Jerez de los Caballeros
Declared a ‘Festival of Regional Tourist Interest’.
Included among the ‘Festivals with History’ of the Province of Badajoz
RECONQUERED BY KINGS
During the reign of Alfonso IX of León, around the year 1230, the town of Jerez de los Caballeros was reconquered with the help of the Order of the Knights Templar. That same year the king died, and the Muslims took advantage of the situation to regain the lost area. However in 1238, with the arrival of Fernando III ‘the Saint’ to Badajoz, the Knights Templar resumed their campaigns and definitively took possession of the much-desired town of Xerez.
XEREZ, THE TEMPLAR JEWEL
The Knights Templar, as masters of Jerez, greatly enlarged it. Thus, it begins a century of splendour that made Jerez de los Caballeros one of the most outstanding towns in the Crown of Castile. We owe the fortification of the castle on the site of the old Arab citadel, and the construction of the extensive wall that we know today, to this Templar past. Thus becoming the capital of the Bayliato of the Temple Order.
THE LAST TEMPLAR STRONGHOLD
The Council of Vienne, convened in 1311 by Pope Clement V under pressure from the French King Philip IV, ended with the condemnation and excommunication of the Knights Templar. In the Iberian Peninsula, the loyalty of the Knights Templar had been proven through their support during the Reconquest, which meant that the Council’s resolutions were initially disregarded. However, the same noble and clerical jealousy that had arisen around Europe did not last too much to reach our country.
One after another, all the possessions of the Order fell, being the last Templar domain to resist the stately town of Xerez del Temple. It was Alfonso XI, King of Castile and León who, in around 1327, put an end to the last Templar stronghold in the country, and the prosperous capital of the Bayliato fell.
Legend has it that in the ‘Bloody Tower’ of the Castle of Jerez de los Caballeros, the rebel Knights Templar were beheaded and dumped, and that even on full moon nights the footsteps of the last Knights Templar of Xerez can still be heard.
During the four days of the Templar Festival, and thanks to the constant involvement of the whole town and its districts, the city of Jerez de los Caballeros became the medieval town that reached such splendour under the rule of the Order of the Temple. Thus, taking us back to an era inhabited by soldiers, clerics, troubadours and musicians who, during the festival, once again come to life in the streets and markets.
A festival full of stories and legends, memories and unforgettable experiences, with an extensive programme of leisure and cultural activities, where the play ‘The Last Templar of Xerez’ is performed by the cultural association ‘Jerez a escena’, becomes one of the most outstanding spectacle by recreating the end of the Knights of the Temple.
All of this is set in an exceptional heritage setting: the Templar Fortress.
Its churches, palaces, chapels, convents and countless many other places, make Jerez de los Caballeros a tourist attraction top-rated, complemented by a beautiful natural setting of holm oak meadows and a gastronomy that combines tradition and modernity.
Come and discover the Templar town of Xerez!