Cáceres Cavalry Academy is a prestigious military school located in the historic city of Cáceres, Spain. Founded in 1928, it is the oldest and most renowned cavalry academy in the country, and one of the few in the world. The academy trains officers for the Spanish Army, as well as for other allied nations. It is also a center of excellence for equestrian sports, culture, and history.
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History of the School
The Cáceres Cavalry Academy has a rich and illustrious history that spans almost a century. It was established by King Alfonso XIII in 1928, as a response to the need for modernizing the Spanish cavalry and adapting it to the new challenges of warfare. The academy was initially located in the Alcázar of Segovia, but moved to Cáceres in 1931, where it found a more suitable environment for its activities.
The academy played a prominent role in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), as it remained loyal to the Republican government and resisted the siege of the Nationalist forces for almost two years. During this period, the academy became a symbol of courage and resistance, as well as a refuge for intellectuals and artists who supported the Republican cause. Some of the most notable figures who visited or stayed at the academy were Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Federico García Lorca.
After the war, the academy was reorganized and reopened by the Franco regime, which imposed a strict ideological and disciplinary control over its operations. The academy continued to train cavalry officers, but also expanded its curriculum to include other branches of the army, such as infantry, artillery, and engineering. The academy also developed a strong tradition of equestrian sports, especially show jumping and dressage, and participated in several national and international competitions.
In 1975, after the death of Franco and the restoration of democracy in Spain, the academy underwent a process of modernization and adaptation to the new political and social realities. The academy embraced the values of democracy, human rights, and international cooperation, and became a member of the NATO and the European Union. The academy also opened its doors to women, who were admitted as cadets for the first time in 1988.
Today, the Cáceres Cavalry Academy is a prestigious and respected institution that trains the future leaders of the Spanish Army and its allies. It is also a cultural and historical landmark that preserves and promotes the heritage and traditions of the Spanish cavalry and the city of Cáceres.
How to Gain Admission into the School
The Cáceres Cavalry Academy is a highly selective and competitive school that admits only the best and brightest candidates. The admission process consists of several steps, including:
- Nomination: To apply to the academy, candidates must first obtain a nomination from a qualified source, such as a member of the Spanish Parliament, a high-ranking military officer, or a distinguished alumni of the academy. The nomination is a formal endorsement that attests to the candidate’s academic, physical, and moral qualifications.
- Application: After obtaining a nomination, candidates must submit an online application form, along with the required documents, such as transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. The application deadline is usually in October of the year before the intended enrollment.
- Examination: Candidates who pass the initial screening of their applications are invited to take a written examination that tests their knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, geography, and English. The examination is held in November at various locations across the country.
- Interview: Candidates who pass the written examination are invited to an oral interview with a panel of academy officials and faculty members. The interview aims to assess the candidate’s personality, motivation, leadership potential, and suitability for the academy. The interview is held in December at the academy’s campus in Cáceres.
- Physical Test: Candidates who pass the oral interview are invited to a physical test that evaluates their fitness, agility, and endurance. The physical test consists of various exercises, such as running, swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. The physical test is held in January at the academy’s campus in Cáceres.
- Medical Examination: Candidates who pass the physical test are invited to a medical examination that verifies their health and physical condition. The medical examination includes a comprehensive check-up, blood tests, urine tests, and x-rays. The medical examination is held in February at the academy’s campus in Cáceres.
- Final Selection: Based on the results of the previous steps, the academy selects the final candidates who are offered admission to the academy. The final selection is announced in March, and the admitted candidates must confirm their acceptance by April. The academy usually admits around 100 cadets per year, out of thousands of applicants.
The Cáceres Cavalry Academy is a public institution that is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Defense. Therefore, there are no tuition fees for attending the academy. However, cadets are responsible for paying for their own uniforms, books, and personal expenses. The academy provides financial aid and scholarships to cadets who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, or special circumstances.
Current Rankings of the School
The Cáceres Cavalry Academy is widely recognized as one of the best military schools in Spain and in the world. It is ranked among the top 10 military academies in Europe by the Military Times, and among the top 20 military academies in the world by the Global Firepower. The academy is also accredited by the Spanish Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA), and by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE).
The Cáceres Cavalry Academy offers a four-year academic program that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Military Engineering. The program combines a rigorous curriculum of general education, military science, and engineering, with a strong emphasis on leadership, ethics, and professional development. The program also includes practical training in military skills, such as weapons, tactics, and survival, as well as in equestrian sports, such as riding, jumping, and dressage.
The academy’s faculty consists of highly qualified and experienced professors, who are mostly military officers with advanced degrees and research backgrounds. The academy’s facilities include modern classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and computer centers, as well as a museum, a chapel, and a theater. The academy’s campus covers an area of 120 hectares, and includes several historical buildings, such as the Palace of the Marquises of Torreorgaz, the Convent of San Francisco, and the Church of Santa María.
The academy’s graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Spanish Army, and are assigned to various units and specialties, depending on their preferences and performance. The academy’s graduates can also pursue further studies in civilian or military institutions, both in Spain and abroad, and can obtain master’s or doctoral degrees in various fields of engineering, science, or humanities.
Campus life at the Cáceres Cavalry Academy is challenging, rewarding, and enriching. Cadets live in barracks, where they share rooms with one or two roommates, and follow a strict schedule of activities, from dawn to dusk. Cadets are expected to maintain high standards of discipline, honor, and conduct, and to abide by the academy’s code of ethics and values.
Cadets have a busy and demanding academic schedule, with classes, homework, exams, and projects. Cadets also have a rigorous and intensive physical training program, with exercises, drills, and sports. Cadets also participate in various military training activities, such as field exercises, maneuvers, and simulations, as well as in equestrian training activities, such as riding lessons, competitions, and shows.
Cadets can also enjoy leisure and recreation time, such as watching movies, playing games, listening to music, or reading books. Cadets can also join various clubs and organizations, such as the choir, the band, the drama club, the chess club, or the photography club. Cadets can also participate in various cultural and social events, such as festivals, concerts, exhibitions, or lectures.
Cadets can also visit Cáceres, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore its rich and diverse heritage and culture. Cadets can also travel to other cities and countries, as part of the academy’s exchange and cooperation programs with other military academies and institutions.
Athletics are an important and integral part of the Cáceres Cavalry Academy’s curriculum and culture. The academy offers a variety of sports and physical activities, both competitive and recreational, for cadets to develop their fitness, skills, and teamwork. The academy’s sports facilities include a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a soccer field, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a tennis court, a squash court, and a golf course.
The academy’s main sport is equestrianism, which is the hallmark and tradition of the Spanish cavalry. The academy has a state-of-the-art equestrian center, with stables, arenas, tracks, and trails, where cadets learn and practice various disciplines of equestrian sports, such as show jumping, dressage, eventing, and polo. The academy also has a collection of over 200 horses, of different breeds and origins, such as Andalusian, Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Warmblood.
The academy’s equestrian teams compete in various national and international tournaments and championships, and have won numerous