The Conexiones Classroom
Students will attend classes in a 15th century restored convent, the site of the Fundación Xavier de Salas, an institution created with the purpose of studying and disseminating the theme of connections between Extremadura and the Americas.
Weekly excursions are part of the program, including the visit to the medieval city of Cáceres and the Roman city of Mérida. Some highlights of the program are: a behind scenes tour of the ancient library at the University of Salamanca (one of the oldest in Europe), a day at a bull ranch in Salamanca, attendance at a performance of Classic Theater at the Roman Amphitheater of Mérida, a visit to the medieval town and monastery of Guadalupe and a day in the sister city of Alburquerque, with a tour through its medieval castle.
Background and History
Extremadura and Castilla reflect the fascinating and tumultuous history of Spain. The Iberians and Celts occupied these regions until they were overcome by the powerful Roman Empire. Many cities bear witness to Roman influence, none so much as Mérida. Mérida became one of the most important towns in the Roman Empire. In 711 a new power rose in the wake of the dying Roman Empire. The Moors flourished for over seven-hundred years, the end of their reign in 1492 came only after centuries of struggle. The conquering Christians set out to a build a new empire in the Americas. Many of the Conquistadores of the New World would leave their mark characterized by struggle upon the newly discovered Americas.