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The Holy Place of Guadalupe.
The Monastery of Guadalupe and the Miraculous Image of the Virgin Mary.
Tens of thousands of religious people from all over the world make a pilgrimage each year to the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe. The monastery is today the most important pilgrimage site for Spanish and Latin-American Catholics. However, the central personage of the World Heritage Site Guadalupe is a poor shepherd from Caceres.
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Even if you have already read in guide books about the size of the Monastery of Guadalupe, you will still be impressed by its actual appearance. To reach the monastery, you drive from Trujillo a long while through less frequented A-roads and via small villages like Logrosan and Cañamero. Before reaching the destination, you have to drive over several kilometres on winding and narrow roads which lead through the dense forest of the Sierra de Guadalupe. You finally reach the small town Guadalupe that is clung to an abrupt hill. As the road progresses uphill, you will see at first only the top of the tower and the roof of the monastery. Just before the majestic building you will see the church and the whole complex shining in full splendour. Only then the question will emerge: how can such a gigantic construction have been set up in such a tiny little place?

Like a large number of monasteries, churches and knight orders in Extremadura, the monastery of Guadalupe was erected during the time of the Reconquista. According to the legend, a small cedar wood Madonna figure was the origin of the monastery. The figure was allegedly cut by the evangelist Luke. The Black Madonna is said to have trekked to Extremadura via Constantinople, Rome and Seville. An unknown person hid her on the waterfront from where a shepherd from Caceres found her in around 1400. Christian believers initially erected a small memorial chapel at the finding place. The Castilian King Alphonse XI ordered the building of a church and a monastery for the Spanish order of the Hieronymites in the middle of the 14th century, who also kept a convent in the Yuste Monastery. With the construction he wanted to thank the Virgin Mother for her support during the war against the Berbers. The building of the complex was the beginning of the success story of Holy Mary of Guadalupe. Sovereigns kept visiting the small mountain village. Kings prayed in the church for the Virgin’s blessing during the battle against the Moors. Conquistadors christened the first Indios in Guadalupe coming from the New World. As a result Guadalupe became the main pilgrimage site of Latin-American Christians. In the South-American subcontinent dozens of cities bear the name Guadalupe, testifying the impact of the small village there. Pope Pius X recognised the village as a pilgrimage site in 1907, and in 1928 the Catholic Church nominated the Blessed Virgin von Guadalupe as the patron saint of the whole Spanish-speaking world. The small Madonna figure has occupied the place in the middle of the high altar since the 17th century. It stands there holding a sceptre, carrying a royal cape and a crown. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world flock to this high altar each year.

The church and the monastery estate, which belong to World Heritage, possess so many sights that guests need more than one day to visit them all. The portal of the monastery church alone is of outstanding beauty and is built in a Gothic and Mudejar style. The portal was set up the same time as the cloister in the 15th century. It was also made by the Mudejar and counts among the most beautiful constructions in Spain. We recommend the nearby monk pictures of Extremadura’s painters like Francisco de Zurbaran in the sacristy, the relics and the treasure chambers as well as the small room behind the high altar, from where you have a close view of the Madonna. We warmly recommend visiting the former bishop towns Caceres and Plasencia, as well as the Yuste Monastery - the resting place of Charles V - to guests interested in order history and monastery architecture.

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Things to do before you travel to Spain
Extremadura’s Highlights| Art, Culture and popular Feats | Need a little bit Nature? | Extremadura’s Past | Extremadura, a country of savourers
A gift from the Gods The ancient Roman world in Extremadura | DThe vultures of Salto del Gitano. Natural and National Parks in Extremadura | Slowing down one’s Life The Felicity of Pilgrimage on the Silver Way through Extremadura | Guadiana’s good Wines Extremadura’s Wines and Gastronomy | What happens in Merida and Caceres, stays in Merida and Caceres Feasts and Festivals in Extremadura | Speaking like an Extremenian Spanish Courses in Extremadura | Putting near an Oak Tree Golf Courses and Wellness Offers in Extremadura | Over Hill and Dale. Hiking and Cycling in Extremadura | Flying through the air Ornithology in Extremadura | On the Fishing Path Angling in Extremadura | Canoeing in the town Rivers, Extremadura’s living arms | Palaces and pilgrim hostels Accommodation facilities in Extremadura | Farmers and Saints Religious tradition in Extremadura | Pork deluxe. The Iberian Pork of Extremadura | Do you know a better place to visit? Caceres has applied to be Europe’s Capital of Culture. | More than a word Sustainability and sustainable policy in Extremadura | The same sun is shining over all of us The odd fate of the small village Granadilla | They just call it “the line” Historical facts about the borderland between Spain and Portugal | Wandering through the Passage of Life The last Way of Emperor Charles V | The true life of the sword bearers Orders of knights in Extremadura | Jewish heritage must be preserved: Spanish Inquisition and its impact in Extremadura | The right behaviour in time of crisis. Learning from the Tartessos of Cancho Roano | Blossomy Treasures. Orchids in Extremadura. | The Wonder of Almendralejo Travelling Extremadura along the “wine trail” | Still moving Cheese and Sheep from Extremadura | Facing the enemies Castle complexes in Extremadura | The Holy Place of GuadalupeThe Monastery of Guadalupe and the Miraculous Image of the Virgin Mary | The short Trial between Jesus and Pilate Museums in Extremadura | Straightforward across the steppe Motorbiking in Extremadura | Exhibition instead of Defence Extremadura’s Congress Centres in Badajoz and Merida Exploring Extremadura, Spain
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