The gem of Extremadura, hill-perched Trujillo (pop. 10,000) is an enchanting old-world town. It’s often called the Cradle of Conquistadors because the city produced over 600 explorers of the New World. Scattered with medieval palaces, Roman ruins, Arabic fortresses, and churches of all eras, Trujillo is a glorious hodgepodge of histories and cultures. Its most impressive monument is its tallest: A 10th-century Moorish castle that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding plains. The Plaza Mayor was the inspiration for the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco, Peru, which was constructed after Francisco Pizarro defeated the Incas. Festooned with stork nests, Iglesia de San Martin dominates the northeastern comer of the plaza. (Open M-Sa 10am-2pm and 4:30-7:30pm, Su 10am-2pm and 4:30-7pm. ‚1.30. Mass M-Sa at 7:30pm, Su 1 and 7:30pm. Free.)

Buses run from the corner of C. de las Cruces and C. del M. de Albayada to Madrid (212hr. 14-16 per day, ‚14). To get to Plaza Mayor, turn left up C. de las Cruces as you exit the station, right on C. de la Encamacion, then left on C. Chica; turn left on C. Virgen de la Guia and right on C. Burgos, continuing on to the Plaza (15min.). The tourist office is across the plaza and posts info in its windows when closed. (927 32 26 77. Open June-Sept. daily 9:30am-2pm and 4:30-7:30pm; Oct.-May 9:30am-2pm and 4-7pm.) Camas Bonl , C. Domingo Ramos 117, is off Plaza Mayor on the street directly across from the church. (927 32 16 04. Singles ‚12; doubles ‚21, with bath ‚30.) Try Hostal Trujillo , C. de Francisco Pizarro 4-6. From C. de las Cruces, turn right on C. de la Encar-nacion, then right again onto C. de Francisco Pizarro. (fax 927 32 22 74; Singles ‚24; doubles ‚40.) The Plaza Mayor teems with tourist eateries. Meson Alberca , C. Victoria 8, has an interior garden and an excellent three-course menu for ‚14-19. (Open Su-Tu and Th-Sa llam-5pm and 8:30pm-lam.) Postal Code: 10200.


Andalucia is all that you expect Spain to be flamenco shows, bullfighting, tall pitchers of sangria, white-washed villages, and streets lined with orange trees. The Moors arrived in AD 711 and bequeathed the region with far more than the flamenco music and gypsy ballads proverbially associated with southern Spain, sparking the European Renaissance and reintroducing the wisdom of Classical Greece and the Near East. Under their rule, Seville and Granada reached the pinnacle of Islamic arts and Cordoba matured into the most culturally influential Islamic city. Despite (or perhaps because of) the poverty and high unemployment in their homeland, Andalucians have always maintained a passionate, unshakable dedication to living the good life. The never-ending festivales, ferias, and car-navales of Andalucia are world-famous for their extravagance.

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