Best places to go in Cáceres
The wall divides the urban structure into two zones. Within the walls are the churches of Santa María and San Mateo. Meanwhile, outside the walls are the churches of Santiago and San Juan.
The Barrio Bajo: the Monumental city
This travel guide begins in the “old side” or “monumental city”. The Barrio Bajo is also known as neighbourhood of Santa María because of the Procathedral Church of Santa María. It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and it is famous because of its bell tower with three areas. Inside there are three naves and rib vaults from the Gothic style. Its important main altarpiece date from the 16th century and is dedicated to the Asunción de la Virgen.
Church Con-cathedral of Santa María
Just outside the temple, in the corner, is the sculpture of San Pedro Alcántara. It is a work by the contemporary artist Enrique Pérez Comendador. Acording to the legend whoever touches his feet will be lucky. That is why is really damaged at the present time.
In the same square is the Palace of Hernando de Ovando (16th century), which has an interesting cloistered courtyard. The Bishop Palace is identifiable by its elegant facade. The noble houses of Mayoralgo, Moraga or the Golfín-Toledo family are also worthy of attention. Another outstanding enclave is the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo (15th century). It holds the most beautiful Plateresque front in the city.
Toledo Palace and surroundings
In the nearby Conde de Canilleros square is the Toledo Palace. It was built between the 14th and 17th centuries and promoted by the Aztec princess’ grandson Isabel de Moctezuma. This indigenous nobel got married with the captain from Cáceres Juan Cano Saavedra. Today it houses the central office of the Provincial Historical Archive.
Close to the back side of the cathedral church is the Palace of Carvajal, dated from the 15th century. It houses the Tourism Office nowadays. It has the popular corner balcony, the coat of arms and the voussoired round arch. In the Tiendas street you can enjoy the amazing view of the Espaderos tower. Isabel I ordered the removal of the battlements so that their aggressive owners would not use them as defences.
Another outstanding square in the city is that of San Jorge There is the Church of San Francisco Javier, in addition to the Colegio de la Compañía de Jesús. Both buildings date from the 18th century and make a beautiful Baroque collection of historic buildings.
Church of San Francisco Javier
The other Barrio Barrio
Now we move to the other Barrio Bajo, that of San Mateo. The was built on the site of an ancient mosque. In the same square is the spectacular Palacio de los Golfines de Arriba (15th and 16th centuries), an authentic fortress-house. It preserves a beautiful two-storey porticoed courtyard and a keep. Nearby is the Gothic Convent of San Pablo and the Palace of las Cigüeñas. Finally, the Palacio of Las Veletas (15th century) stands out. It houses the Museum of Cáceres, where important archaeological, fine arts and ethnographic collections are exhibited.
Palacio de los Golfines de Arriba | https://cacereshistorica.caceres.es/
In the vicinity of the Plaza de San Mateo, is the area of the Adarves. This is the name given to the paths that surround the wall inside it.
The Jewish community was really present in the city and it occupied two areas. On one hand, the Judería Vieja (Old Jewry), inside the walls. On the other hand, the Judería Nueva (New Jewry), outside the wall. The first one coincides with the neighbour of San Antonio and it has the characteristic narrow streets.
Outside the city walls
Outside the walls is the Plaza Mayor, presided by the City Council (19th century), next to the entrance to the monumental city. It was the place used to hold the market and there are also the Baroque Chapel of La Paz (dated from 18th century) and the Tower of Bujaco, built in a Romanesque style in the 12th century. It is 25 metres high, so it is one of the symbols of the city. There are finally in this area named because of two parish churches: Santiago and San Juan.
The Church of Santiago de los Caballeros is in the area of Caleros. Its Gothic facades will call our attention outside and the stunning main altarpiece by Alonso de Berruguete in 1557 inside.
The Church of San Juan Bautista (13th to 17th centuries), with its interesting Renaissance grille, is the protagonist of the San Juan neighbourhood. There are numerous palaces here, including those of Paredes-Saavedra (15th-16th centuries) and the Marquis of Monroy (14th century).