4 towns on the Aragonese Maestrazgo route: La iglesuela del Cid, Cantavieja, Tronchón and Mirambel

This is a medieval route in an almost forgotten land of inner Spain. However, this territory deserves your attention. During the Medieval Ages, this vast area was under the jurisdiction of the masters of the different military orders. Fighting and praying that was the life there.

Nevertheless, upon the hardness of those times, the local tough people left an awesome hidden heritage we can enjoy now. For many years, those villages kept unknown, even for Spanish people, but currently, now many of them are claiming for their position in the national cultural tourism around the brand Maestrazgo Cultural Park with Turismo de Aragón help.

The Route of Aragonese Maestrazgo
The Route of Aragonese Maestrazgo

La Iglesuela del Cid

This town was not on our plan but once you try to pass through is somewhat impossible not to stop and start learning history. Medieval streets with traditional patterns on the walls of the houses all around. A walk through its cobbled streets will allow you to contemplate a large number of Renaissance palaces such as Guijarro, Grande or Aliaga houses. There is the Hall building, the Purificación church and the Matutano-Daudén house.

Nearby, the visitor could admire the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Cid, built from an old Roman mausoleum. You can also visit the Textile and Clothing Interpretation Center, where you will discover the tradition and importance of textile production in the area.

Cantavieja

The road, that leads up there, winds into an amazing landscape until reaching the town upon a cliff. The views are iconic. The town is up there somehow an impregnable fortress where to track many old conflicts. It preserves its old walls, the refuge of Templars and battle scene for Carlists. Indeed, you can visit there the Museum of the Carlist Wars.

When you arrive at Plaza Porticada de Cantavieja, you will find the solemn church located there: Iglesia de la Asunción. From there I would recommend just to get lost in the narrow streets and count the churches and the corners where a movie could have been shot.

Tronchón

We went there for its famous cheeses that have been already praised by Don Quixote de la Mancha in the seventeenth century. But even today they still constitute one of the main hallmarks of the town. We got into a bar and we ordered a cheese selection tapa and the bar’s owner asked gently if the cheese was good underlining that was the famous local one. The Tronchón Cheese Interpretation Center will show you the raw materials and the elaboration and curing process that give rise to these delicious cheeses.

However, Tronchón is much more than cheeses. In its historic centre, we find important architectural jewels such as the Church of Santa María Magdalena, the City Hall building, a Renaissance work from the 16th century, or the Palacio del Marqués de Valdeolivo. Do not miss to admire the picturesque popular architecture of its streets and the old Gothic jail building, built in the 14th century

Mirambel

Mirambel is a delight, the cherry on the top of the route, strolling through will bring you back in time. It is a medieval complex that belonged to the Military Order of San Juan, perfectly preserves its walled perimeter, and hides inside innumerable architectural jewels, among which the beautiful lattices of the Portal de las Monjas stand out. In a quiet walk through its urban area, you will discover other important buildings such as the Agustinas Convent, the Santa Margarita church, the Lonja or the Renaissance Town Hall.

Its historic centre, one of the most beautiful in Aragon, has the Europa Nostra award for its conservation. To get a deeper knowledge of the history and architecture of the area you can visit the Interpretation Center of the Architectural Heritage of the Maestrazgo.

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