Monday, April 26, 2010

Badajoz City, Extremadura [Part III of IV]

Just 7km from Portugal, Badajoz is often referred to as the gateway city to Portugal from Spain.

The history of Badajoz consists of constant border conflicts which in many ways, rocked its stability and impeded its development. Nonetheless, several important and impressive monuments still stand in the old historical part of Badajoz city today. The most striking monument of all is the Alcazaba, which sits on a hill, enhancing its defence system.

Separating the old historical town from the newer part is the Guardiana River, which flows across the city.

Above: The statue of Badajoz's founder Ibn Marwan muladin outside the Alcazaba.
The walls and towers are pretty much what's left of the Alcazaba today.

Above: The 30m tall octagonal tower of 'Espantaperros' (one of the most prominent watchtowers of the Alcazaba) offers a great view over the city.

Above: Located within the Alcazaba compound, this ex-palace of the Duke is now the city's Archaelogical Museum.

Above: View of the Convento de las Adoratrices from the Alcazaba.

One of my favourite sites in the old part of town is Plaza Alta. The red & white facade creates such a pretty kaleidoscope-esque pattern, which makes up for its lack of size and grandeur.

Above: View of Plaza Alta from the Alcazaba.

Above: Plaza Alta, a marketplace and venue for the city's events.

Above: The other end of Plaza Alta.

Above: Wandering away into the small streets off Plaza Alta will lead you to a pedestrianised street by the Iglesia de la Concepción, filled with more outdoor vendors.

Above: Plaza de España, with the sculpture of Badajoz painter Luis de Morales in the middle.

Above: The Ayuntamiento (City Hall) in Plaza de España.

Above: The Roman-Gothic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in Plaza de España.

Above: Clearly influenced by the Giralda Tower of Seville, this building of the same name is similarly topped by a statue of Giralda.

Above: The Giralda and The Ermita de la Soledad.

Above: The Puerta de Palmas, the old gateway to the city with two robust cylindrical towers crowned with battlements. It was built in the 16th Century with the purpose of guarding the bridge in front of it.

Above: The Puente de Palmas, a foot bridge over the Guardiana River.

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