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We recently did a 15-day trip in Northern Spain arranged by Totally Spain. It was perfect in every way! They provided us with an itinerary, made reservations at hotels and paradores, and arranged the rental car. Our goal was to visit as many caves wi...

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2022-12-22

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In the heart of Spains sun-soaked Extremadura region lies Caceres, a true gem of antiquity and charm that beckons the intrepid traveler to wander its cobbled lanes and discover a world frozen in time. Steeped in history, Caceres is a living testament to the confluence of civilizations—an intriguing blend of Roman, Moorish, and Renaissance influences that have left an indelible mark on its architecture and culture.

As the sun casts its golden hue upon the ancient city walls, travelers are transported to an era of knights and nobility. Venture through the weathered gates into the well-preserved medieval center, an intricate labyrinth of stone structures that whisper tales of a bygone era. The Plaza Mayor, adorned with its balconied facades and bustling cafes, is a perfect stage for both the daily drama of local life and the timeless ambiance that envelopes the air.

Dive into the soul of Caceres by strolling down streets adorned with intricate balconies and wrought-iron grilles, revealing secrets of centuries past. Each step is an odyssey through history, where you can unravel the stories etched into the very stones beneath your feet. Marvel at the palaces, churches, and fortifications that stand as silent witnesses to the citys rich past.

For the culinary adventurer, Caceres promises a gastronomic journey that will delight the senses. Indulge in the flavors of Extremaduran cuisine, famed for its simplicity and authenticity. Savor succulent Iberico ham, enjoy robust local wines, and delve into dishes showcasing the regions bounty of fresh produce and wild game.

But Caceres isnt just a place to recount tales of yore—its a gateway to the breathtaking natural landscapes that surround it. Venture beyond the city walls to discover the wild beauty of Extremaduras countryside, where rolling hills, ancient olive groves, and oak forests beckon the explorer within. Take to the hiking trails, capturing moments that will forever linger in your memory.

In the timeless embrace of Caceres, where the past intertwines with the present, travelers find a place where the echoes of history resonate in every corner, inviting you to write your own narrative within this living, breathing time capsule. Discover Caceres, and let its storied beauty etch itself into your own travel chronicles.

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Caceres - THINGS TO DO

1. Caceres Old Town (Ciudad Monumental de Caceres):

   Explore the medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its well-preserved historic architecture, ancient walls, towers, and enchanting narrow streets.

2. Plaza Mayor:

   Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Plaza Mayor, the heart of Caceres, surrounded by charming Renaissance buildings and lively cafes.

3. Bujaco Tower (Torre de Bujaco):

   Ascend this iconic Moorish tower for panoramic views of the city and a glimpse into Caceres' history.

4. Concatedral de Santa María:

   Admire the stunning Gothic and Romanesque architecture of this cathedral, featuring an intricately designed altarpiece and beautiful stained glass windows.

5. Palace of the Golfines de Abajo (Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo):

   Visit this Renaissance palace, now a museum, showcasing a diverse collection of art and furnishings from various historical periods.

6. Arco de la Estrella (Arch of the Star):

   Marvel at this ancient arch, an entrance to the old town, adorned with intricate carvings and a star, giving it its name.

7. Casa del Sol (House of the Sun):

   Explore this 15th-century mansion, known for its well-preserved Mudejar-style architecture and delightful courtyard.

8. Museo de Caceres:

   Immerse yourself in the region's history and art at this museum, which houses an extensive collection of artifacts, art, and archaeological finds.

9. Casa Pedrilla:

   Discover this Renaissance mansion turned museum, showcasing regional artifacts, including traditional clothing, crafts, and ceramics.

10. Museo Helga de Alvear:

    Art enthusiasts will appreciate this contemporary art museum, displaying a diverse collection of modern and contemporary works.

11. Church of San Francisco Javier:

    Visit this Baroque church, characterized by its ornate altarpieces, sculptures, and impressive wooden choir stalls.

12. Caceres Tower (Torre de Caceres):

    Climb this ancient tower for breathtaking views of the city and a glimpse into its historical significance.

13. Palace of the Mayoralgo (Palacio de los Mayoralgo):

    Admire the intricate details and Gothic architecture of this palace, now housing the Tourism Office and an exhibition space.

14. Santiago Church (Iglesia de Santiago):

    Discover the Romanesque architecture and impressive altarpieces of this historic church.

Additional Information

Caceres has a rich Jewish history that dates back centuries. The Jewish community played a significant role in the citys cultural and economic development during the Middle Ages. Here are some key aspects of Jewish history in Caceres:

1. Jewish Quarter (Barrio Judio):

Caceres once had a vibrant Jewish Quarter, which is believed to have existed in the vicinity of the current Plaza de Santa Maria. The narrow streets and alleys still bear the marks of the Jewish presence.

2. Jewish Synagogue (Sinagoga Vieja):

The Jewish community in Caceres had a synagogue, known as Sinagoga Vieja. Although no physical remains of the synagogue exist today, it is believed to have been situated near the Plaza Mayor.

3. Jewish Influence on Architecture:

The influence of the Jewish community can be seen in the architectural features of several buildings in Caceres. Some structures exhibit Mudejar and Almohad influences, reflecting the architectural style prevalent during the time when Jews lived in the city.

4. Caceres Jewish Community Expulsion:

In 1492, during the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of Jews from Spain, the Jewish community in Caceres faced persecution and forced conversion to Christianity. Many Jewish families chose to leave their homes and relocate to other regions.

5. Mikveh Discovery:

In recent years, excavations in Caceres have unearthed remnants of a mikveh (ritual Jewish bath), providing further evidence of the Jewish communitys historical presence.

6. Jewish Heritage Interpretation Center (Centro de Interpretación de la Huella Judia):

To shed light on the Jewish history of Caceres, efforts have been made to establish centers and exhibits that educate visitors about the citys Jewish heritage and the contributions of the Jewish community.

Exploring the traces of Jewish history in Caceres allows visitors to gain insight into a period when various cultures coexisted and contributed to the citys diverse cultural tapestry. The remnants and cultural significance serve as a reminder of the rich and complex history that has shaped Caceres over the centuries.

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