Art and culture 

Culture that inspires

Romans, Barbarians, Muslims and Christians have all forged present-day Extremadura, leaving their mark on a region that still preserves and honours this legacy.

Discover Extremadura's cultural legacy and rich heritage.

Romans, Barbarians, Muslims and Christians have all forged present-day Extremadura, leaving their mark on a region that still preserves and honours this legacy.

The Roman province of Lusitania covered a large part of what is now Extremadura, as well as the centre of modern Portugal. Whilst its early settlers where Lusitanians, one could say that it was thanks to the Romans that this region discovered the splendour and wealth of the vast empire.

Numerous vestiges remain of this civilisation, scattered around the region and bearing witness to a great past. Mérida, then known as Emérita Augusta, and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is without doubt the place that best preserves its Roman past. Here, amongst other important Roman remains,you will be able to find one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world and the oldest one where playsare still performed today.

Another palpable mark left by this Latin past is the Vía de la Plata, ancient commerce route between Mérida and Astorga. Two thousand years on, you can still walk along the 470 km of this Roman road and wonder at the fact that it is still one of the main communication routes that form the backbone of the west of Spain.

Examples of its subsequent Barbarian and Visigoth past are the walls of the towns of Mérida, Cáceres and Coria.

The Muslims also enriched the cultural heritage of Extremadura. Five hundred years of influence left numerous marks whichcan be found all over the region that was the Taifa kingdom of Badajoz. The fortifications of Mérida and Badajoz bear witness to this, as do the Plaza Alta, the Aljibe in Cáceres and Trujillo castle.

This region's Christian past was marked, fundamentalmente, by its contribution to the American enterprise. The land of discoverers like Núñez de Balboa, Francisco de Pizarro or Hernán Cortés, among others.

Three places in Extremadura have been distinguished as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the old town of Cáceres, Mérida and its Roman sites and the Royal Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

And it is not only the region's artistic and architectural heritage that will dazzle you - its scenic beauty will have the same effect on you. Venture into its protected natural spaces and visit the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve, the Monfragüe National Park(declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO) or any of its natural parks.

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