It is located in a valley guarded by the hills of Altamira, Pico Agudo and the Villuercas mountains, near the Guadalupe mountain range, in the southeast of the province of Cáceres. The history of the town of La Puebla de Guadalupe goes hand in hand with that of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe. It receives its name from the river where, according to legend, the image of the Virgin Brunette appeared. A hermitage was built here to honour the Virgin, whose devotion grew in the ancient Christian kingdom. The present town of La Puebla de Guadalupe was born around the sanctuary when King Alfonso XI, before the battle of Salado in 1340 and in gratitude to the Virgin of Guadalupe for her grace in favour of the Christians, ordered the construction of the monastery and the establishment of its territorial limits.
Around the monastery, a small population settlement arose which is already mentioned in the 1397 document when it is mentioned "de la Puebla de dicho lugar de Santa María de Guadalupe". When the monastery was declared a secular priory, La Puebla de Guadalupe did not willingly admit civil submission to the prior of the monastery. The protests and lawsuits of the neighbors to achieve an independent and proper council did not have the desired effect and the Hieronymite monks were the rulers of the place for four centuries. The importance of the town was increasing, pilgrims from Spain and Portugal came to the town, kings, emperors, artists and writers passed through the sanctuary. King Pedro I, son of Alfonso XI of Castilla and Maria of Portugal, granted La Puebla de Guadalupe a free fair for 20 days around the feast of the Virgin, on September 8. The old town of Guadalupe was declared in 1943 as a Cultural Interest Property under the category of Historical and Artistic Monument.
Walking around Guadalupe is like going through a medieval site with small Renaissance touches that give it a particular beauty. With an irregular urban layout caused by the orography of the land, Guadalupe has two population centres, the Neighbourhood of Up and Neighbourhood of Down, connected by the Main Street which is the main axis of a network of paved streets and houses of traditional architecture with wooden balconies, porticos and arcades. At the foot of the main façade of the monastery is one of the town's squares, Santa María de Guadalupe, known as the Sanctuary, which is presided over by the beautiful façade of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, and has a fountain whose upper part is the baptismal font where two indigenous people brought from America by Christopher Columbus were baptized. Located in the same monastery, but on the west facade and with separate access, is the Hospedería del Monastery of Guadalupe. The primitive hostelry, of which there are no remains today, was built by the Catholic Kings in the 15th century, initially for their own accommodation. In front of the monastery you can see the Children's School also known as the Grammar School, which was built at the beginning of the 16th century, and the San Juan Bautista Hospital; but in Guadalupe there were as many hospitals to attend to the many pilgrims who came here, the Men's Hospital, the New or Women's Hospital, the Passion Hospital, the San Sebastian Hospital...
Adjacent to the Sanctuary of Guadalupe is the Church of the Holy Trinity, also called the New Church and now reused as an Auditorium. Guadalupe conserves five arches of what were the gates of the monastery's walled enclosure, the Arch of the Fat Spurt, the arch of the Eras, the arch of the Tinte, the arch of San Pedro and the arch of Seville through which one reaches the famous Square of the Three Spurts, with its fountain of the Three Spurts, an important hydraulic work of the Middle Ages that is surrounded by a picturesque group of houses with arcades and balconies overhanging wooden beams. But if there is one street in Guadalupe that attracts more attention from visitors, it is Ruperto Cordero Street, popularly known as Flower Street, with its typical coffered wooden arcades and balconies decorated with flower pots. As beautiful as Guadalupe is, it must be surrounded by beautiful landscapes and secluded places, such as the hermitages of Nuestra Señora de la Cruz del Humilladero, a Historic-Artistic Monument, Santa Catalina and San Blas; or the Farm of Mirabel, the pond and the mills on the banks of the Guadalupe River, which are well worth a visit.
Guadalupe celebrates the feast of its patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, on September 8. On February 3 there is a pilgrimage to the chapel of San Blas and on May 3 is the Feast of the Cross, where the Magdalena and the Santo Cristo de Mirabel are venerated.
In Guadeloupe, the tradition of copper and other metal craftsmanship survives. Its jugs, amphoras and cauldrons are a good example of this.
As Guadalupe was an important centre of pilgrimage for both different parts of Spain and Portugal, after the construction of the Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, a network of roads was created to link Guadalupe with the main centres of population such as Mérida, Plasencia, Cáceres, Ciudad Real, Madrid, Toledo... Today, twelve of these historic roads have been preserved, acting as the final stretch of longer roads that connect all the ends of the peninsula with the town of Guadalupe. The Royal Way, the Way of the Mountains of Toledo, the Way of the West, the Way of the East, the Mozarabic Way, the Way of the Discoverers or the Way of Monfragüe among others are the pilgrimage routes to Guadalupe, they are the Ways of Guadalupe.
As you walk through La Puebla de Guadalupe and through its narrow streets just past the Arch of the Eras you will find the house of Gil Cordero. According to the oral history, it is the house of the shepherd to whom the Virgin appeared and who was commissioned to build a hut to place his image, a hermitage that gave rise to the Royal Monastery.
You can get to Guadalupe by following the EX-118 that comes from Navalmoral de la Mata. We can also do it from Trujillo following the road that starts from this town and links with the EX-102. Similarly, on the N-502 between Talavera de la Reina and Castiblanco and on the A-5 in the section between Navalmoral de la Mata and Mérida, we will find several branches that will take us to the town.
Guadalupe has a daily bus service with different lines and timetables that connect it with Madrid, Cáceres...as well as with the towns and cities on the routes. The bus stop marquee is located in Avenue Conde de Barcelona.
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