Spain has for long been a favorite with travelers who love a perfect blend of history with modern day pleasure. The country has never failed to amaze tourists with its sheer historical wonder in today’s modernistic world. As such, there are several places in the country that retain the charm of the Old World to a great extent. One place that comes to the mind thus, when one talks about Old Spain is Albarracin.
Considered to be the most beautiful village in all of Spain, Albarracin is one of the most isolated villages in the country and can be reached only by a bus drive through the mountains from the provincial capital Teruel which itself, remains disconnected from modern Spain. Albarracin is also quite close to a number of World Heritage listed sites in Spain. This would give you plenty of reason to stop by this picture perfect village during your trip across the country.
Main Attractions of Albarracin
Albarracin would transport you into another century altogether. The village is located along a steep cliff, with narrow cobblestoned streets winding upwards to reveal tall medieval houses with gigantic wooden beams.The balconies and windows have iron grating and lend an old world charm to the structures.
The stonewalls lining the streets are covered in red and orange colored plaster clay for an Albarracin look. A castle sits atop the cliff as well as the entire village. The views from this region are fantastic would give you a bird’s eye view of the entire village as well as the nearby Universal Mountains and the National Park. Be sure to look out for the houses named Casa de La CalleAzagra, Casa de la Julianeta and Casa delChorro as you move up. These houses are the best preserved of all the houses in the village and are quite eye catching.
At the top of the entire village sits the Albarracin Castle, which was considered to be the core of the Moorish city Muslim al-BanuRazin’s so called medina. The ground surrounding the castle are important archeological sites, with the artifacts found so far displayed in the city museum. The interiors of the castle, although not in such good shape, contain foundations of palatial rooms and impressive Islamic baths. The view from the castle’s tower is astounding too. So don’t miss the chance to climb it.
In addition to the main castle, Albarracin has a number of other impressive palaces, including the DolzdelEspejo and the Bishop’s Palace. The Diocesan Museum is attached to the Bishop’s Palace and is worth a visit for it collection of beautiful Flemish tapestries.
The Cathedral is one of the most eye-catching monuments in Albarracin and is easily accessible via the main square. Built following an eclectic mix of Renaissance and Gothic architectural styles, the entire church sits atop a buttressed foundation that goes down several yards below the actual floor level. The highlights of the cathedral are its famed Gothic tracery, and its gold Baroque side chapel.
Torre de Andador
Also called as the Walker’s Tower, the Torre delAndador is the guard tower that sits atop a hill outside Albarracin. It is the first among several other defensive towers that are attached to the city walls at regular intervals along the entire length of the hill. The walls themselves seem to swoop up the hill from the ground below, meeting at the Walker’s Tower before flying back down.
Other areas of Interest in Albarracin
Albarracin also has other areas of interest that are well worth visiting while your stay here. These include the Plaza Major, one of the wings of the town hall which offers stunning views of the River Guadalaviar and the Albarracin Cultural Park which has caves filled with pre-historic drawings.
Make it a point to visit Old World Spain the form of Albarracin. Be swept away by the beauty of this picturesque village as you are embraced by its rich history and culture.