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Jerez de los Caballeros

  • View of Jerez de los Caballeros. Badajoz © Turespaña

    View of Jerez de los Caballeros. Badajoz © Turespaña

  
Jerez de los Caballeros
Badajoz, Extremadura
Badajoz

A city in Badajoz where many different cultures, knowledge and artistic styles overlap, from prehistoric times to Gothic and Baroque. It is surrounded by meadows with excellent pasture for stockbreeding, the base of the local economy. Its old town has been declared Property of Cultural Interest.

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The origins of Jerez de los Caballeros dates back to the times of the Phoenicians, although many other cultures have settled there. The oldest archaeological finding in this region is the Dolmen of the Torriñuelo Farm, a National Monument, where paintings and an interesting funeral offering were found. Roman villas, Visigothic remains and Arab influences form part of this town, midway between Portugal and Andalusia. This fact is also seen in the many traditions and customs that overlap there. But Extremadura has always been the birthplace of conquerors and discoverers, and it was precisely in Jerez de los Caballeros where the first European to ever see the Pacific Ocean, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, was born. After the colonization of America, many noblemen and public officers returned to their motherland, bringing along wealth from the New World. Palatial houses and ancestral homes now grace the urban layout of this town, along with convents and hermitages.

Monumental Heritage

Among the most important monuments in this town are the Templar Fortress, since Jerez de los Caballeros was the site of the Bayliato of the Order of the Templar Knights until the 14th century. The church of Santa María de la Encarnación, on the other hand, gathers Baroque and Rococo elements. These characteristics can be observed particularly in the side-chapel. The towers of the churches of San Miguel, San Bartolomé and Santa Catalina exhibit a Baroque style. Its stone structures are ornamented with brick, plasterand glazed ceramic, making up compounds of great beauty and decorative value.

Narrow streets lined with whitewashed façades and stone towers are the scenery of the religious Easter processions, a festivity that has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. The images, usually venerated inside the churches, are then taken out to the streets, for the joy of hundreds of participants.

Another excellent time to get to know Jerez de los Caballeros is during the Ham Trade Show. For a few days, products with the label Designation of Origin - Dehesa de Extremadura compete with each other, offering the best hams and sausages made with acorn-fed Iberian pork. The sampling of the local cuisine can continue with tomato soup, roast lamb, lamb casserole and several different kinds of cheese. The stews are all prepared with the exquisite olive oil produced in the region. And next to these tempting foods, wine with the label Designation of Origin - Ribera del Guadiana, is the best companion.

The Southern Sierra

The journey through the Southern Sierra of Badajoz may continue into the valleys of Santa Ana and Matamoros where in addition to the beautiful natural landscape, visitors can marvel at the remote whitewashed villages. Also, landmarks such as the Gothic-Mudejar churches of Santa Ana and Our Lady of Asunción, both from the 16th century await. Fregenal de la Sierra, another town in the region, exhibits the same panorama of whitewashed houses and monumental churches as Jerez de los Caballeros. The hermitage of the Virgin of Remedies and the churches of Santa Catalina and Santa Ana, along with the Bullring, the old Arab citadel and the Templar Fortress conform the principal points of interest.

Zafra, a town you cannot afford to miss along the Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route) in Extremadura, is also located in this region. At the foothills of Sierra Castelar, Zafra has an Alcázar (fortress) that was declared Historic-Artistic Site, who presently houses the town's Parador de Turismo. The medieval layout of the city stretches out from this spot, with Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica being the most important meeting points. Ancestral homes, convents and churches make up a compound of great architectural harmony.

Well into the Land of Barros awaits Fuentes del Maestre (Fountains of the Great Master), with its Gran Maestre Palace, the Corro Fountain and the Town Hall. Plenty of churches are found almost everywhere around town. Slightly further on is Badajoz, the capital of the province, where visitors will discover Arab walls, interesting monuments and picturesque streets and porches. On the other hand, Mérida is heir to a splendorous Roman legacy, as it can be observed in its archaeological compound (the theatre, the amphitheatre, the circus, the temple, the arch, many houses, the aqueduct, the reservoir, etc.) declared World Heritage Site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, UNESCO. Also included in the Ruta de la Plata, Merida has a very worthwhile National Museum of Roman Art, built by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and the city also offers the excellent International Classical Theatre Festival.

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Easter Week in Jerez de los Caballeros © Turespaña

Mar 25, 2018 to Apr 1, 2018

Festivity of National Tourist Interest

Jerez de los Caballeros
Easter Week in Jerez de los Caballeros

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