TRUJILLO AND GUADALUPE, PLASENCIA AND CORIA.
Those who reach the lands of Cáceres from the Spanish east come across a rich village in the region of Arañuelo: Navalmoral de la Mata, and a little further on a famous place: Trujillo, whose sons were the authors of unbelievable feats in the history of America, such as Francisco Pizarro, who conquered Peru, Orellana, who discovered the Amazon, García de Paredes, whose exploits are legend, etc. In Trujillo, the Church of Santa María la Mayor has a valuable reredos and moving aristocratic sepulchers. San Martin is a 16th c church. And there are many residential buildings and palaces. In the center of the Plaza Mayor stands the equestrian statue of the conqueror, twin of the one in Lima. A huge Arab castle dominates the city, which also has a Parador.
Guadalupe witnessed the documents certifying the departure on the American adventure. And there the first Indians were baptized. Proof of all this are the famous monuments, which turned it into the Marian Sanctuary for all of the Spanish speaking world. This dates from the miraculous appearance of the Virgin, its Patron Saint, around the year 1300. The huge Monastery combines Gothic, Mudéjar and Plateresque in unusual grandeur. There are admirable paintings by Juan de Flandes, Zurbarán and Lucas Jordan, apart from the miniatures of its choir books, the rich collection of ornaments and the buildings which used to be a hostelry, hospital and royal fortress. Guadalupe has the Parador called "Zurbarán", which is an invitation to rest after admiring so much beauty.
On the approach from the north, there is Coria, a town surrounded by solid Roman walls, with an interesting castle and pretty cathedral. It lies on a rich fertile plain amidst tobacco and cotton plantations. Plasencia lies on the banks of the Jerte. This is another town of monumental sights reminiscent of past grandeur, with small, picturesque streets, aristocratic palaces, a cathedral an a hunting museum, the latter of the Marquisate of Mirabel and very beautiful monumental and heraldic signs on its facades, churches and small hidden places.
The nearby Yuste Monastery cannot be left
out on a visit. It was the last home of Emperor Carlos I of Spain
and is breathtakingly austere. Other places of interest include
Jarandilla castle, where the emperor and his entourage stayed
before his definitive retirement (it is a Parador today), Baños
de Montemayor, Hervás, which has an extremely interesting
Jewish quarter, Garrovilla, with its arcaded main square, El Palancar
Monastery, Brozas with its beautiful palaces, Valencia de Alcántara
with the remains of a citadel and castle as well as the magnificent
Roman bridge at Alcántara, perpetuating the cradle of the
famous Order. Apart from all these places, there are many more
dotting the lovely scenery of the plain where many dolmens which
have survived from prehistoric times can still be found.