Capable of inspiring Cervantes and Góngora
The city of Béjar is situated between Salamanca and Caceres, set amidst the mountain range of the same name ’ the Sierra de Béjar ’ covered with chestnut trees, foothill trees and bushes, and a wealth of flora throughout the massif. Its strategic location attracted Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian settlers, forming a rich heritage made up of churches, narrow streets and squares.
A 16th century castle stands on the site of the citadel, home to the Dukes of Béjar, who played a key role in the town’s cultural evolution; indeed, Cervantes dedicated part one of ‘Don Quixote’ to the Duke and Duchess, and Góngora wrote the poem ‘Solitudes’ in their honour.
The Duke and Duchess of Béjar built a recreational complex known as El Bosque de Béjar. Highlights of this Renaissance site include the historic gardens, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. Also of great interest Christian walls of Castilian repopulation during the reign of Alfonso VIII (late twelfth and early thirteenth), the ducal palace itself, the Church of Santiago and the Jewish quarter.