Huesca temática

Number 96. May of 2006Spanish language Principal menu

Loarre town

A beautiful town,
watched over by its own castle.

     Villa of the county of Huesca, located to the foot of the mountain of its name. Altitude: 773 meters on the sea level. There are 29 kilometers to Huesca. Gentile: loarrino. Also, lobarrino.
      The town is below, in the hollow, to the love of the mountainside, preserved by the mountain-chain of Loarre that gives name. The ocher stain of the earth extends in the plain, sprinkled by the green and the gray of the olive trees. Up, not much more than four kilometers in hill, the romanesque fortress more important of Spain that somebody still assures of Europe. So much so, that the popularity of the castle of Loarre makes that forgets the town of the same name. The landscape is startling. The cliffs rise until abysmal heights. The reason of so many legends is understood at this way.
      Several roads to arrive to Loarre, either for Bolea where to admire the superb colegiata (monumetal church), or for Ayerbe. In anyone of the cases it must continue for the highway from Huesca to Peña. The one that takes to Puenbte la Reina in route toward Pamplona and to Jaca. The best road is for Ayerbe, to twenty-seven Kms. of Huesca; from there, seven kilometers more until Loarre. In total, thirty four kiIometrs leaving of Huesca capital - twenty-nine, for Bolea -, and hundred four from Zaragoza. The trip is always justified.
      It is interesting to stop in the town, that got to have about thousand five hundred inhabitants - with their aggregates of Los Corrales and Santa Engracia - and it offers, still today, its historical and artistic attraction. Loarre is not only the castle, although the colossal importance of this fortress always centers the biggest attention. The Gothic tower of the parochial temple is a sure call to the walker. Up, the romanesque that looks always level with earth, although in this case it was born in the heights; below, the Gothic that struggles to rise. A term cross - possibly of the XVI century - points out, next to the highway, the limits of the urban area. The streets and squares offer taken care, clean, full with sun. The journey for the town is full with suggestions. The picturesque corners are plentiful, next to remarkable buildings, where spending of the centuries has left their patina. The public source that was destroyed in 1552, is work of stonecutting owed to the teacher Joaquín Aísa.
      Twenty one years later, in 1573, Loarre had its Consistorial House, a beautiful building of Aragonese style, with the help of stone and brick, with its corresponding gallery of arches finished off by the classic eaves. The life of the town acquired its maximum preponderance starting from the XVI century, when the parochial clergy that until then had remained in the castle was settled in the population. The church looked for to the town. Those that arrive to Loarre usually ignore the presence of the urban nucleus, where the alive history follows. The municipal term has given to live: it produces cereals, wine, oil, almonds, ... A humble stream seeds of green the little vegetable garden of the place. The population has descended in the last years; but Loarre continues lively,on the foot of yesterday that tries to be saved of the forgetfulness. The rocky castle with the blue of the sky, sometimes hides among the clouds. Since the accesses were improved, the number of visitors has increased sensibly.
     There the XI and XII centuries were anchored, among gigantic rocks, in the phantasmagoric cliff, of a dry sea, where single the aliaga grows, and the rosemary and the thyme thrive, next to the green-yellow of the box. The wall, almost entirety reconstructed, puts fence to the fortress, throughout hundred seventy two meters. Nine masonry walls, of almost meter and half of thickness, are finished by other so many turrets of circular plant, of three or four meters of diameter. They are separate some of others in distance of thirty and of eleven meters. The battlements, with small windows and run adarve, have returned to their site, after guessed right restorations.
     The great mirador of the Queen's" "Room gets the attention powerfully from the exterior. The apse of the temple, on the rock, captive to the traveler. Then, "Reyes'" tower, the tower watch ... All over the firm rock, as if it was conquering to the nature. "It is the monument of Aragon - Ricardo of the Arch affirmed - that better reflective the rude and strong character of this earth." The main access is of great beauty; a door of semicircular arch, flanked by two turrets, two robust cubes, of unquestionable beauty.

      The noble facade of the castle almost rises in front. It is necessary to cross the open space and then to win height, step to step, until the entrance door to the palatine dependences. From the threshold, in an ashlar of the jamb by hand right, this inscription is read: IN DEI NNE: HIC REQVIESCIT FAMVLVS DEI TULGAS: QVI OBIT: PRI DIE: KAS: DECEBRIS IN ERA MCXXXIII: ET QVI LEGERIT ISTAS LITERAS ORET: PATER ... Alone you can decipher: "In the name of God. Here rest the servant of God, Tulgas that died the day November 30 1095. Who will read these letters pray to the Father..." Other several inscriptions that help to reconstruct the past exist. It is an alive yesterday in each stone,
      A regal, impressive stairway, of twenty-seven steps, starts up from the threshold. To a half height two doors open up, to right and left. They are, respectively the crypt and guard's body.-In this crypt - the neighbors of Loarre assure - received cult San Demetrio, the patron-saint of this village. This interesting enclosure measures 6,80 meters bottom for 7,70 of wide and 5,62 of height. Everything is in silence. Up, the temple, an extraordinary romanesque church of the century XI. In the jamb of the entrance door, an epitaph of 1095, so that there are not doubts, although then figure the date of 1105 on the cover.
      Eight steps separate us of the main stairway. It is necessary to return to the shelf to follow the journey for the castle whose plants and dependences always cause the visitor's astonishment. Around the tower of the homage the military life of the fortress was developed. The second floor of galleries form a group of singular beauty. The tower and the queen's chapel capture for their severe simplicity. The mountain on one hand; for the other one, the abyss that connects with the plain of Huesca. It is as if one returned to the past. There they still resonate the words of Sancho Ramírez. There they continue becoming strong those in favor of the count of Urgel that didn't accept the failure of Caspe ...
     The historical importance of the enclosure and the characteristics of the same one are of the public domain. Loarre is one of the Aragonese places more visited. The excursions follow one another. The more important romanesque monument of Spain has deserved, this time, the maximum attentions. The visit to Loarre, casttle and town, is obligated. One lives the glorious yesterday, that urges ours to wake up of today. They count, apart from this, that the village-castle group is attributed Calagurris Fibularia, and that under the medieval walls they have been other, Roman.
      In the vicinity of Puipullín appeared, some years ago, abundant remains of the imperial time. Sancho III began the defensive line of the Pre-pyrenees. Then arose the church dedicated to the Salvador and San Pedro's monastery, that became patrimony of Montearagón Abbacy.       The current village figured as village of the castle, with the man of San Esteban de la Huerta. The toponym has lasted, when putting the parochial church under that same invocation. The building was erected in the second half of the XVII century, as long as the tower is of the XVI one, of masonry, with three bodies and octogonal chapitel, shining Gothic ornamentation.

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      Far from the population the hermitage of Santa Agueda rises, built in the XII century, of romanesque style; it conserves in its interior remains of mural painting of the XV century. At the top of the mountain range, there is another hermitage dedicated to Santa Marina. And a third one , dedicated to San Juan, on the way to Loarre to Bentué of Rasal.


 To see some photographs of this article ....
* "Aragon town to town", by Alfonso Zapater

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