Route Via de la Plata – the Silver Way in Spain
Via de la Plata – the Silver Way – a route that crosses Spain from South to North.
Via de la Plata is the name of the route which goes from Sevilla, Andalucia, in Southern Spain up to Astorga near Leon and which links with the Saint James Way to get to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Northern Spain.
In the early days the route originated the arrival of the first settlers and extended culture and architecture to cities and villages.
The actual Via de la Plata route connects the autonomous regions of Andalucia, Extremadura, Castile and Leon with Galicia.
The hiking route passes the cities of Merida, Caceres (Extremadura), Plasencia, Bejar, and continues towards the city of Salamanca with possibly the most beautiful main square (Plaza Mayor) in whole Spain, surrounded by arcades, and full of interesting monuments and buildings built with the characteristic Villamayor sandstone. Salamanca is often mentioned as being one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. As the most interesting buildings are fairly close together an in the old part of Salamanca, which is mainly for pedestrians, it is very comfortable to get around. Do not miss to see the University and the library. Miguel de Cervantes and Miguel de Unamuno were students in this city.
It then reaches Zamora, well known for the Romanesque monuments that are spread throughout its streets and squares, passes Benavente before ending in Astorga. This route of great natural beauty and numerous historical cities has become an increasing attraction for many due to communication links.
The Ruta de la Plata offers two different ways with the choice between a route including cities and monuments or the old Roman road (Calzada Romana), which is likely to be the best choice for hikers and pilgrims. This route meets at many points a National road, the ravine and roads situated along the Sierra de Bejar mountains and the railway line which is no longer in operation.
The Calzada Romana or more than 460 km long Roman road was constructed for military purposes between 2 B.C. and 1 B.C. and preserves the original paving along some sections and also numerous, almost 2 m high milestones.
Remains of small forts, bridges and towns with Roman origin can be seen along the old Via de la Plata.