Llerena & Zafra

City gate of Llerena

With Llerena and Zafra we visited two towns with lovely historic centres, city gates and beautiful places. The whole area was in the hands of the Order of Santiago after the Reconquista.

Plaza de España @ Llerena
City hall

The Moors were driven away from the area of Llerena in 1243 by the Spanish-Portuguese general and Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Paio Peres Correia. Afterwards Llerena became the headquarters of the Order in this area.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Granada

As the Plaza de España was not only used for the market, but also served as a bullfight arena, the adjacent church has two rows of balconies, from where the spectacle could be watched.

I talk to you, get up! Seriously??
Portico of the Palacio de los Zapata
Flower of the Day in front the city wall of Llerena
Lunch break along the road
Plaza Grande @ Zafra

In ancient times, Zafra was on the Via de la Plata, a road that was fortified by the Romans between Hispalis (Seville) and Asturica Augusta (Astorga). In the early 8th century the region was overrun by the Moors, whose rule lasted until the 13th century. The place name Safra or Çafra comes from this time. After the Reconquista Zafra was given to the Grand Master of the Order of Santiago.

Plaza Chica @ Zafra
Puerta de Jerez @ Zafra
Plaza Grande
Nice villa next to the Parador
Beautiful portal of the Hospital de Santiago
Palacio de los Duques de Feria – now the Parador

The fortress-like palace of the dukes of Feria dates from the 15th century but was rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries – it is the best preserved late medieval non-sacred building in the province of Badajoz and is now used as a Parador.

Palacio de los Duques de Feria

Before we now left the Extremadura, we had one last stop, which was the monastery Tentudía at the top of a mountain at 1,104 metres. The first we did when we arrived there, was go to the restaurant where we managed to secure the last table on a Sunday noon. After lunch we were relaxed enough to visit the monastery.

Monastery Tentudía

The monastery of Tentudía is a church-fortress, built in the thirteenth century, expanded in the sixteenth and is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Mudejar.

Inner courtyard made of bricks
View into Huelva
Retablo Mayor – outstanding tile altarpiece
Chapel of the Masters of the Order of Santiago
Our last view of the Extremadura

From the monastery we had a last view over the mountains in the south of the Extremadura. We are now on the way to the coast. Cádiz – we are coming!! More on our next post!

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