Extremadura Holidays - Merida, Badajoz & Caceres Attractions and Activities
Extremadura is located in southwest Spain bordering Portugal and the regions of Castilla & Leon, Castilla La Mancha and Andalucia. It consists of the two provinces Badajoz and Caceres, which are respectively the largest and second-largest provinces in Spain. Extremadura is the poorest region in Spain and is also one of the least visited. It is also one of the most beautiful with a landscape consisting of plains, mountains, meadows of cork oaks and fields of stone and lime. Many of the famous Spanish conquerors (Conquistadors) were born here who later went on to settle in America naming many of the new cities with those from towns in Extremadura.
Merida capital of Extremadura
Merida is in the province of Badajoz and was founded by the Romans in 25 BC to become the capital of their western province of Lusitania. It lies at the Roman crossroads that link Toledo with Lisbon and Salamanca with Seville. Merida has one of the most outstanding collections of Roman monuments in Europe. The most incredible is the Roman Theatre with a magnificent colonnaded stage wall and a capacity for up to 6,000 people. During the summer months, the theatre is often used for drama productions and festivals.
By the side of the Theatre can be found a remarkable elliptical Roman Amphitheatre. It had the capacity to hold up to 15,000 spectators who were entertained with chariot races and gladiatorial contests of strength. At times the arena was even flooded for re-enactments of victorious sea battles. Located just over the road is the National Museum of Roman Art, a modern building that contains beautiful collections of Roman sculptures, artefacts, paintings, locally minted coins and mosaics.
Badajoz Holiday Attractions
Badajoz is the largest province in Spain and is bordered by the provinces of Caceres, Cordoba, Seville, Ciudad Real, and Huelva. The landscape throughout the region appears quite desolate with slightly undulating hills and vast open spaces. It has one large river called the Guadiana, which traverses the north of the province from east to west. Most of the year the river can be crossed quite easily as only at certain times does the river swell to cover the riverbed. The climate in Badajoz region varies between fiercely hot during the summer months and extreme cold in the winter.
Caceres Holiday Attractions
The Main Square (Plaza Major) is the best place to start in Caceres from which to explore the labyrinth of streets that are lined with imposing buildings. Passing through the old city walls via the Arco de la Estrella (Star Arch) can be found Plaza de Santa Maria where the Cathedral de Santa Maria can be found. The cathedral is Gothic in design, and this is where many of the Conquistadors are buried. There are many grand looking palaces situated around the Plaza and some of the most appealing shops in Caceres can be found on the streets radiating out.
Further up the hill on Plaza de las Veletas, can be found the Museo de Caceres (City Museum). The Museum contains a wonderful collection of prehistoric and Roman artefacts, along with a 17th century Arab Cistern with a preserved baroque facade. Also on this square is the Palacio de la Cigüeñas (House of the Storks) distinguished by it's tower. On top of many rooftops and bell towers in Caceres can be seen many storks nests who have for many years made the city their home too.
Summer temperatures in Extremadura are typically intense with spring and autumn offering the best weather to visit. The region is a popular destination for outdoor activities and sports with many Spaniards visiting to hunt in the forests, fish in the many reservoirs and ride horses along ancient routes. The reservoirs also offer a multitude of water sports and are a great substitute for the region having no beaches.
About the Author: Steve Greenwood invites you to visit http://www.idealrentals4u.com/spain/extremadura.html for Extremadura Holiday Apartments accommodation and attractions in Merida, Caceres and Badajoz. Visit http://www.idealrentals4u.com for holidays and accommodation in all the regions of Spain including the Canary Islands Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Lanzarote.