1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cáceres (city)

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CÁCERES, the capital of the Spanish province of Cáceres, about 20 m. S. of the river Tagus, on the Cáceres-Mérida railway, and on a branch line which meets the more northerly of the two Madrid-Lisbon railways at Arroyo, 10 m. W. Pop. (1900) 16,933. Cáceres occupies a conspicuous eminence on a low ridge running east and west. At the highest point rises the lofty tower of San Mateo, a fine Gothic church, which overlooks the old town, with its ancient palaces and massive walls, gateways and towers. Many of the palaces, notably those of the provincial legislature, the dukes of Abrantes, and the counts of la Torre, are good examples of medieval domestic architecture. The monastery and college of the Jesuits, formerly one of the finest in Spain, has been secularized and converted into a hospital. In the modern town, built on lower ground beyond the walls, are the law courts, town-hall, schools and the palace of the bishops of Cória (pop. 3124), a town on the river Alagon. The industries of Cáceres include the manufacture of cork and leather goods, pottery and cloth. There is also a large trade in grain, oil, live-stock and phosphates from the neighbouring mines. The name of Cáceres is probably an adaptation of Los Alcázares, from the Moorish Alcázar, a tower or castle; but it is frequently connected with the neighbouring Castra Caecilia and Castra Servilia, two Roman camps on the Mérida-Salamanca road. The town is of Roman origin and probably stands on the site of Norba Caesarina. Several Roman inscriptions, statues and other remains have been discovered.