Well, it was actually half a day, as we arrived there at lunchtime and spent almost two hours having a massive lunch. All the afternoon walking we did made up for the calories, though. You can read about it here.
Trujillo’s main square is a jaw-dropping display of historical buildings. The beautiful arcade that is home to several restaurants, the equestrian statue of conqueror Francisco Pizarro and a number of palaces dating back to the 16th century will keep you busy for a while.
After our heavy lunch we wandered around the streets surrounding the main square and walked to the western side of the city walls, seeing a quite impressive Arab pool on the way.
I lived in Trujillo for a year when I was wee (I cannot remember). As it was my boyfriend’s first time in Extremadura, I thought it would be a good idea to join a guided tour in the afternoon. The tour (in Spanish) lasted about two hours and the tickets cost €7 per person. It was really cheap, considering you can visit seven monuments – two of them on your own.
Our tour started at San Martín church, one of the two monuments to see on your own. This huge church (14th-16th centuries) is located right in the main square. You can visit different areas, including the Baroque choir upstairs and a wide balcony with lovely views of the square.
The guided tour itself started, of course, at the square, and the guide took us next uphill to another church – iglesia de Santiago. The origins of this small temple date back to the 13th century, although many parts of the church have been restored afterwards. The views from the tower are good, but the best ones were yet to come!
The next stop was the Arab cistern, located just a short walk from Santiago church. The cistern dates back to the 10th century and is 10 m deep (I know, that’s room for a lot of rainwater!).
After the cistern it was time for another church – iglesia de Santa María la Mayor. I thought I would end up getting fed of seeing so many churches, but this one had something special. The interior was beautiful, but the best thing are the views from the tower. Absolutely awesome. For me this was the place with the best views, as you could see different things from each side of the tower: the square, the city walls, the castle or the pastureland. You choose!
On the way up to the castle we stopped at the Pizarro family’s house-museum. It is a two-floor house with a patio. The ground floor is a representation of how local people lived back in the 15th century and the first floor is dedicated to the conqueror Francisco Pizarro’s life in the Americas.
The last stop of the guided tour was the Arab castle. Built between the 10th and the 11th century atop a hill known as cabeza de zorro (‘fox head’), it has an almost military look due to its many defensive towers. Inside the castle walls you can find the remains of two cisterns and a little chapel. We got there just before sunset and it was the perfect moment to walk around the castle walls and take some pictures.
On our way back to the city centre we visited the Alfiler Tower, the other monument to see on our own and included in the ticket. This Gothic tower is one of the most characteristic symbols of the city and the coats of arms of two notable local families can be seen on the upper part. I thought it would have nice views over the main square and I was quite disappointed to find out the views were blocked (the windows were covered with wooden panels with tiny little holes). The little exhibition about the history of the city is worth the visit.
Even though it was just a short trip to Trujillo on our way to Don Benito, it was a really pleasant and enjoyable visit. I was amazed at the existing number of historical buildings and the views from Santa María church and from the castle were stunning. What an awesome little town!
Did you know?
There are cities named after Trujillo in 5 other countries than Spain. Read the article ‘4 Latin American cities named after places in Extremadura‘.
Distance: 256km from Madrid, 46 km from Cáceres, 94km from Mérida and 150 km from Badajoz
Address: Plaza Mayor
Opening times: Mon-Sun from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00.