A Brief History of Caceres, Spain


Caceres, the capital of Upper Extremadura, is characterized by its constant evolution from Roman times to the present day. It has 2 distinctive periods, the Arab stronghold before it fell to the Christians in 1229 and the feudal city, between the 14th and 16th. This urban complex was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986.

The city’s history of battles between Moors and Christians is reflected in its architecture, which is a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic, and Italian Renaissance styles. From the Muslim period remain about 30 towers, of which the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous. (World heritage description)

Some sections of the Roman wall of 29 BC remain. The city was turned it into a stronghold with a series of towers in the defensive system. From the arab domination period there is a water storage facility called “aljibe.” Most of the buildings of Arab times have disappeared, but the layout of the streets is the most important legacy of this period.

In the 14th C, noblemen came to settle in Caceres and built fortress-like houses and towers making it a feudal town at the mercy of fighting rival factions. Several historical sites are from this period, the Palace of La Generala, Las Cigueñas House and Tower, the house of the Ovando-Oerero family, Espadero-Pizarro House or the House of El Mono.

During the 15th and 16th C, the palaces were replaced by magnificent stone houses which differed from the palaces only in size and fewer defensive means. This is the case of Aldana House, El Sol, Ulloa and Carvajal House. Churches and convents were also built, such as the Gothic Church of Santa Maria, which has cathedral status, the Church of Santiago, which has an important main altar piece by Berruguete, San Mateo built in the 14th C on the former site of a mosque, and the Gothic Convent of San Francisco.

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