Trujillo declared Spain’s most beautiful village by readers of National Geographic

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Trujillo, central square

After an intense competition, Trujillo has been named the most beautiful village in Spain in the annual contest by Viajes National Geographic magazine. This prestigious title highlights the unique charm and rich history of Trujillo.

This year’s competition was particularly fierce, with five villages vying for the title. The finalists were Sigüenza (Guadalajara), Alquézar (Huesca), Trujillo (Cáceres), Valldemossa (Mallorca), and Comillas (Cantabria). From 75 candidates, the readers of Viajes National Geographic ultimately chose Trujillo. It is known for its well-preserved mix of Renaissance buildings and remnants from Roman and Arab times.

Trujillo: a village rich in historical wealth

street in Trujillo world heritage city

©Else Beekman

Located in the Extremadura region, Trujillo is a village rich in history and culture. Its cobblestone streets and historic squares tell stories of Roman and Arab civilisations that once dominated this area. The imposing Trujillo Castle was originally built in the 11th century. Later, it was modified during the Reconquista, and is now one of the key attractions. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Trujillo experienced a period of prosperity. During which time, many churches, monasteries, and palaces were built. The Castle of Trujillo, situated at the highest point of the village, offers breathtaking views and serves as a historical reminder of both the Moorish and Christian periods. The Plaza Mayor is also a focal point in Trujillo. This is where the famous statue of Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of the Inca Empire, proudly stands.

Town of ‘conquistadores’

Trujillo’s history is closely tied to the Age of Discovery, the birthplace of some of the most famous conquistadors. Late 15th and early 16th centuries Spain was launching expeditions to the unknown parts of the world. The citie’s most most famous son is Francisco Pizarro, who led the conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru. Pizarro’s expeditions not only expanded the Spanish Empire’s reach to South America but also brought immense wealth back to Spain. Much of this was used to build palatial homes and churches in Trujillo, enriching the town with Renaissance architectural splendor. Alongside Pizarro, Trujillo was also the hometown of Francisco de Orellana, known for his exploration of the Amazon River, and Hernando de Alarcón, who explored parts of North America.

Francisco Pizarro and Francisco de Orellana

The legacy of these conquistadors is deeply embedded in Trujillo’s identity, with various monuments and buildings commemorating their exploits. The Plaza Mayor, the town’s main square, houses a prominent statue of Francisco Pizarro, and nearby, the Palacio de la Conquista, built by Pizarro’s family, displays carvings and reliefs that narrate tales of the conquests.

Cogesa Expats

Trujillo’s architecture, with its blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, reflects the wealth and cultural influences brought back from the Americas. This fusion is evident in the town’s numerous palaces, churches, and convents, which stand as a testament to the era when Trujillo’s sons played pivotal roles in the history of exploration.

conquistador trujillo

©Else Beekman

The town’s conquistador history is not only a tale of glory and heroism but also one of violence and exploitation, as these expeditions often led to the subjugation and suffering of indigenous populations. Today, Trujillo embraces its complex past by promoting cultural tourism that reflects on both the feats and the darker aspects of the Age of Discovery.

Vibrant traditions and culinary excellence

Trujillo is also renowned for its vibrant festivities, such as the Chíviri festival, celebrated on Easter Sunday, drawing visitors with traditional attire and folk dances. In early May, the Feria del Queso, a cheese festival, attracts thousands of visitors and boosts the local economy.

Also read: Trujillo, Extremadura – Conquistador Central

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