When I was given the WHS of the Old Town of Caceres, I went to the first place anyone my age would go to- Google. And Google showed me images of this city that I thought was the setting of a brilliant romantic comedy, or the sort of place James Bond would hide after faking his death. Suffice it to say that I was more than intrigued.
So I started researching and found so much heritage and so much legend to this place that I made going to it part of my bucket list. So here it is, my article on the Old Town of Caceres.
There are four sections: old city, modern quarter, Jewish quarter, and the outskirts. Like various other cities on the Iberian peninsula Caceres has been occupied by a number of powers, which include the Visigoths, ancient Romans, Moors, Jews, and Christians. The medieval architecture has been maintained so well in fact, that the city of Caceres has been used as a backdrop in the filming of many period dramas. For 3 days each November Caceres hosts a medieval fair during which locals and tourists alike can watch jugglers, musicians, falconry, flame throwing and surprise sword fights. All festival staff is dressed in medieval garb and there are dozens of booths with food, drinks and crafts to linger around.
Caceres is home to the University of Extremadura, and various churches, palaces, and observatories.
An interesting fact about the town is that it is known for its numerous stork nests, which can be spotted atop the trees and on rooftops. The city is pedestrian-friendly and allows for taking in the sites by simply walking. The narrow streets will transport you to another century and engage you in an old world charm that you will not quickly forget. As i am a firm believer of ‘travelling’ and not ‘tourisitng’ this place is an absolute dream!
The other thing about Caceres is that The festival of World of Music, Arts and Dance or WOMAD is held here annually and thousands of people come to Caceres to watch their favourite artists perform. The 2014 edition of WOMAD is to be held from the 24th to 27th July and features Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Ayaan and Amaan, musicians Salim and Sulaiman amongst many other prolific artists.
When it comes to food, Spanish cuisine is awesome! Caceres brings you the best of it. The liquor they make is made of Cherries and the meat cooked in spices and herbs that smell divine.
The view of the Old Town of Caceres. credit: Google.
There are nine cathedrals, three walls, five palaces, four museums, and three nature reserves.