Crossed by the rivers Tajo and Tiétar, the Natural Park of Monfragüe rises as unique example of the Mediterranean forest and its magnificent biodiversity
The Natural Park of Monfragüe, situated in the northeast of the Province of Cáceres, is one of the natural treasures that contributes to grow Extremadura. Crossing the rivers Tajo and Tiétar, which converge in its interior, rises offering a unique example of Mediterranean forest and the biodiversity that it offers, giving rise to an explosion of nature and life unforgettable to senses. Inside the figure of Natural Park there are the municipalities of Malpartida de Plasencia, Serradilla and Torrejón el Rubio. In addition to these municipalities, Casas de Millán and Mirabel found themselves inside the limits of the ZEPA (Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves) Zone of Special Protection to Birds, declared in 1989 and of the Reserva de la Biosfera Biosphere Reserve, declared in 2003.
To penetrate in this natural space means to do it also in a fertile history that go back to prehistory (2.500 years BC), together with its successive settlers: Celtics, Iberians, Romans, Arabs or the Christians and its Reconquest. The results of this succession of peoples and cultures is the rich cultural patrimony of the zone (resulting in an enormous variety of singular festivals and traditions) or its significant monumental richness.
In relation to the interesting collection of patrimonial goods worth to visit, the settlement of El Arco and the popular architecture with century XIX’s chimneys in Cañaveral are to highlight; the Church of San Nicolás of Bari and the Palace House in Casas de Millán; the Church of San Juan Bautista and the chapel of Ntra. Sra. de la Luz in Malpartida de Plasencia; the Ruinas del Castillo and Church of Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción in Mirabel; the Franciscan Convent of El Palancar in Pedroso de Acím; the Monasterio del Cristo de la Victoria in Serradilla; and the Castle and chapel of Monfragüe in Torrejón el Rubio.
The craftsmanship of the zone with exquisite works in bobbin, embroidery, crochet and leather goods are specially attractive, as well as the folklore and the autochthonous gastronomy, based on craft products in which homemade sweets are notable (fritters, curlies, floretas), the honey and the cold meats resulting from the traditional slaughter.
To complete its immersion in the culture and the costumes of the place, the traveller also has inescapable appointments with the various festivals and processions that each year, among the popular fervour, tinging with colour and light all the villages of the zone.