Valverde de la Vera
"Empalaos" in Easter week in Valverde de la Vera
The town has managed to preserve the famous "verata" architecture, traditional of the region of La Vera, which includes streets with ditches on the sides, arcaded squares, as well as houses made of stone, adobe and wood, with balconies. The scenery of Valverde de la Vera is not the only reason why the town is so beautiful and unique. The townspeople have managed to take care and cherish its traditional monumental heritage, to the point that this city was declared a Historic-Artistic Site. From its castle, which dates back to the 12th-14th centuries, there are two defence towers that still remain, and which are today part of the church, while the keep was built in the 15th century. The church of Ntra. Sra. de las Fuentes Claras, from the 15th-16th centuries, combines Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and even Arab styles, with Churrigueresque and Romanesque reredos. In the main square, or Plaza Mayor we find examples of traditional architecture. Also remarkable is the Gothic pillory column, symbol of the status of village. But, without a doubt, Valverde de la Vera is famous for the "empales" of Holly Week. These are penitents, with no clothing but old petticoats and a veil covering their faces, who carry a plough beam tied to their bodies with esparto ropes. Everyone in the town takes part in the Way of the Cross, keeping absolute silence.