Via de la Plata, St. James’ way through Extremadura
Dating of the building: 1996-2004.
Applicant: Department of Culture of Extremadura Regional Government.
Reason for the award :
This award recognizes the work carried out by the Government of this Autonomous Community to revitalize the portion of the ancient Roman road that runs through its territory, in the double dimension of raising awareness among citizens about its cultural value and stimulate, based on this value, the economic development of the region.
Between 1996 and 2004, Extremadura Regional Government promoted a project to rescue from oblivion the Extremadura Silver route, which in Roman times travelled Hispania between Astorga and Merida.
The Via de la Plata as it passes through Extremadura has been considered by some as the South St. James´ Way. The truth is that this vital route from Roman times began in Asturica Augusta, now Astorga, and ended in Emerita Augusta, Mérida, linking communication in Roman Hispania from north to south. For centuries, the old route had fallen into oblivion, until, in 1996, the implementation of the Vía de la Plata – Extremadura project, also known as Alba Plata I, helped to regain its place in history.
With European and regional funds, more than thirty projects dedicated to the rehabilitation, protection, restoration, and signaling of 31 areas located along this historical backbone were carried out. Furthermore, Guadalupe Monastery accesses were improved, and Via de la Plata recovered as a Roman road. The action took place at two levels. At the regional level, the roads were adapted and their bridges studied. While at the local level interpretation centres and tourist lodges were created. The route, indicated on granite cubes passes through various archaeological sites such as Caparra.