Archive for April 6th, 2022

April 6, 2022

Curiosities of Teruel province!!

This is of course a huge area, as I am talking about the Autonomous Community of Aragon in northern Spain; especially the province of Teruel which I have bypassed several times too numerous to count. Unfortunately, my experiences here have been long time when a teenager with my dear late mom Gladys; afterward came again but just passing by with so much to see and my emphasis on Madrid! However, time will prove it right and we will be back. For now some memorable moments of passing by and brief stops. Let me tell you more about our curiosities of Teruel province!  

Another missed town is that of Teruel. I have passed by the town but always on the run to other places and not stopped in city center, One of the towns of Spain on my list, just too much beautiful architecture and history here !! I am doing this post as a reminder and memorable family moments of yesteryear,

The town of Teruel is the capital of the province of Teruel, in the autonomous community of Aragon. The city was built on a hill, about 900 meters above sea level. The old town area preserves a most interesting medieval heritage. The towers of the churches of El Salvador, San Martín and San Pedro, are part of a rich architectural heritage in the Mudejar style, The city has art deco buildings. The plaza del Torico (literally the place of the small bull) bears the emblem of the city, the bull with the star. At the bottom of the square is a column on which is placed a small black bull.

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The Teruel Cathedral is a notable example of Mudéjar architecture. dedicated to Saint Mary of Mediavilla, in the 13C Romanesque style with a nave and two wings and a Mudejar style. The tower was finished in 1257, the apses in the 14C. In 1423, Pope Benedict XII, of Aragonese origin, raised it to the rank of collegiate church The facade in neo-Mudejar style was completed in 1909, The Mausoleum of the Lovers, built by the sculptor Juan de Ávalos in 1955, houses the recumbent effigies lovers from Teruel and their alleged mummies.

A bit of the historical memory of Spain, Teruel was the site of one of the hardest battles of the Spanish Civil War (from December 15, 1937 until February 22, 1938). Won by General Franco, it marks a decisive turning point for the outcome of the Spanish Civil War.

The City of Teruel on its heritagehttps://turismo.teruel.es/?lang=en_US

The Teruel province tourist office on its heritagehttp://www.teruelversionoriginal.es/turismo/what-to-do-visit/10-keys-for-the-best-things-to-see-do-and-taste-in-teruel/?lang=en

The Aragon regional tourist office on Teruelhttps://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/teruel/

The other nice town we have passed by with rest stops and seen enough to make it worthwhile be back is Albarracin.

The town of Albarracín is part of the Sierra de Albarracín region, in the province of Teruel, autonomous community of Aragon. This town gives its name to a chain of mountains situated in the southwest of Aragon. It was founded located near old Roman villa of Lobetum. In the 12C , Albarracin was the seat of the Taïfa of Albarracín. It was the name of a dynasty that reigned the Banou Razin,which by deformation is the origin of the name of the town. We rode our road warrior trails by here on the A1512 road.

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During the Spanish Civil War, fighting between the republican troops and the nationalists took place in the town, changing control of the population between both sides several times. In July 1937, a republican offensive took place on the town, constituting the largest military confrontation in the town during the war. In a quick attack, on July 8 the republicans took control of the town with the exception of the town hall and the cathedral, in which military and civilians who had previously taken refuge remained besieged. The nationalists reacted by sending reinforcements and on July 13 they managed to reconquer the town and expel the republican troops.

Some of the things to see here which we have briefly stop on our runs between France and Spain are :

The San Salvador Cathedral located next to the castle, it is from the 16C with a single nave and side chapels. In its museum there are good Flemish tapestries recorded with the life of Gideon. The Alcázar de Albarracín is a castle and archaeological site from the medieval period , The Episcopal Palace located next to the cathedral. It has a baroque portal. The City/Town Hall located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (or city hall square). It is from the 16C, with wooden balconies and a corridor that runs over the river.

albarracin passing A1512 road to LM aug16

The walls of Albarracín surround the town ,located at 1,171 meters above sea level, the current Church of Santa María built on the vestiges of an antique Roman temple from the end of the 16C to the 18C ,the interior si complete with baroque elements notably the pillars. In the 10C, the first defensive enclosure was developed, which included the aforementioned church, the fortress of Santa Croche, an albarrana tower (Torre del Andador) and the entrance gate (Portal de Hierro). Later, in the 11C, the walled perimeter was enlarged, opening three new portals: the one in Teruel, now disappeared, the one in Molina and the one in Agua. After the Siege of Albarracín (1284), the walls of Albarracín are a formidable enclosure, the result of various extensions, which completely surrounds the historic center of the town. The Torre del Andador is located in the highest part of the defensive enclosure of the walls of Albarracín. The Torre Blanca (also, Torre de Doña Blanca), is part of the defensive enclosure of the walls of Albarracín, This is on the road A1512 off the A23, and you see the mountains of Albarracin. Where if you have time you can go down to see remnants of a Roman aqueduct ;the Albarracin Gea Cella aqueduct that is seen for 25 kms or about 13 miles! This is about 2 km from Albarracin also on the road A1512.

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albarracin castle Santa Croche on A1512 aug16

The Santa Maria de Albarracin Foundation on guided tours of places to see webpage: https://fundacionsantamariadealbarracin.com/en/visit-to-albarracin-castle-and-its-museums/

The Aragon regional tourist office on Albarracinhttps://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/albarracin/

An association of travel businesses as tourist office of Albarracin : https://albarracinturismo.com/albarracin/

A private site Red de Aragon newspaper (network) on tourism in Albarracin : https://redaragon.elperiodicodearagon.com/turismo/que_hacer/default.asp

There you go folks, a dandy places to see in wonderful Teruel province of gorgeous Aragon of my dear Spain. I hope you enjoy the introduction post on Albarracin and Teruel, we will be back! And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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April 6, 2022

Curiosities of Zaragoza!!!

This is of course a huge area, as I am talking about the Autonomous Community of Aragon in northern Spain; especially the province of Zaragoza, which I have bypassed several times too numerous to count. Unfortunately, my experiences here have been long time when a teenager with my dear late mom Gladys; afterward came again but just passing by with so much to see and my emphasis on Madrid! However, time will prove it right and we will be back. For now some memorable moments of passing by and brief stops. Let me tell you more about our curiosities of Zaragoza! This will be a bit long but worth it me think. Thanks.

The city of Zaragoza is the capital of the province of the same name and of the autonomous community of Aragon. It is located on the banks of the Ebro river halfway between Madrid and Barcelona, ​​about 300 km from each of them, and 340 km from Valencia. It has a very first rank road junction, which connects the center of Spain, Madrid, with Barcelona. As well as Valencia. The main we always take by here is the A23 , which we then take the beltway Z-40 direction Teruel/Cariñena wine country going north or Calatayud going south.

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One of the most pleasant family anecdote is that on this stretch we stop for lunch at Plaza Mudejar A23 Somport-Sagunto km 215 by Villadoz/Zaragoza , while on our way to Madrid, There we had a funny line and wonderful bocadillos or sandwiches of chorizo(the highlight of the stop for the family!) and tortilla (omelette) with a large glass of beer call a tubo or tube, croquettes of ham and cheese, and orange juices all came out to 7, 65€ per person!!. It was delicious and good festive vacation ambiance with lots of travelers. My family always remember this memorable stop as the food was plenty and cheap! The Plaza Mudejar webpage: http://www.plazamudejar.es/bar-cafeteria.php

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The city is also the rail transport hub of northeastern Spain, a transit point for the AVE high-speed rail line that connects Madrid and Barcelona in particular, and beyond these two largest cities. Other connections relate to the regions of northern Spain with those of the Mediterranean coast (Valencia and, further north, Catalonia). The Zaragoza International Airport serves a large number of European cities , The airport is located 10 km from city center.

A bit of history I likeThe city became a Roman city, colonia inmune under the name of Caesaraugusta under Octave Augustus who refounded it for the veterans of the Cantabrian wars, between 25 and 12, probably in 14 ! It was in the domain of the Visigoths, from 466. After the Battle of Vouillé in 507 against the Franks, the Visigoth kingdom retreated to the Iberian Peninsula. The city is so rich that the Frankish (French) kings Childebert and Clovis tried to conquer it (541 siege) but without success, In 714, the Berbers and Arabs of Musa ibn Nusair took control of the city and renamed it Medina Albaida Saraqusta. The city integrates the emirate of Cordoba. From 1018 to 1118, Zaragoza was one of the Taifa kingdoms, Muslim states that emerged in the 11C after the end of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The last sultan of the Banu Hud, Abd-al-Malik Imad ad-Dawla, last king of Zaragoza, entered into an alliance with the Aragonese led by Alfonso I the Battler who, with his Occitan allies and French crusaders conquered the city on December 18, 1118 and made it his capital.

At the end of the 13C, the Convent of the Resurrection was built at the northeast corner of the Roman wall of Zaragoza. It is a masterpiece of the Mudejar style whose trace is evident in the towers of the churches of La Magdalena, San Pablo, San Gil and San Miguel, the Tower of Zuda and the wall of the Cathedral of La Seo, Of the Jewish community of Zaragoza, only the ritual baths remain used as a synagogue, hospital, butchery and prison whose land is now occupied by the Seminary of San Carlos. It was around the streets of Calle Don Jaime, Calle Veronica, Plaza San Pedro Nolasco Square, Calle Santo Dominguito , Plaza San Carlos square and Calle San Jorge, An important treaty was signed in Zaragoza (Treaty of Zaragoza) in 1529 between Spaniards and Portuguese for the sharing of discoveries of the New World.

At the beginning of the 19C, Zaragoza was the scene of two sieges (in 1808 and 1809) during the Spanish War of Independence (vs France), during which the Aragonese showed their determination by opposing fierce resistance to Napoleonic troops, thus illustrating the will of independence of the Spanish people. Following this devastation by the French army, the city was largely rebuilt in the 19C, Only the Porte du Carmen still bears traces of shots,

What is to see in Zaragoza in my opinion , (even thus my trip here lately have been passing by and the older times shows no pictures), are :

The Zaragoza Museum, which houses works of archaeology, fine arts, ethnology and ceramics. The Aljafería Palace, Forum Caixa , the must Cathedral of La Seo , Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta , Palace of los Condes de Morata , the Mudejar Tower of the Church of La Magdalena , and the Church Our Lady of the Pilar (patron saint of the city), Aljaferia Palace

The main festivities is of the Pilar, around October 12. This is the most important and famous festival in the city which consists of making an offering of flowers. The feasts are given in honor of the Virgin of the Pilar (Virgen del Pilar). It is one of the most important patronal festivals in Spain !

The Zaragoza tourist officehttps://www.zaragoza.es/sede/portal/turismo/?locale=en

The city of Zaragoza on its heritagehttp://www.zaragoza.es/ciudad/cultura/patrimonio/enlace/cultura/observatorio/directorios/patrimonio.htm

The Aragon regional tourist office on Zaragozahttps://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/zaragoza/

There you go folks, another wonderful spot in my dear Spain. This is Zaragoza and worth the detour, we shall be back! Hope you enjoy the post as I bringing back memorable moments in my life.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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