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The city of Cáceres is an urban settlement dating back to the Middle Ages and it contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Renaissance architecture in the world. For this reason, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
Its most important monuments include: the Church of Santa María (a cathedral), el palacio de las Veletas (archaeological museum), el palacio de los Golfines de Arriba y el palacio de los Golfines de Abajo, la casa del Sol, la torre de Bujaco and el arco de la Estrella.The city is also home to one of the four campuses of the University of Extremadura and it has one of the most dynamic cultural heritages in the whole autonomous region.
This incomparable Extremaduran city proudly boosts an unsurpassed artistic heritage. Its walled town has numerous buildings which were mostly constructed between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. There are unique and breathtaking buildings waiting to be discovered around every corner. Walking along the narrow cobbled streets, crisscrossed by arches, you can see walls that have been silent witnesses to glorious times and it can feel as if time has stopped forever in the city's Renaissance courts, monasteries and temples, towers, ancientpalaces and noble mansions.
The Province of Cáceres
Cáceres is one of two provinces that make up the autonomous community of Extremadura, and is bordered by the provinces of Salamanca, Avila, Toledo, Badajoz, and Portugal on the west side .
As well as the capital city of Cáceres, there are a number of other beautiful and important cities in the province such as Trujillo, Alcántara and Plasencia , la misa Cáceres, and Guadalulpe, which is home to the famous Monastery of Santa María. The Monastery has also been declared a World Heritage Site and is made up of an extraordinary collection of Mudejar towers, capitals and walls, with a giant dome that stands as a true symbol of spiritual strength.
Cathedrals and monasteries, Roman bridges, castles and Medieval towns, prehistoric dolmens, cave paintings, the great outdoors, active tourism activities and much more await visitors in this amazing province. Visiting the province of Cáceres is like taking a trip back in time tomedieval times, when there were minstrels and knights, princesses, castles and battlements...
Nature and Active Tourism
There are various ecosystems of a high natural value in the province of Cáceres, including Mediterranean forests, rocky areas andmeadows. R ivers and reservoirs irrigate parts of the Monfragüe National Park. This park is home to the largest colony of black vultures in the world (over 200 pairs), and the world's highest concentration of imperial eagle (more than 10 pairs). It is also one of the few surviving habitats of the Iberian lynx.
Other natural areas of interest include the famous 'Garganta de los Infiernos' Nature Reserve in the Jerte valley and the natural monuments of The Barruecos (Malpartida de Cáceres) and the Castañar de Ibor Cave (not open to the public). The province's extensive meadows, rocky areas, great plains and valleys full of Mediterranean vegetation are a natural paradise for active tourism in all its forms: hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, aerial sports, climbing, golf, hunting, fishing and archery ... etc.
Heritage in the province of Cáceres
The province of Cáceres has an exceptional monumental and artistic heritage . It contains one of the best preserved collections of Roman architecture in Spain, including the impressive Roman bridge of Alcantara, the Roman Ruins of Caparra in Guijo de Granadilla, and the Montemayor and Alange thermal spas.
The Romans are also responsible for the creation of the Vía de la Plata (which currently runs from Cádiz to Oviedo). This road, which used to be part of the Way of St. James pilgrimage route in the Middle Ages, now leads to interesting places such as Zafra, Mérida, Cáceres and Plasencia.
The Maltravieso Cave, located on the outskirts of Cáceres, contains an excellent collection of cave paintings. These are of a "sanctuary of hands", represented by many negatively painted hands and some amputeed fingers, which are the signs of a ritual. As for the megaliths, numerous dolmens have been found in Valencia de Alcantara, on the plains of Guadancil, and in Guadalperales (near to Navalperal de la Mata).
Muslim heritage in the province of Cáceres has not left many great monuments, but there is a strong Arabic urban design . The city's Arab fortifications are some of the monuments that have really stood the test of time. The Casa de las Veletas and the Arabic walls, with their octagonal towers, squares and prismatics, are preserved in Cáceres, and the monumental castle-fortress in Trujillo is a must-see attraction.
There is also a strong Gothic architectural influence in the province of Cáceres. Many great gothic monuments including castles, cathedrals and monasteries are preserved in many of the province's cities which, together, form a single set. The Los Castillos de Cáceres route is a road that passes by many of the province´s fortifications and castles. Conflicts between Muslims and Christians over the centuries led tothe existence of these Moorish fortresses and strongholds . A fter the Christian reconquest, these monuments were occupied andrenovated by new owners. Among the most prominent are: the Trujillo, Granadilla, Coria and Belvís de Monroy. But those who visit the province of Cáceres should not miss the opportunity to visit the castles at Arguijuelas , Galisteo, Jarandilla, Mayoralgo, Monroy,Montánchez, etc .
Festivals and gastronomy
There are a number of unique festivals and fiestas celebrated in the cities, towns and villages of Extremadura that can give visitors an insight into the character of the region's population. The Escobazos in the region of La Vera, Cáceres, and The Encamisá in the village ofTorrejoncillo, Upper Extremadura, host a number of special events with a true Extremaduran air. The festivals at Easter, Carnaval, the various pilgrimage festivals and the regional celebrations including: San Antón, Jarramplás , Las Carantoñas, Las Candelas and El Peropalo among others, are all noteworthy events.
The local cuisine in Cáceres is varied and includes stew and borage, leek gratin, stewed partridge and cheese from La Serena, and 'las migas' . One of the most famous dishes is the Iberian pig which is widely appreciated for its delicacy. The province's flagship products arethe Iberian hams, which are widely exported. Popular ingredients include beef, lamb merino, artisan cheeses from Casar, La Serena andLos Ibores, Jerte cherries and wines from Tierra de Barros.