Trujillo is a small town, built around a hilltop fort. Throughout its history, it changed hands several times, and was finally reconquered by the Christians in 1232. It is believed that the Virgin of Victory helped the king Fernando III of Castille to take the town from the Arabs, and today she is celebrated as the town’s patron saint.
The most prosperous period was during the XVI Century, when Spanish kings were determined to colonise the New World. Extremadura was a poor man’s land, living conditions were harsh, and many Extremeños pursued fortune and adventure in the New World. They brought riches from their overseas journeys and most of the monuments in Trujillo are from that period.
Many of these conquistadors were from Trujillo. In fact, Trujillo is often referred to as the Cradle of the Conquistadors. Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of the Inca Empire in Peru, is the most famous one. You can see Charles Rumsey’s statue of Pizarro in the Plaza Mayor. It is rumoured that the statue was originally meant to represent a different conquistador, Hernán Cortés, but when the Mexicans refused to accept it, it was repurposed as Pizarro and presented to the Spanish instead.
If you visit in early May, we recommend you visit the Cheese Fair. It takes place the first weekend in May and the Plaza Mayor transforms into a bustling street market. Everyone is out having cheese tapas. It’s a good way of trying different cheeses before deciding which ones to take home.