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In the lands of the Order of Alcántara

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  • Arch of La Concepción, Alcántara © Turespaña

    Arch of La Concepción, Alcántara © Turespaña

  • Roman bridge at Alcántara © Turespaña

    Roman bridge at Alcántara © Turespaña


From prehistory to contemporary art

The land of Extremadura that was dominated by the Order of Alcántara is an especially relevant cultural destination. The castles, churches, convents and monuments we'll come across are just the beginning. Because we'll also enjoy the beauty of its landscapes, its vast meadows and soft mountain ranges.

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It is possible to cover this route over a weekend. We start off at the medieval village of Alburquerque (about 45 kilometres from Badajoz), dominated by its powerful Luna Castle (13th-15th centuries). We cannot leave this town without taking a walk round the old quarter and visiting the Church of Santa María del Mercado.
Our next stop is La Codosera, just over 15 kilometres away, to discover the medieval castle (13th century). Then we find the village of San Vicente de Alcántara, where the Castle-palace of Piedrabuena awaits - an old property belonging to the Order of Alcántara, and the Baroque Shrine of Santa Ana.

After travelling 10 kilometres we get to Valencia de Alcántara. It is worth taking a walk round the so-called Gothic Quarter, inside the historic quarter. It is a group of 19 streets that made up the old Jewish quarter. The Church of Nuestra Señora de Rocamador also stands out.
The next stop is a little further away, about 60 kilometres. It is Brozas, where we'll find the Castle-palace of the Encomienda Mayor de Alcántara (14th-17th centuries), the Church of Santa María la Mayor (Gothic-Renaissance) and a considerable amount of manor houses and palaces built in the 15th-18th centuries. One of them is the Palace of the Argüello-Carvajal family.

The next stop, less than a 16 kilometres away, is the medieval village of Alcántara. It is mainly known for its famous Roman bridge, a splendid 1st century A.D. building, designed by the engineer Cayo Julio Lacer. In this town we'll also discover the Church of Santa María de Almocóvar (13th-17th centuries, with panels by Luis de Morales) and the former convent of San Benito (Gothic-Renaissance, 16th century) main seat of the Order of Alcántara.

Then we'll head to Mata de Alcántara, about 7 kilometres away, where we'll discover its Church of Santa María de Gracia. Later on, about 20 kilometres away, we'll find the town of Garrovillas de Alconétar. There we'll see the arcades in the Plaza de la Constitución, one of the largest in Spain, with 65 arches. On the outskirts, the Convent of San Antonio de Padua (15th-16th centuries) and the ruins of the Roman bridge of Alconétar (1 century A.D.) are not to be missed.
We are now getting to the last two stops of the route. The first is Arroyo de la Luz, 34 kilometres, where we'll stop to visit the Church of La Asunción (15th-16th centuries), which has paintings by Luis de Morales. The second is Malpartida de Cáceres, 8 kilometres away, a town situated on the outskirts of the city of Cáceres. There we'll see the Church of La Asunción, Gothic-Renaissance (15th century-16th century), and in the environs, the Los Barruecos site: a natural space with curious rocks and small ponds. In an old place for washing wool in the area, the German conceptual artist Wolf Vostell installed in 1974 an open-air museum with some of his works. The site currently houses permanent contemporary art exhibitions.

In the area there are many megalithic and prehistoric sites which enable the view of different dolmens and cave paintings. For example, near Alburquerque we can see the Abrigos del Risco de San Blas and La Caraca shelters. In San Vicente de Alcántara and Valencia de Alcántara we'll find 42 catalogued dolmens.



What to see on the route See more

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© Festival de Teatro de Alcántara

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San Benito Monastery in Alcántara - Alcántara
Alcántara Classical Theatre Festival

Discover the surroundings See more

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