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 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.
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
Adults: 2 Euros
Seniors: 1 Euro
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 "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.
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
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)
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