Located on the banks of the Guadiana River, only six kilometres away from Portugal, Badajoz (the largest province in Spain) has always been marked by its proximity to the border. A stroll around the historic quarter will reveal Arab walls, interesting monuments, as well as picturesque streets and porches. Badajoz is also an excellent starting point for further travelling through the Land of Barros, Mérida and the Cornalvo Nature Reserve. In all these places you can try the delicious Extremaduran cuisine. The primitive citadel of Civitas Pacis was already widely known during Roman times, yet the Moors were the ones who gave it its present name, when they called it Batalyoz in the 8th century. The city gained enormous political and military relevance when it became one of the Taifa kingdoms that proliferated in the Peninsula following the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba —the Muslim power that ruled the occupied territories— in the 11th century. Reconquered in the 13th century by the Christian Monarchs, the city reinforced its fighting spirit due to its location on the so-called "line", the boundary between Spain and Portugal.Arab heritage. The historic need for a good defence system is evidenced by its strategic location, on the banks of the Guadiana Riverand over the Muela Hill, a walled precinct made of walls, gates and bastions. The Alcazaba (citadel), declared Historic-Artistic Site, dominates the whole defence network. Its Almohad walls surround beautiful gardensand the Palace of the Dukes of Roca, which presently houses the Regional Archaeological Museum. Here there are more than 15,000 pieces found in the numerous archaeological sites in the province.
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