Plasencia: a Game of Thrones of Medieval Spain

Anonim

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The Pearl of the Jerte Valley was one of the most coveted cities by the powerful in the Middle Ages. It may have been the capital of the province, Plasencia can boast of being one of the most beautiful cities in Extremadura, where the gastronomy and know-how of its people has struck the table well.

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A CITY ALMOST TAKEN OUT OF THE GAME OF THRONES

Plasencia is a relatively new city within the medieval historical panorama of our country.

We go through the story with Esther Sánchez, the city's official chronicler who tells us many interesting things.

Piérdete por sus calles cargadas de historia en Plasencia

Get lost in its streets loaded with history in Plasencia © Alamy

It was founded by Alfonso VIII in 1186, taking advantage of the strategic position offered by the Jerte River as a natural defense in the Reconquest, and for the quality of its air and its water. Although it was taken by the Almohads in 1196, it would only take a year to recover it.

It would be in the thirteenth century when the Fuero de Plasencia was granted and the city began to emerge commercially, despite the fact that the Jews, who ruled in almost all the shops of the Plaza Mayor, were gradually displaced to less central neighborhoods.

The imprint of the Zúñiga family is observable in the shields that we find on the facades of many of Plasencia's houses (a shield with a transverse band). Juan II would grant the manor of Plasencia to this family and the title of count to Don Pedro de Zúñiga in 1442 . Although the power would be preserved only forty years, because he returned to depend on the crown at the end of that century, with Fernando the Catholic, who came to reside in the town .

The city was also a decisive enclave in the War of Independence . It was taken by the French up to twelve times, with the consequent destruction it entailed.

At present, it can be seen in the traces of time that appear in its buildings, how the city has been rebuilt again and again .

VISITS MANDATORY IN PLASENCIA

- Cathedral. They are two cathedrals in one, almost integrated the new one over the old one. The old, from the thirteenth century, transitional style from Romanesque to Gothic and which houses the Cathedral Museum .

The new data from 1498, was completed in 1578 under the canons of the Renaissance Gothic. It exhibits a portentous Plateresque facade, which is what appears in all tourist guides

- The main square. Neuralgic center of the city, and gastronomic enclave. It was built as a connection point with all the gates of the city wall .

In it is the Town Hall, a 16th-century building whose clock is the grandfather Mayorga, an emblem among the Placentinos who is responsible for sounding the campaign every half hour.

La catedral de Plasencia

Awesome © Getty Images

- The wall. Plasencia is a fortified city and whose wall surrounds the entire perimeter of the old town . It began to be built at the end of the 12th century with the foundation of the city and over the centuries its walls were used to build the houses. All the doors that it conserves continue maintaining its utility and its state of conservation is admirable .

- The Plaza de San Nicolás and the Plaza de San Vicente Ferrer. Possibly the most beautiful square in the city . In this square we can visit the church of San Nicolás, declared of Cultural Interest in 1982 .

If we move to the neighboring square of San Vicente Ferrer, we can observe the Palace of the Marquis de Mirabel, overlapping the Church of Santo Domingo, which is already open to the public, and the Parador de Plasencia, former convent of the fifteenth century, converted into A luxurious lodging.

Plaza de Vicente Ferrer en Plasencia

Vicente Ferrer Square in Plasencia © Getty Images

- Park of the Pines. Located next to the famous Arcos de Plasencia, this park exists since 1937 and was declared a Zoo in 1991. In this park, ducks, peacocks, geese, geese and herons, roam freely while passers-by walk among their ponds.

In front of the park, the park of the Coronation extends , full of terraces that with the heat are crowded with people.

Vista de la Plaza Mayor de Plasencia

View of the Plaza Mayor de Plasencia © Getty Images

EAT AND DRINK IN PLASENCE

Extremadura cuisine is as extensive as its own territory. And in Plasencia, that of staying hungry does not style anything at all.

Land of Iberians, products of the garden and slaughter . Land of cherry of the Jerte with denomination of origin, of cake of the Casar and of the best cheese of Spain. Land of Zorongollos, Extremadura crumbs and game. Land of pestiños, perrunillas, hornazos, sapillos and mantecados .

But to Plasencia, as a rule, one will not sit at the table. The tapas route of La Perla del Valle del Jerte, plays in the first division. Or rather, in the Champions League. Plasencia is one of the municipalities in Spain with more bars per inhabitant.

The Town Hall Square is one of the most important gastronomic centers of the city, with a long tradition in the elaboration of tapas of size XXL ; hence the tourist does not exceed its limits. Although it covers well, it covers well in almost all Plasencia, everything is said.

Las terrazas de la Plaza Mayor de Plasencia

The terraces of the Plaza Mayor de Plasencia © iStock

Among the most sought-after tapas, you can not miss the black pudding of Pitarra del Gordo (Plaza Mayor, 8), always paired by the famous wines of Pitarra. It is one of the busiest places in Plasencia and a good starting point for those who want to eat.

Well you can continue with the "popcorn" salad of El Español (Plaza Mayor, 32) which, on the other hand, has a gratin Casar cake that takes away the meaning.

A shared post by David Diaz (@zappamezcua) on May 2, 2018 at 6:17 p.m. PDT

Although possibly the star cover is the nose, which is still the mask of the pig passed through the plate . This delicatessen, in Plasencia is an authentic institution, but not everywhere you find them out of series.

Without a doubt, the ideal place is Alba Plata (Contador, 17), in the food market area, paired with a very cold beer on its peaceful terrace.

A shared post by David Diaz (@zappamezcua) on May 1, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. PDT

Another tapas option, perhaps more hipster, is found in Tentempié (Santa María, 11), with a selection of beers, wines and tapas ranging from gourmet burgers to fun tempura. It is a place very visited by the youngest who want to drink the first drink at night after a great tapas.

Another option is the one known as "calle de los vino" (Patalón street), which has more than a dozen stores that offer a secured lid. And then there is La Herradura (Patalón, 28), the gloomy and old mannered center for strong emotions and grilled bacon.

A shared post by David Diaz (@zappamezcua) on May 2, 2018 at 4:55 p.m. PDT

MONFRAGÜE AND THE VALLEY OF JERTE

Plasencia is located very close to one of the most beautiful National Parks in our country : Monfragüe, a natural park since 1979 and National since 2007. Crossed by the Tagus and the Tiétar, the Monfragüe National Park stands out for the vigor of its enormous pastures and for a Mediterranean forest that is considered one of the best preserved in the world . In addition, Monfragüe is the home chosen by many animals of protected species such as the wildcat or the otter.

Visiting Monfragüe is easy. In fact, the website of the National Park itself, outlines several different routes according to difficulty, for those who want to go hiking in a privileged environment.

Also, Monfragüe National Park is well known to birdwatchers for its unique dedication to bird watching . From the gigantic black vulture to the elegant imperial eagle, the black storks or the majestic eagle owl, all the protected species of Monfragüe can be observed in their natural habitat from the Salto del Gitano .

The other great green route is found in the Jerte Valley . In addition, with the arrival of heat, it is a very busy area for tourists due to the great demand of its natural pools and the Pylons of the Garganta de los infernos .

It is impressive to reach small corners like the Cascada del Caozo or delight the view from the Mirador de San Felipe, in the town of Cabezuela del Valle. Two very generalized routes are those made in spring with cherry blossoms, or in autumn crossing the chestnut trees from Casas del Castañar. Staying is simple since it is a very prepared area for rural tourism and has all the services.

A shared post by David Diaz (@zappamezcua) on May 1, 2018 at 9:10 p.m. PDT

FUN FACTS

- Although it was demolished, Plasencia had an Alcazar, a defensive fortress built northeast of the wall. It was very important even as a military residence and appeared on all maps. He disappeared completely in 1937.

- Monfragüe Castle was ruled in the s. VIII by a Muslim nobleman whose daughter, named Noeima, was of extraordinary beauty. He fell in love with a Christian and his father cursed her. It is said that Noeima's spirit still wanders around the castle and its cry can be heard .

- Plasencia once aspired to be the capital of the province. In fact, it had more wealth than Cáceres, more water, it was an episcopal seat and its location was more privileged. But it was never capital. Even Miguel de Unamuno called Plasencia "the capital without a province."

- Juana la Beltraneja married in Plaza Mayor de Plasencia thanks to the support of the Zúñiga family. And he did it big, with his uncle Alfonso V of Portugal, without the consent of the Pope and riding a stir that made history.

- Not everything is the center of Plasencia. A foodporn plan is La Tapería (Avda. Extremadura, 23), a place that is on the outskirts of Plasencia and that has a showcase of tapas and skewers out of series . Although it is not in the center, the placentinos always go there on pilgrimage. There must be a reason…

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