Province of Caceres
University of Extremadura, Plasencia
| Fernando Pizarro (PP)|
Plasencia is a walled market city in the province of Caceres, Extremadura, Western Spain. As of 2013, it has a population of 41,047.
Situated on the bank of the Jerte River, Plasencia has a historic quarter that is a consequence of the citys strategic location along the Silver Route, or Ruta de la Plata. Since the 15th century, the noblemen of the region began to move to Plasencia, defining its current appearance.
The double line of walls, with six gates and 68 towers, dating to 1197. The Keep (or ) was demolished in 1941.
Remains of the Roman aqueduct
Las Catedrales, a complex of two cathedrals. In 1189, by request of Alfonso VIII, Plasencia was declared head of dioceses by Pope Clement III and work on a Romanesque Cathedral started shortly after, concluding sometime in the 18th century, by which time fashions had changed and Gothic elements had been added in the forms of pointed arches to the Nave and a rose window to the main South Entrance, while the cloister, on the East side bordering the city walls, was entirely Gothic. In the 15th century the Dioceses decided to build a grand Gothic Cathedral in the same site, demolishing the old cathedral as the new one was being built. Work started in 1498 and by the 16th century, standard Renaissance elements had been added such as the East Entrance and the elaborate Choir Seating, while the local style of the period, Plateresque, is present in the West (main) and the Presbytery Entrances. Work continued until the 18th century, when, with only the Sanctuary and the Transept of the New Cathedral finished, the project was abandoned leaving behind a somewhat odd result, as most of the Nave of the Old Cathedral, its cloister and its unique Octagonal Tower housing the Chapel is still attached to the New Cathedral, while the new choir, that was supposed to stand along the New Nave, was positioned across the transept. In the Main Chapel, there is an altarpiece by Gregorio Fernandez (17th century), and the choir by Rodrigo Aleman.
The Museum, near the Cathedral, is home to artworks by Jusepe de Ribera and Luis de Morales.
Renaissance Town Hall, in the
(16th century) with a two-order court
Church of San Martin (13th century). It has a nave and two aisles, and a retablo by Luis de Morales (1570).
Church and convent of Santo Domingo (St. Dominic, mid-15th century)
Church of San Esteban (15th century), with an apse in Gothic style. The high altar is transitional Plateresque-Baroque style.
Sanctuary of , some 5 kilometers from the city, begun in the 15th century but finished three centuries later.
Monastery of San Jeronimo de Yuste, where emperor Charles V died in 1558, and the castle of Jarandilla de la Vera (15th century). Nature resorts include the Monfrague Natural Park.
Canchos de Ramiro y Ladronera Protected Area.
Although Plasencia was not founded until 1186, pieces of pottery found in Boquique’s Cave provide evidence that this territory was inhabited long before. Pascual Madozs dictionary details that this ancient territory, either called Ambroz or Ambracia, was originally given the name Ambrosia before becoming Plasencia.
In the same year that the city was founded, Alfonso VIII of Castile gave the city its independence and the Diocese of Plasencia was created. The original motto of the city, , means to please God and man. Ten years after its birth, Plasencia was taken over by the Almohad Caliphate, a Moroccan Berber-Muslim dynasty that dominated the Iberian peninsula throughout much of the 12th century. King Alfonso VIII and his forces recaptured the city within the same day.
At the end of the 13th century, the Charter of Plasencia was created, allowing the Christian, Muslim and Jewish people to live peacefully together within the city. This charter prompted the formation of a Jewish community in Plasencia, which became the largest Jewish community in Extremadura at that time and held a considerable amount of economic power.
The 15th century was a vital period in Plasencia’s history, because it was at this time that a jurisdiction of lordship was established. In 1442, King John II of Castile gifted the city to the House of Zuniga and its right to vote in the Cortes of Castile was lost. In 1446, the first university in Extremadura was installed in Plasencia, according to the wish of the Bishop. As a result, everyone from the surrounding areas who could afford to study in the university moved to Plasencia.
In the second half of the 15th century, Plasencia got caught up in some warlike affairs. Henry IV of Castile was deposed from the throne in favour of the infant Alfonso after the count of Plasencia stole the sword of this king’s wooden statue, signifying that without the sword, he had no power. A decade later, the queen of Castile, Joanna la Beltraneja, and Afonso V of Portugal were married and were proclaimed the rulers of Castile and Portugal.
In 1488, the duke died and his grandson, Avaro de Zuniga y Perez de Guzman, succeeded him. The nobility took advantage of this situation and rebelled against the House of Zuniga, trying to recover the power that they had over Plasencia before it was gifted away. The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, stood by them and made the revolt a success. Ferdinand swore to defend and protect the freedom and charters of Plasencia until his death.
The specialities of the local cuisine include "migas" (breadcrumbs with Spanish sausage and bacon), casseroles, stews and tench, an exceptional freshwater game fish.
Festivals include:June fair, at the beginning of the month
Martes Mayor, the first Tuesday of August
Procession and Festivities of la , first Sunday after Easter Sunday
Fair of the Cherry-tree in flower El Jerte Valley