The historic villages of Alia

Modern times flatten the land, jump over rivers, cross the mountains…

Thus it is more difficult to appreciate the deep ditch, where the Guadiana River flows, that exists between Castilblanco and Valdecaballeros and the other municipalities of the region of the Commonwealth of Cijara.


A few years ago only the Peloche boat allowed them a more or less constant communication with this part of the province of Badajoz. See map –>

The Guadalupejo river valley has always been a territorial unit with a southern boundary very defined by the course of the Guadiana river and the east, perfectly delimited by the Altamiras de Alía mountain ranges, the raña to the west and the peaks of the Brama de Guadalupe mountain ranges to the north.

It was in the Middle Ages when the interests of the victors began to forge a rift between the people and villages of this valley; first with the rest of Extremadura, then among themselves.

In 1268 a line was drawn to separate the lands of Talavera and Trujillo. Alía, Valdecaballeros, Castilblanco and half of Guadalupe are on the other side, under the jurisdiction of the thriving city of Toledo.

Then in 1338 the Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe was endowed with territory, which was placed directly under royal authority. In 1556 Castilblanco and Valdecaballeros will buy their titles of Villa, separating from Alía. Even so, all these towns are still under the same orbit, even if it is that of Toledo.

In 1785 the Province of Extremadura was created and there are still some in the Partido de Talavera.

In 1833 the Spanish administration was reorganized and the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz were created. We won because politically they moved away from Toledo to turn towards Extremadura and we lost in the same move a very important value: unity. Guadalupe and Alía were chosen for Cáceres and Castilblanco and Valdecaballeros for Badajoz.

In spite of all the historical vicissitudes, this is the first time that the region has been broken, split in half. In 1983, the Statute of Autonomy of the Community of Extremadura came into force.

This helps a lot as there is an entity that regroups the interests of these peoples, but the division of the provinces is very strong. It is not only the bureaucratic issues, but all kinds of ideas, projects, companies that could be jointly undertaken and that become impossible, they do not even have a study phase because they are inconceivable.

But reality proves to be stubborn and in daily practice, the inhabitants of the Guadalupejo River Valley jump over barriers that do not exist and communication among them is very rich. There is no lack of natives or companies from neighboring towns settled or engaged in some kind of cutting. Marriages are frequent and experiences are shared in work, leisure and culture.

There really is no barrier between us….