Extremadura, whose confines have changed in the course of the centuries, now comprises a major part of Roman Lusitania. The name of Extremadura comes from the fact that during the Reconquest and part of the 12th century, it was a land of 'extremes', i.e. a frontier area bordering on Muslims domains.
When the Arab invasion took place, the territory of Extremadura in its entirety fell into the power of the conquerors until Alfonso IX recovered it in 1230.
The Crown of Leon was particularly keen to re-settle these lands, giving some of them to the military orders and promoting the creation of large feudal domains. In the mi-12th century feuds began between the towns and the military orders of Santiago, Alcantara, the Temple and the Hospital for the prossession of lands, castles and villages and, starting in the middle of the 14th century, Portugal began its constant attempts to conquer the towns of Extremadura, attempts which lasted for a period of two centuries.
In 1883 the territory was divided into two provinces: Caceres (Upper Extremadura) and Badajoz (Lower Extremadura). Until that time the capital of the whole province had been Badajoz. The region's social, political and economic structure was unchanged until the Civil War broke out. During the time of the Republic the basic ideas for what would later become the Badajoz Plan were laid down.
Extremadura is one of the most beautiful regions of inland Spain and perhaps the least well-known. In its towns, once Roman and Arab and later medieval and aristocratic, many of the 'conquistadores' of America were born.