Guide to Badajoz – Extremadura, Spain
Badajoz is the most extensive province in all of Spain. Bordering on the North with Caceres, on the South with Andalucia, on the East with the lands of Castilla La Mancha, and to the West with the neighbouring lands of Alentejo in Portugal.
Its position in the Iberian Peninsula has turned Badajoz into a place of rest and a crossing point for all the important cultures that have existed in Spain through history, from prehistoric times until today. The most important towns in this province are Badajoz which lies on the south bank of the Guadiana River. The city has more inhabitants than Merida, capital of the autonomous region.
Due to its location on the Spanish-Portuguese border, Badajoz has been repeatedly attacked throughout history and consequently became strongly fortified. The surrounding wall with moat, outworks and forts gives the city an appearance of great strength. Its Roman remains, among the most important in Spain, include a magnificent bridge, a triumphal arch, a theatre with marble columns, an aqueduct, a temple, an imposing circus, and an amphitheatre (See Merida below).
Fortunately for us, many works of art have been preserved in its towns, museums, monuments, churches and exhibitions rooms. A stroll around the historic quarter reveals Arab walls, interesting monuments and highly notable landmarks including the massive cathedral (which was begun in the 13th cent) and the remains of the Moorish citadel.
Badajoz is unquestionably a beautiful area with many nature reserves such as the Cornalvo Natural Park, the Reservoir of Orellana and the Sierra de Hornachos – a special area of conservation. Visitors can marvel at the Valley of La Vera that fills with the cherry blossom of spring.
Places of interest in Badajoz
Mérida is the capital of the autonomous region of Extremadura which retains an extensive collection of Roman ruins with a fabulous museum devoted to Roman history. The Roman Theater is one of the leading landmarks and can accommodate up to 6000 spectators. The nearby Anfiteatro was the site of battles between Roman gladiators and could hold as many as 15,000 people.
Also known as Little Seville, it is dominated by the 15th-century Alcazar. Although the exterior is built like a fortress, the interior resembles a palace.
The Castle of the Dukes of Feria is the most important in the province. The palace is now a Government designated Parador, where visitors can imagine what life used to be like in this enchanted town. Zafra’s monumental heritage is very rich and visitors will be rewarded immensely whilst strolling through the old Moorish streets and squares.