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The Ancient Cathedrals of Plasencia | Extremadura, Spain (In Pictures)

If you've been following this blog (and why wouldn't you be?), you probably know that I took the family on a vacation to Spain last month with the goal of visiting the historic Extremadura region of this remarkable country. Our first stop from Miami was Madrid and then 108 km NW to the medieval city of Ávila. From Ávila, we continued 154 km SW on the scenic N-110 to our first stop in Extremadura, the city of Plasencia.

We arrived late and tired and checked in at the charming Hotel Exe Alfonso VIII. We then ventured out for a late dinner at Plasencia's Plaza Mayor, the city's main square. Plasencia was inhabited by Romans and Arabs until the 12th century, when King Alfonso VIII reconquered it. I was only able to spend a few hours the next morning in the main square and I shot a few images of the cathedral, which actually consists of two buildings which are built back to back: the "old" (Catedral Vieja) and the "new" (Catedral Nueva).

Construction on the "old cathedral" began in the 13th-century in a mostly Romanesque style. The 15th-century New Cathedral of Plasencia (or Catedral de Asunción de Nuestra Señora) was built in Gothic architectural style with high ceilings. Alas, I didn't have time to go inside (a shame because the old cathedral contains a museum featuring the works of Jusepe de Ribera, a 15th century Spanish Tenebrist painter and printmaker) or stray too far from the Plaza due to a tight itinerary that day. Due to its location, however, Plasencia makes for an excellent first (or last) stop on your Extremadura itinerary.

Plasencia

Plasencia's charming Plaza Mayor on a glorious morning...

Plasencia

Plasencia

Plasencia

Plasencia

Images from Plasencia's "New Cathedral"

Plasencia

Bell tower behind the new cathedral...

Plasencia

Here's the front of the smaller "Old Cathedral" to the right of the newer cathedral. The harsh sun limited my composition options (never forget to pack your lens hood!)

Plasencia

Top of the western façade behind the original church...

Plasencia

Walking the streets of Plasencia's old town...

Plasencia

One last look at the Cathedral from our hotel on Avenida Alfonso VIII

ORANGE STRIPE

Our next stop was about a 30 minute drive to Monfragüe National Park. Check for the photographs in my next post...

ORANGE STRIPE

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