A Trujillo Visiting Trujillo, Spain
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When I was six or seven years old I didn’t just wonder about visiting Trujillo. I wondered what Trujillo was, besides my last name. What place did the name come from? And where was that place? Obviously, with Trujillo as my last name, my father was quick to explain our family’s heritage, going back about three generations. But my curiosity only grew over the years.
Visiting Trujillo… Which One?
There are two places in the world with the name Trujillo. A city in Peru and a village in Spain. I finally got the chance to visit the latter, Trujillo, Spain. It was quite serendipitous.
I was on a road trip with Amalia and her family when we realized that Trujillo just happened to be along our route. In true traveler style, I wanted to get a picture of myself near the exit sign outside of the village. I’m not much of a gaper or a selfie taker, but I wanted to share the photo with my family back in the US.
Spontaneously Visiting Trujillo
Rather than just stop along the highway, we decided to go into the village, it looked small after all, and enjoy una fria (a cold beer) before continuing. We all felt we could use a little break from the road too.
So we exited the auto via, drove into the village, and immediately noticed that they have a castle! An amazing, ancient Majadur Roman-Moorish spectacular piece of history. That’s not the only historic architecture either. As we would soon discover, it turns out that practically the entire village maintains its medieval architecture.
We found a spot to park and through winding streets made our way to the town center and its Plaza Mayor. It was like an oasis that took you back in time and was very lively and social.
We had shown up at the right time during la merienda, the typical tradition of a snack in the late afternoon before dinner. It’s like the equivalent of American happy hour! We found some cold ones and other incredible edibles.
The Charms of Visiting Trujillo
The ham, jamon pata negra, is made from the black pigs in the area who feed on acorns. And yes, it does taste like nutty acorns!
All foodies out there: this ham is truly not to be missed. Also try the chorizo, the Manchego cheese (Trujillo hosts Spain’s prestigious National Cheese Fair every year), the olive oil, and obviously the wine.
Visiting the Castle of Trujillo
The next morning, we walked around the beautifully maintained village and decided that while we were here we should visit the castle. The castle used to be a Roman then Arab fortress and is in amazing condition.
If you love Game of Thrones (or used to), you may recognize the Trujillo castle from season seven. It was Casterly Rock in the episode where the Unsullied took the fortress from the Lannisters.
Almost the entire castle is accessible to the public and there are beautiful views of the village and the Extremaduran countryside from the battlements on top of the castle walls. Before you begin your castle adventure make sure to take a look at the ancient carved rock formation near the main entrance.
Travel Fact: The entrance fee to the castle is only €1.50 for adults and children are free.
More Facts About Trujillo
Trujillo is located in the heart of the region of Extremadura, about a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Madrid. It was originally built during Roman rule and you can see the evidence everywhere. However, even earlier than that Trujillo was founded in prehistoric times on a granite batholith, a type of rock extrusion that extends from deep within the earth.
Trujillo, Spain is very well known by most Latin Americans because Extremadura was home to Spain’s famous conquistadors. Trujillo was the birthplace of Peru conqueror Francisco Pizarro. A majestic statue of him on his horse is in the town’s Plaza Mayor. We also learned that the other Trujillo in Peru is named after this village.
To learn more history when in Trujillo, make sure to visit the Casa Museo de Pizarro (the Pizarro house museum).
One of Spain’s Gems
In my opinion, Trujillo’s Plaza Mayor is one of Spain’s gems. It is surrounded by Renaissance and Baroque architecture and unique facades complete with towers and turrets that are topped off with nesting storks.
I was told later that many of the buildings in Trujillo and the area were financed with wealth brought back from the conquests. I met a Trujillo historian in the town’s museum and his face lit up when I told him my name. He said, ¡Deberias estar muy orgulloso! (you should be very proud).
Finally Visiting Trujillo
Visiting Trujillo is by far on the top of my list for small Spanish villages. It is absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway or a creative retreat. I certainly didn’t expect Trujillo to be so enchanting.
Just because I share my name with the village was the reason we first discovered it. We have visited the village many times since and have always enjoyed the people, the food, and the personality of the village itself.
Funny enough, I never did get that photo by the sign! At least not yet.