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Cáceres information

Medieval city

In the 14th C. Cáceres was invaded by noble knights of the Order of Santiago, originally call the Order of Cáceres. Gerardo Sempavor brought in 1166 the temporal liberation of Cáceres which, lost again, was once more conquered this time by Fernando II of Leon in 1169 and again the "Almohade" people conquered it again until 1229 when Alfonso IX of León conquered it for good.

In only a few dozen years after the final reconquest many fortress-like houses and towers were erected everywhere inside the city walls. These feudal palaces were the strongholds of rival noble families -each with their own private army.

Ferdinand and Isabela, the Catholic Monarchs sought to end feudal in-fighting by ordered the private towers of families disloyal to the crown to be shortened or destroyed and by enlisting the private armies into the king's national army. Those families loyal to the King were bestowed the privilege of not having their palace's tower torn down. Towers which still stand complete are in the Palace of Los Golfines de Arriba and Las Cigueñas Palace. During the 15th and 16th C, the palaces were replaced by magnificent stone houses which differed from the palaces in size and boasted fewer defensive works. This is the case of Aldana House, El Sol, Ulloa and Carvajal House.

After the discovery of America, the first governor of the New World after Columbus was a noble from Cáceres. The entrance of Bishop's place is decorated with stone carvings of Indians, whose oriental features assume that they had discovered Asian Indians rather than North American Indians.

In the course of the centuries, the old city of Cáceres has been preserved surprisingly well. This walled Arab city built upon Roman foundations was transformed into a feudal castle with the addition of towers and the fortified houses of rival families. These were then converted into palaces of the nobility. There still remains Arab and Gothic influence, Italian Renaissance, as well as art from America, all of these can be discovered within this unique city of Extremadura.

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