Caceres Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Spain > Caceres > History

Caceres, recognised by Unesco in 1986 as a city of cultural heritage, has managed not only to preserve its marvellous old quarter, but has also adapted to modern times and grown through the development of new districts. Its origins date back to prehistoric times; Cuevas de Maltravieso (Maltravieso Caves), in the outskirts of the city, whose drawings hail from the Late Paleolithic period, are the largest and most important proof of this. Today, the city can be divided into four important areas: the old quarter, the Jewish quarter, the centre and outer suburbs.

The Old Quarter
The honorary title, bestowed by Unesco, is well deserved by the historic part of Caceres, which transports you back to the Early Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In actual fact, you could talk about the area in terms of a small city which maintains ancestral homes and palaces in a good state of repair and are today used as public and private institutions, restaurants, shops and residences.

The main building is a church, Iglesia de Santa María, Romanesque in style, but tending towards the Gothic period. Opposite is the Episcopal Palace. All of the monuments comprising the old quarter are a mélange of cultures which can be traced to their historical origins. Essentially, the remnants stem from Medieval times, with some Roman elements still present; there are also vestiges of Arabic art, like the cistern at Veletas Palace, and traces of the Jewish community that used to live here.

In the 13th century, Caceres was reconquered by the Christians. At that time, the Plaza Mayor was being used as a marketplace by craftsmen. Today it is a meeting point for young people in the evenings and at weekends. Here you find the Town Hall and the emblematic monument of Torre de Bujaco, where, according to legend, 40 Christian men were executed by Arab troops. A few feet away is Arco de la Estrella, portico of the magnificent Monumental City, where you'll find lovely hideaways and select restaurants.

The Jewish Quarter
From the 13th to 15th centuries, there were two Jewish quarters, la Judería Vieja (now known as Barrio de San Antonio) whose synagogue was situated in the sanctuary of this saint, and la Judería Nueva, created in 1478, which today comprises the following streets: Pintores, Moret, Cruz and Panera. The synagogue was in the Palacio de la Isla. You can now find many small shops, bars and restaurants here.

In 1479, there were close to 130 Jewish families in the city, a significant proportion of the total population which was only 2,000 people. The Jews in Caceres were merchants, cobblers, jubeteros or doctors by profession, to name a few. After the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the Judería Vieja changed its name to the San Antonio Abad or de la Quebrada (broken), due to the type of floor, surrounded by low walls that highlight the unevenness.

The Centre
The heart of central area runs from Plaza San Juan to the streets bordering on Cruz de los Caídos. In this area you find the city's main shops, banks and institutions. Paseo de Canovas is the nerve centre of the city, and ministerial offices are close by, along with the Extremadura Assembly and the banks' head offices.

Cruz de los Caídos is another very central point; it leads to roads out of the city and the majority of buses pass by here. From this area, the city has grown outwards towards Los Fratres, Cabezarrubia 2 and el Parque del Príncipe.

Outlying Areas
Over the last decade, the construction boom has meant the emergence of new urban developments in all surrounding areas. In the North, the first suburb was Los Castellanos, later joined by Cabezarrubia 2, La Sierrilla, R-66 and currently el Vivero. Closeby, Parque del Príncipe, one of the city's main parks, is surrounded by a large urban development that is constantly growing.

Towards the road to Madrid, there is a new suburb called La Mejostilla, which has involved several stages of construction. From here, the suburbs of Los Frates and Nuevo Caceres have been built up around the roads to Badajoz and Mérida in the south of Extremadura. A few miles further out, near the golf club, in the open countryside, some new houses have been built for those who enjoy living in a more peaceful area.

Weather

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temp. 47° 49° 52° 56° 63° 71° 78° 78° 73° 63° 53° 47°
Avg. Precip. 2.3 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 1.9 in 1.6 in 1.2 in 0.2 in 0.2 in 1.0 in 2.0 in 2.9 in 2.8 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.