Valencia de Alcántara, a melting pot of cultures
If you like losing yourself in narrow alleyways to steep yourself in the atmosphere of former times, Valencia de Alcántara is an ideal destination. Valencia de Alcántara and its Gothic Jewish Quarter were declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in the Historical-Artistic Ensemble category in 1997.
Its frontier character is the key to understanding the artistic heritage and the history of this town, which is the life and soul of what we today refer to affectionately as ‘La Raya’ (the line). Many of its inhabitants took refuge in Castelo de Vide over the border when they were expelled from Spain by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. These links have been maintained over time.
Three cultures coexisted here, those of Christians, Arabs, and Jews, in a typically medieval irregular layout of narrow winding streets full of picturesque spots which have inspired numerous stories and legends.
Visitors can also get to know the magnificent synagogue, the castle and its Keep, and the Church of Santa María de Rocamador which was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in the Historical-Artistic Monument category in 1982 and houses important examples of sacred art by Berruguete, “the Divino” Morales, and Churriguera.
Few destinations have so much interesting history as Valencia de Alcántara, which has been inhabited since prehistoric times (the megalithic complex in its municipal district is one of the most important in Europe); it is a distinguished fortified frontier town with a melting pot of cultures.