(Last Updated On: 12/11/2018)
 Do not be fool by its size, Medellin is small in population but big in history. Located in the central area of Extremadura and only 46 km away from Mérida, it is a good place to consider for a short day trip.

Founded by the Romans in 79 BC as a military base for operations in western Iberia, the village was conquered by the Arabs in 768 and remained under their influence for five centuries. Medellin is also the birthplace of Hernan Cortée, a notable and controversial Spanish conqueror of the Americas.

The number of monuments that can be seen today are a proof of the historical relevance of Medellín. If you are travelling from Madrid to Merida or Badajoz, why don’t you stop for a day to enjoy this little gem?


What to see in Medellin

The Visitor Centre

On the way up to the castle you will find the Visitor Centre, situated in a church dating back to the 13th century. Here you can learn about the history of the village and see some good examples of Roman sculpture.

Medellín Visitor Centre

Opening times: Tue 15:30-18:00; Wed-Sun 10:30-13:30 and 15:30-18:00

Price: €3 (Visitor Centre + Roman theatre)


The Roman Theatre

There is a very important archeological site on the hillside. In 2008 a Roman theatre almost 50 years older than the famous theatre in Merida was found; today some plays of Merida Classic Theatre Festival are held here during the summer. The views are absolutely stunning and I cannot wait to go back during the festival. When I say the archeological site is very important I am not kidding. Just barely a month ago they discovered Roman sewers (30 m) and a 14th century cemetery with 30 graves. If they keep on digging, who knows what the next discovery will be!

Roman Theatre in Medellin


Medellín Roman theatre seen from the castle

Views of the theatre and the Visitor Centre from the castle


Opening times: Tue 15:30-18:00; Wed-Sun 10:30-13:30 and 15:30-18:00

Price: €3 (Visitor Centre + Roman theatre)


The Castle

The castle as it is today dates back from the 14th century but, in reality, it is actually older, as the Arabs already wrote about it in the 10th century. There is a number of things to see here: two robust defensive towers with great views, the ruins of the first local church, a big Arab pool, an Arab cistern and a small museum displaying copies of conquerors’ utensils and instruments.

Medellín castle


Medellín castle

Opening times: Tue 15:30-18:00; Wed-Sun 10:30-13:30 and 15:30-18:00

Price: €2


The bridge – Third time lucky

The first bridge was built by the Romans and was destroyed by floods in the 15th century. The second one had the same fate only 28 years after its construction. The bridge that stands today is 400 m long and dates back from 1630, although rest of the two previous bridges can be seen on both sides of the river.

Medellín bridge


The main square

Called after Hernan Cortes, the main square is dominated by a statue in honour of the said Spanish conqueror. It is a good place to take some snaps of the castle. In the streets surrounding the square you can find several palaces from the 19th century and traditional houses.

Hernán Cortés square, Medellín


Where to eat: Restaurante Quinto Cecilio

This is one of the best restaurants in the area and certainly the best choice in Medellín if you are looking for a good place to eat with a view. It is located on top of a hill (car needed) and has a good-size terrace overlooking the castle and the surroundings.

Last time I went to this restaurant I ordered rice with clawed lobster and it was delicious. Their rice with hare is also very tasty. If you are a small group order their dessert sample menu to share. You are welcome.

Quinto Cecilio terrace views

Views of the castle from the terrace.


Where: Urbanización Quinto Cecilio Metelo s/n


Did you know?

There are four other cities in the world named after Medellín. Read more in ‘4 Latin American cities named after places in Extremadura’.

Population: +2,300
From Madrid: 325 km
From Cáceres: 112 km
From Mérida: 46 km
Tourist Office
Address: Plaza de Hernán Cortés s/n
Email: [email protected]



© Piggy Traveller. All rights reserved

An Oxford-based Spanish sworn translator and content writer working as ICR Translations, sharing my home region of Extremadura with the world to encourage travellers to discover a different Spain. I also blog in The Curiolancer. Follow me on Instagram.

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