The first evidence of humans living in Cáceres is from the Late Paleolithic era, around 25,000 BC(!). Cáceres as a city was founded as Castra Caecilia by Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, a general who was Roman consul in 80 BC, and started to gain importance as a strategic city under Roman occupation. Remains found in the city suggest that it was a thriving center as early as 25 BC.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was occupied by the Visigoths (western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths) and entered a period of decline until the Arabs conquered Cáceres in the 8th century. The city spent the next few centuries mostly under Arab rule, although power alternated several times between Moors and Christians before being passed into Christian hands upon its reconquest by Alfonso IX of León in the early 13th century.
Cáceres flourished during the Reconquista and the Discovery of America, as influential Spanish families and nobles built homes and small palaces there. In the 19th century, Cáceres became the capital of the province of Extremadura, marking a period of growth which was halted by the Spanish Civil War. Because of the city’s blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture, the Old Town of Cáceres was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The Old Town also happened to be our last stop on our journey through Extremadura and boy do I wish we had allowed for more than just a day and a half. This city is truly magical.
During our recent family trip to Spain’s Extremadura region, we spent the better part of our one full day in Cáceres and we could have been there for three days at least to fully explore the Old Town and the surrounding region. I did have my Lumix GH4 in hand, so here are a few photographs taken around about one-third of the Old Town – enjoy…