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The autonomous community of Extremadura was established by the statute of autonomy in 1983. It encompassed the southwestern Spanish provinces of  Cáceres and  Badajoz.

The population of the province of Badajoz follows an Andalusian pattern of settlement, being concentrated in large, widely spaced towns. The population of the province of Cáceres, however, tends to cluster in small villages in the valleys. The population of Extremadura has been sparse since the Muslim occupation. Large numbers of underemployed agricultural workers have emigrated since 1900, leaving behind an ever more aging population. Local people often use a specific, Extremaduran, language which differs in various ways from the standard Castilian Spanish.

During the Christian re conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the name Extremadura was used during static periods to refer to the zones outside of Moorish territory; it denoted a set region, but its borders fluctuated with the fortunes of conquest. In the 10th and 11th centuries the border approximated the line of the Duero River from Soria in the east to the Atlantic coast near Coimbra in modern Portugal. About 1086 the name Extremadura was transferred to a newly conquered region to the south, which included Salamanca, Segovia, and Ávila. This, at first, was described as "Extremadura beyond the Duero" to distinguish it from the older region of the same name.

After its southern expansion between 1157 and 1230, Leon also had a province called Extremadura, which stretched southward from Ciudad Rodrigo to beyond Badajoz. In the 12th and early 13th centuries, therefore, both Leon and Castile had Extremaduran provinces, administered as separate entities by each kingdom. Later, in the reign of Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon, this separate administration was abandoned, and from the later Middle Ages the term was applied to a region only slightly larger than the combined area of the two modern provinces. The region came under the jurisdiction of the royal audiencia, or high court, of Extremadura in 1790, and the modern provinces were created in 1833.

Extremadura is bordered by Portugal to the west. Spain's Central Plateau extends south from the province of Salamanca into the province of Cáceres and declines gradually into the eroded flatlands of Cáceres. To the east Cáceres is bounded by the provinces of Ávila and Toledo. The Tagus River drains much of Cáceres, while the Guadiana River flows through the flatlands of Badajoz.

The soils of the southern plains of the basin tend to be thin, supporting only marginal grainfields and thickets of scrub. The Sierra Morena rises in the south along the border with the Andalusian provinces of Córdoba, Seville, and Huelva. Annual precipitation is moderate, exceeding 500 mm (20 inches) outside the eastern zones of the province of Badajoz, where it is only slightly less. The continental climate of the Central Plateau extends into Extremadura but is modified somewhat by Atlantic Ocean influences, which travel up the Tagus River valley.

Places of interest

Merida -

Merida preserves some of the most outstanding Roman monuments, including a colossal theatre, an amphitheatre, two aqueducts, and a bridge, not to forget the Museum of Roman Art with its invaluable collection.

Caceres - The capital of Upper Extremadura has a beautiful old quarter, enclosed by Moorish town walls with great watch-towers. Additional attractions include some exceptional Renaissance palaces.

Trujillo - The birthplace of famous conqueror Pizarro is well known for its beautiful main square. There is also a great medieval castle and the well-preserved town-walls with seven doors.

Guadalupe - This beautiful town is dominated by a colossal Mudejar style monastery which preserves valuable works of art.

Plasencia - A beautiful town with a Gothic-Plateresque cathedral, medieval town-walls and several palaces.

Badajoz - The capital of Lower Extremadura is worth a visit thanks to its Moorish Alcazaba, town-walls and watch-towers.

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