San Martín de Trevejo is a small municipality in the province of Cáceres. It is a place full of charm in the Sierra de Gata, very close to the border with Portugal, which takes place in the Jálama valley and on the banks of the Ágarro River. We travel to a place that combines nature, architecture and history. Are you coming to walk with us through this beautiful town?
Origin of San Martín de Trevejo
The origin of this Extremaduran town is still unknown. Although, it is evident that it could not be before the fourth century, since it is in that century that San Martín lived, the saint to whom this beautiful town is dedicated. It was the seat of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and capital of the Jálama district.
Some of the events that marked the history of this country took place in its territory. King Fernando II repopulated the region with settlers from the kingdom of León and Galicia. Hence the characteristic way of speaking of the inhabitants of the area: the mañego.
Previously it was known as San Martín de los Vinos, but from 1230 it was called de Trevejo. Its historic center is a perfect example of urban planning and medieval architecture, a fact that has earned it to be part of the Association The most beautiful towns in Spain.
What to see in San Martín de Trevejo
1. Its historic center and its popular architecture
Strolling through the streets of San Martín de Trevejo is wonderful. Its layout is that of a medieval town with narrow streets to which marvelous houses open, showing the popular architecture of the area. They are houses with stone facades on the first floor that are combined with upper floors made of half-timbered and exposed brick or plastered in white.
The latter are supported by wooden beams that protrude from the facade in the shape of dogs and that in this area are called stumps. In them we can find carved human faces. In the center of the streets you will find small streams that come from the waters of the Jálama.
And walking you will see the palace-houses of the Comendador or the Ojesto, among others. In addition, we recommend that you look at the names of the streets: you will see that they are written in Spanish and in Mañego or ‘a fala’. Pay attention to people’s conversations to be able to listen to this native dialect, it is one of the cultural jewels of this area of Extremadura.
2. The Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor stands out among the entire urban fabric. It is surrounded by beautiful stone arcades and has an ornamental fountain in the center also made of stone and dating from 1888.
In addition, you will find an imposing stone bell tower with a clock and belfry with bells that housed the prison on the ground floor. On its façade you will see a coat of arms of Carlos V dating from 1555. You will also see the Town Hall building, which presides over the square and bars where you can taste the typical gastronomy of San Martín de Trevejo.
3. Church of San Martín de Tours
It is located in the very heart of San Martín de Trevejo. And in it you can find the patron saint of the town, San Martín. It is a 17th century church with a floor plan of three naves and on whose apse there is a transparent Baroque that was made in 1753.
In its main altar you will see a baroque altarpiece from the 18th century presided over by Saint Peter and Saint Paul. And in its ships it keeps three treasures of Spanish art: some canvases by the mannerist painter Luis de Morales, nicknamed the Divine.
4. Other corners of San Martín de Trevejo
Many more are the monuments that you can find in this small municipality of the Sierra de Gata. Among them, the monastery of San Miguel stands out, today converted into a guesthouse. We must also mention the hermitage of the Blessed Cross, and in the vicinity of the town you can visit the ruins of the castle of San Juan Bautista.
In addition, there are many hiking trails that will take you to see old refrigerators dug into the rock that were used to store ice and snow from the mountains. You will also discover old wine presses and natural features of impressive beauty.