Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plasencia, Extremadura [Part IV of IV]

Nestled in the meander of the River Jerte in the north part of Extremadura is a town called Plasencia. Founded in the 1180s by King Alfonso VIII of Castille, Plasencia was fortified with walls, gates and towers - some of which still exist today.

Above: A small street with white-washed houses in the residential part of the old town.

In the old quarter, several narrow streets converge, meeting at the nerve center, Plaza Mayor. Traditionally, this is where important events are held and also where Plasencia’s popular ‘Tuesdays Market’ takes place. Yes you’ve guessed it, the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) can be found here too.

Not far from Plaza Mayor, check out the interesting facades of several stately palaces as well as Plasencia’s most remarkable pair of buildings – The New & Old Cathedrals.

Above: Puerta de Coria, one of the remaining gates in the old quarter.

Above: Plaza Mayor.

Above: A coat of arms on the corner of the City Hall building in Plaza Mayor.

Above: Notice the larger than life size sculpture of ‘Abuelo Mayorga’ hanging on to the side of the clock tower in Plaza Mayor.

Above: A street that leads from Plaza Mayor to the Cathedrals.

Above: The ‘Old Cathedral’, built from the 13th – 14th century with a mix of Roman & Gothic architectural elements.

As always, the strange & random sculptures adorning the buildings never fail to amuse, each piquing your curiosity and begging you to question their significance.

Above: The ‘New Cathedral’, built between the 15th – 16th century.

Above: Details of the exquisite plasteresque façade of the ‘New Cathedral’.

From the 15th century, many noblemen were known to have moved to Plasencia, resulting in the presence of several stately palaces. It’s interesting to see how they distinguished themselves with the various crests or coat of arms emblazoned at the corner of their buildings.

Above: A 17th century palace known as the Deán House, emblazoned with a unique coat of arms.

Above: Church of St. Nicholas.

Away from the historical quarter (and all the narrow cobbled streets and concrete buildings) is San Antón Park, one of Plasencia’s green zones. Here, you won’t miss the 16th century aqueduct.

This wraps up my 4 part post on Extremadura. But wait, I've got more!

The next post will be all about a certain Valley in Extremadura, with flowers, birds, rivers and waterfalls...

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