Traditional Architecture

Orellana la Vieja sits on a wash, between two hills, overlooking the Guadiana River, now the Orellana Reservoir, which reaches just 300 meters from the town. It is sheltered from the northern air by the last foothills of the Sierras de Pela, also very close.

The town originates along the Cañada Real Segoviana, which crosses from north to south the urban area and the Camino Natural del Guadiana that runs along the northern bank of the river, crossing us from east to west. Practically all the population maintains a traditional air in its constructions. Closer to the models used by the neighboring villages of Cáceres to the north than to the white villages south of the Guadiana, also present.

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Disfruta los barrios

The oldest stone is found in the triangle formed by the three great monuments of Orellana: the castle, the church and the convent. In this part the streets are rather narrow and winding. The dwellings are irregular in shape and vary greatly in size. The chronicles say: “most of the streets do not have the figure of such because they are building houses in wide sleeves at the ends of the town”.

The large houses, some with palatial airs or unique ways of interpreting the construction, are located, especially along the Calle Real. These are the commercial streets par excellence, traditional stores alternate with modern hotel and restaurant businesses. In addition to the aforementioned Calle Real, we can walk along other streets such as: Calle de Hospital, Calle de San Juan, Calle de Santo Domingo, Calle Tenerías or Calle del Convento, Calle del Molar or Calle del Palacio.

Many homes do not have a patio or have only a token courtyard. Built with strong slate walls, mainly of slate or adobe, and brick vaults on the roofs, forming very strong structures that resist the passage of time impassively.

In the vicinity of the church are two squares, which could well be one, the Plaza de España and the Plaza de Extremadura; they are the historical axis of the town. At present, everything is shifting towards the new ring road, and it will be precisely towards the west where the greatest increases in population will take place.

At the end of the eighteenth century there are still the Hermitages of San Sebastian and Santo Domingo, which are on the outskirts of the town. Subsequently, an organized growth is projected in parallel streets, perfectly designed in blocks that trace perpendicular radials. With rectangular plots of more than 200 square meters and all very similar in size.

Calle Peñas Altas, Palacio, Corredera and Calle Nueva are the protagonists of a spectacular growth, especially in terms of extension. They have ten meters of frontage, where they make the house and 30 meters of depth. The houses usually have a habitable floor and another floor for storing utensils and provisions. They have a large courtyard, with spaces for agricultural or livestock tools and a small vegetable garden, as they have generous wells.

The bypass built to save the center of the town on the one hand and the construction of new cultural, sports and administrative facilities, developed on the old Guadalupe road on the other, will be the new references of urban development. As well as Palacio Street and its parallel Reyes Huertas Street that lead the population towards the beaches of the Orellana Reservoir in large avenues, flanked by abundant trees and sports and leisure facilities.

On both sides of the western ring road, an industrial park is being developed where new companies and services are being installed. The development of the Plaza de San Sebastián, with the construction of the City Hall and the Health Center will be definitive for the demand for new housing to decide these spaces for their ideal location.