ibarra worked on it. The church of Ntra. Sra. de Belen is 18th century Baroque, began as a hermitage and is now the second parish church of Miajadas. Very near Miajadas and on the EX –102 road is Escurial, with a beautiful Square beside the parish church of la Asunción, 16th century granite construction. On the way to Zorita we can stop in Alcollarín, which has a couple of interesting historical and artistic buildings: the 16th century church of Santa Catalina and the ruins of the Pizarro-Carvajal Palace, also 16th century. A few kilometres away, still on the EX -102 road is Zorita, near Guadalupe and the Sierra with the same name. Its 16th century parish church is San Pablo, the baroque 18th century hermitage of Fuensanta, where the image of the patron of Zorita is venerated, is also interesting. A few kilometres from Zorita, on the way to Trujillo, we come to Conquista de la Sierra, which before the 17th century was called Zarza de Conquista, it belonged to the Pizarro family and there are the ruins of the Palace of Hernando Pizarro. The parish church of San Lorenzo is 16th century, built of masonry. Continuing north we come to Herguijeula, famous for its old oil presses and good wines. Roman and Visigothic remains have been found here. It was called Calzada de Herguijuela up to the 19th century. The parish church of San Bartolomé is 16th

Pre-Roman settlement in Aldeacentenera

century, we can see the nostalgic ruins of an Agustino Convent in very beautiful surroundings. At the foot of the Santa Cruz sierra is the village of Puerto de Santa Cruz, with its 16th century parish church of San Bartolomé with an interesting one-storey gallery. On the way to Miajadas we come to Villamesías, next to the N-V dual carriageway and beside the river Búrdalo, which was how the village was called up to the 17th century. The noble house of Mexías is from the family of Alonso Mexías and has the arms of the family on the facade. The parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán built from the 16th century in rough stone and granite. We will continue to the village of Abertura where we can see the 16th century parish church of San Juan Bautista, built in masonry. On the same road we come to Campo Lugar, whose most important building is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de los Ángeles, built in the late 15th to 17th centuries. We come to Miajadas, a thriving agricultural town with the remains of a 13th century mediaeval castle and one of the most impressive religious 136


To Trujillo From Montanchez

Between Aldeacentenera and Torrecillas de la Tiesa we can find the pre-Roman village of La Coraja and the results of excavations there can be seen in the Provincial museum in Cáceres. There is an interesting reconstruction of this village in Aldeacentenera. Now we come to Torrecillas de la Tiesa, which belonged to the Pizarro family from Trujillo. Its most attractive building is the parish church of Santa Catalina (16th century). On the N-V dual carriageway we come to Jaraicejo, near the Miravete mountain pass, known in Arab times as “Zaferezejo”. It has a beautiful 15th century bridge over the river Almonte, reformed in the 18th century and from which we can see other later bridges. One made at the end of the 20th century. The Plaza de España is the most attractive part of the village with its 16th century Town Hall and its beautiful arcade and the 16th century parish church of La Asunción, built in stone. On the N-V dual carriageway and before reaching Trujillo we can stop in Aldea de Trujillo with its 17th century Baroque

century and built of masonry. In the village we can also see the Palacio de los Condes, which bears the shield of the Alba family. Continuing north we reach Madroñera, in the Trujillo Sierra, which has some interesting historical and artistic buildings such as the Casa de los Santa Cruz with its Renaissance facade, and the Plaza el Rollo, with a 16th century pillory. The parish church of the Purísima Concepción is 18th century Baroque. The patron of the village is in the hermitage of Virgen de Soterraña. On the way to Aldeacentenera we can stop in Garciaz, which has roman remains on the outskirts and a 16th century parish church of Santiago Apóstol, declared HistoricalArtistic monument since 1977. The hermitage of La Caridad is 17th century with an interesting 15th century sculpture of the Virgin and Child. Aldeacentenera is on the Almonte river, founded in the Middle Ages and near Trujillo. Its main building is the parish church of San Bartolomé, begun in the 16th century.

Castle of Trujillo

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To Trujillo From Montanchez

The Chiviri feast in Trujillo

parish church of Ntra. Sra. del Rosario. This is one of the accesses to the Natural Park of Monfragüe. Trujillo, known in the preRoman times as “Turgalium” and “Torgiela” during the Arab occupation. The Arab Edrisi said that “it was big and looked like a fortress”. It was conquered by the Christian troops in January 1232. The discovery of the American continent and the figure of the Francisco Pizarro, who discovered Perú, has given Trujillo a major role in History. The Castle, at the top of the town, is from the Califal Arab era and in it is the Sanctuary dedicated to the patron of Trujillo La Virgen de la Victoria. Four of the gates of the walled town are still standing: San Andrés, Santiago, El Triunfo and La Coria. Of the churches we can highlight Santa María la Mayor, probably built over a 13th century Arab mosque. Santiago, with a 13th century image; La Virgen de la Coronada and the Cristo de las Aguilas (16th century). The church of San Martín, where the kings Carlos V, Felipe II and

Felipe V have been praying. Of the civil architecture we can highlight the Alcázar de los Bejarano, the Altamiranos, the Chaves, where the Catholic Kings stayed on visiting Trujillo in 1477 and 1479. The Casa de los Orellana (16th century). The Main Square of Trujillo has been the centre of the town for centuries, here we can admire the equestrian statue of Francisco Pizarro, by the American sculptor Carlos Rumsey. Of the palaces in Trujillo we can highlight those of: Los Duques de San Carlos, Marquesado de Piedras Albas, Los Marqueses de la Conquista and Juan Pizarro de Orellana.

GASTRONOMY Magnificent ham and wine in Montánchez and Alcuéscar. Figs in Almoharín and Arroyomolinos. Cured Iberian pork products (“embutidos”), sheep and goat milk cheeses, home-made cakes by the nuns. Excellent wines in Trujillo, “migas” (bread based dish), “Caldereta de carne” (typical meat stew), “frite de cerdo” (typical pork dish). 138


Plaza Mayor in Trujillo

CRAFT

end of April and beginning of May. The Carnival in Montánchez and Alcuéscar. “Fiesta del pan y queso” in Zarza de Montánchez.

Goldsmiths, potters, basket makers, stone masons, embroidery, leather work and cloth and traditional costume making. Blankets made with strips of cloth in Montánchez, Arroyomolinos and Aldeacentenera. Lace and embroidery in Alcuéscar and Trujillo. Carpets in Santa Marta de Magasca. Embroidery and lace making in Villamesías. Embroidery in Puerto de Santa Cruz.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE A beautiful contrast between the plain of Trujillo-Cáceres and the irrigated lands of the Guadiana basin, separated from the lands of the river Tajo be the Sierra of Montánchez. Evergreen oak and cork forests grow on the lands along this route, where we can also see outbreaks of granite and high sierras, habitat of birds of prey and other species such as bustards, grey falcons and black winged kites. Small game is abundant.

FEASTS El Chíviri on Resurrection Sunday in Trujillo, declared of Regional Tourist interest. The National Cheese Fair in the Plaza Mayor of Trujillo at the

Panoramic view of Trujillo

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T HE ALAGÓN VALLEY


The Alagón Valley Itinerary

Marchagaz

Moheda de Granadilla

Palomero Cerezo Villanueva Embalse de Gabriel y Galán de la Sierra Santa Cruz Ahigal de Paniagua Guijo Pozuelo Santibáñez el Alto de Granadilla de Zarzón Aceituna Villa del Embalse de Borbollón Campo La Moheda Moraleja

Guijo de Coria

Guijo de Galisteo

Calzadilla

Morcillo Coria

Montehermoso Valdeobispo La Aceña

Carcaboso

Aldehuela del Jerte

Puebla de Argeme Alagón

PLASENCIA

Galisteo Riolobos

Pescueza Cachorrilla

Portaje

Torrejoncillo Holguera EX-109

Acehúche

Portezuelo

Pedroso de Acím Cañaveral

Natural Park of Monfragüe. Coria is the metropolis of this area with its rich historical and artistic heritage that goes back to Roman times. This area has some popular feasts with a great tradition and famous in the whole country, there are three recognises as being of Regional Tourist Interest. The abrupt terrain in some parts make it ideal for bird watching and examining the flora. There is also an abundance of popular architecture integrated with the landscape.

ITINERARY Coria - Moraleja - La Moheda Guijo de Coria - Calzadilla Puebla de Argeme - Alagón - Morcillo La Aceña - Valdeobispo - Santibáñez El Alto - Aceituna - Ahigal - Guijo de Granadilla - Moheda de Granadilla Marchagaz - Palomero - Cerezo Santa Cruz de Paniagua - Villanueva de la Sierra - Pozuelo de Zarzón Villa del Campo - Guijo de Galisteo Montehermoso - Carcaboso - Aldehuela del Jerte - Galisteo - Holguera - Riolobos - Torrejoncillo - Portaje - Pescueza Cachorrilla - Acehúche - Portezuelo -

TOURIST ROUTE

Pedroso de Acím - Cañaveral

This route, which will take us through the fertile lands around the Alagón river, will begin in Coria. A town of historical and cultural interest which dates back to the Roman times, when it was called “Caurium” and still

INDICATIONS This route is located in the north of the region of Extremadura, to the south of Sierra de Gata and Hurdes and next to the 141


The Alagón Valley Itinerary

Church in Moraleja

displays parts of the original Roman wall later rebuilt by the Arabs. Inside the town there is a very important Cathedral from the late 15th century dedicated to the Asunción de la Virgen. The magnificent Plateresque doorway “El Perdón” is especially interesting. The 17th century Palacio Episcopal is also worth seeing. The special fame of this town comes from the incredibly

popular Fiesta del Toro de San Juan, declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Moraleja is only a few kilometres away, on the EX –109 road, a village located on the banks of the river Árrago, at the foot of the Sierra de Gata. A magnificent example of prosperous agricultural village. Its main historical building is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Piedad, in Renaissance style masonry work. The Casa de la

The Sanjuanes feast in Coria

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Before continuing the route to Ahigal, we can stop in Aceituna, with its 16th century parish church, built in granite. Ahigal, a little to the north of Santibañez El Bajo and near the Gabriel y Galán Reservoir, has a 16th century parish church; La Asunción, and a 18th century hermitage; Santo Cristo de los Remedios. Passing through Guijo de Granadilla, we come to another village on the edge of the Gabriel y Galán Reservoir; Mohedas de Granadilla, whose parish church of San Ildefonso is built of granite an rough stone. In Marchagaz, well-known in the region as a magnificent producer of olives and olive oil. Its parish church is dedicated to Santiago Apóstol. Nearby is the village of Palomero, which like Marchagaz also has large extensions of olive groves.

Encomienda is also interesting. If we continue north we go past La Moheda surrounded by olive groves and Guijo de Coria just past the Borbollón Reservoir. This village has a 15th-16th century parish church; San Esteban, built in cut granite and rough stone. Moving south and going to the EX –109 road we can stop in Calzadilla which has an interesting hermitage of Santo Cristo with a beautiful image of the “Cristo de la Agonía” by the Italian artist Lucas Mitata. The parish church is from the late 15th century. We go past Coria again, and on the EX –108 road go to Puebla de Argeme, an interesting example of a village built in the 20th century and inhabited by farmers who work on the irrigated land, the same can be said of the next village; Alagón. From here we will go north to Morcillo, another agricultural village irrigated by the canals of the Alagón and Arroyo Grande, with a Renaissance style church; San Andrés, enlarged in the 18th century. Along the Alagón river we go through the village of La Aceña and then Valdeobispo, which has a small reservoir to supply irrigation to the farms in the Alagón area. Its parish church of San Pedro Apóstol is 18th century and there is also a hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de Valverde, with a Romanesque style image of the Virgin and Child. The we can continue to Santibañez El Bajo, with a parish church; Santiago Apóstol built in the 16th-17th century. The hermitage of Cristo de la Paz, built in rough stone, is late 19th century.

Las Carantoñas in Acehúche

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olive groves and has a Renaissance style, granite built parish church; San Pedro. On the outskirts the 16th century Baroque hermitage of Cristo is interesting. Villa del Campo is only about a kilometre away and has two interesting religious buildings: The parish church of Los Ángeles (16th century) and the Baroque hermitage of el Cristo with its beautiful granite Via Crucis. Very near and on the way to Montehermoso is Guijo de Galisteo, with a 16th -17th century parish church in rough stone and granite dedicated to San Pedro. There is also an interesting 16th century hermitage – del Cristo. Montehermoso is the next stop on our route, famous among other things for the colourful hat of its traditional costume, as well as embroidery. The parish church of La Asunción is 16th century with an 18th century doorway.

The most interesting building is the parish church, San Miguel, built in the 18th century. Cerezo is located between the Alagón river and the Santa Bárbara sierra, its main building is the 18th century parish church of San Juan Bautista. On the way to Villanueva de la Sierra, we can stop in the village of Santa Cruz de Paniagua, with a remarkable 17th century parish church; Santa María Magdalena, a 16th century church; Salvador, and the Cristo hermitage. Villanueva de la Sierra has a magnificent Main Square, where apart from the Town Hall one can see Roman inscriptions on the stones of one of the buildings. The highest point in the village is the location of an interesting parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, 15th century, built in granite with a beautiful round tower. Pozuelo de Zarzón, on the EX –204 road, is surrounded by Gabriel y Galán reservoir

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Santiago Apóstol. Going down south on the EX –108 road we come to the beautiful village of Galisteo, with 13th century defensive walls made with river stones, from the Arab Almohade era. Inside the village one can see the magnificent Mudéjar apse of the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción. Continuing south we reach Holguera, near the N-630 road, the ancient “Vía de la Plata”, it has a 15th century parish church; Santa Magdalena. Before getting to Torrejoncillo we can see Riolobos, near the river Alagón and with a 16th century Renaissance style parish church; Santa Catalina, built in masonry and slate. Torrejoncillo is on the EX –109 road and is famous for its feast declared of Regional Tourist interest; “La Encamisá” on the night from the 7th to the 8th of December. The parish church of San Andrés, of Renaissance style

Apse of the Mudéjar church in Galisteo

On the same road we come to Carcaboso, which has a 16th century parish church of Santiago Apóstol, built in rough masonry and slate. In the nearby Aldehuela del Jerte, beside the Alagón river, we will find an interesting 16th century parish church of Parish church of Cañaveral

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La Encamisá in Torrejoncillo

and a Baroque facade. A few kilometres away we come to Portaje, whose most interesting building is its 16th century parish church of San Miguel, made of rough masonry and granite. Very near the river are the villages of Pescueza and Cachorilla, with magnificent natural spaces where there are griffon vultures. The parish church of Pescueza is San Francisco (18th century), built in slate and rough masonry, and the church of Cachorilla is San Sebastián (16th century). We reach Achúche, renowned for it feast declared of Regional Tourist Interest: “Las Carantoñas”, in January, feasts of San Sebastián. The parish church of San Juan Bautista

with a late 15th century gothic doorway. There are also two hermitages: Cristo and Santa María, both from the 17th century. On the way to Cañaveral we can see the Arab castle of Marmionda, next to Portezuelo, which was on the old Roman road between Caurium (Coria) and Alconetar. The parish church of Santa María is 16th century. Pedroso de Acim became well known for its proximity to the Franciscan Convent of San Pedro de Alcántara, also known as El Palacar. The church of the village is Santa Marina. Our last stop on this route will be Cañaveral, located right on the “Vía de la Plata”, the modern N-630. . The church of the village 146


The Alagón Valley Itinerary

is Santa Marina. Built in late Gothic style. The hermitages of San Roque (16th century) and Humilladero (18th century) are also interesting. Near Cañaveral is the Baroque sanctuary of Ntra. Sra. de Cabezón, patron of the village. Near Cañaveral there is another village; El Arco with a very interesting ancient elm.

FEASTS The “Toros de San Juan” (bull feast), 23rd June in Coria, “La Encamisá” on the 7th of December in Torrejoncillo, both declared of Regional Tourist Interest. “Las Carantoñas” on the day of San Sebastián in January, Acheúche. Also declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

GASTRONOMY

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE

Stewed and roast dishes made with lamb or kid on most of the route. Honey, pollen, “ajopeces” and cheeses. Salami in Pozuelo de Zarzón. Ham in Villanueva de la Sierra and Santa Cruz de Paniagua. Home-made cakes on most of the route. Wines and olive oils in the area round Moraleja and Coria.

This route is centred on the river Alagón, the real fluvial and economic protagonist of the area, which gives sustenance to the farmers who achieve admirable results. There is a curious contrast between the fertile lands around the river and the sierras reforested with pine, oak and chestnut trees. The Borbollón reservoir is a magnificent place for water sports with an un forgettable landscape. There are many natural swimming pools with crystal-clear waters.

CRAFT Lamps and goldsmith work in Torrejoncillo. Beautiful embroidery, doll making, pottery and typical hats in Montehermoso. Metalwork in Coria. Bronze bells in Montehermoso. Crochet work in Pescueza.

Water sports in Borbollón

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Around Cáceres

A-66 PLASENCIA

Mata de Alcántara

Hinojal

Garrovillas

Monroy

Santiago del Campo

Navas del Madroño

Brozas

Talaván

Casar de Cáceres

Arroyo de la Luz CÁCERES

Herreruela Aliseda

Sierra de Fuentes

Malpartida de Cáceres

Torreorgaz Valdesalor Torrequemada

Aldea del Cano Casas de Don Antonio Carmonita Cordobilla de Lácara Nava de Santiago MÉRIDA

A-66

is in the south of the province of Cáceres and north of the province of Badajoz. The route has as a centre the town of Cáceres, World Heritage Site, with its excellent and wellpreserved artistic and historical monuments. Good museums and attractive feasts in these villages round Cáceres. The gastronomy is rich and varied with excellent regional dishes: “caldereta”, “migas” or fish dishes, lamb or kid. There are two interesting spas that can be visited: Fuentes del Trampal, near Carmonita, and San Gregorio, near Brozas.

ITINERARY Cáceres - Valdesalor - Casas de Don Antonio - Carmonita Cordobilla de Lácara - Nava de Santiago - Aldea del Cano - Rincón de Ballesteros - Torrequemada - Torreorgaz Sierra de Fuentes - Casar de Cáceres Santiago del Campo - Monroy - Talaván Hinojal - Garrovillas - Mata de Alcántara - Navas del Madroño - Brozas Herreruela - Aliseda - Arroyo de la Luz Malpartida de Cáceres.

INDICATIONS This route goes through the Trujillo-Cáceres plain and interesting areas on the banks of the river Tajo, next to the Alcántara Reservoir. The geographical situation

TOURIST ROUTE Cáceres, the Roman Norba Caesarina, probably founded by 149


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Bujaco Tower in Cáceres

past the Pulpitos tower, and through the Arco de la Estrella (Star Arch). There are many building of great beauty and historic importance, such as Casa de los Toledo Moctezuma, Godoy Palace, church of Santiago, Casa de Carvajal. The con Cathedral of Santa María, of transition Romanesque to Gothic style and with a Renaissance choir inside. Opposite the Palacio Episcopal (Bishop’s palace) and the Palace

Cayo Norbano Flaco, during the Middle Ages it was an important Arab defensive enclave until its conquest in April 1229 by King Alfonso IX. It has an admirable collection of historical and artistic monuments, declared World Heritage Town (UNESCO). In the Main Square one can find the Town Hall, the Ermita de la Paz, the Bujaco Tower, the 12th century Arab Almohade walls and the Foro de los Balbos. To enter the historic quarter, go Holy week in Cáceres

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of Hernando de Ovando. Other palaces are Mayoralgo and Golfines de Abajo (16th century). From the Plaza de San Jorge (Saint George’s square), patron of Cáceres, we can see the church of San Francisco Javier and the old Jesuit Residence. On the way to the highest point of the town we can see the Casa de los Becerra, the CáceresAndrade and the so-called Casa Mudéjar, unique in its style in the town. In and around the Plaza de San Mateo are some buildings of artistic interest such as Casa del Sol, del Aguila, church of San Mateo and the convent of San Pablo. In the Calle Ancha, street which goes from San Mateo square to the Puerta de Mérida (Mérida gateway) we can see other very important buildings such as Casa de los Srs. De Torreorgaz, now the Parador de Turismo. The Calle Ancha leads to the Plazuela de Santa Clara with its Convent of Santa Clara.

Beside the Plaza de San Mateo is another square; Plaza de la Veletas, with two interesting buildings: La Casa de las Cigüeñas (House of the Storks), which houses Military Government offices today and the Casa Palacio de los Aljibes, now the Provincial Museum. The Casa de los Caballos (House of the Horses), connected to the Provincial museum with contemporary art exhibits. From the Plaza de las Veletas we can either visit the Barrio de San Antonio, old Jewish quarter of the town, or the Adarve next to the Plaza Mayor going past the Palace of the Golfines de Arriba. Outside the historic walls we can see the church of San Juan, the convent of San Francisco, now home of the Cultural Institution El Brocense, the parish church of Espiritu Santo and the interesting Sanctuary of Ntra. Sra, de la Montaña, where the patron of the town is venerated. In another part of the town one can visit the Centro de

Castle on the N-630 road

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village beside the Salor river and with a large reservoir nearby. Near the village a Roman treasure was discovered, in the remains of a Roman settlement, with 160 denarios from 81 BC. Related to the sertorian wars and the presence of Quinto Caecilio Metello. Continuing south we come to Casas de Don Antonio, situated on the low part of the Oretana mountain range, between the Montánchez and the San Pedro sierras. It has an interesting parish church; Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, built in granite in the 15th century and reformed in the 18th, a 16th century “rollo” or pillory and a hermitage dedicated to Ntra. Sra. del Pilar. From the N-630 we come to Rincón de Ballesteros, the only new village on dry land, in the San Pedro plains. On the way to Mérida we leave the N-630 road to go to Carmonita, on the Ribera river, with a 16th century church; Magdalena. Nearby is the famous spa – Balneario de Fuentes del Trampal, one of the best in Extremadura, located in real nature, surrounded by cork and evergreen oak trees. Cordibilla de Lácara is located

Spa in Fuentes del Trampal

Dolmen of Lácara

Interpretación de la Cueva de Maltravieso, beside the caves where prehistoric paintings from the Paleolithic era have been discovered. Apart from the above-mentioned Provincial Museum, there are two others that can be visited: Casa Pedrilla y Guayasamin Museum, and the Masa Solís Museum. The Holy Week has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Outside Cáceres we can see some castles; Castillos de la Arguijuelas de Abajo and de Arriba on the N-630 road to Mérida. On the road to Badajoz one can see another castle; Castillo de las Seguras. From Cáceres, on the N-630 road we come to Valdesalor, modern

"Torta del Casar"

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Church of Aldea del Cano

the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción (16th century). Near the village are the remains of a Franciscan Convent founded in 1551, ruined after the war of independence. From here we go to Aldea del Cano , on the N-630 road, 22km from Cáceres, surrounded by large granite boulders and crossed by the river Ayuela creating beautiful locations for fishing. This is an eminently agricultural village and its buildings of interest are the parish church of San Martín (16th century) and the hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de los Retablos, rebuilt in 1818. The next village is Torrequemada, with lots of cork and oak trees. It has a parish church; San Esteban, and on the outskirts the hermitage of

in the San Pedro Sierra, with its 16th century parish church of San Pedro, built in granite, and a hermitage dedicated to the saints Justo y Pastor, known popularly as “Los Santitos”. From Cordobilla de Lácara we can go to Nava de Santiago, surrounded by olive, cork and evergreen oak trees, around this village there are abundant Megalithic remains such as sepulcros de Carmonita, Lauriana, Cueva del Monje or Casa de la Moneda, Lácara or Cueva del Moro, this latter being a Neolithic settlement. The village belonged to the Order of Santiago after being taken from the Arabs in the mid 13th century, buildings of interest are the Palace of the Ovando, later Marqués de Valdeoro and

Almonte and Tamuja rivers

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15th and 16th century Castle in Monroy

Nuestra Señora del Salor. In the nearby Torreorgaz the parish temple of San Pedro and the hermitages of El Humilladero and La Soledad are of interest. There are also the remains of noble houses. Sierra de Fuentes is located on the eastern slope of a sierra. It has a 16th century parish church of La Asunción, built of rough stone and granite and the hermitages of Cristo del Risco and San Isidro (both18th century). In this village there is a hospital for birds of prey. Casar de Cáceres is famous for its milk and cheese production. Located 10km form Cáceres and with an interesting 16th century parish church built over an older 14th century Gothic temple. Built in granite and designed by Pedro Ibarra and other masters. There are also four beautiful hermitages in Casar de Cáceres, one in each corner of the village: Santiago, San Bartolomé, Mártires and Soledad. We continue on our route to Santiago del Campo, on the banks of the Almonte river and in the areas known as the “Riveros del río Tajo” on an

abrupt terrain surrounded by cork and evergreen oak trees. Its parish church of Santiago, built in stone in the 16th century and reformed in the 18th. The hermitage of La Soledad, built of stone and slate is 17th century, and the hermitage of San Marcos is 18th century. Monroy, on the Trujillo-Cáceres plain is also on the banks of the river Almonte surrounded by typical and beautiful Mediterranean forest landscape with magnificent wildlife. Important archaeological remains have been found round Monroy in the Roman Villa of Las Aguzaderas. The Treasure of Monroy, from the Bronze Age is in the Provincial Museum in Cáceres. The 15th-16th century Castle is in the Main Square. On the outskirts one can see the 16th century parish church of Santa Catalina. Talaván is not far away and its 15th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción built in granite and with a well-made choir from 1588. In Hinojal, near the river Tajo, we can visit the 16th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, which has two 154


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Alcántara is one of the most important villages in the province of Cáceres. A centre for the nobility of the region. There are many palaces and religious buildings. Near the village is the spa Balneario de San Gregorio, famous in the region and surrounded by a beautiful evergreen oak forest. Of the monumental architecture of the village we can highlight the so-called Fortaleza, at the highest point of the village with its 16th century “torre de homenaje” tower. The Palaces of Flores Montenegro, Paredes and Los Argüello. Of the religious buildings we can highlight the parish church of los Santos Mártires (15th-16th

interesting niches inside with frescos that represent religious and fantastic themes. On the Trujillo-Cáceres plain and surrounded by cork and evergreen oak trees is the village of Garovillas, which has some dolmens nearby and a Roman Villa next to the hermitage of Santa Marina. Among its numerous historical and artistic buildings we can highlight the parish church of San Pedro, one of the largest in the Coria-Cáceres dioceses (gothic early 15th century), and the church of Santa María, built between 1494 and 1520. The Convent of San Antonio de Padua was founded in 1476 by the Conde de Alba de Liste, and the hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de Altagracia, patron of Garovillas is 15th century with reforms from the 16th and 17th centuries. The quarter of Castillejos is a magnificent example of popular architecture, one of the most interesting in Extremadura. The Main Square is 16th-17th century, totally arcaded and has been declared a National HistoricalArtistic Monument. From Garovillas we continue to Mata de Alcántara, with its 16th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, built in stone. The next village is Navas del Madroño on the Trujillo-Cáceres plain, which has interesting examples of popular architecture built in masonry, whitewashed facades and monumental chimneys. In the Plaza Mayor is the 17th century Town Hall with its arcade, and nearby is the parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la O built in 1738. Brozas, village of the Order of

Church of Sta. María la Mayor in Brozas

Navas del Madroño, Parish Church

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Parish Church in Arroyo de la Luz

century) and the parish church of Santa María la Mayor, magnificent masterpiece by the architect Pedro de Ibarra, built entirely in cut granite with Gothic and Renaissance elements. The 16th century hermitage of el Buen Jesús, near the ruins of the Convent of Ntra. Sra. de la Luz. Herreruela, located between the San Pedro Sierra and the river Salor, belonged to the Order of Alcántara. Aliseda is 30km from Cáceres, in the San Pedro Sierra, an extremely valuable enclave of Mediterranean forest in a strategic location between Cáceres and Portugal. Its parish church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción, 17th century granite construction. On the outskirts another church - Ntra. Sra. del Campo. The famous Aliseda Treasure was found in a tomb here in 1920 and dates from 625 BC. Arroyo de la Luz is 22km from Cáceres. Ancient Iberian sepulchres and tombstones have been found here. The parish church of la Asunción was built

in the late 15th – early 16th century. Inside there is a remarkable Altar Piece with 20 paintings by the artist from Extremadura Luis de Morales, finished around 1650. On the Monday after Holy Week there is a feast declared of Regional Tourist interest -“Carreras” ;horse races with many participants. Near Malpartida de Cáceres is the Natural Monument of the Barruecos. The village was founded in the 13th century and around it there are many examples of Megalithic constructions (La Hijadilla, near the Salor river), Roman and Arab remains. The 18th century wool washing complex of Los Barruecos is today the famous and popular Museo Vostell Malpartida, with exhibits of the late German artist and other important vanguardists. In Malpartida there is a centre for information about the “trashumancia” (annual sheep migration) and the Natural Monument of los Barruecos. 156


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In spring the Womad festival is very popular, the Feast of Saint George on the 23rd of April. At the beginning of summer the Mediaeval Theatre Festival in the old quarter of Cáceres. Fiesta del Día de la Tenca (Feast of the day of the tench) in different villages of the north of Cáceres. Las Carreras (the races) In Arroyo de la Luz on Easter Monday, declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

GASTRONOMY Tench prepared in the Extremadura style and many others, from spring to August in most of the north of the route. Cured pork products and Hams on the whole route. “Migas” (bread based dish) and “caldereta extremeña” (typical stew) made of lamb or kid on the whole route. Excellent sheep milk cheeses in Casar de Cáceres, known popularly as “Tortas” and which have their own Designation of Origin. Cakes made by the nuns in Cáceres and Garovillas.

NATURE AND LANSCAPE Important forests rounds the river Tajo and its afluents. Plains and sierras of medium height. Outbreaks of granite on the plain, an excellent habitat for bustards, cranes, Montague’s harriers, etc. The typical plains of Extremadura are sprinkled with cork tree forests and evergreen oaks, without forgetting the important olive groves and vineyards.

CRAFT Pottery workshops in Arroyo de la Luz. Leather and cabinet making work in Brozas. Pottery in Cáceres.

FEASTS Holy Week in Cáceres has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

“Las Carreras” in Arroyo de la Luz

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CAMPO ARAÑUELO


Campo Arañuelo

Pueblonuevo de Miramontes Barquilla de Pinares Tiétar del Caudillo Santa María de las Lomas Talayuela

Rosalejo

Majadas

Casatejada

El Gordo

Saucedilla

Serrejón

TALAVERA DE LA REINA

Navalmoral de la Mata

Almaraz

Peraleda de la Mata

Millanes

Belvís de Monroy

Valdehúncar Berrocalejo

Valdecañas de Tajo

Romangordo

Higuera Casas de Miravete TRUJILLO

buildings although there are some interesting civilian and military constructions from the Middle Ages when the Military Orders were in command of the region and important noble domains were created which persisted in history until relatively recently. It is a land of the typical Mediterranean plain (dehesa) where low hills and some sierras are mixed with grand evergreen oaks and cork trees at the shade of some hills where abundant birds of prey live.

ITINERARY Navalmoral de la Mata - Peraleda de la Mata - El Gordo - Berrocalejo Valdehúncar - Millanes - Belvís de Monroy - Valdecañas de Tajo - Casas de Miravete - Romangordo - Higuera Almaraz - Saucedilla - Casatejada Serrejón - Majadas - Talayuela Santa María de las Lomas - Tiétar del Caudillo - Rosalejo - Barquilla de Pinares - Pueblonuevo de Miramontes

INDICATIONS Campo Arañuelo is located in the north east of Extremadura, a natural entrance to the region from Madrid and Toledo on the A-5 dual carriageway. It has as borders La Vera in the north, the Ibores on the southwest and the Natural Park of Monfragüe on the south west. Its most important historical and artistic heritage is in its religious

TOURIST ROUTE This route around Campo Arañuelo will begin in Navalmoral de la Mata, capital and main town in the area. Its location is on the dual carriageway that goes from Madrid to Lisbon crossing Extremadura from north-west to west. 159


Campo Arañuelo

The origin of this town is mediaeval when it was probably a small village on the road from Plasencia to Talavera de la Reina. Its expansion is to begin in the 17th and 18th centuries and especially in the 19th when the railway will turn it into an important junction. In the town we can highlight the parish church of San Andrés, in Renaissance style and built in granite and rough stone, perhaps over an older temple. On the outskirts we can find the old 14th century church of Santa María de la Mata, which is unrestored. The 17th century hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Soledad (Baroque style, built of masonry) is also interesting. Navalmoral de la Mata is an important town in the agricultural sector of Extremadura, its Carnival has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. From Navalmoral we go to

Paeraleda de la Mata, very near to the Valdecañas Reservoir fed from the Tajo river. This village has two interesting religious buildings: the parish church of Santiago (Renaissance style, built in masonry) and the hermitage of Cristo (Baroque, 18th century). A little to the east, after going along the dual carriageway a few kilometres and travelling on the edge of the Valdecañas Reservoir, we reach El Gordo, with its interesting 16th century church which has a beautiful Vía Crucis made in Talavera Ceramics. Berrocalejo, on the banks of the Tajo river and almost on the border with the province of Toledo, has an interesting 16th century granite church. The hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios is 18th century. To the west and continuing round the reservoir, we come to Valdehúncar, surrounded by magnificent evergreen oaks and outbreaks of granite boulders. It has a 16th century parish church. There are many white stork nests in the village. Millanes, next to Navalmoral and the dual carriageway, has some typical buildings built of stone such as the parish church of San Francisco de Asís. Continuing south we come to Belvís de Monroy, where the Mayorazgo de Belvís was founded in 1329, and would acquire great importance. The main building is the Castle a result of building and rebuilding from the 13th to the 17th century. The parish church of Santiago was built in the 15th century Near Belvís we can see the Convent of San Francisco from

S. Andrés Church in Navalmoral

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Panoramic view of Navalmoral de la Mata

where the first Franciscans left for the New World in the 16th century. We cross the Tajo river and passing by Valdemoreno, we come to Valdecañas del Tajo, near the beautiful and sporting Valdecañas Reservoir. There is magnificent countryside round the village, places such as the Garganta de Descuernacabras, nature reserve and habitat for

numerous birds. Inside the village there are typical constructions and a 17th century parish church. Continuing on the old N-V we will come to the beautiful and strategically placed Casas de Miravete, at the foot of the Miravete Mountain Pass, located between the rivers Tajo and Tiétar entrance to the Natural Park of Monfragüe. Its Plaza Mayor of Peraleda de la Mata

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Castle of Belvís de Monroy

18th century parish church is dedicated to Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción. We go back, and on the way to Almaraz we can see the villages of Romangordo and Higuera. Romangordo, bordering with the region of Villuercas, has some interesting examples of popular architecture and a 16th century parish church; Santa Catalina. A little to the east is Higuera and Casas de Miravete. Higuera is surrounded by cork and

evergreen oak trees in the Campillo and Frontal sierra, it has a parish church built between the 16th and 18th centuries. At the edge of the Puerto de Miravete Sierra, Centre of the Dominion of Blasco Gómez de Almaraz, we come to Almaraz, it had a 15th century castle of which only the tower remains today. In the village we can see the 16th century parish church of San Andrés, and nearby a 16th

Church in Valdecañas del Tajo

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Almaraz, Church of San Andrés

Tobacco plantation

there is an important religious building that was declared National Monument in 1965; the parish church of San Pedro AdVincula, built in the late 15th century. The hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Soledad, inside the village, is from the 16th century and holds an interesting Baroque altarpiece. From Casatejada we can see Serrejón, surrounded by evergreen oaks, on the edge of

century “rollo” (pillory). Not far away we can admire a magnificent granite bridge over the Tajo river ,which bears the crest of Emperor Carlos V. From Almaraz going north we come to Saucedilla, with its attractive Square, near which one can see the large 16th century granite built church of San Juan Bautista. In Casatejada, in the fertile lands beside the Tiétar river, 163


Campo Arañuelo

Santa María de las Lomas, Tiétar del Caudillo, Rosalejo, Barquilla de Pinares and Pueblonuevo de Miramontes. Villages located on the border with the region of Campo Arañuelo and also very near to the province of Toledo, with very attractive landscape and on the Tiétar river.

the Natural Park of Monfragüe and near which some interesting prehistoric paintings have been found. Its parish church of San Ildefonso is 16th century. Majadas is also in the fertile “vegas” beside the Tiétar river and its main artistic building is the 16th century parish church del Salvador. Crossing the Tiétar river, entering the edge of the Vera region, we come to Talayuela, an important agricultural centre producing tobacco, also in the “vega” of the Tiétar river. Inside the village there is an interesting 16th century church; San Martín, with a beautiful sun clock on its facade. Finally going Northwest we can visit the picturesque villages of

GASTRONOMY Stews and roasts of lamb and kid. “Cocido Extremeño” and Gazpacho. Veal kidneys in Navalmoral de la Mata. Cured pork products in Peraleda de la Mata, Serrejón, Talayuela, Valdehúncar and Casatejada. Cured hams in Navalmoral de la Mata and Saucedilla.

Valdecañas Reservoir from the dam

Carnival in Navalmoral de la Mata

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Por el Campo Arañuelo

Landscape in Campo Arañuelo

CRAFT Ceramics, wrought iron work and pottery in Casatejada. Woodwork in Navalmoral de la Mata and Casatejada. Shepherds’ craft in Talayuela, Valdehúncar and Peraleda de la Mata. Textile works in Navalmoral de la Mata and Saucedilla.

FEASTS San Blas in Romangordo, Casatejada and Valdehúncar del Tajo. The famous CarnivalCarnavales del Campo Arañuelo in Navalmoral de la Mata, declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Fiesta del Ángel in Valdehúncar, January. Romería de Ntra. Sra. de Rocamador, on the first Sunday in May, Almaraz. Letting loose bulls and calves in Rosalejo, August and September.

Carnival in Navalmoral

colour, in the plains, on the hills and the riverbanks, and around the reservoir. The Reservoir of Valdecañas conditions the landscape on most of this route, and it is a favourite area for water birds and some migratory species, which stay here for a long period in the year. As an area for fishing it is one of the best in Northeast Extremadura. In the south west of this area is the Natural Park of Monfragüe, a natural paradise which some of the villages on our route form part of.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE The terrain of Campo Arañuelo is relatively flat so the typical “dehesa” where one can see enormous evergreen oak and cork trees is predominant, as well as the lands by the river with their interesting fauna. There is an abundance of birds of prey and hunting species. Spring here is an explosion of 165


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The Raya Sur To Badajoz

BADAJOZ

San Francisco de Olivenza

San Rafael de Olivenza

Villarreal OLIVENZA

Valverde de Leganés San Jorge de Alor

San Benito de la Contienda

EX-107

Alconchel

Táliga

Cheles

Villanueva del Fresno

Oliva de la Frontera

Valencia de Mombuey

indication that we are in the south of Spain. The typical popular architecture of the white villages of Extremadura is present in this border region. The artistic and historical heritage is a magnificent combination of two neighbouring cultures: Portuguese and Spanish, with an extraordinary display of religious, civil and military buildings. We must highlight Olivenza, in the area of Badajoz, with brilliant examples of Portuguese Manuelino style.

ITINERARY Oliva de la Frontera - Valencia del Mombuey - Villanueva del Fresno Cheles - Alconchel - Táliga - Olivenza Valverde de Leganés - San Benito de la Contienda - Villarreal - San Rafael de Olivenza - San Francisco de Olivenza San Jorge de Alor - Badajoz

INDICATIONS The “Raya Sur” or border with Portugal is in the south west of Extremadura; lands in the province of Badajoz bordering with the Portuguese Alentejo. Tierra de Barros and Tierra Sur are also on the border. Castles and whitewashed villages merge with the landscape as an

TOURIST ROUTE This route on the “Raya” (border between Spain and Portugal) 167


The Raya Sur To Badajoz

Hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de la Gracia in Oliva

will go from Oliva de la Frontera to Badajoz, capital of the province. The origins of Oliva de la Frontera are pre-Roman. It has remains from other eras as well. The magnificent hermitage of Ntra. Sra. de Gracia, located at the highest point of the village, is 15th century with a beautiful Baroque 18th century tower and a Gothic doorway. The parish church of San Marcos is 18th century Neo-classical style,

near its Main Square, next to the well-known “Paseo de las Palmeras” and the hermitage. This square is used in Easter for a recreation of the Passion of Christ done by local actors, declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Valencia de Mombuey, popularly called “Valencita” is two kilometres from the region of Alentejo in Portugal and also close to the province of Huelva.

Church in Villanueva del Fresno

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We can highlight in the village the Main Square, the Town Hall and the whitewashed 16th-17th century parish church of la Purísima Concepción. The old Place of the Valdeterrazo is still standing. Villanueva del Fresno is surrounded by evergreen oak woods and charcoal-making installations as well as large extensions for breeding Iberian pigs. This village is also near the Portuguese border and the beautiful town of Mourao. Founded by the Order of the Templars in the 13th century, some prehistoric and Roman remains have been found around it, there are some dolmens and the ruins of a mediaeval castle, destroyed in the 17th century. In its picturesque and beautiful Main Square is the Neo classical style whitewashed parish church of la Inmaculada Concepción, rebuilt in the 18th century. Its Town Hall has an attractive arcade and the Main Square has a picturesque bandstand. The hermitage near the square is dedicated to Cristo de la Expiración. Cheles is located in the area where the Guadiana river creates a natural border between Extremadura and the Alentejo, where there are still remains of the Casa Palacio de los Condes de Vía Manuel highlighting the archway or passage which joined the palace to its gardens. At the highest point of the village is the 18th century parish church of the Purísima Concepción, with Portuguese marble inside. Alconchel is only a few kilometres from the “Raya”, surrounded by whitewashed

Parish Church of Cheles

Door of the Town Hall of Olivenza

houses stands its impressive Castle of Miraflores, one of the most important in Extremadura, also known as “Coluche” of Arab origin. This mediaeval village was occupied by King Alfonso I of Portugal, later taken over by the Order of the Templars and finally coming under the control of the Order of Alcántara and several noble domains. The 169


The Raya Sur To Badajoz

Alconchel, Castle of Miraflores

Gothic-Renaissance 16th century parish church is Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios. The Main Square houses the Town Hall with its attractive lamps. There is also a beautiful mediaeval bridge over the river Alconchel. Situated on the slopes of a small sierra not far from Alconchel is the village of Táliga, which belonged to Portugal up to 1801. The parish church of la Asunción shows clearly the Portuguese influence. The whitewashed village is surrounded by evergreen oak and cork trees. In this same landscape we come to Olivenza, founded by the Order of the Templars in the 13th century, and as has happened with other Spanish and Portuguese villages in the course of the centuries, has belonged to one country and the other in the course of the centuries. This town has a valuable historical and artistic heritage of civil, religious and military architecture of the most refined and beautiful Spanish and Portuguese styles. The Defensive Walls and the 15th century Castle with its magnificent Tower “torre del homenaje” were made by Juan

Church in Valverde de Leganés

II, King of Portugal. Some of the original gateways of the wall are still standing. Of the noble buildings we can highlight the Palacio de los Duques de Cadaval, in Portuguese Manuelino style now the Town Hall, the Panadería del Rey, now the “González Santana” Municipal Ethnographic Museum one of the best in Extremadura. The churches of Santa María del Castillo (16th-17th century) and the incomparable Magdalena church (16th century) in 170


The Raya Sur To Badajoz

Portuguese Manuelino style. These are only two examples of the brilliant religious buildings in the town. There are numerous examples of popular architecture in Neo-Mudéjar and Neo Classical style with beautiful and typical corners. Ten kilometres away is the famous Puente de Ajuda Bridge over the Guadiana River. Not far from Olivenza we can visit Valverde de Leganés,

founded in the 13th century and located near the Piedra Aguda reservoir, place where the famous Battle of La Albuera was prepared during the War of Independence. Its church; San Bartolomé was built in the 16th century although it was not finished until the 18th. On the outskirts, in beautiful nature we can visit the ruins of the 16th century Franciscan Convent Madre de Dios. Then we can visit a series of villages very close to one another: San Benito de la Contienda, Villareal, San Rafael de Olivenza, San Francisco de Olivenza and San Juan de Alor. Picturesque and beautiful villages of mediaeval origin almost on the banks of the Guadiana river and surrounded by nature and interesting fauna. A 20km journey will take us to Badajoz, on the Guadiana River and founded in the Arab era by Ibn Marwan. It became an important political and military centre after the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba as a Taifa reign.

MEIAC museum in Badajoz Olivenza, Magdalena Church

171


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Schloss in Badajoz

Conquered by King Alfonso IX de León, its situation near the Portuguese border meant it had to live within its walls for centuries. The Arab fortress or Alcázar, declared a Historical-Artistic Monument in 1931, has a magnificent wall from the Almohade era with towers of which we can highlight la Atalaya, popularly called “Espantaperros”. Inside the fortress is the 16th century Palace of the Duques de la Roca, now the Provincial Archaeological Museum, with excellent displays from different

historical eras. Nearby are the Plaza Alta and the Plaza de San José, with picturesque streets and alleys and some examples of Mudéjar art. The Cathedral, which looks like a fortress, has Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It also has an interesting Cathedral Museum with interesting paintings on wood, works in alabaster, ivory, goldsmith work, etc. Dating from the 16th to the 19th century. The city was originally surrounded by a magnificent defensive wall of Vauban design, of which there are many remains such as the gateways of Puerta Pilar and Puerta Palma opposite which is the Puente de Palmas bridge. Around the Cathedral there are interesting churches and convents and a nice and didactic Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) beside the Soledad church, which contains an image of the patron of the city; the Virgen de la Soledad. There is another museum we recommend the visitor not to

Técula Mécula, a dessert from Olivenza

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FEASTS

miss; the M.E.I.AC., Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art of Extremadura and Latinamerica) with splendid vanguardist exhibits. Both the Carnival and Holy Week have been declared Feasts of Regional Tourist Interest.

In Oliva de la Frontera, the Living Passion, played by local actors, in the Holyweek, has been declared of regional Tourist Interest. In Badajoz, its carnival and Easter have been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. Carnival in Olivenza.

GASTRONOMY

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE

Hams and other cured Iberian pork products in the southern parts of the route and Badajoz. Home-made and convent –made cakes in several villages on the route. “Tecula Mécula”, sweet of Portuguese origin, in Olivenza. Sauté of green asparagus, gazpacho, salmorejo de boga (fish dish). “Migas extremeñas” (bread-based dish), “Caldereta” and roast lamb in the whole of the route.

A combination of plains and sierras with large stretches of evergreen oak and cork tree forests, where the Iberian pig is bred free-range. The River Guadiana follows most of the route creating a natural border “Raya” between Portugal (Alentejo) and Spain (Badajoz). There is an abundance of game and numerous birds of prey flying above. We can also see on the route the typical charcoal makers.

CRAFT

Carnival in Badajoz

Pottery, goldsmith work, basket and wood work in Badajoz. Craft in wood and cork. Living Passion in Oliva de la Frontera

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Tentudía

A-66

Atalaya

Medina de las Torres Calzadilla de los Barros

Valencia del Ventoso

Fuente de Cantos

Bodonal de la Sierra

Montemolín

Segura de León

Calera de León

Pallares Monesterio

Cabeza la Vaca

Puebla del Maestre

Fuentes de León Sta. María de Nava La Zapatera A-66

heritage. Nature is the protagonist on this route, with beautiful sierras and picturesque whitewashed villages. Gastronomy is one of the high points, being the domain of the Iberian pig “Pata Negra”, famous in the region and the whole of Spain.

ITINERARY Monesterio - Montemolín - Pallares Santa María de la Nava La Zapatera Puebla del Maestre - Fuente de Cantos Calzadilla de los Barros - Medina de las Torres - Atalaya - Valencia del Ventoso - Bodonal de la Sierra Segura de León - Fuentes de León Cabeza la Vaca - Calera de León

TOURIST ROUTE

INDICATIONS

This route will begin in Monesterio, next to the provinces of Huelva and Sevilla in Andalucía and a gateway to the meseta from Sierra Morena. Cured hams and other pork products make it famous in Extremadura and the rest of Spain. Every year a very popular Día del Jamón (Ham Day) is held at the beginning of September. When these lands were conquered by the Order of

The Tentudía Sierra and its area is located in the south of Extremadura, bordering with the Sierra Sur region of Extremadura and the neighbouring province of Huelva; in the west is the Campiña Sur. A land steeped in history of conquests and reconquests, of war legends with divine interventions and a grand 175


Tentudía

Arab fortress, rebuilt later by the Order of Santiago. The church, today a hermitage, of Ntra, Sra. de la Granada or de Santiago is 16th century GothicMúdejar style and the parish church of Ntra, Sra. de la Concepción (16th century Renaissance style). Very nearby in the Sierra Morena is Pallares, a strategic point for both Arabs and Christians in the Middle Ages. In this small but beautiful village we can highlight the parish church of Santa María Magdalena. Continuing south and next to Andalucia is Santa María de la Nava La Zapatera, small village known in the past as Hoyas de Santa María, surrounded by evergreen oaks and hills of great beauty. It was founded in the 13th century by Maestre Pelay Pérez de Correa after the victory in the Battle of Tudía. The parish church of Santa María is built of masonry.

Free range Iberian pigs

Santiago in the Middle Ages, this town became an important strategic point, becoming an Encomienda” of the Order. The parish church of San Pedro Apóstol, in Gothic-Renaissance style, was built in the 16th century. If we leave the Vía de la Plata for a short distance, we can visit the attractive village of Montemolín, the last possession of the Arabs in Extremadura, bordering with the Campiña Sur, and which still has remains of its magnificent Montemolín Castle

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Castle-Palace in Valencia del Ventoso

Ages belonged to the Order of Santiago. The parish church; Divino Salvador, is 15th century with a Gothic-Renaissance altar piece with 28 paintings, considered one of the best in Extremadura. Medina de las Torres was probably built over the Roman Contributa Iulia Obultuniacum, and its name Medina comes from the Arabs. Head of the domain of

Very close by is Puebla del Maestre, also on the Sierra Morena and bordering with the Campiña Sur region. In this village the Master of the Order of Santiago, Alonso de Cárdenas had his temporary residence and there are still some remains of one of the towers of this building. Returning to the N-630 road we can go to Fuente de Cantos, at the edge of the Sur Sierra and which holds two feasts declared of Regional Tourist Interest: the famous “Romería de San Isidro” on the 15th of May and the “Chafaina” on the last Sunday in April. The church of Ntra, Sra. de la Granada has a gallery over the doorway and a Baroque altar piece by González del Castillo. Also worthy of mention are the 17th century Carmelite Convent and the 18th century hermitage of Ntra, Sra. de la Hermosa, patron of the village. One can also visit the Museum-House of the painter Zurbarán who was born here. A few kilometres away is Calzadilla de los Barros, on the N-630 road, the old Vía de la Plata, which during the Middle

Statue of Fco. de Zurbará in Fuente de Cantos

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Tentudía

the Order of Santiago, it belonged to the Conde Duque de Olivares and the House of the Duques de Osuna. Its 16th century parish church of Ntra. Sra. del Camino has a beautiful Plateresque doorway. In the Casitas, Mora and Atalaya sierras, not far from Valencia del Ventoso, is the village of Atalaya, which belonged to the Order of the Templars with a church; Ntra, Sra. del Camino is beside a 15th century defensive tower. Its name could have come from it location in vanguard during the Arab domination. Valencia del Ventoso can be found leaving the N-630 road at the edge of the sierra, in the past it was known as Valencia del Alba Real or Valencia del Barreal. We can highlight in the village the 15th century Castle-Palace, finished in the 16th century, built by the Master of the Order of Santiago Rodrigo de Cárdenas, who would establish the head of the domain here. The parish church of Ntra, Sra. de la Esperanza is 15th century with a tower of Mudéjar

Chanfaina Feast in Fuente de Cantos

inspiration. It also had two hermitages: Ntra, Sra. del Valle and La Piedad. Bodonal de la Sierra is between Segura de León and Fregenal de la Sierra, called in the past Bodeguinal due to the abundance of wine cellars (“bodegas”)it once had. Its famous “capeas” (bull feast) are held in September in the Main Square with boarding and carts. The parish church of San Blas is 16th century and the hermitage of Ntra, Sra. de la Guía and the sanctuary known as “Las Flores”

Capeas in Segura de León

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Church in Fuente de León

is 13th century modified in the Baroque era. From Bodonal we can continue to Segura de León, beautiful village with prehistoric roots as has been proven with the discovery of the important Treasure of Segura. The village is built at the foot of a magnificent 14th century castle. The 13th century (modified in the 16th and 18th centuries) parish church of Ntra, Sra. de la Asunción hold remains from the Visigothic era. The Town Hall with its arcade is 16th century and the convent of

Cristo de la Reja or San Benito is 16th century, with an interesting Mudéjar cloister. The “capeas” during the Fiestas del Cristo (2nd week of September) are famous. Right in the sierra we can find Fuentes de León, surrounded by beautiful landscape. This village has an Arab origin and later belonged to the Order of Santiago in the 13th century. The Castle Castillo del Cuerno is of Arab origin and the church of Ntra, Sra. de los Ángles is 15th16th century in Gothic- Mudejar style. Parish Church in Cabeza la Vaca

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Convent in Calera de León

Near Fuentes del León and in the Tentudía Sierra is Cabeza la Vaca, renowned for its Iberian pork products that are so abundant in this area. Its name probably comes from the fact that the Great Master of the Order of Santiago; Pedro Fernández Cabeza de Vaca was born here. One of the attractions of this village is its popular mountain architecture, also its popular 16th century “Rollo” or “Picota” (pillory) located in the Square with its arcades. The parish church of Ntra. Sra. de los Ángeles is 15th century with a renaissance doorway. Continuing up the sierra we come to Calera de León called AlCasera by the Arabs, located at the foot of the Tentudía Peak (1,104m). Its origin is Arab and it was conquered by the Order of Santiago and became one of the strategic and religious centres of the area, becoming “Encomienda Mayor” of the Order up to the 16th century when this denomination was transferred to Mérida.

It has a 16th century Convent of Santiago, built on the site of the old Priorato and Palacio Vicarial, with a magnificent GothicRenaissance cloister with a double arcaded gallery. Next to the Convent is the parish church of Santiago el Mayor. A few kilometres from Calera de León is one of the most emblematic Sanctuaries in southern Extremadura; the Monastery of Ntra. Sra. de Tentudía built in commemoration of the battle won against the Arabs, with the intercession of the Virgin Mary to whom they pleaded to stop the day “detener el día” so they could finish defeating the Muslim troops. The traditional “Romería” (festive pilgrimage) is held every year at the beginning of September. The Monastery was begun in the 13th century, looking like a fortress and inside there is a beautiful Mudéjar style cloister made of brickwork, and a magnificent Main Altar piece made of ceramic tiles which 180


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FEASTS

dates from 1518. The Master “Maestre Mayor” of the Order of Santiago, Pelay Pérez Correa, is buried here. The sierra round the monastery is of incomparable beauty with magnificent flora and fauna, and from this height (1,100m) you can see most of the land around.

The “Capeas” (bull feasts) in Bodonal de la Sierra, from the 9th to the 11th of September. “Romería de San Isidro” on the 15th of May and the ”Chafaina” on the last Sunday of April, both in Fuente de Cantos and both declared of Regional Tourist Interest. The “Capeas” in Segura de León during the Fiestas del Cristo, in the 2nd week of September. The famous “Romería de Tentudía” held around the Monastery of Tentudía.

GASTRONOMY Hams and other cured pork products in Monesterio and Cabeza la Vaca. Lamb stews in most of the area, highlighting the “caldereta extremeña” and the famous “chafaina”, so well known in Fuente de Cantos. Migas extremeñas (bread based dish), Gazpacho (a sort of cold vegetable soup) and game dishes on the whole route.

NATURE AND LANDSCAPE Magnificent hills with evergreen oaks on the whole route, from where you can see plains with cereal crops or cattle farms, especially those of Iberian pigs. Low sierras such as that of Tentudía, an authentic natural paradise in southern Extremadura, where many species of birds of prey and game live. Sprinkled over the route are the whitewashed villages with their steep streets, huddled round a mediaeval castle, usually well preserved.

CRAFT Leather boots and bone work in Fuente de Cantos. Embroidery and lace in some of the villages on the route.

Monastery of Tentudía

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info@turismoextremadura.com

ofturismo.plasencia@juntaextremadura.net

INSPECCIÓN PROVINCIAL DE VILLARREAL DE SAN CARLOS

TURISMO DE BADAJOZ

Centro de Información Avda. de Europa, 10

del Parque Natural de Monfragüe.

06004 Badajoz

10695 Villarreal de San Carlos.

Tfno. 924 01 06 83

Tfno. 927 19 91 34

Fax 924 01 07 10

Fax: 927 19 82 12 doc_monfrague@hotmail.com

INSPECCIÓN PROVINCIAL DE TURISMO DE CÁCERES C/ Gómez Becerra, 21 10001 Cáceres Tfno. 927 00 56 30 Fax 927 00 56 52

TUREXTREMADURA Avda. de Extremadura, 5 bajo 06800 Mérida Tfno. y Fax: 924 30 46 07 / 08 www.turiex.com turiex@turiex.com 184


MUNICIPAL OR IN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE TOWN COUNCIL

BADAJOZ Pasaje de San Juan s/n 06005 Badajoz Tfno.: 924 22 49 81 Fax: 924 21 02 32 www.aytobadajoz.es turismo@aytobadajoz.es

ALANGE C/ Trinidad, 19 06840 Alange Tfno. y Fax: 924 36 52 19 www.alange.es turismo@alange.es

BAÑOS DE MONTEMAYOR Mayor, 78 (Ayuntamiento) 10750 Baños de Montemayor Tfno. 927 48 80 12 (Ayto.) Fax 927 48 80 75 (Ayto.) www.valledelambroz.com turismo@banosdemontemayor.com

ALBURQUERQUE Plaza de España, s/n 06510 Alburquerque Tfno. y Fax: 924 40 12 02 924401202@telefonica.net

BELVÍS DE MONROY C/ Real, s/n 10394 Belvís de Monroy Tfno. 927 57 59 68 Fax: 927 57 57 84 (Ayto.) aliseda@hotmail.com

ALCÁNTARA Avenida de Mérida, 21 10980 Alcántara Tfno. y Fax: 927 39 08 63 www.e-alcantara.net ofiturismo@inicia.es

CÁCERES (Oficina Municipal) C/ Ancha, 7 10003 Cáceres Tfno.: 927 24 71 72

ALISEDA C/ Tesoro, s/n 10550 Aliseda Tfno. 927 27 70 02 aliseda@hotmail.com

CAMINOMORISCO Avda. de las Hurdes, s/n 10620 Caminomorisco Tfno. y Fax: 927 43 53 29 www.todohurdes.com turismo@todohurdes.com

ALMENDRALEJO Atrio de la Piedad, 2 06200 Almendralejo Tfno. y Fax: 924 66 69 67 www.almendralejo.es turismo@almendralejo.es

CORIA Avda. de Extremadura, 39 10800 Coria Tfno. 927 50 13 51 Fax 927 50 07 35 (Ayto.) www.coria.org oficinaturismo@coria.infomail.es

ARROYO DE LA LUZ C/ Santa Ana, 1 10900 Arroyo de la Luz Tfno. 927 27 04 37 Fax: 927 27 15 77 turiofiarroyo@hotmail.com

DON BENITO Villanueva, 1 06400 Don Benito Tfno. 924 80 80 84 Tfno y Fax 924 80 53 50 www.donbenito.es turismo@donbenito.es

AZUAGA Plaza de la Merced, 12 06920 Azuaga Tfno y Fax 924 13 78 38 www.azuaga.es otazuaga@dip-badajoz.es 185


FREGENAL DE LA SIERRA El Rollo, 1 06340 Fregenal de la Sierra Tfno. 924 70 00 00 Fax 924 70 03 83 www.audinex.es/fregenal turismofregenal@yahoo.es

JARAÍZ DE LA VERA Avda. Constitución, 167 10400 Jaraíz de la Vera Tfno. 927 17 05 87 Fax 927 46 06 46 www.ayto-jaraiz.com turismo@ayto-jaraiz.com

FUENTES DE LEÓN C/ Galinda, s/n 06280 Fuentes de León Tfno.: 924 72 41 74 Fax: 924 72 41 61

JARANDILLA DE LA VERA Plaza de la Constitución, 1 10450 Jarandilla de la Vera Tfno. y Fax: 927 56 04 60 www.jarandilla.net ayto.turismo@jarandilla.com

GUADALUPE Pza Sta. María de Guadalupe s/n 10140 Guadalupe Tfno. y Fax: 927 15 41 28 www.puebladeguadalupe.net ayto-guadalupe@ hotmail.com

JEREZ DE LOS CABALLEROS Avda. de la Constitución 4 06380 Jerez de los Caballeros Tfno. 924 73 03 72 Fax 924 73 02 04 www.jerezdeloscaballeros.es turismo@jerezdeloscaballeros.e.telefonica.net

HERVÁS Braulio Navas, 6 10700 Hervás Tfno. y Fax: 927 47 36 18 www.hervas.com oficina.turismo@hervas.com

JERTE Avda. Ramón y Cajal s/n 10612 Jerte Tfno.: 927 47 04 53 Fax: 927 47 03 39 oficinadeturismodejerte@hotmail.com

HERRERA DEL DUQUE Avda. de la Palmera, 1 06670 Herrera del Duque Tfno.: 924 65 02 31 Fax: 924 65 00 25 ot_herreradelduque@hotmail.com

LLERENA Aurora 2 06900 Llerena Tfno. y Fax: 924 87 05 51 www.llerena.org oficinaturismo@llerena.org

HIGUERA LA REAL C/ Fuente, 12 06350 Higuera la Real Tfno.: 924 72 33 28 Fax: 924 72 71 30 ayuntamiento@higuerareal.org

LOS SANTOS DE MAIMONA Plaza de España, 9 (Casa de la Cultura) 06230 Los Santos de Maimona Tfno. y Fax: 924 54 48 01 oficinadeturismo@lossantosdemaimona.org

HORNACHOS Felipe Trigo, 1 (Casa de la Cultura) 06228 Hornachos Tfno. 924 53 35 33 Fax 924 53 36 07 www.hornachos.es oficinaturismo@hornachos.es

MALPARTIDA DE CÁCERES Muñoz Torrero, s/n. 10910 Malpartida de Cáceres Tfno. y Fax: 927 27 67 23 (Ayto.) www.aytomalpartidacc.com turismo@aytomalpartidacc.com 186


MDAD. DE ALCONAVAR C/ Hernán Cortés, 6 10161 Arroyomolinos Tfno. 927 38 53 06 turismoalcanavarr@hotmail.com

MEDELLÍN Plaza Hernán Cortés, 3 06411 Medellín Tfno. y Fax: 924 82 24 38 www.medellin.es otmedellin@badajoz.es

MDAD. TRASIERRA-TIERRAS DE GRANADILLA Plaza de Poblado Gabriel y Galán 10712 Pantano de Gabriel y Galán Tfno.: 927 43 94 76 Fax: 927 43 96 66 gerencia@tierrasdegranadilla.org

MÉRIDA C/ Santa Eulalia, 64 06800 Mérida Tfno.: 924 33 07 22 www.merida.es MONESTERIO Paseo de Extremadura, 205 Izq. 06260 Monesterio Tfno. 924 51 67 37 Fax 924 51 60 61 www.monesterio.es oitmonesterio@gmail.com

MDAD. DE LA SERENA Palacio de los Condes de Ayala Plaza de España, s/n 06420 Castuera Tfno. 924 77 38 17 Fax 924 76 06 35 www.laserena.org oitserena@laserena.org

MONTÁNCHEZ Plaza de España, 1 10170 Montánchez Tfno. y Fax: 927 38 07 63 www.villademontanchez.com turismontanchez@terra.es

MDAD. DE LA SIERRA DE GATA Plaza del Vadillo, 1 10867 Robledillo de Gata Tfno. 927 67 10 11 Fax 927 67 10 80 (Ayto.) www.robledillodegata.com www.sierradegata.org/es turismo@sierradegata.es

MONTEHERMOSO Plaza de la Constitución s/n 10810 Montehermoso Tfno. 927 43 06 72 Fax 927 67 50 03 oficina@turismomontehermoso.e.telefonica.net

OF. COMARCAL TURISMO INTEGRAL MDAD. SIERRA DE GATA Plaza Mayor, 1 Bajo 10892 San Martín de Trevejo Tfno. 927 51 45 85 www.sierradegata.es turismo@sierradegata.es rroman@sierradegata.es

MONTIJO Av. de la Estación, s/n 06480 Montijo Tfno. 924 45 90 45 Fax 924 45 35 03 (Ayto) oitmontijo@dip-badajoz.es

MDAD. DEL VALLE DEL JERTE Paraje de Peñas Albas, s/n 10610 Cabezuela del Valle

MORALEJA Avda. Pureza Canelo, s/n 10840 Moraleja Tfno. y Fax 927 14 70 88 www.sierradegata.org turismo@moraleja.es

Tfno. y Fax: 927 47 25 58 www.turismovalledeljerte.com informacion@turismovalledeljerte.com 187


NAVALMORAL DE LA MATA Antonio Concha, 91 10300 Navalmoral de la Mata Tfno. 927 53 23 28 Fax 927 53 53 60 turismonavalmoral@hotmail.es

VALENCIA DE ALCÁNTARA Hernán Cortes, s/n 10500 Valencia de Alcántara Tfno. y Fax: 927 58 21 84 www.valenciadealcantara.net turismo@valenciadealcantara.net

OLIVENZA Plaza de España, s/n 06100 Olivenza Tfno. y Fax 924 49 01 51 www.olivenzavirtual.com omictj@arrakis.es

VILLAFRANCA DE LOS BARROS Ctra. N-630, Km. 664,50 06220 Villafranca de los Barros Tfno y Fax 924 52 08 35 www.villafrancadelosbarros.es turismo@villafranca.dip-badajoz.es

PLASENCIA (Oficina Municipal) Plaza de Sta. Clara, s/n Tfno.: 927 42 38 43 Fax: 927 42 55 94 www.plasencia.com

VILLANUEVA DE LA SERENA Plaza de España, 1 (Ayto.) 06700 Villanueva de la Serena Tfno. 924 84 60 10 Fax 924 84 35 29 www.villanuevadelaserena.es oficinaturismo@villanuevadelaserena.es

TALARRUBIAS Centro de Ocio Puerto Peña Ctra. Peloche, km. 1 06640 Pantano de Puerto Peña Tfno.: 924 63 01 00 www.talarrubias.net infotalarrubias@terra.es

VILLANUEVA DE LA VERA Avda. de la Vera, s/n 10470 Villanueva de la Vera Tfno. 927 56 70 31 www.aytovillanueva@mixmail.com ofiturvillanueva@wanadoo.es

TORREJÓN EL RUBIO Madroño, 1 10694 Torrejón El Rubio Tfno. 927 45 52 92 Fax 927 45 52 34 oittorrejon@yahoo.es

ZAFRA Plaza de España, 8 B 06300 Zafra Tfno. y Fax: 924 55 10 36 www.zafraturismo.com turismo@ayto-zafra.com

TRUJILLO Plaza Mayor, s/n 10200 Trujillo Tfnos. 927 32 26 77 927 65 90 39 Fax 927 65 91 40 www.ayto-trujillo.com ofitur@ayto-trujillo.com

188


OTHER PUBLICATIONS OF THE HEADQUARTER OF TOURISM GENERAL GUIDES Guía Turística de Extremadura Guía Profesional de Extremadura Guía de Alojamiento Rural Guía de Campings y Bungalows Guía Vía de la Plata Guía de Turismo Enológico Guía de Límite Visual Guía del Caminante Mapa Turístico de Extremadura Mapa de Turismo Ornitológico Mapa de la Vía Verde Mapa de Naturaleza Activa Mapa de la Vía de la Plata Mapa del Caminante Tríptico de Cuevas Turísticas Tríptico de la Vía Verde

TERRITORIAL GUIDES I- Sierra de Gata / Hurdes / Cáparra II- Valle del Ambroz / Valle del Jerte / La Vera III- Plasencia / Monfragüe / Campo Arañuelo IV- Villuercas / Jara / Ibores V- Cáceres / Trujillo-Miajadas / Montánchez-Tamuja VI- Sierra de San Pedro-Los Baldíos / Tajo-Salor-Almonte / Valle del Alagón VII- La Siberia / La Serena / Vegas Altas del Guadiana VIII- Campiña Sur / Tentudía / Jerez-Sierra Suroeste IX- Comarca de Olivenza / Badajoz / Comarca de Lácara / Mérida X- Sierra Grande-Tierra de Barros / Zafra-Río Bodión

189


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LOCAL GUIDES Badajoz - Cáceres - Mérida - Plasencia - Zafra - Trujillo - Guadalupe - Coria Valencia de Alcántara - Jerez de los Caballeros - Olivenza - Llerena THEMATIC GUIDES 1- Guía de Rutas Histórico-Artísticas 2- Guía de Ecoturismo 3- Guía de Senderos Turísticos 4- Guía de Museos y Colecciones 5- Guía de Balnearios 6- Guía de Rutas Gastronómicas 7- Guía de Fiestas de Interés Turístico 8- Guía de Fines de Semana por Extremadura 9- Guía de Naturaleza Activa 10- Guía de Yacimientos Arqueológicos


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© JUNTA DE EXTREMADURA Consejería de Cultura y Turismo Coordinación General: Dirección General de Turismo Fotografías: Julián Blasco Fuerte / Foto-Video Patón Diseño: Pepe Melara Preimpresión: XXI Estudio Gráfico Impresión: Gráficas Romero Depósito Legal: BA- 464 - 99


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