Caceres

Extremadura Spain

MéridaTrujilloZafra Plasencia

Caceres is one of Spain’s oldest cities, it is a prosperous agricultural town with a vibrant nightlife that draws villagers from the surrounding areas every weekend.  It was nominated World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986 as it contains some of the most important architecture both from the Middle Ages and the Spanish Renaissance in the world. 

 

Caceres Ciudad Monumental (Monumental City or Old Town as it is also known) is a delight, small, quaint and without a single modern building to distract from its beauty, the streets are lined with great stone palaces decorated with family crests above the doors, some of which date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.  One way to start your visit is at the Plaza Mayor, located just outside the city wall, where youcaceres_extremadura_spain_palacio_de_los_golfines_de_abajo can find numerous cafes, the tourist office and in the summertime most of the town.  To the south of the plaza you will find Calle de Pintores with its numerous modern stores and to the north Calle Ezponda with its tapas bars, student hangouts, taverns and discos that will keep you going till the wee hours of the night.  From the Plaza Mayor continue on to the Arco de la Estrella the main entry way into the old city, make your way to the Plaza de Santa Maria and its cathedral, built in the 16th century, one of the most important Christian monuments in Caceres.  Also here you will find the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo, once used as the headquarters for General Franco during the early days of the civil war.  Behind the cathedral stands the Palacio de Carvajal with its imposing granite façade and arched doorway inside visit the lovely courtyard and gardens, make sure not to miss the Moorish tower facing the Cathedral.  Across Plaza de Santa Maria you will see three magnificent renaissance mansions:  Palacio de Hernando de Ovando, Palacio de Mayoralgo and Palacio Espicopal. 

Continuing west on to the Plaza de San Mateo you will find the Casa de las Cigueñas (House of Storks) built at the end of the 15th century by Diego de Caceres.  As you walk along the streets you will notice that the city of Caceres has a huge stork population and many of the buildings in the Old Quarter are topped by storks and storks’ nests. 

Do not forget to visit Museo de Caceres (Museum of Caceres), housed in the Casa de Las Veletas, with it extensive collection of prehistoric and roman artifacts. 

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Other points of interest are the Casa Arabe (Moorish House), La Casa de los Caballos (House of Horses) an art museum that houses works from Miro, Picasso as well as el Greco, and Casa del Mono (House of the Monkey) according to legend its owners were not able to have children so the husband brought back a monkey from one of his long travels that became the child of the house with its own bedroom, toys, etc.  it just so happened that during one of the husband’s long absences the wife became pregnant, when the child was born the monkey became so enraged and jealous that one day while no one was watching grabbed the baby and threw it out of one of the windows to its death...

If you get hungry while wondering around this historic town you many consider to stop for a bite to eat at el Atrio, Avenida España 30, an elegant contemporary restaurant known for its excellent cuisine and exclusive wine cellar.  If you are looking for more of a homey feel consider El Figón de Eustaquio, Plaza San Juan 12-14, offering good migas, good lamb stew and traditional roasted suckling pig.  Another option is the restaurant Horno Cacereño located inside the Parador, the house specialty is suckling pig, lamb, grilled benison and boar but make sure not to overlook the vegetable dishes with seasonal mushrooms or truffles. 

If you decided to spend the night in Caceres there are plenty of picturesque accommodations to peak you interest the Parador de Caceres is an obvious choice, a stunning 14th century palace, located in the old quarter of the city by Plaza de Santa Clara.  Further out is the Fontecruz Palacio de Arenales a quaint boutique hotel with all of the today's modern day conveniences.  A fine selection of charming Caceres hotels are also available. 

 

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