Losar de la Vera is a little town located in the north of the province of Cáceres in Extremadura. It is one of the villages that belongs to the region of La Vera, known for the famous paprika of La Vera. Its main attractions are its gorges and natural pool located in the beautiful surroundings of the town.
However, the most special feature of this town are the bushes which have turned into sculptures that decorate the main avenue of Losar. For that reason, it is a reference point for this topiary art, which means art made by pruning plants. Nowadays, this is the most distinctive sign of identity of this municipality.
Losar de la Vera has one of the most spectacular gardens in the region of Extremadura. Around 120 sculptures adorn the main avenue of the village. They have a wide range of symmetrical shapes, human and animal sculptures, and all kinds of objects. Its most popular creations are the horse and the cyclist bushes. In fact, they are so popular that there is also an specific park where many other statues are exhibited.
These varied and unique ornamental sculptures are the most distinctive image of the town, and it has even been recognised as a national benchmark in topiary art. This is a gardening practice that consists of giving artistic shapes to plants by cutting them out. Besides, it shares this title with the theme park in Madrid of ‘San Martín de Valdeiglesias’ called “El Bosque Encantado” (The Enchanted Forest).
This tradition dates back to 1972 and was created by the local gardener, Vicente Mateos in order to cheer up and decorate the streets of this village. The success of his work inspired his “followers” to keep on doing the same task. Nowadays, they are in charge of the preservation and improvement of the gardens of the town.
This little village has also a significant historical heritage. Losar de la Vera has been inhabited since prehistoric times, although it was not founded as a town until the Christian repopulation. Then it became part of the royal estate of Plasencia, at the end of the 12th century. When the territory became the county of the Estúñiga family in the 15th century, the current Church of Santiago Apóstol was built.
This building has a rectangular floor plan with a pentagonal apse and has three entrances to the interior of the church, the largest of them stands out for its arch and archivolts in Hispano-Flemish Gothic style. A coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs is sculpted above it. The entire structure has been perfectly preserved except for the tower, which had to be rebuilt in 1951 after it was demolished by a storm a few years earlier.
This building has a strong relation with the local festivities, known as ‘Cristo de las Enagüillas’, which is celebrated during the second week of August. This is a religious celebration which consists of a procession from a little temple in Baroque style of the 18th century: ‘Cristo del Humilladero’ hermitage. It has also been remodelled, although it still preserves part of the main altarpiece and the wooden crucifix from the 16th century, as well as other artistic jewels of great value.
There is another little hermitage which is popular through the local people: San Roque church. It was built in 1805 and has the images of Santa Bárbara and the Crucifixion inside.
Losar de la Vera has another great attraction in its spectacular natural surroundings: the gorge of Cuartos. It is the most famous of all those in the region of La Vera due to its abundant flow, which runs along the southern slopes of the Gredos mountain range. Besides, it is just three kilometres from the town.
This river is located just below the Cuartos Bridge, a spectacular medieval construction. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 15th century, at the same time that the church of ‘Santiago Apóstol’ was founded. It is a granite bridge with two vaults, in perfect condition. This destination is perfect for summer to enjoy this cool water and spend a nice day with family and friends.
The rich landscape of this small village in Cáceres is the perfect setting for activities related to nature and outdoor sports. Losar de la Vera Town Council has created various routes that allow visitors to explore one of the most charming places not only in the region of La Vera, but also in the whole of the province of Cáceres. Here are mentioned some of the most popular routes.
This route links the village of Losar de la Vera, at an altitude of 550 metres, with the village of Collado del Berezo, at an altitude of 1,377 metres. There are two ways to get to the highest point and reach the refuge and the hermitage. Both start from the ‘Piscina de Vadillo’ to the fork in this path. The first of these is an 8.5-kilometre horse-riding trail through landscapes with abundant vegetation. Meanwhile, the second covers a distance of 13.5 kilometres.
This route goes through a large area of the ‘Losar de la Vera’ mountain range in a quiet and comfortable walk with no gradient. It is characterised by the spectacular views that can be appreciated as one climbs upwards, reaching other landscapes such as the ‘Tietar Valley’, the ‘Ibores’ or the ‘Guadalupe’ mountain range.
This is the perfect option for those who want to do a more familiar route, since it has just 6.5 kilometres. Its start point is the lower area of the Gorge of Cuartos, passing through an oak in a hillside of the mountain range. It finally ends at some bathing pools located next to the hydroelectric power station.
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