Here we present three cities in Extremadura that have little in common but that we have wanted to group in a single article for a single reason, quite absurd by the way.
The reason is that all three begin with the letter A. There are many other towns in Extremadura that begin with this letter, but none with the high artistic and historical value of these three cities with numerous monuments and important places to visit.
These are Alcántara, Almendralejo and Alburquerque. They are not close to each other but they are worth a visit.
Alcántara, more than a Roman Bridge
This small town in Extremadura is very close to the border with Portugal and has been an exceptional witness to historical clashes between neighboring countries.
Its main monument is essential within these clashes and is preserved in a spectacular way, it is the Roman Bridge of Alcántara. As we have already dedicated an entire article to that bridge, here we are going to talk about the rest of the municipality of Alcántara.
Inside Alcántara, the monument par excellence is the Conventual de San Benito, built in the 16th century and notable for its unfinished church and, above all, for the Gallery of Carlos V, the most famous image of the Convent.
Among the numerous churches that Alcántara consists of, it is worth highlighting the Church of Santa María de Almocóvar, which was built on an old mosque in Romanesque style, and the Church of San Pedro de Alcántara, from the 17th century.
There we can also see the monument to San Pedro de Alcántara. Throughout the rest of the municipality we can see other churches and stately homes.
Despite being a town with less than 2,000 inhabitants, Alcántara has numerous monuments and especially churches, but it also has two Roman bridges, because in addition to the famous one we can also find the Puente Romano de Segura, built at the same time and located just on the border with Portugal
Albuquerque. At the foot of Luna Castle
To speak of Alburquerque is to speak of the Castillo de Luna, the main monument of the municipality and that dominates the entire horizon.
Albuquerque is also very close to the border with Portugal so it was a strategic enclave during the wars with Portugal. For this reason this impressive castle was built.
Castillo de Luna was built during the 13th century and Don Álvaro de Luna lived there and ordered the construction of his characteristic Torre del Homenaje.
Its subsequent tenants carried out various reforms in the castle until it suffered its abandonment. Currently, despite this, it is very well preserved and consists of several towers, 3 levels of walls and inside we can see the Church of Santa María la Mayor, in Romanesque style.
In addition to the castle, in Alburquerque we can see its historic center, surrounded in part by the wall, and with numerous alleys, among which we can find several houses and palaces, many of Jewish origin, who lived in this municipality before their expulsion by of the Catholic Monarchs.
Nearby is the Piedrabuena Castle, which is in a very good state of preservation and can also be visited.
Almendralejo, City of Romanticism
With its 35,000 inhabitants it is one of the largest in Extremadura and in it we can see churches, convents, palaces and stately homes.
Its main religious monument is the Church of Our Lady of Purification, built in the 16th century and in a Gothic style, although it has elements of Plateresque, Baroque, Renaissance and, above all, Herrerian styles, such as the great tower that crowns it.
Other important churches in Almendralejo are San Roque and San José. We can also see different convents such as Nuestra Señora de Amparo, inhabited by Poor Clare nuns who make exquisite sweets, and San Antonio, declared of Artistic Historical Interest.
Walking through the center of Almendralejo we will also find very interesting and peculiar buildings such as the Palacio de Monsalud, where the great poet José de Espronceda was born.
In Almendralejo another of the referents of romanticism was born, Carolina Coronado.