Spain/Extremadura: Jerez de Los Caballeros

Jerez de Los Caballeros was a major fortified town during the Moorish times and the entire town is surrounded my massive walls. Then it was conquered by Alfonso IX in 1229 and his son Ferdinand later gave the whole town to Knights Templar (hence the “los caballeros” or “knights” in the name). Knights Templar fortified the town even further into a Christian stronghold and built magnificent churches and palaces in place of former mosques. Actually, the town is known for its four superb churches – San Bartholomew, Santa Maria, San Miguel, and Santa Catalina – all from 15-16th centuries. Church of San Bartholomew is the most dramatic and stunning – the red and blue decorations are just incredible as is its position on the very highest point in town. Driving a bit outside of Jerez de los Caballeros, you can see one of the amazing cityscape panoramas of a medieval town – the four churches rising over a white town in nearly a straight line