THE ADARVE AND STAR ARCH

Walking up the steps of the Main Square, we are met by this arch – and you could not really wish for a more glorious way to enter the old quarter. This opening served to separate the space belonging to the privileged situated behind the wall, occupied by palaces, stately homes, churches and fortified towers. The chance of residing inside the city walls was the reserve of only the most venerated of noble descent. Over on the other side, we find the Main Square, the administrative and commercial hub and also the Peace Hermitage, built specifically so that local traders could attend religious services during market hours. The Adarve, the inner ring roads were a series of passageways linking the various defence points occasionally rising to the tops of the city walls and giving access to towers in the likelihood of an attack. Note how the lower part of the wall was always left open to facilitate the movement of troops in such an event. These passages, as it commonplace in Cáceres, ended as a circular ring road. Urban development during the past few centuries has helped to preserve and protect the Arab wall just as the houses constructed against the wall itself have served to support it and prevent its collapse.