Villanueva de la Vera is located within the province of Cáceres, bordering to the west with Valverde de la Vera (3.3 kms away), to the east with Madrigal de la Vera (9.8 kms away) and to the south with the towns of Talayuela, Tietar and Pueblonuevo de Miramontesand with the districts of La Barquilla y Barquilla de Pinares. To the southeast, it borders Oropesa, which already belongs to the province of Toledo, and to the north, in the province of Ávila, it borders Navalonguilla and Bohoyo.
Villanueva de la Vera is 498 meters above sea level. Its municipality has an area of about 132.5 km ², being the population of the region with the largest jurisdiction. It is bordered to the north by the Sierra de Gredos and to the south by the Tiétar River.
To feel the magic of our town, the traveler must spend time connecting with all his senses…
Due to its strategic location, the territory of Villanueva de la Vera was populated since the Iron Age, as evidenced by many of the remains found in the Cerro de El Castrejón, La Olivilla or the site of Pajares. But it was during the medieval period when Villanueva, like the rest of the towns in the region of La Vera, became more important and socially dynamic.
With the foundation of the city of Plasencia in the 12th century, the southern part of the Sierra de Gredos began to be repopulated. The new inhabitants came mostly from the lands of Avila and mixed with the local population, which inhabited small villages.
Villanueva de la Vera was founded between 1452 and 1470, with the fusion of four small villages, Casillas, La Mesa, Curuela and Salobrar, which depended politically and administratively on Plasencia until the end of the 13th century, when Sancho IV ceded the villages to the Chancellor of the Queen, D. Nuño Pérez de Monroy.
Finally, it was under this lordship that the four villages were united under the name of Villanueva.
Subsequently, the property will pass to his brother, D. Fernando, and then to his heirs until the 15th century, when it passed into the hands of the Counts of Nieva, D. Diego López de Zúñiga and Dña. Leonor Niño de Portugal.
Until the seventeenth century, Villanueva was a village belonging to the State of Nieva, whose head was the town of Valverde. Therefore, there was only one jurisdiction and justice was imparted by the Mayors of Valverde, who in turn were elected by the Counts of Nieva.
Villanueva was gaining importance and increasing its population, which led it to become the most important village of the lordship of Valverde. On June 25, 1643, the Marquis of Mota and Count of Nieva offered to exempt Villanueva from the jurisdiction of Valverde in exchange for 3500 ducats, allowing the residents to buy their independence.
Villanueva de la Vera was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1982, due to the beauty and good state of preservation of the houses, which correspond to the popular architecture of the region, based on the use of a type of wooden framework. That is, the houses were built with a wooden frame filled with brick, adobe or stone.
As it is a relatively fragile construction system, the urban fabric is organized around large groups of houses, with a tendency to be narrow and deep.
Thus, large blocks arise in which cul-de-sacs open up in which the entrances to the houses are located. These alleys are currently embellished by numerous plants, known as pilistras, which the neighbors have at the door of their homes, giving a unique look to the old town of the municipality.
The houses of Villanueva de la Vera are characterized by two or three stories, often with board-veneered walls with wooden windows and balconies, the latter almost always on the upper floor.
The distribution is similar in all of them. The second floor was used as a stable, cellar or henhouse. On the second floor were the bedrooms, which were heated by the heat from the second floor, and on the third floor was the kitchen.
There are also several examples of houses in the locality whose second floor walls are built with ashlars.
To feel the magic of our town, which has a strong cultural identity, the traveler must spend time connecting with all of his senses and quietly wander through its narrow streets, many of which are shaded and protected by overhangs and overhangs.
Passages, nooks and crannies, orchards, water channels, small squares, alleys… make up a unique and singular space, especially for children, where they can play and enjoy themselves to the full. Its historic center is like a labyrinth where lights and shadows also define the profiles of the urban architecture.