Trujillo: Home of the Conquistadors

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My adventures in Spain have brought me to another castle town, though one that is much smaller than Cáceres, which is already considered a small city when compared to places like Madrid. Trujillo is rich and history, for it is home to many of the conquistadors that American students learn about in history classes. Francisco Pizarro, for example, is a famous conquistador that was from Trujillo.

The Architecture in Spain is breathtaking

For those who love observing architecture, Trujillo offers a rich variety of different castles and churches. The main plaza (AKA La Plaza Mayor) has historical palaces surrounding its perimeter. Most of the palaces have facades (the front of the house) that have murals etched into the facade’s stone. Although faded over the years, the facades still hold stories about the people who lived there.

 

The Plaza Mayor in Trujillo. The green statue is a statue of Francisco Pizarro — one of the most famous conquistadors from Trujillo.

 

More modern buildings of the Plaza Mayor. The plazas in Spain are named as such for two reasons: one, because the plaza is usually the center of major roads during the time period they were built (I.E. not necessarily the middle of the city due to expansion); and two, because the plazas are major tourist attractions. The white awnings towards the middle left of the picture cover a small outside restaurant. Outside seating is a common practice among the streets of Spain. People will often spend 2 to 3 hours at a restaurant socializing.

Since Trujillo is a castle city, it has ruins from its original castle walls. These walls are referred to as the “old wall,” which has been partially torn down to allow for expansion of farms and houses. On that note, Spain is a huge agriculture culture, so farms are very important for sustainability of the farmer’s market.

 

One of the puertas of Trujillo. In Spanish, puerta can mean door or portal. Each castle city in Extremadura typically has four entrances — with each entrance allowing transportation of goods from other cities. Some cities nowadays have had their puertas torn down for expansion. Trujillo is one of the few to still have all four intact.

Religion begins to expand in Extremadura

Unsurprisingly, the home of the conquistadors has a fair share of Roman Catholicism spread across the city, whether by churches, or shrines to the Virgin. At the highest peak of the city lies the castle of Trujillo. There, one can see the entire Old Wall as well as the city on the opposite side. Inside of the castle lies a museum dedicated to the Virgin.

 

Fun fact: the statue of the Virgin lights up at night and will also turn around if you insert a coin next to her (she usually looks outside the window).

All in all, I have really gained insight about the connections between Spain and American history by visiting the place where it all began: Trujillo.

I only have one more weekend in Spain, but I will enjoy traveling to one more historical city. I will adventure in Mérida, an ancient Roman city that still has Roman architecture preserved. There, I will conduct research on the connections between ancient Spain (Roman influence) and contemporary Spain (cities such as Trujillo and Cáceres).

Until next time!