Since time immemorial, Cáceres and its surroundings have been a place chosen by the different civilizations and cultures that have populated the Iberian Peninsula. Cave paintings and sites from the prehistoric era preceded the domination of the Roman Empire; Muslims who returned the splendour lost in the Visigothic era, without forgetting of course the Christian kings and lords who passed through here. All of them left their indelible mark on this strategic city, which is located on the old Roman road that linked Merida and Astorga, and is now known as the Silver Route.
To walk the streets of Cáceres Monumental is to go back to past times of nobility and dominion, is to discover surprising corners while we know the interesting history of the city and its people while we take a walk through the medieval Cáceres. The well-preserved wall, its towers and palaces, the different neighborhoods that differentiated the people of the time or their churches, are some of the surprises that await us as we walk through the city discovering every corner, every coat of arms, every cobblestone street through which we pass. Its magnificent state of conservation together with the great number of monuments that the old city has to offer will turn our visit into an unbeatable practical history lesson in which only period characters are missing, or not...
Pulling up the beautiful Plaza Mayor of Cáceres, next to the hermitage of La Paz, is this important tower, a symbol of the city, whose origin dates back to the twelfth century. Also known as the New Tower or Clock Tower is the unique starting point for this walk through the medieval Caceres. The tower houses an interpretation centre that will help us to better understand the different cultures that passed through here. We can also enjoy the spectacular view provided by its privileged location at the highest part of the crenellated tower, as well as walk around part of the walls that protect the old city. Once the visit to the tower is over, we will go through the Arco de la Estrella, the main entrance to the monumental city of Cáceres, a construction that dates back to the 18th century, being the place chosen by the Catholic Queen to swear the Fueros and privileges in 1477, just as King Ferdinand the Catholic would do in 1479.
Once this solemn door has been crossed, the street that follows it will lead us without hesitation to the nearby Santa María Square, another of the city's neuralgic points, while we walk along the walls of the Episcopal and Mayorazgo Palaces to face the imposing silhouette of the Santa María Concathedral. In its interior, works of art are treasured, such as the well-cared for main altarpiece or the figure of the Black Christ, the protagonist of Caceres' Holy Week, as well as the sculpture of San Pedro de Alcántara in its exterior. But this square, given its remarkable importance, brought together illustrious gentlemen who built their royal palaces around it. The Palace of Carvajal in Gothic and Renaissance style, the Palace of Hernando de Ovando or the House of the Dukes of Valencia and its marked Renaissance style take us back to the years when its illustrious tenants enjoyed the privileges of belonging to such families.
We continue our walk through time following the course set by the co-cathedral, which takes us past the convent next to it just before we stop to contemplate the worked façade of the Palace of the Golfins de Abajo, the largest in the whole monumental city. It brings together different architectural styles that undoubtedly highlight its important history, marked by the illustriousness of its guests, among which were the Catholic Kings. A few meters ahead awaits the fascinating San Jorge Square, patron saint of the city, and the impressive baroque ensemble formed by the San Francisco Javier Church and the Jesuit School from the 18th century. Accompanying this architectural jewel are the House of the Durán de la Rocha family and the House of the Becerra family. This place marks the border between the lower quarter, that of the Castilians, and the upper quarter, that of the Leonese.
We go up the Cuesta de la Compañía leaving behind us the Tower of the Puerta del Concejo to get to our next stop, going along the side of the Church of San Mateo, until we reach the square of the same name which shares prominence with the San Pablo Square forming both almost a single space. The old Arms Square is surrounded by significant buildings such as the Plateresque Church of San Mateo, whose construction took almost 300 years, the Convent of San Pablo, which gives its name to the adjacent square, or the Ulloa Palace, from the 15th century. Next to this square is also the Palace of the Storks or the Palace of Captain Diego de Ovando, which houses the Museum of Weapons. As a whole, we are in front of a beautiful corner of Cáceres that, like the ones we have already visited, invites us to walk around each of its nooks and crannies with calm, enjoying the peace and quiet that they undoubtedly transmit.
Very close to the San Mateo Square, the Palace of the Veletas is waiting for us, built on the old Arabic Alcazaba as it is confirmed by different remains and constructions that are still preserved today. The building now houses the Museum of Cáceres, a place that is almost a must to visit in order to better understand the history of this city. The different collections that it brings together range from prehistory, through the Hispanic-Arabic period, together with various collections of different works, to which are added the temporary exhibitions that are held. Although without a doubt one of the jewels that this palace hides is its cistern dated between the 11th and 12th centuries, which is in a magnificent state of conservation allowing us to have a more approximate idea of the infrastructure that the city of Caceres already had at that time. From its galleries and patios we will have a sensational panoramic view of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Mountain.
We surround the Palace of the Veletas to descend in search of the San Antonio Quarter in the Jewish Quarter, on the very edge of the walled enclosure. There we will find the Bastion of the Wells, a group of towers like the Albarrana, or the Adosada, or the Tower of the Wells that protected the water supply for the city. This last tower can be accessed through a typical house of the old Jewish quarter, where we will also be shown different collections. Once we have seen this place, a pleasant walk through this traditional neighbourhood awaits us through its narrow streets that will lead us to discover, for example, the San Antonio hermitage, an old synagogue of the old Jewish quarter located a few metres ahead of the area we have just visited. From here we will go up the previously lost height following the Cuesta del Marqués that returns us to the San Jorge Square, or the Callejón de Don Álvaro that takes us directly to the House of the Sun and the House of the Eagle.
Running through the streets of Monumental Cáceres, little or nothing can be subject to pre-established routes. Walking through its streets without a strictly marked route will allow us to discover unique and beautiful corners such as the House of the Monkey or the herbaceous Tower of the Sande, one of the oldest in the city. Next to it, skirting the House of Saavedra while leaving the San Mateo Square behind us, we find the Palace of the Golfines de Arriba, a marked fortress house which will not prevent us from continuing our journey until we come across the thick wall and the Arch of Santa Ana where we will cross it, just to cross it and follow some convoluted stairs that will lead us to our next stop. From here you can either go down to the nearby Gran Vía street or continue to Las Piñuelas to access the beautiful Plaza Mayor of Cáceres from its panoramic staircase, at which point you can follow this walk through Medieval Cáceres.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
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Since 1968, Cáceres has been considered as the third Monumental Site in Europe and since 1986 it has been a World Heritage City, all thanks to the excellent state of conservation of its monuments and buildings and the singularity of its urban layout that preserves its origins intact.
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The monumental city at night, walking through its streets and squares or contemplating its monuments is an experience full of sensations. In addition to the beauty of its streets and buildings, the careful lighting makes the sobriety and the medieval atmosphere in every corner of Cáceres stand out even more.
Distance of the route
30,7 Km. This figure may vary depending on the route we follow
Duration of the visits
2h 00min This is the approximate time it will take us to make the different visits, it can vary depending on the time we spend in each place
Time of year
Throughout the year we can enjoy this route
Historical, cultural and artistic. This route shows us a great part of the history and culture of Cáceres
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Route information updated on 18-10-2016. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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