Medellin—a small town packed with history

 From the castle at Medellin you have vistas of the town and valley below.

From the castle at Medellin you have vistas of the town and valley below.

You can be forgiven for never having heard of Medellin, a small town in the northern part of the province Extremadura. Medellin, a smaller version of its cousin city Merida, has history oozing out of every last street. Now Medellin is an almost unnoteworthy village of around 2000 in population, but it was a bustling centre for centuries. It even has prestige city in Columbia named after it by Hernán Cortés who was from Medellin. 

 The Roman amphitheatre stands at the foot of the castle in Medellin

The Roman amphitheatre stands at the foot of the castle in Medellin

The Medellin Castle

A Roman camp-turned settlement is what started this village in 74 CE. The Romans left behind an impressive amphitheatre, however, it seems it was the Moors who built the castle as a fortress in the 10th century. This defence structure is perched on top of a hill and can be seen for kilometres away.  It was destroyed in the 12th century and rebuilt considerably larger in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The interior of the castle gives you a good impression of life in medieval Spain. It has spiral staircases, large fireplaces, narrow doorways and furniture that wasn’t built for comfort. Walking through such a castle helps one appreciate that it was built as a fortress dedicated to the life of a warrior more than to the leisure life of the nobility.

A unique place to appreciate the passage of centuries; From the Roman period, through the Muslim period and culminating in the Christian. It is worth going. The Tower of Homage offers spectacular views of the landscape.”

”This castle is full of the history of Spain and is not yet exploited it in a wild way. It is practically untouched which is what keeps it originality that makes it so authentic and special.
— *

Tours available

During the week there are only tours available in the afternoon, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

On weekends and holidays the castle is open to visitors from 11:30 - 1:30 and again from 3:30-6:30

Price:

Adults: 2 Euros

Children: free

Seniors: 1 Euro

 13th century San Martin church in Medellin

13th century San Martin church in Medellin

San Martin church—one of the oldest medieval religious buildings in the province of Badajoz  

The church of San Martin was actually built on top of the remains of a Roman temple in the 13th century. It is rare to see this type of architectural style, Romanesque, so far south.

San Martin also has a claim to fame as the church where Hernán Cortés was baptized. Cortés was famous (or shall we say infamous) in history as a conqueror of Mexico who led the expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec empire.

 

 The Celia church in Medellin can be seen in the centre of the town

The Celia church in Medellin can be seen in the centre of the town

The "newer" church in Medellin was built in the 16th century

In the centre of town you will find a what Medellin considers to be a newer church built in the 16th century. It was originally built in a Gothic style but later was added on. It seems to have been added on by sections and as a result is a bit piecemeal.

 Even after four centuries have passed, this is still an impressive bridge

Even after four centuries have passed, this is still an impressive bridge

The Austrias bridge

This impressive bridge was built in the 17th century. It has 20 stone arches incorporated in its stonework design. A unique feature of this bridge is its width—5 meters—unusually wide for the time period.

How to get to Medellin

From Madrid

If you are driving from Madrid Take the A5 (Extremedura highway) to exit 20 (A1) highway. Finally take EX 206 and follow the directions to Medellin. (3 hours and 15 minutes from Madrid)

From Merida

 

Get on E-90/A-5/A-66.  Follow A-5 to N-430. Take exit 316 from A-5. Follow N-430 and EX-206 to Medellín

*quotes are from comments on Trip Advisor