7 Best Sights in Trujillo, Extremadura

La Villa

Fodor's choice

This is Trujillo's old town, enclosed by restored stone walls. Follow them along Calle Almenas, which runs west from the Palacio de Orellana-Pizarro, beneath the Alcázar de Los Chaves, a castle-fortress that was converted into a lodge in the 15th century and hosted dignitaries including Ferdinand and Isabella. Now a college, the building has seen better days. Continue west along the wall to the Puerta de San Andrés, one of La Villa's four surviving gates (there were originally seven). Views from the hilltop are particularly memorable at sunset, when spotlights illuminate the old quarter.

Plaza Mayor

Fodor's choice

One of the finest plazas in Spain, this Renaissance gem is dominated by a bronze equestrian statue of Francisco Pizarro—the work of American sculptor Charles Rumsey. Notice the Palacio del Marqués de la Conquista, the most dramatic building on the square with plateresque ornamentation and imaginative busts of the Pizarro family flanking its corner balcony. It was built by Francisco Pizarro's half-brother Hernando.

Iglesia de Santa María La Mayor

Attached to a Romanesque bell tower, this Gothic church is the most beautiful in Trujillo. It's only occasionally used for Mass, and its interior has been virtually untouched since the 16th century. The upper choir has an exquisitely carved balustrade, and the coats of arms at each end indicate the seats Ferdinand and Isabella occupied when they came here to worship. Note the high altar, circa 1480, adorned with great 15th-century Spanish paintings. To see it properly illuminated, place a coin in the box next to the church entrance. Climb the tower for stunning views of the town and vast plains stretching toward Cáceres and the Sierra de Gredos.

The optional audio guide is worth the €1 fee.

Pl. de Santa María, Trujillo, 10200, Spain
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Museo de la Coria

Near the Puerta de la Coria and occupying a former Franciscan convent built in the 15th century, this museum's exhibits on Spain's conquest of Latin America are similar to those in the Casa Museo de Pizarro but with an emphasis on military achievements. If you can get past the colonial propaganda, the museum is worth visiting if only for a look inside the old convent's two-tier central cloister.

Palacio de Orellana-Pizarro

The Palacio de Orellana-Pizarro, renovated by the conquistador Juan Pizarro himself in the 16th century, is now a school and has one of the most elegant Renaissance courtyards in town. The ground floor, open to visitors, has a deep, arched front doorway; on the second story is an elaborate Renaissance balcony bearing the crest of the Pizarro family. Miguel de Cervantes, on his way to thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for his release from prison, spent time writing in the palace.

Pizarro House Museum

The Pizarro family residence is now a modest museum dedicated to the connection between Spain and Latin America. The first floor emulates a typical home from 15th-century Trujillo, and the second floor is divided into exhibits on Peru and Pizarro's life there. The museum explains the "Curse of the Pizarro," recounting how the conquistador and his brothers were killed in brutal battles with rivals; those who survived never again enjoyed the wealth they had achieved in Peru. Glaringly absent from the museum is any mention of what Pizarro's conquests wrought: mass murder of Incas, feudalism and enslavement, forced conversions to Catholicism, and so on.  The museum closes from 2 to 4.

Calleja del Castillo 1, Trujillo, 10200, Spain
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Trujillo Castle

For spectacular views, climb this large fortress—a Game of Thrones filming location—built by the Moors in the 9th century over older Roman foundations. To the south are silos, warehouses, and residential neighborhoods. To the north are green fields and brilliant flowers, partitioned by a maze of nearly leveled Roman stone walls, and an ancient cistern. The castle's size underscores the historical importance of now-tiny Trujillo.