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Cáceres

- by Don Harris

Venerable Cáceres, is in the remote land of Extremadura in Western Spain. Founded in Roman times, it presents excellent examples of two very different parts of the city's heritage - the Moorish fortress and the feudal city. Because of its remote location, the citizens have been able to preserve and promote one of the most complete Medieval and Renaissance quarters in the world. Coats of arms adorn the palaces and ancestral homes inhabited by noble families.

The beauty and appeal of Cáceres comes from immersing yourself in the labyrinth of streets and tiny plazas, passing under arches, past towers and walls, between churches, beautiful convents and innumerable palaces. You will discover an incredible mix of architectural design ranging from Moorish to Northern Gothic to the Italian Renaissance. The Parador in Cáceres is set on the Moorish foundations of the Toirreorgaz Palace.

The city is a perfect staging area to visit the old Roman border town of Ciudad Rodrigo; the Moorish shrine in the mountain village of Guadalupe; or the peaceful town of Trujillo -- home of five famous Conquistadores, and site of the National Cheese Festival each Spring. In fact, on the outskirts is the town of Casar where La Tienda's celebrated Torta del Casar cheese is produced. This remarkable cheese with a creamy interior is greatly valued by connoisseurs throughout Europe and the United States.

With all of this to see, and hardly a random tourist in sight, Cáceres is a wonderful city to get away from the 21st Century and enjoy the relative peace of another era.

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