The walled town of Trujillo stands on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside between the Tagus and Guadiana rivers. If you’re arriving by car you’ll spot it from miles away. Like so many of its fellow towns and cities in the region of Extremadura, Trujillo has a wide and varied history which is visible in the buildings and artifacts found throughout the city. With a history that dates back a full 600 years before the birth of Christ it has much to tell.
It’s a good idea to park on the outskirts of the historical centre on arrival as much of the town is restricted to traffic and parking is discouraged. The Plaza Mayor is the start of any historical visit to Trujillo and has a statue of Francisco Pizarro in its centre. The 16th century Iglesia de San Martin on the square contains the tombs of various local noblemen and is worth a visit along with the Palacio de la Conquista and the Palacio de los Duques de San Carlos.
Romans, Visigoths and the Moors had settled in the town before the Christians reconquered it in 1232AD. One of the outstanding features of the city is the 10th century castle which was built by the Moorish armies on Roman foundations. The castle stands in the upper town offering great views across the plains below.
In spite of its rich history it was not until the discovery of the Americas and the expansion of the Spanish Empire that Trujillo really became famous. The town’s most famous resident was Francisco Pizarro, one of Spain’s great explorers and the man who both conquered Peru and found Lima. However, he is not the only famous son, all around the city you’ll see dedications to the likes of Francisco de Orellana who discovered the Amazon and Garcia Paredes who founded the Venezuelan city of Trujillo.
Some of the other places you should try and visit whilst in Trujillo are the Bullring, the Carmelita monastery that offers a delicious selection of biscuits and cookies and the Costume Museum.
The Parador de Trujillo is a fine place to stay in an 18th century convent and there’s a good range of other charming Trujillo hotels. An interesting alternative is to stay in an ancient traveller’s inn such as the Posada Dos Orillas.
When it comes to eating out there’s a good selection of reasonably priced restaurants to be found in Trujillo such as the Dos Orillas which serves a mixture of lamb and beef dishes all washed down with local red wines. On the Plaza Mayor, Restaurante Pizarro is a fine choice for traditional dishes whilst La Troya is the place for a huge, no nonsense slap up feast. A nice bar to look out for is Abadia which affords wonderful views of the illuminated castle at night.