History of Orellana

History leaves evidence of human presence from the earliest times. Already in the Paleolithic, man and animals, in their annual migrations in search of food, took advantage of the many natural fords of the river and above all, since the installation of the boat that existed in this part of the Guadiana because it guaranteed a permanent system of passage.
This strategic position is the one that will shape and condition to a large extent the evolution of the times. Stone axes, cave paintings, Celtic forts, castle… all this passage is represented in the environment in almost always occasional findings that lack in-depth studies that allow us to see an importance that we only intuit.

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The Roman period stands out for the City of Lacimurga, named among the old Celtic peoples: the Vettones, which is located a few kilometers north, in the same margin. According to some interpretations of the name Orellana is Aureliana, it may be the first foundation of the town in its current location. Throughout this period and during the Arab domination we can not confirm the existence of an urban center, although the remains of all these moments do not cease to appear everywhere.

It was in the middle of the XIV century, when we begin to have news of the possession of the lands by the Altamiranos family from Trujillo through a document in which Alfonso XI. He donates the territory to his childhood friend Juan Alfonso de la Cámara, from Trujillo. At that time there was a small population of twenty neighbors. By then the place was already known as Orellana and soon after a Lordship was founded, which would become a Marquisate, lasting several centuries. The castle is built or rebuilt, which will later be adapted as a palace, the first church, probably smaller, and the village grows to impressive numbers.
The splendor of the sixteenth century leaves good examples in a great growth of the population and the expansion or construction of the great buildings of Orellana: the Church, the Convent and the Casas Señoriales. The continuous growth of the population forced an expansion of the urban area, this time in an orderly manner. Design of straight and long streets, with rectangular plots and houses that have a large patio-garden. These new neighborhoods contrast with the old part, located in the triangle formed by the church, castle and convent, which correspond to the three main roads in which the town is organized: the entrance and exit of the Cañada Real Segoviana towards the boat and the Cogolludo-Orellanita road. Here the streets are irregular and twisted almost all of them. In the Calle Real, the passage of the Cañada and in the Plaza de España – Extremadura, we find more stately buildings, which also occupy spaces towards the Castle-Palace.
The Badajoz Plan, with the creation of the Orellana reservoir, radically changes the landscape with land flooding and notably widening the two banks, while the dam will serve as the first free and permanent bridge between the lands to the north and south of the Guadiana River, something that had not occurred until then.