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  • Guadalupe Monastery. Cáceres © Turespaña

    Guadalupe Monastery. Cáceres © Turespaña

Cáceres, Extremadura

Located in the region of Caceres, Guadaloupe is a historic village declared of Cultural Interest, with cobbled streets and traditional homes, filled with valuable monuments, like the Sanctuary-Monastery of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, declared World Heritage. Guadaloupe is also a great starting point if the traveller wishes to visit nearby mountain-towns within the region of Las Villuercas, like Cañamero, Logrosán, or Berzocana. The simple, yet succulent Extremaduran cuisine, prepared with ingredients of exceptional quality, is one of the main appeals of the area.

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Set on the foothill of Sierra de Altamira, La Puebla de Guadaloupe is an illustrious town, because of its history and the remarkable monumental patrimony that it preserves.This typical mountain village, declared Historic-Artistic Site, grew under the wing of the Sanctuary-Monastery of Our Lady of Guadaloupe.

The Monastery, which was declared World Heritage in 1993, was commissioned by King Alfonso XI of Castile in the 14th century as a sign of gratitude to the Virgin, after winning the Battle of Salado (1340).

Since its foundation, the Monastery became one of the main pilgrimage centres in the Peninsula. It was also the stage of significant events, like the audience that the Catholic Monarchs granted Christopher Columbus to give him the caravels that would take him on his journey to the New World.

After passing the astonishing façade, with a remarkable bronze gate, you enter the building. Inside there are two outstanding cloisters, one Gothic and one Mudejar and a pavilion that exhibits the transition from Gothic to Mudejar.

You must not miss the sacristy, which has eleven paintings by Francisco de Zurbarán. Likewise, you must take a look at the Virgin's side-chapel, built by Lucas Jordán, which holds the image of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, patron saint of Extremadura.

Located in the central Plaza de Santa María, the fountain of Tres Caños is a reminder of one of the historical milestones of La Puebla, since it was in this square that the first Indians brought by Columbus from his second journey to America were baptised.

Across from the Monastery is the old hospital of San Juan Bautista (15th century), the present Parador de Turismo of Guadaloupe (Inn). Throughout its existence, the building received thousands of pilgrims that travelled to Guadaloupe. It was also an important School of Medicine, where many of the doctors that worked for the Royal Court were trained.

The hospital has an annexe that constitutes a reminder of the cultural splendour that the town enjoyed in the past: the Colegio de Infantes (College of Infantes), where students learned grammar, singing and theology.

Main Street (calle Mayor) is the main artery in a network of cobbled streets lined with traditional homes that have wooden balconies, porticoes and porches and it connects the higher and lower parts of the city. The College of Grammar and the Hermitage of the Shrine (15th century), in the outskirts of the city, are also worthy of note.

Culture, gastronomy and the outskirts

Guadaloupe is a great showcase of the regional cuisine. Dishes that are characterised by their simplicity and excellent quality of their ingredients are: Iberian sausages, "ajoblanco" (a cold soup with almonds, garlic, bread and olive oil), "migas" (breadcrumbs with Spanish sausage and bacon), lamb stew and "Father-Pedro-style" chicken. Wines with the label Designation of Origin-Ribera del Guadiana go very well with any of these dishes. One of the most important holidays in La Puebla is the one celebrated to honour the Virgin of Guadaloupe, which takes place on the 8th of September.

A trip to Guadaloupe is the perfect excuse to travel around Las Villuercas, a massif situated in eastern Extremadura. Gorgeous mountain scenery will dazzle the traveller, as he or she visits the towns of Bohonal de Ibor, Cañamero, Logrosán and Berzocana.

Another great choice is to visit the region of La Vera, with an exuberant landscape marked by the bank of the Tiétar River, along which you will find charming places like Hervás, the Monastery of Yuste and Jarandilla de La Vera, whose palatial castle is nowadays the town's Parador de Turismo.

Between Plasencia and Trujillo is the Monfragüe National Park, an open space where you can go hiking, take a bicycle excursion, or go horse riding.


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