HISTORY

ROUTE OF THE SILVER: A ROAD FULL OF HISTORY 

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Photograph: www.alberguedefuentedecantos.com

 

Via de la Plata is an old Roman road which was used to transport godos and troops. Its main function was to create a communication channel for merchants and travelers. To understand what “Via de la Plata” meant, we think it is essential to know its history and to have some walking sections.
This Roman Path crossed “Hispania”  and ,although  Merida was only an intermediate stage all the way,  the  “emeritense capital”, was considere an important political and administrative center for the rest of the Roman province.

Nowadays, if we focus on the community of Extremadura, this route runs through the territory from north to south starting in Baños de Montemayor through Plasencia, Caceres and Merida and out Monesterio.

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“Silver Way” or  “Via de la Plata”, in fact,has little to do with the trade of this precious metal. Its name derives from the Arabic Al-Balat meaning “paved way.” Possibly,  the association with this metal is due to the similarity in pronunciation. Also, “platus” (silver in Latin) means wide, flat, strip, something that fits perfectly with this term.The historical origin of this communication path is uncertain. During the protohistoric period began to emerge in the West of península some business contacts through a route which would be then called “Tin Road”. This route was used over the centuries by different peoples such as Visigoths, Arabs and Christians during the Middle Ages. It was also used as a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela from the south, which  still  remains. In Roman times, long-haul journeys were made on horseback and in various types of carriages. The trips were long so there were places to rest. Mansions were created to provide services to the travelers. Currently, the Via de la Plata concurs with the motorway A-66. Since the late twentieth century, the Via de la Plata has been revalued due to the tourist and cultural use. With our organized tours we will promote this value and we will provided you the opportunity to enjoy of a great variety of natural landscapes and a diverse architectural and archaeological heritage.