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Did you know that...the Roman City of Cáparra

 

They are located between the towns of Oliva de Plasencia and Guijo de Granadilla, in the north of the province of Cáceres in the region of Valle de Alagón on a promontory on the banks of the river Ambroz, in what is known today as the Dehesa Casablanca. The name of the Roman city of Caparra is of Veton origin, like the pre-Roman settlement that originated it. In Roman times it was part of the province of Lusitania and became very important both because it was located in a territory with few Roman urban centres and because it was a crucial place of passage on the Roman road that linked Emérita Augusta with Asturica, which later became the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route) which, as it passed through the city, became one of its two most important streets, the decumanus maximus. The existence of Caparra is documented since ancient times. At the beginning of the first century after Christ the city was protected by a wall that would be reinforced around the fourth century, although it is very likely that the population exceeded the walled perimeter by extending outside it. The walls had three gates, one on each side of the decumanus maximus, east and west, which connected with the Silver Route and the southern gate that led to the Forum through the other urban axis, the cardo maximus.

Roman City of Cáparra

A little more history

 

In the year 74 the emperor Vespasian granted the Hispanic provinces the Latin right and in this way Caparra became a municipality and its inhabitants became Roman citizens, this translated into an important urban development for the town of which numerous remains remain including its famous arch. The fall of the Roman Empire meant for Cáparra the beginning of the decline that intensified in the High Middle Ages, starting to be depopulated; from the Visigothic period nothing is known about Cáparra and with the invasion of the Muslims the abandonment was accentuated without any news of repopulation when it was reconquered, centuries later. In the 16th century Cáparra is mentioned in a document together with a drawing of its arch and it is known of the existence of sales on the road, for the use of travellers, which lasted until the 19th century when they disappeared as a consequence of the War of Independence and which were known and remembered today by the name of Ventas de Cáparra.

 

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What to see in the Roman City of Cáparra?

 

The tour of such an interesting site can begin at the Caparra Interpretation Centre, which is located in the same place and was built on the site of the partial excavation of one of the three known necropolises of the city. It gives the visitor the necessary information for a better presentation of the archaeological remains that he will find, and helps him to get into the situation and transport himself in time. Once outside, to the right of the building you can see a granite stone grave.

Roman City of Cáparra

To discover

 

Close to it is the amphitheatre that was built, in the first century after Christ, outside the urban area. A gravel road leads through olive groves to the centre of the town of Cáparra where the famous tetrapylum stands, the only vestige of this town that has remained standing. This quadrifronted arch is the only one in Spain of its characteristics and was erected at the end of the first century and in it the two main axes or streets, the Cardo and the Decumano, most probably converged. The thermal baths are located in the northwest end of the old Roman city, next to the arch and making a corner with cardo and decumanus maximus. As soon as the arch is crossed, the main public space of Caparra appears, the forum, political, social and religious centre. In this enclosure there was the basilica on the left, where justice was administered, on the right the curia, where the senate met, and in the background three temples. Walking around the edges of the decumano, where you can still see part of the pavement of the Silver Way, the outline of the domus, stately mansions, and of the insulae, blocks of houses, trying to imagine the noisy sound of the taverns, depends on the commitment of each one.

Roman City of Cáparra

Traditions

 

There is a saying that became popular in the sixteenth century that says "and so Cáparra was depopulated" and is used when in a meeting of people, they are leaving little by little, as happened with the abandonment, by the population, of Cáparra.

 

Curiosities

 

The origin of the name Cáparra is not Latin, but pre-Roman, probably Veton, and could mean place of exchange, barter or market. Nearby there are remains of Roman bridges and it is located in a crossroads towards the Jerte valley.

Roman City of Cáparra

Useful information for visiting the Roman City of Cáparra

 

  • The Cáparra Interpretation Centre is located on the premises and is open from Tuesday to Sunday at different times, in summer and winter. 
  • The centre is closed on Monday and Sunday afternoons.
  • Entrance is free.
  • The telephone number for further information is 927 199 485
  • The ruins of the city of Cáparra and the arch can be seen after hours.

 

 

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Get to the Roman City of Cáparra

 

The Roman City of Cáparra is very close to the A-66 highway that connects Plasencia and Salamanca. Shortly before arriving in Plasencia from Salamanca, at Villar de Plasencia, we will find the detour that we must take towards Oliva de Plasencia. Once on the old N-630, shortly after leaving the motorway, we will find the junction with the road that leads to Guijo de Granadilla, which we will have to continue along. It is on this regional road that we will find the access to the Roman City of Caparra.

 

Once there

 

Once inside the site, as soon as you enter it, you will find the interpretation centre and a large car park where you can leave your vehicle to start your visit to the archaeological site.

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
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  • Duration
  • Assessment
PATHS NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Moderate

5:10 h.15.6 km.

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Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, with greater slope or present some specific difficulty.
FLORA AND FAUNA TOURISM
1
Difficulty-Low

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Difficulty-LowDifficulty category green, level 2. Routes with little unevenness and without difficulties.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
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Difficulty-Medium

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Trail of La Tajadilla
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not even over great distances or unevenness.
PATHS CULTURAL HERITAGE
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Difficulty-Medium

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Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not even over great distances or unevenness.
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1
Difficulty-Moderate

5:00 h.13.6 km.

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Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, with greater slope or present some specific difficulty.
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1
Difficulty-Low

96:00 h.565 km.

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Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
IN FAMILY CULTURAL HERITAGE NATURAL HERITAGE
0
Difficulty-Low

1:20 h.3.6 km.

Geological and Archaeological Heritage Route
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
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