Plasencia

Backed by the peaks of the Sierra de Gredos on the bank of the Jerte River in the Extremaduran province of Caceres is Plasencia.  The medieval layout of the town can be seen in the remains of the walls along with the towers and gates, such as the Sol gate and the Santa Maria postern.

MéridaTrujilloCáceres Zafra

 

The town’s Old Cathedral was founded in 1189 and rebuilt in 1320, the main front of the building, the Chapel of San Pablo and the Virgin of Forgiveness all show the transition between Romanesque and Gothic styles.  Lined with orange trees, the narrow Plaza de San Vicente is located in the northwest end of the old medieval quarter; at one end of the plaza is the 15th century church of San Vicente Ferrer with an adjoining convent, convent of Santo Domingo, now the parador.  The northern side of the plaza is dominated by el Palacio de Mirabel a beautiful renaissance structure while east of the Plaza de San Vicente Ferrer is a large section of the town’s medieval wall on the other side of which is a heavily restored Roman Aqueduct.  Also east of the plaza is the Plaza Mayor a meeting point that comes to life during the celebration of Martes Mayor or Shrove Tuesday the weekly market. 

Plasencia makes a fine base from which to discover the region and staying at the Parador de Plasencia, a 15th-17th century’s convent, in the heart of the medieval historic quarter is definitely a treat.   The Parador is not only a wonderful place to spend the night but also taste some of the finest Extremaduran dishes such as potato soup, migas (breadcrumbs with Spanish sausage and bacon) and lamb dishes.  Other restaurants worth mentioning are Bar Restaurante Español  (Plaza Mayor, 32), La Bodega de San Esteban (Rincón de San Esteban, 14) and Babylon Restaurante (San Marcos, 1) all offering a wide variety of local dishes.

 

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