Saturday, January 28, 2017

tones of red and rust

Cáceres, located in the Extremadura region of Spain, is home to a stunning medieval town that boasts Roman, Islamic, Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. We decided to take a drive up from Marvão on New Year's Eve to wander Cáceres' tiny streets.

The setting sun cast a redness upon the buildings, which were primarily stone, some carpeted in spots of rusty-coloured lichen. I was not aware of it until this visit, but many of the Spanish conquistadors who ravaged the Americas came from Extremadura, and within the walls of Cáceres stands a building called the Palacio de Toledo-Moctezuma.

The daughter of Moctezuma II, Tecuichpoch Ixcaxochitzin (later baptized Isabel), founded a line of Spanish nobility in what seems to be a complicated series of marriages and widowing in which Hernán Cortés was involved— who fathered an illegitimate daughter with Doña Isabel. Her sixth and final husband came from Cáceres, and one of their sons eventually returned to the Spanish town to marry into a notable family, later constructing the palacio. Regrettably, my photos of the palacio's exterior are not very exciting, so we'll return to some eye-catching details in between the narrow streets.

The feet of San Pedro de Alcántara are polished golden by passing palms wishing for luck.