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Weekend Getaway: Cáceres and Trujillo

Castillo de Trujillo © Dea Angan
Castillo de Trujillo © Dea Angan
Cáceres, the magical medieval city in the Spanish region of Extremadura, is truly extraordinary. Located 47 kilometers from Cáceres, between the bottoms of the Guadiana and Tojo rivers, lies Trujillo. Both Cáceres and Trujillo are worth visiting for their magnificent Old Towsn. You will be amazed by the ancient stone walls, towered palaces, or the narrow, cobbled streets. Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or a mere historic weekend getaway, Cáceres and Trujillo are definitely the perfect destinations to explore.
Cáceres © Javier Losa/WikiCommons

Cáceres

Travelling to Cáceres will bring you back to the old medieval era. The streets climb and twist among hoary palaces and mansions. As you turn your head up, you can see the skyline decorated with gargoyles, spires, and gigantic storks’ nests. The fortress has been serving as defensive walls since the 16th century. As you head towards Plaza Mayor, you will see the town’s most-lively square.

Plaza Mayor, Cáceres © Ramallo/Pixabay

There are several must-see places located in Plaza Mayor. Climb up the steps from the Old Town and turn left. You will see the great Torre de Bujaco, or Bujaco Tower. At the top of the tower, you will be treated to a storks’ eye view of the Plaza Mayor. To climb the tower, you need to spend 2 euros. Bujaco Tower opens daily from 10 am to 8:30 pm.

Torre de Bujaco © Jesus Castillo/WikiCommons

Next to Torre de Bujaco, at the top of the stone stairs, you will see Arco de La Estrella, or Star Archway. This archway serves as a traditional entrance to the Old Town. Built in the 18th century by Manuel de Larra Churriguera, this Baroque style archway is considered to be the most important gate in Cáceres.

Arco de la Estrella © Jesus Castillo/WikiCommons

The essential part of travelling to Cáceres is what lies inside the fortress. As you enter through Arco de la Estrella, several antique buildings greet you. If you walk left from the archway, you will find Palacio de Toledo-Moctezuma, built between the 14th and 15th centuries. Though you can only visit the palace from the outside, the front-facing architecture is worth seeing.

Palacio de Moctezuma © Elemaki/WikiCommons

Other historical buildings you need to visit include the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo, Palacio de las Veletas, Palacio de los Golfines de Arriba, and Palacio Mayoralgo. All are situated inside the fortress. Additionally, the small streets in the Old Town have different small shops selling local products, such as homemade pastries and sweets. Other local products you need to try are goat cheese (Torta de Casar), paprika (pimentón de la Vera), fig cake, and olive oil.

Trujillo

When travelling to Trujillo, you will be amazed by the number of castles, churches and manor houses. Trujillo is structured around its own Plaza Mayor square, which is guarded by a bronze-cast statue of Pizarro. Over the centuries, Plaza Mayor has been the commercial and social center of the city, hosting different festivals and markets.

Plaza Mayor © Charly Morlock/WikiCommons

Around Plaza Mayor, you can seemany churches, palaces and manor houses which were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. The manor houses are characterized by their angular balconies, a distinct element of Trujillo’s architecture. The Palace of the Dukes of San Carlos, built in the 16th century, features a typical angular balcony as well as the coat of arms of the Vargas-Carvajal family. This palace has a hidden interior patio, built with Tuscan columns, rectangular floors, and classical style.

The essential visit of Trujillo is definitely the Castillo de Trujillo, or Trujillo Castle. Dare to climb the Old Town for a few minutes and you will find this well-preserved castle. Additionally, by spending 2.5 euros, you can visit the interior of the castle and walk on the walls to admire the breathtaking views of Extremadura region and Plaza Mayor.

Castillo de Trujillo © Dea Angan

Trujillo has outstanding products among other Extremadura regions. Make sure to try the caldereta, a stew prepared with goats or sheep meat, as well as chard or wild asparagus, and truffles. Many of these local recipes are available at Parador de Trujillo, a 16th century convent built in Renaissance style located in the old Santa Cruz monastery.