Not far from the town limit of Albarracín, the boundaries of three former kingdoms meet. Castilla la Mancha, Aragón and Valencia overlook this small village that must be one of the most fascinating and breathtaking in all of Spain.
The village, located only 28 kilometres from the capital city of Teruel and bordering the River Guadaliver, is located in the Universale Mountains in the province of Teruel in Aragón.
Its position, nestled at a comfortable 3,400 feet above sea level, lends to the dramatic environment and, on entering the town, one soon learns that its a regal history has followed the fortunes of its neighbours and marks the history of Spain itself.
For a brief spell in the 10th to 11th century the village was a Taifa, ruled by independent Arabic oligarchs. Since then it has retained its medieval roots and is, indeed one of the few villages to have changed very little since the Middle Ages. The Arabic walls still dominate the town, their ruined walls like jagged teeth of decay that habour wordless memories of their age of splendour.
Due to its particular and high state of preservation, the town of Albarracín has, since June of 1961, been considered a National Monument. It is now waiting to be recognised by UNESCO as being worthy of the label Patrimony of Humanity. We’re still not sure what they’re waiting for as this town has to be one of the must-see places in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.
The town is particular in that its noble buildings chart the progress of Spain of the Middle Ages and earlier. Not only Arabic architecture is present in its narrow streets but also town houses that once belonged to the stalwarts of the regal entourage of the Catholic Kings, Isabel and Fernando, who united Spain under one banner over a thousand years ago.
More information: http://www.albarracin.org/