Caceres Spain, the pearl of Extremadura

Another beauty of Extremadura, another filming location for Game of Thrones Season 7

I was back on my way to Portugal. In my rear view mirror, the image of Trujillo fortress was becoming smaller and smaller as I was driving further away. The plan was to go straight to my destination, but after 45 km, the  Caceres appeared. It wasn’t love at first sight but it had potential and once again my curiosity was stronger than anything. I could say now, that it paid off because the moment I reached Plaza Mayor and I saw the entrance to the Old town I was mesmerized.

Arco de la Estrela, Old City, Caceres, Spain
Arco de la Estrela, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Episcopal Palace of Caceres, Old Town, Spain
Episcopal Palace of Caceres, Old Town, Spain
Palacio de los Golfines, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Palacio de los Golfines, Old Town, Caceres, Spain

Entered through Arco de la Estrela and if I would not have seen cars parked on the streets I would have thought that I am really walking centuries back on the cobbled streets of Caceres. I was tired after seeing Trujillo but being here I felt so excited and could not wait to walk on every street. A beautiful blend of Roman, Moorish, Northen Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture was creating a deep authenticity. No wonder it was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and third Monumental Complex of Europe after Prague and Talin. Also in Game of Thrones Season 7, some of the filmings for the Kings Landing were taking place here.

Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Plaza de San Jorge, Old town, Caceres, Spain
Plaza de San Jorge, Old town, Caceres, Spain
San Francisco Javier Church, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
San Francisco Javier Church, Old Town, Caceres, Spain

But to understand better what Caceres is maybe I should start with its beginnings. Caceres is the capital of Caceres province and part of Extremadura autonomous community. Humans were living in this area since Paleolithic and the evidence to support this were found in the paintings of Maltravesio Caves. During the Roman time, it developed also due to the presence of Via de la Plata, a road which was connecting Gijon in the North with Seville in the South. In the 8th century was occupied by the Arabs and remained until the 13th century. In this period, the city was rebuilt and thirty new towers were added to the city. It is fascinating to see palaces built by the Arabs on a Roman foundation using the original stones and then decoration specific for the Gothic style added later by the Christians.

Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Plaza de San Mateo, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Plaza de San Mateo, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain

With the discovery of Americas, the city flourished nobles were building homes and small palaces also some the explorers were having families in Caceres. This walled city with narrow streets seems to be oriented inward and in that November light, it felt like walking in a time bubble so disconnected from the modern world.

Caceres is like a pearl, in order to be the beauty of today different cultures had to add lairs and lairs of architectural gems. It grew on the plains of Extremadura nourished by a rich history that goes back for centuries.

Parochia San Mateo, Old Town, Caceres
Parochia San Mateo, Old Town, Caceres
Plaza de las Veletas, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Plaza de las Veletas, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
San Mateo Church, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
San Mateo Church, Old Town, Caceres, Spain

This city is impressive.The more you spend time in it the more it grows on you. I was bewitched and you have to think about that I spend only a few hours there. I was happy for being able to see this beauty and also to see that once again beauty can be found in a place I was expected the least. But it is not only the beauty that captured my imagination but also the rich history that goes back for millennia.

Casa del Sol, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Casa del Sol, Old Town, Caceres, Spain
Ovando Palace, Old City, Caceres, Spain
Ovando Palace, Old City, Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain
Typical street in Caceres, Spain

My advice, forget the well-known places. Rent a car and put your finger on the map. Spain will surprise you every time.

From Madrid to Caceres are 300 km and it will take 3 hours to go there. You can do like I did, stop in Trujillo first. Spend there few days and while there you can visit Monfrague National Park and Los Barruecos a natural monument that was also a filming location for one of the battles in Game of Thrones Season7.

As for myself, I should really head to Portugal now…

 

Calle Tiendas, Old City, Caceres, Spain
Calle Tiendas, Old City, Caceres, Spain
Old House in Historical Center, Caceres, Spain
Old House in Historical Center, Caceres, Spain

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