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Plasencia is in the Caceres province in the Extremadura region of Spain.
Plasencia is an ancient city which sits in a loop of the Rio Jerte. It is surrounded by medieval walls. These were built in 1198 and incorporated seventy towers and eight gates as well as an Alcazar. Most, though not the Alcazar, remain however a lot of the walls have been used as the back walls of houses and so much is hard to see.
One of the main gateways into the town of Plasencia is the impressive Puerta de Trujillo o de La Salud. Step through here and you are in the heart of the old town which largely dates to the 15th century when noblemen of the region moved here and built palaces, imposing houses and religious buildings.
Once through the gate there is one of the main sights in Plasencia - the two cathedrals which are built back to back. The older one, the cathedral Vieja is Romanesque and contains a museum with works by Ribera.
The newer cathedral, the 16th century Catedral Nueva is an unfinished gothic cathedral. Builders had various difficulties with the construction and in the end just bricked up the open end. Inside though take a look at the Renaissance choir stalls carved by Rodrigo Aleman.
Also by here is the beautiful Casa Consistorial built in the 16-18th centuries. Its simple facade with rows of arched windows is very elegant.
Another historic building is the 15th century Convent of San Vincente Ferrer which is built on the site of a Jewish synagogue in the old Jewish quarter. It has a beautiful cloister with a Mudejar ceiling. The convent has been converted into the Parador of Plasencia and is a stunning hotel with a wealth of original architectural features.
Visit the Palace of Mirabel which has a lovely patio and garden and a collection of Roman busts and altar stones to see. Another lovely courtyard you can visit is in the distinctive red coloured Casa de los Varona y Vargas.
Walking round the old centre is very pretty and there are some amazing buildings. It is very quiet however and for a bit more activity head to the main square of Plasencia, the Playa Major, which is a lively one - especially on Tuesdays when Plasencia has an excellent weekly market. The Playa Major is also a good spot to head for for cafés and tapas bars. The town hall is also in the square.
Museums in Plasencia
The Museo Etnografico Textil Provincial is situated in a 14th century hospital. It contains a good selection of local costumes and crafts.
The La Vieja cathedral has a museum containing works by Ribera.
Festivals in Plasencia
The main festival in Plasencia is the Martes Mayor Festival which has been designated a festival of tourist interest. This takes place in August.
There is also a procession and festivities the first Sunday after Easter.
Places near Plasencia
Not far from Plasencia is the Monastery of Yuste where King Charles V lived for the last two years of his life. The Monastery is set in a lovely wooded valley.
Very close to Plasencia is Guadelupe and its UNESCO listed Monastery which is one of the most visited attractions in Spain. To the east of here is Trujillo which is probably the prettiest town in Extremadura and south of here is the stunning city of Caceres which is also UNESCO listed.