Who were the original Moors
The Arabs, especially the Moors, shaped the history, art and culture of the province of Extremadura for five centuries. A long period in history that began with the Battle of Guadalete in 711 and did not end until 1248. At that time in history, the province of Extremadura in Spain was on the border of the most important center of religion and art: the Caliphate and Emirate of Cordoba in Extremadura. At the end of the 11th century in history, after the Andalusian Omeyad fell in Extremadura, Badajoz even became an important Taifa kingship.
Almohads and Almoravids exerted new influences in religion and art on this province between the Tagus and Guadiana rivers during this period in the history of Extremadura and, like the Omeyas in politics, left a rich legacy and deep imprints in the provinces of the Moors many localities of Extremadura of Spain.
The Moors ruled in this area of Extremadura and in many localities of this province we can visit remnants of art and buildings of this time of the Moors, especially military fortresses and camps of the Moors, whose original form was partially preserved, but often also from new residents in of Extremadura were reformed. We also see this art and cultural heritage from history in our museums.
We start our route in the south of the province of Extremadura, on the old Roman road from Astorge to Itálica, which the Moors called "Silver Road". Today the N-630 runs at the point of the southern section of the Camino de Santiago. Along this Camino de Santiago we visit Montemolín, the last town to be recaptured in the Extremadura province of Spain. It preserves important buildings made of blocks and clay walls. Nearby is the splendid village of Reina of Extremadura, from the 12th century. From here you can see the Campiña Sur (southern region) and the foothills of the Sierra Morena in Extremadura. Of course, the story is everywhere. The remains of the Roman settlement Regina, with an interesting Roman theater, can be seen, for example.
The city of Zafra in the province of Extremadura, called "Sajra" by the Moors, was an important center of the Moors in Extremadura from the 11th century until the time after the city was retaken by Fernando III. in 1241.
The town retains the structure of this period of history in its alleys and the marketplaces testify to the predominance of trade at that time.
We leave Badajoz, continue to visit the city of Caceres. In this city in Extremadura, the Almohads erected magnificent defensive structures by drawing impressive masonry over the old Roman walls, which was supposed to protect them from the incursion of the Leonese troops.
This wall was built between the 11th and 13th centuries in the history of Extremadura, at the same time as that of Badajoz, but that of Caceres was destroyed. Only the floor plan and a few watchtowers can be seen.
Other towers were later renovated. These contemporary witnesses of history are the symbol of the city today. An important monument from this period is the cistern in the Palacio de las Veletas, now the seat of the Archaeological Museum of the Extremadura Province of Spain.
The cistern is in very good condition and complements the educational visit to one of the best museums in Extremadura. In the north of Extremadura, where the Moors ruled for a shorter time than in the south, there is one of the most beautiful masonry of the Almohads of Extremadura and Spain: we are talking about the restored masonry in Galisteo, a town near Plasencia.
The walls were built with river stones, which give them a special attractiveness. The village has been declared an Art and Historical Monument and preserves magnificent exhibits of the most beautiful Mudejar style in Extremadura.
From Galisteo we drive through the Extremadura landscape along the Tagus River to Trujillo and on the trip we cross the Monfrague Natural Park, where we can also visit the remains of a fortress of the Moors on one of the many rocky hills of this paradise with the Tagus River.
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