Province towns and villages (I)

Ciudad Rodrigo

Ciudad Rodrigo is an attractive walled town just 30 km away from the Portuguese border and located on the right bank of the Agueda River. Due to its privileged situation, it has a vast and varied history, as a result of the many border disputes that took place in this area. Neolithic settlers found it an ideal place to live in these lands west of Salamanca. Throughout times, this place has acquired architectural structures for war that have transformed it into one of the most interesting fortified areas in the whole western part of the Iberian Peninsula. The beautiful castle is now a national parador (state-run hotel). The town is also worth visiting because of its golden-coloured stone buildings, Renaissance palaces and churches; especially the cathedral, begun in 1165 and exhibiting magnificent carved choir stalls and a beautiful altarpiece at Cerralbo chapel. In 1944 Ciudad Rodrigo was declared a National Heritage town. It is recommended to visit Ciudad Rodrigo during the Carnival of the Bull festivity. In those days there are numerous celebrations in which the running of the bulls is the main spectacle.

Bejar

Bejar is a small town between mountains, known for its textile industry of capes, woollens and blankets. It has roman ruins and other important historical sites like the Palace of the Dukes and the XIIIth century Churches of St. Mary Major and St. John the Baptist. Bejar is not only famous because its architecture but also its beautiful gardens, promenades and mountain scenery in its surroundings. Along with the Cuerpo de Hombre River, the snowy hillsides of the Bejar Mountain Range are a perfect backdrop against which the little town stands out. Its labyrinthic urban layout still shows characteristics of an old village which can be seen along the walk toward the Palace of the dukes of Béjar. The Romanic churches, the City council, San Francisco's old convent, the sculptor Mateo Hernández museum or the Renaissance Forest garden are all worth visiting sites. The most picturesque celebration of Bejar is the one of the Men of Moss, when local people disguise themselves with moss all over the body. After the urban stroll you can also visit the nearby summits of the Covatilla ski resort

La Alberca

La Alberca was the first of Spain's country villages to be declared a National Heritage place. In the heart of the Francia Mountain Range, it is renowned in national tourism as one of the most attractive and picturesque enclaves in the whole country. It displays narrow alleys, rustic houses made with granite and wood and souvenir shops selling local products, like handicrafts, nougat candy, Serrano ham or honey. The center place in the village is the Plaza Mayor, where a cross and a fountain stand out between charming narrow streets. The old jail, the church, the theatre or several bridges are other singularities of traditional mountain architecture. August is the best month to visit La Alberca and enjoy its festivities in the traditional Ofertorio de Nuestra Señora and the religious play of La Loa.

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