Aragon, Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza, Saragose. Mudejar, Ebro, Pirineos. Information about Aragon.
Information about Aragon

Aragon, Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza, Saragose. Mudejar, Ebro, Pirineos. Information about Aragon.

The vast territory of Aragon (47,724 km2, 1,200,000 inhabitants spread over three provinces) vaunts numerous tourism opportunities which have considerably benefited from its current infrastructure and facilities. For example, there is the "Red de Hospederias de Aragon", an accommodation network comprised of seven establishments including the recently opened hotel by the San Juan de la Peña Monastery in Huesca.

Zaragoza enjoys a remarkably varied landscape. Mountains cut by valleys in the drylands, Pyrenees spurs leading the way to Huesca, the great Moncayo promontory with the beautiful Cisterciense de Veruela Monastery lying at its feet, the Cinco Villas field crops, the bleak plateaus of Monegros, the fertile valleys of Gallego, Jalon and Jiloca, and the plains stretching out between La Almunia, Cariñena and Belchite. And among all this contrast lies Zaragoza with over 700,000 habitants: a first class industrial, university, religious and cultural centre whose main emblem is the symbol of Aragon: the Pilar basilica, house to the patron saint of Spain. Its other attractions include the majestic Arab palace called the Aljaferia, the imposing La Seo cathedral, the countless museums ...
And of course cities such as Calatayud, Tarazona, Daroca, Sos del Rey Catolico, Uncastillo boast a wealth of contrasting monuments. Natural paradise can be found at the Monasterio de Piedra, a monastery lying in a highly unique and picturesque corner of Spanish territory.
The landscape and cultural offer is completed with adventure sports, hiking and thermal tourism with magnificent spa facilities.

Huesca is a land of lofty mountains situated in the craggy area of the Central Pyrenees with wonderful valleys opening to fertile plains in the south. Its artistic wealth is reflected in its temples and castle remains, where nature and art interlink in serene harmony. The valleys of Echo, Anso, Canfranc, Tena, Broto, Chistau, Pineta, Benasque, the impressive Ordesa National Park and Monte Perdido, the splendid environment of the Panticosa Spa, all provide the traveller with the opportunity to explore beech, fir, oak and hazelnut woods, peculiar glacier Pyrenean lakes known as ibones, green and sunny pastures or to challenge themselves through practicing adventure sports in its ravines and gullies, mountain peaks and trails. All forms of skiing can be enjoyed in winter at the great resorts of Astun, Candanchu, Formigal, Panticosa and Cerler. The capital’s treasures include its gothic cathedral and the Romanesque cloister of San Pedro el Viejo in Jaca, with its fine Romanesque cathedral. And yet we have to visit San Juan de la Peña, Santa Cruz de la Seros, San Pedro de Siresa, Roda de Isabena, the small churches at Serrablo and the Loarre cathedral - unequalled examples of Romanesque architecture and the result of the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route through Aragon, beautiful city centres such as those at Ainsa and Alquezar, the Pirenarium Theme Park in Sabiñanigo... the list of tourism and heritage opportunities in Huesca is almost endless.

Teruel boasts exuberance and the surprising diversity of its nature: from the Serranias de Albarracin mountains to the soft and gentle plains and olive trees in the region of Alcañiz; from the remote peaks of Maestrazgo to the apparent calm of Bajo Aragon which violently explodes during the indescribable uproar of Easter Week in the towns of Ruta del Tambor and Bombo. The city of Teruel is the Mudejar capital, with its exquisitely detailed architecture protected as a World Heritage site. Albarracin, with its wild landscape, is riddled with windy streets and reminiscent hidden corners. The picturesque landscape is constantly sustained by the splendid edifices which abound in towns such as Alcañiz, Cantavieja, Mirambel, Iglesuela del Cid and Rubielos de Mora: their wealth of historic buildings is astounding.
Skiing at the resorts of Valdelinares and Javalambre, adventure sports and spa tourism complete the tourist offer which has recently been further enriched by the inauguration of the Dinopolis Theme Park near the capital.

Aragon is one of the Spanish provinces with both a rich monumental heritage and a high cultural level. It is an example of live and permanent history which is reflected in the artistic, civil and religious works of various eras and cultures: prehistoric, Iberian, Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical, modernist... all the way up to the avant-garde era of the millennium which has just come to a close.

With regard to nature, Aragon could be described as a huge natural space. Both extensive and varied, it is rich in its geology, flora and fauna. Valleys, mountain ranges, lakes and steppes all form part of a landscape which is truly alive.

An excellent communication network allows for easy access to the Pyrenees Mountains with the opening of the Zaragoza-Nueno motorway on the very slopes of the Monrepos pass. Its two large tunnels leave you close to Jaca and Sabiñanigo. Furthermore, the high-speed AVE train links the city of Zaragoza with two of the most important cities in Spain: Madrid and Barcelona. Other important roads include the recently opened Mudejar motorway which links Zaragoza to Valencia, the Madrid motorway and the Barcelona and Bilbao dual carriageways.
Aragon also boasts an outstanding hotel network with its rural tourism offering some of the best accommodation of its type in Spain. Snow conditions in Aragon are currently excellent. Important investments have been made in infrastructure with recent improvements leading to a record number of skiers. Every type of skiing is available and can be coupled with the possibility of ice-skating, crosscountry skiing, ski-launched paragliding, snow-boarding, snow-biking and … away from the snow an endless list of adventure sports awaits the intrepid visitor: mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, abseiling, mountain biking, white water rafting, paragliding, hang gliding and micro-lighting. Aragon boasts the largest and best hiking network in Spain with over 8,000 km of signed routes. And we mustn’t forget that waterskiing can be enjoyed in numerous lakes, rivers and reservoirs, or that sailing, horse-riding, golf, shooting and fishing are also on offer.

Finally, the local festivals, craftwork ... and gastronomy. Fruit, pulses, sweets, vegetables, salads, top quality olive oil, with local farm products masterfully cooked in great restaurants. Aragonese sucking lamb, Teruel ham, the magnificent wines of Somontano, Cariñena, Calatayud and Campo de Borja all with Designation of Origin. Eating in Aragon is always a pleasure. Come and visit, Aragon is an unforgettable experience.

A small summary of the contents is the following one:

Ample your information on Aragon

If you want to extend your information on Aragon you can begin crossing another interesting route is the Mudejar, Patrimony of the Humanity, also you can extend your cultural knowledge on Aragon examining its municipal and institutional heraldry without forgetting, of course, some of its emblematics figures as Saint George Pattern of Aragon also book of Aragon.

Also Aragon enjoys a diverse and varied Nature where passing by plants, animals or landscapes we can arrive at a fantastic bestiario that lives in its monuments.

The information will not be complete without a stroll by its three provinces: Zaragoza, Teruel and Huesca and his shines, with shutdown in some of its spectacular landscapes like Ordesa, the Moncayo or by opposition the Ebro.

Also you can dedicarte to the intangible ones: from the legend compilation that also does to universal Aragon you can persecute the presence of del Santo Grial in Aragon.

Huesca | Teruel | Zaragoza | Aragon | Maps |
Fauna | Flora | Geology | Fungi |
Tourism | Mudejar | Goya | Alphabetical Index | Thematic




This town is located 213 kilometers from Teruel, capital of its province, 130 from Zaragoza and 165 from Huesca, 45 kilometers in a straight line from San Carlos de la Rapita, already in the Mediterranean.
The very remote origin of Valderrobres appears already registered in the time of the Arevaci, on the banks of a river of perennial flow; the Matarraña, which, after being born in the Ports of Beceite, will die in the Ebro in the vicinity of Fayón.
Located our town on a hill, the Matarraña passes licking its plants under the Stone bridge, a beautiful Gothic work with three arches, whose clean waters cut by corner cutwaters leave the town on its right, seated on the hill that, characterizing the town, <<its streets are formed by many tiers, except the Mayor, which is flat, and comes to be like the base of the amphitheater formed by the buildings, the one extending from one end of the town to the other>> (1).

That is perhaps the only street level in Valderrobres that, running parallel to the river, takes the name of Llana, in which the most ancient houses of the civil population appear.

Another more modern bridge than the one mentioned in San Roque is called Hierro, which connects the population with the outskirts of it.

Looking from the heights of Valderrobres along the Ebro towards the Mediterranean, between Alfara and Más de Barberans there are lands populated with almond trees, and then, until the visual is closed, there are only pine forests surrounding the spectacular and rugged region. <<In the uneven but not mountainous terrain that to the east of Alcañiz extends between the Guadalope and the Catalan border, in the shade of thick olive groves and in the middle of fertile orchards, live large populations, pleasant and smiling to the traveler, indifferent to the artist; Monroy, whose castle held the Prince of Viana prisoner in 1452; Valderrobres, honored in 1429 with the celebration of Cortes and with the permanence of Alfonso V; Fresneda, Valjunquera and Valdealgorfa, decorated with sumptuous parishes with three naves.>> This was the opinion of the curious traveler and archaeologist, Señor Quadrado, about the region in the mid-18th century (2)

I have no doubt that the famous archaeologist and historian passed by the region, leaving without contemplating our singular stately castle of the archbishopric, the daring naves of our archpriest church, of the purest Gothic style, and much more than, Perhaps due to the passion and diminished taste of some slight informant, he made the Menorcan sage desist from his visit to Valderrobres, in those days of terrible communications; but the researcher and history lost it.

A curious traveler and compiler, a contemporary of Quadrado, tells us about Valderrobres that <<in the square there are the Town Hall with the party jail and the court hearing room>>. And that its main economic riches were oil, wine and cereals; winning sheep, rabbits and partridges. It had 569 residents and 2,276 souls, and its municipal budget was 30,000 reais (3)


In the region of the <<Caja>> the Visigoths and Muslims commanded, but the desire to reconquer the Christians was not asleep. After the <<Battle>> died, after the brief reign of his brother Ramiro II, the <<Monk>> succeeded this Ramón Berenguer III, Catalan count, married <<nuptiarum futurarum>> with the daughter of Ramiro the <<Monje>>, Petronila de Aragón, from whose marriage Alfonso II el <<Casto>> was born, who continued the fight against the Muslims from the mark of the Ebro where the brave <<el Batallador>> had left it. Dead Ramón Berenguer III, prince of Aragon and count of Barcelona, ​​was taken to bury the monastery of Ripoll. Then, Doña Petronila met Cortes in the city of Huesca, in which, when her son Ramón was recognized of his rights, she made him change his king's name to Alfonso.

Afterwards, Alfonso II met the Cortes in Zaragoza, where he and the rich men swore that they were good for the good government of the states of Aragon. Later, Don Alfonso confirmed all the privileges previously enjoyed by the church and those rich men, giving himself then entirely to the reconquest.

It was around the year 1170, when the Christian forces entered the lands of the Martín, Guadalope, Matarraña and Algás rivers, seeing the king great possibilities in the advance. <<Around this time a great war was being waged against the Moors who were in the Edetanos region, in the castles and forces that they had on the banks of the Algás river, and the places of Fauara, Maella, Maçaleón, Valdetormo were won, La Frexneda, Valderorraña ...>> (4), after having won the lands of the confines of the Edetanos and Ilergaones, with the effective help of the Knights Hospitallers and Calatravos, to whom <<a good part of what they conquered>>, something very common in the actions of the reconquest. Valuable testimony, this one that the teacher of the Spanish historians gives us. Sure endorsement that in 1170 Valderrobres fell into the Christian hands of Alfonso II, thus closing this period of disputes, opened in the lands of Islam.

By <<Peña de Aznar la Gaña>> Valderrobres and lands that surrounded it were known. With that name it appears mentioned in many documents of the name of the king. There was that of the Bishop of Zaragoza, Don Pedro de Tarroja, at the time that his brother, Don Guillén, was appointed Bishop of Barcelona, ​​in the chair that Don Hugo de Cervellón had occupied.

The reconquest continued and, after having won the banks of the Guadalope, the border from Alcañiz to the west was established, winning later; Calanda, Aguaviva, Castellote and Las Cuevas, keeping companies safe, the king was also helped by the Hospitallers and Calatravos, who were later joined by the knights of Santiago, especially in the conquest of the Plaza de Montalbán.


At the top of the hill on which the town of Valderrobres sits, next to the church of Santa María la Mayor, with which it communicates through a narrow passage, the feudal and stately castle of the prelates of Zaragoza, mansion of these during their stay in these lands, which, as the high clergy's way of living evolved, was losing its office and mission so that it was raised by its owners, having thus fallen a large part of its primitive ornamentation, but it still has very interesting parts. In 1989 a priest cult said of him: <<It is a colossal building, all made of ashlar stone, of which the immense walls, pointed arches, etc. are still preserved, dominated by the population>>.

A stone shield with seven castles, crowned by a cross similar to that of the Order of Calatrava, is very repeated. In the curious manuscript, made by a more curious man, it is read later: <<The arms belong to Archbishop Don García Fernández de Heredia, murdered near La Almunia>> (5); and the curious Mover was right.

Posts to study this castle, which looks more like a palace due to the nature of the reconstructed areas in it, in order to serve the purposes of the prelates, it affects an irregular rectangular shape, with a large parade ground protected by thick wall of a rod and a half thick, which still conserves its towers, from where the entire enclosure that housed the population is dominated. Beautiful and wide panoramic which from this square can be enjoyed; from there, the distant <<Caixa>> and its surroundings, the <<Picotsa>> and to the ports of Beceite.

Reclining, at the foot of the church, the entrance to the main square of the castle opened, showing another access, turning 180 degrees until reaching the apse of the same church, near the old cemetery, opening the way, beautiful but simple pointed stone door. The two entrances led to the parade ground which, from its rear, closed the main façade of the castle, where to its right another slightly Gothic door opens.

* (5) MOVER, GREGORIO: Pastoral Visit Book, made by D ........... during the Archbishop of Don Vicente Alda. Fº 15. Arch, of the Archbishop's Palace of Zaragoza.

Pointed, on which the arms of Archbishop Heredia appear: seven silver castles in Campo de Gules, whose shield we will see profusely repeated throughout the ground floor of the fortress, giving us to understand the nobility and importance of that archbishop, Aragonese de Munébrega, son of a Grand Master of the Order of Malta.

This fortress was probably built by the Arabs, before being threatened by the advance of the Christians, already dangerous in the time of Alfonso I the <<Battles>>. But, after studying the oldest part of the bastion, we have found little or nothing belonging to the Agarenes; yes of immediate time to its departure.

Of the conquest of the region by the king <<Casto>>, only a brief note gives us our great chronicler: <<At this time, MCLVII, a great war was being fought against the Moors who were in the region of the Edetans , in the Castles and Forces that they had on the banks of the Algas River, and they won the places of Fauara, Maella, Maçaleón, Valdetormo, Frexneda, Valderobres, Bezeit. Rafals, Monroy and Peñarroja, which are on the banks of Matarraña>> (6) According to what has been read in our grave historian, those squares of Algás and Matarraña were defended by fortresses built by Muslims.

However, the one in Valderrobres lost by the Agarenes, had to be rebuilt by its conqueror Alfonso II, who, as that easily defensible site, accommodated it for royal residence, and with this character it became the possession of the bishops; Later, by Archbishop Fernández de Heredia, who, beginning his prelature in 1383, ordered the plans of the new castle to be drawn up, on the same site where the royal reach of the King of Aragon will rise before, in which so many historical events took place, now it will rise in the feudal mansion of the lords of those lands, with Don García ordering the construction of the basements and the first floor so that, later, his successor, Don Dalmau de Mur y Cervellón, a Catalan, from Cervera, would have the part built upper, ending in a large corridor in which round oculi opened from where the lookouts would glimpse the surrounding geography.

Three towers were erected on those exterior walls: one in the center and two in the corners, which ended in small crenellated terraces from which the walkers performed their function.

The impotent <<Master Tower>> or of the homage, as the lady of the fortress, rose inside, standing out among all. Today, lost some of the superior bodies, surrendered feels by time.


Luckily, among the documents in the Zaragoza Historical Archive, we find an account of the visit that, at the time of Archbishop Don Fadrique of Portugal and at his request, the architects from Zaragoza, Juan de la Mica and Juan de Galí, to different properties of the archbishopric; one of them to Valderrobres (7).

The castle was entered through the two side doors, open, at the junction of the castle with the church, which led to the wide parade ground. There a gothic door with long voussoirs opened. Crossed to the left, one entered the "stable" or stables. Further inside there was yet another great room. In the same passage, also to the left, the accommodation for the horse grooms was opened. At the front of the corridor you came to a large quadrangular enclosure, with characteristics similar to a chapter house, since in it the poyal where the attendees sat is still preserved, which runs through the entire enclosure except for the openings. The room was illuminated by the sunlight that entered through two windows, <<with two iron rexas>>

(6) ZURITA: Anales de Aragón. Lib. II, fº 75
(7) protocol of the notary Salvador de Avizanda. 1532. Historical Arch of Zaragoza.

This, which must have been a comfortable room, was covered with a flat vault supported by lowered arches. At the bottom and left another door opened, in whose key appeared the arms of Fernández de Heredia, which gave way to the wine cellar, <<in which there are three cubes and they are not served; One is for dotzne grandchildren, a little more or less, the other is for eight grandchildren .., and another is for deys grandchildren of wine>> (8)


In our exploration of the castle's dependencies we found one, called a clerical prison, in which, under the hearth of the said dungeon, we observed Deliberations Room, at the entrance of the Valderrobres castle, in the key of whose door appear the arms of the unfortunate Archbishop D. García Fernández de Heredia.

(8) Visit made to the properties of the Archdiocese of Zaragoza. Prot of Salvador de Avizanda. Year 1532.

A gap through which you could go down to the so-called << Well of the hairy hand >>, before which parents used to intimidate their children when, looking for danger, they went through the recesses of the historic castle. But that was neither more nor less than the descent to a passageway of liberation that, through it, reached the opposite bank of the Matarraña, when the fort was besieged by forces from outside. This, and no other used Jesus Zaragoza, who was punished there, when he fled from prison.

Adjoining door and at an angle with the one that leads to the described dungeon was the passage used by the prelates and lords, when they went from their palace rooms to their chapel in the church of Santa María la Mayor.

From this point, climbing a staircase, one reached the wide hall, where through two semicircular doors, topped by the Heredia coat of arms, one entered the great hall of Chimeneas, of great extension and height, covered by a pointed vault, whose supporting arches of the roof appear bare today, simulating the ribs of a large skeleton. In the front there are two mullioned windows, from which their fine columns or mullions have fallen. Between them, at the top, the heraldic arms of Archbishop Fernández de Heredia appeared again, and, at the height of the surface of the hearth, a large fireplace opened whose fire gave heat to the presidency.

On the walls to the right there were three other large Gothic windows topped by openwork cresting farm, which supported thin cylindrical columns like mullioned windows. In the center of this wide wall there is another fireplace, and a third one at the foot of the living room. This one, bigger than the others. When all of them were lit, they constituted the heating of this vast enclosure, where in the winter of 1429 the courts convened by King Alfonso V of Aragon met.

The great culinary feasts were held in this same venue. By adaptation, at the foot of the room a narrow door was opened, through which the food passed to the great room where the diners were.


In that vast enclosure, already described, the said culinary festivities of which the prelates were hosts were celebrated; For this reason, the dependency in which we are now was close to that of the cisoria art, which is clarified by the document of 1532, when we read: << Item, entering through the right room, on the right is the kitchen with a fornico to cook bread or cakes. This the somewhat dirruyda chamynera >> (9). This was a square and wide room, today full of rubble, under which lies the stove.

In the lower part, to one side, the wall was pierced, forming a credence or foramen as a lathe, for the service that is given to them in convents, communicating the kitchen with the dining room, for that opening to pass food.

Kitchen was high rise. From the square solution it was passed to the octagonal one through four Persian tubes open at the vertices, on which the octagonal solution appears mounted, rising to the height of the eight faces to meet in a central oculus, which disappeared today, when the ground fell. outhouse cover. The smoke came out of this oculus. A wonderful unit worthy of study, although one very similar to this one, we have seen in the enclosure, now used as a museum, of the Pamplona Cathedral.

A little further inside were the kitchen and pantry, as expressed in the aforementioned Zaragoza protocol: <<Item, entering through the said room, on the left, there is a chamber with its chaminera. It's good. Item, further into a decked chamber and within that there are six jars of earth, and all three of them are broken. Item, further inside there is another room and, within that, another. They are good>> (10).

(10) Ibid.

Undoubtedly, in these rooms they kept the kitchen supplies, salted foods, preserves and the consequent gadgets.


There were still some first-rate rooms in the palace, now missing. We observe this when reading in the protocol: <<Further inside there is another room that is said of the Lions>> It was undoubtedly a room, named after this delicate king of the jungle, whose image still remains. I remember that one of the nights I lived in Valderrobres, I was walking after dinner, under the fine rain, when passing the portal of San Roque I noticed two high pedestals that each held a lion carved in stone, looking like work of much antiquity. These were the <<lions>> that gave name to one of the main rooms of the archiepiscopal mansion. We say this because, at the time the notarial protocol was written, it gave it its importance.


Well preserved was still the so-called Golden Chamber, which was located a little beyond the room of the lions and, judging by what our document says, it was in good condition when the archbishop's architects visited it, in the first third of the 16th century. The notarial testimony, so often named, says that, after that of the Lions, there is <<another room further inside, which is said to be the GOLDEN CAMBRA>>. Once the inspection is done, sanction saying: <<it is good>>.

This must have been one of the richest dependencies of the castle-palace, until we are inclined to believe that it must have been covered by a coffered ceiling made by the guild of the fuster, which in those times were so dear to adorn this kind of constructions. For this reason, the room was known by this name, where the archbishop's gold and perhaps even his heraldic weapons would shine, but today nothing remains of it.

Marching we went among the ruins of the archiepiscopal mansion with our description in our hands, following the path of the <<village workers>>, reading below: <<before entering a staircase that goes down to the archbishop's chapel there is a necessary one, and, going down a staircase and in front of it, there is a chapel that is said to be the archbishop>>.

What the architects Mica and Galí call <<necessary>> was a drilled stone with two round holes, in one of which the prelate sat to relieve himself. It doesn't matter that it was two-person. The toilet, with its stone, was a ledge into the abyss through which the <<detritus>> fell, consuming itself in the outer base of the castle.

The hole on the left side of the left side appears chipped today, inclining me to believe that this was not due to use, but due to the abuse of the wandering <<senderos>> of the stately castle, who perhaps took revenge on the historic castle Mr. staff.

From this chapel of the archbishops we pass by to describe it by making it of the archpriest church.


Going up the ladder you reached a <<skid>>, through which you entered an <<olivera>>, where, for the consumption of the house, they used to keep the olives from the harvest, and it was not only this place where they kept such rich fruit: they also filled other rooms with it.

Around that "skid", which was a large patio, there were two others, with their covering arches, uncovered, whose places had been separate lodgings at one time. In one of the small rooms there was another <<necessarily>> or hygienic service, which must have been destined for servants or court courts.


Almost at the maximum height that dominates the town, where the castle walls rise, next to it and connected with it, stands the archpriest church of Santa María la Mayor, whose name, later, del Pilar.

It was the church of Valderrobres built in the time of King Jaime II of Aragon, beginning the works at the end of the 13th century.

The whole church is built of stone, in the purest Gothic style of the time, appreciating this particularity throughout the whole.

It has a single nave plan, wide and of splendid proportion, enough to accommodate a large number of parishioners in the offices.

Without crossing, with heptagonal line header. The ship lengthens without running three sections; the last one, at the feet, was demolished in 1865, because <<part of the Church collapsed, behind the current Choir, and what has fallen has not yet been raised. It happened about 23 years ago>> (11)

(11) Pastoral Visitation Book, made by Don Gregorio Mover in 1898, born in the Archbishopric of Don Vicente Alda. Manuscript of the Secret, from the Palace of Zaragoza.

What the architects Mica and Galí call <<necessary>> was a drilled stone with two round holes, in one of which the prelate sat to relieve himself. It doesn't matter that it was two-person. The toilet, with its stone, was a ledge into the abyss through which the <<detritus>> fell, consuming itself in the outer base of the castle.

The hole on the left side of the left side appears chipped today, inclining me to believe that this was not due to use, but due to the abuse of the wandering <<senderos>> of the stately castle, who perhaps took revenge on the historic castle Mr. staff.

From this chapel of the archbishops we pass by to describe it by making it of the archpriest church.


Going up the ladder you reached a <<skid>>, through which you entered an <<olivera>>, where, for the consumption of the house, they used to keep the olives from the harvest, and it was not only this place where they kept such rich fruit: they also filled other rooms with it.

Around that "skid", which was a large patio, there were two others, with their covering arches, uncovered, whose places had been separate lodgings at one time. In one of the small rooms there was another <<necessarily>> or hygienic service, which must have been destined for servants or court courts.


Almost at the maximum height that dominates the town, where the castle walls rise, next to it and connected with it, stands the archpriest church of Santa María la Mayor, whose name, later, del Pilar.

It was the church of Valderrobres built in the time of King Jaime II of Aragon, beginning the works at the end of the 13th century.

The whole church is built of stone, in the purest Gothic style of the time, appreciating this particularity throughout the whole.

It has a single nave plan, wide and of splendid proportion, enough to accommodate a large number of parishioners in the offices.

Without crossing, with heptagonal line header. The ship lengthens without running three sections; the last one, at the feet, was demolished in 1865, because <<part of the Church collapsed, behind the current Choir, and what has fallen has not yet been raised. It happened about 23 years ago>> (11)

(11) Pastoral Visitation Book, made by Don Gregorio Mover in 1898, born in the Archbishopric of Don Vicente Alda. Manuscript of the Secret, from the Palace of Zaragoza.

En general, es muy simple la cubrición de la amplia nave de esta iglesia, cuyos tramos son sustentados por cuatro nervios mixtilíneos del incipiente estilo gótico, de piedra, los cuales e unen oblicuamente en la clave después de recorrer la cubierta, para en su bajada descansar junto a los paramentos, sobre cinco baquetones en minoración, que adelgazan a medida que se aproximan a la pared.

Muy curiosas e historiadas son las claves que encierran las cubiertas. La de la cabecera tiene esculpida la figura de la Virgen con un ángel a cada lado; el Niño sobre el brazo izquierdo, y en su mano derecha porta un roble, símbolo heráldico de la histórica villa. La clave del segundo tramo muestra en relieve la figura del Cordero, emblema de la Iglesia Metropolitana de Zaragoza. En la tercera clave aparece el obispo de Zaragoza, revestido de capa mitra y báculo, bendiciendo el templo de Valderrobres, con un diácono a cada lado.


It was the wish of Don Hernando de Aragón, grandson of Fernando the Catholic, to build an altar in Santa María la Mayor, worthy of this favorite town of his archdiocese, Don Hernando had arrived in Valderrobres, in March 1545, having entered the lands of his dominance, <<because there was a great need for their presence in that place and their possession>> (12).

It was Saturday, the eve of Easter, when the prelate decided to carry out some projects that, in favor of Valderrobres, he had. One of those days he administered Confirmation to all the children in and around the village. He then blessed two bells, perhaps for the church tower.

(12) ESPÉS, DIEGO DE: Ecclesiastical history. Ms, from the Seo de Zaragoza. Fº 806, vº

Another day he called Jerónimo Vallejo, <<Cosida>>, his artistic advisor, <<the best of all the painters there have been in Aragon in those centuries>> (13), to communicate her desire to build a main altar for the parish church, being arranged the making of said altarpiece, in this same town, on May 6, before the <<notary Hierónimo Paier, and Jerónimo Balexo, a painter, who was one of the most skilled and advantageous of the kingdom, in time of three years ... for the price of the first fruit that the people have for eleven years, which will be worth two thousand five hundred salaries and. The archbishop then forced himself to give three hundred ducats for the painter to start the work, which he wanted to help them out of this and do mercy>> (14). It was also adjusted that the work <<had to be a very good piece, as well as the altarpiece and the doors very well painted>>. Finally, on August 27 of that year, the Zaragoza commitment was finalized, before the notary Juan de Alfaxarín; moreover, nothing important is included in this protocol, since the characteristics of the work were written beforehand, in the aforementioned May document, in Valderrobres (15)

It is known that, at the agreed time, <<Cosida>> finished the altarpiece, both the painting and the fustería work, being divided into five streets, with a beautiful basement of more beautiful perspectives that crossed two doors to make way for the transalt, in which he painted the images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, finishing this colossal altarpiece in an attic, where Calvary appeared.

At the height of the second body, inside a niche, the image of Santa María la Mayor was placed, a beautiful sculpture carved in wood by the chisel of Bernardo Pérez, a famous image maker who had worked on the tomb of the abbot, Lupo Marco, which can still be seen in the church of the Monastery of Veruela and also, in the burial of Archbishop Don Hernando de Aragón, contracted with the prelate in 1550, and mounted in the Cathedral of La Seo de Zaragoza.

Above the niche of the Virgin, in an opening appeared a circle supported by two angels, within which the custody with the Blessed Sacrament was housed, as was customary to manifest in Aragonese temples.

The great altarpiece of Valderrobres was enclosed in wide bracelets, appearing in them, at the height of the third body, on both sides, the large size talking weapons of Valderrobres and, also, duplicated at the top of the bracelets, the genealogical weapons of the royal house of Aragon, to which Archbishop Don Hernando belonged.

During our civil war, part of the altarpiece was destroyed, saving important fragments of it, among which are; the predella, one of the doors and a large part of the brick, which, with the help of some graphic testimonies, could later be restored and completed by the Albareda brothers. Today, such a beautiful and monumental altarpiece is stored in one of the attics of the old Hospital de la Caridad, in the same town.

(13) ABIZANDA Y BROTO, M,: Historia literaria de Aragón, tº II, pág. 48
(14) ESPÉS, DIEGO DE: Op. Cit.
(15) Archivo Histórico de Protocolos. Zaragoza. Escribanía de Juan de Alfaxarín 1945, fº 450


Everyone is interested in knowing the value of this little-known jewel of our Teruel town.

Such a beautiful piece was lost in the days of our civil war. During the fight, someone took it away knowing its value, as well as other jewels, keeping them in a safe place. At the end of the war it was brought to Zaragoza by the Recovery Board, depositing it in the Provincial Museum. There, inside a large display case, a good number of professional crosses were exhibited, coming from as many places. It would be eight to ten who were waiting for someone to recognize them and claim them.

Little by little, these and other liturgical objects were returned to their place of origin, with only one large object remaining in the Museum. The remainder, if not returned to their origin, were delivered to the Archbishop's Palace in Zaragoza.

The cross of Valderrobres slept there for several years, as it had also slept in our city, when it was exhibited in the Hispano-French Exhibition of 1908-1909, among the most select jewels known in Spain.

This jewel is of great proportions, one of the largest of its kind; 1.30 high by 0.60 from end to end of the arms. All of it is of contrasted silver, although some of the parts, cast (the figures); others, of thick embossed sheet metal, going all kinds of pieces chiseled or reworked with a burin. Once studied, we have proven to be a work of the 16th century.

The cross has two faces, whose faces are presided over by the figures of the crucified Jesus and the Virgin with the Child. In the first, the center of the crossbar. The quatrefoil medallions appear with the symbols of the evangelists; to the left, the lion of San Marcos; on the right, the bull of San Lucas.

The figure of Christ focuses the light, appearing with the Gothic characteristics required by the whole of the work. The ends of the arm are finished in beautiful embossed clumps, all of them going, surrounded by delicate cresting. In the vertical arm of the jewel the symbols of the evangelists are completed, seeing above the eagle of San Juan and, below, the angel of San Mateo. Above and below them, the terminal clusters of the arm are repeated.

The base of the cross is formed by a large knot in the form of a temple, with a Gothic trace, which is crowned by eight Apostles with their corresponding attributes, closing the auction in a polygonal line. In the lower and thickest part of the knot, a moment of the Transit of the Virgin appears, lying on her bed, surrounded by the Apostles. In the background, the soul of the Mother of God appears ascending to heaven, protected by two angels. Above the group, the figure of the Eternal Father with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Beautiful group where the artist has grouped figures and symbols, in the smallest space.

Two Apostles are housed in the lateral niches of the hexagon that forms the temple, which, up to the number of twelve, will appear on the opposite side.

All this complicated imagery appears housed under a Gothic canopy, with the scenes being separated by angular decorations, placed in the manner of the flying buttresses of our Gothic cathedrals, which give a certain delicacy to the whole.

On the back of the cross the image of the Virgin appears, centering that one.

On the sides of the crossbar, at the height of Our Lady, the images of Saint John and Mary Magdalene appear, in a round shape, on quadrifolios.

At the top of the vertical of the cross, on another quadrifoliate plate, a beautiful pelican appears with its three young, on top of a nest whimsically woven with silver filament. Symbolic theme, which increases our admiration for the contagious sympathy that this graceful figure arouses.

Under the image of Mary, on another plate similar to the previous ones, the figure of the Archangel Saint Michael appears as head of the heavenly militia, whose motif, like the three mentioned oreos, ends in a large clump.

As in the previous face, the apostles lodged in their chapels reappear on the basement, crowning this part of the rich work. Below. Sheltered in a capricious canopy, the group of the Descent from the Cross centers the temple, in which Jesus appears supported by the Virgin and Saint John, with the cross of his martyrdom seen in the background.

The great artist, creator of this magnificent jewel, has reminded us in the grouping of his masses of those groups of imagery carved by the Morlanes, Joly, Forment and Pedro Moreto, housed in the altars of the cathedral temples of the three provinces Aragonese, which were conceived at the same time that Orona was building the unique processional cross of Valderrobres.


It is difficult to find their affiliation and name of their maker in jewels of this species, because until the end of the 15th century silversmiths rarely signed their work. But already then the need for a guarantee or fidelity, demanded in the public service, was noted, which, attended by the Catholic Monarchs, was when they gave orders so that in the ordinances of the guilds one was decreed that each silversmith had his own punch, with which he would mark the pieces coming from his workshop.


Nothing that could identify the jewel appeared on the Valderrobres cross; However, when disassembled, the Zaragoza awl appeared five to six times and, with only one time, the royal ordination would have been fulfilled.

Also in our kingdom the silversmiths of Teruel, either marked the first three letters, or the six of the full name; TER or TERUEL and, below, his unmistakable toric, with the trick hanging from his neck.

Those from Huesca signed OSCA, with the image of the victorious warrior on his horse. Those from Zaragoza were insulting; CES, from the Latin Cesaraugusta, and after the anagram was the lion of Zaragoza accompanied to CES, only once does the name of the goldsmith appear on our cross. To see it, it was necessary to disassemble the jewel, and on it the signature was modestly drawn and, covering it, the image of Saint Michael appeared, in such a way that, without disassembling the piece to make its restoration, we would not have been able to observe it. There, with all clarity, appears the surname ORONA; just the five letters, and no more.

But who was Orona? When we find out, little is found about this artist who, living in Zaragoza, worked in the 16th century. His name was Juan.

The first news about the surname is found about a silversmith from Barcelona, ​​called Marcos, who in June 1560 the originator of the Valderrobres cross is a Juan de Orona, of whom the count of Vizaña, our paisano, in his <<Additions to the Historical Dictionary of the Most Illustrious Professors of Fine Arts >>, by Ceán Bermúdez. He says that it was the silversmith Juan de Orona, and not the painter Jerónimo Cosida, who gave the drawings to make the head of the bust of San Hermenegildo, ordered by the archbishop Don Hernando for the cathedral of La Seo, which Orona himself embossed and carved in silver, the year 1562.

The brothers Anselmo and Pedro Gascón de Gotor come to say similar things about the San Hermenegildo, but giving Cosida as the designer of the work and the realization of the Orona work: <<Jerónimo Cosida, the same perhaps who gave the note for the bust of San Hermenegildo, which is also preserved in this temple, a work executed in 1562 by Juan de Orona, at the expense of the magnanimous Archbishop Don Fernando de Aragon>> (16)

The same Count of Viñaza tells us about Juan de Orona, a silversmith from Zaragoza who in 1578 recomposed and perfected the Gothic processional cross in the parish of Santa Magdalena de Zaragoza, which, in 1480, Pedro Durans had composed a silversmith, but that at the end of the XV century this precious work had been undone.

Again we find the name of <<silversmith Juan de Orona, living in Zaragoza>> in a professional contract, by which he was obliged to make a silver monstrance for the parish church of Cenarbe, a town in the mountains of Jaca, in the Kingdom of Aragon.

In the protocol it was agreed that Juan de Orona <<has to make a silver monstrance for the church of San Pedro de Cenarbe, made and finished and put into profile, weighing forty-five gold shields, little more or less>>, signing the agreement on December 29, 1583, in Zaragoza.

(16) Zaragoza Monumental, Artística e Histórica, Zaragoza, 1890, t. II. Page 212
(17). This is the last document that we have found about Juan de Orona.


Nobody knew how our cross of Valderrobres had disappeared, but after the war ended, one day it appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts in Zaragoza, accompanied by a good number of liturgical jewels from very different towns in the Aragonese region.

One day, I don't remember which speaker -may have been Don José Galiay-, told us about that treasure deposited there by the lords of the Recovery Board, whose pieces appeared deposited and exposed to the public in large glass cabinets, so that everyone could contemplate them and denounce their origin; then return them to their source. This was done with some of those jewels, the rest being sent to the archiepiscopal palace, leaving only a large silver cross in the Museum, which, inside a wooden chest, still remains, waiting for someone (it will be rare). acknowledge.

The cross of Valderrobres in the palace of the Plaza de la Seo was kept, until one day the Canon Mr. Gil Ulecia identified it, using a collotype of Hauser and Menet, from the book <<Retrospective Art Exhibition>>, from the Hispano-French Exhibition in Zaragoza in 1908, written by the late French professor Emile Bertaux. Purchased collotype and jewel, this one was identified.

One day we went to Valderrobres to meet with the parish priest Don Leandro Lop, who entrusted us to carry out some formalities in Zaragoza, which were fulfilled. Later, when said gentleman appeared in our city, in the company of the mayor of that town, Mr. Enrique Micolau, the three of us went to the palace, where after signing for a time for the commission, Mr. del Valle gave us the cross, in name of the Archbishop.

This piece was then taken to the workshop of the jeweler restorer Waldesco Balaguer, an artist of Aragonese tradition, who before the piece made the necessary warnings about its possible restoration and how to complete its losses, which were not few.

The cross was disassembled and, seeing the number of defects that had appeared, the orificer dedicated himself to casting and embossing all the necessary pieces, to thread it as it should in the set.

It was then that, taking advantage of the fact that the cutting was not assembled, we used to study the cross in its detail.

After completing and reviewing the entire work, the architect dedicated himself to assembling the set of the rich medal, as can be seen today, once again having a net weight of worked silver equal to 7,850 kilograms.

As it must have when it came out of the hands of the silversmith Juan de Orona, in the 16th century.

With the work prepared, a big day for Valderrobres was the Assumption of the Virgin, August 15, when he returned to his traditional accommodation in the Church of Santa María la Mayor.


Many of the great houses built in this town have disappeared. Without moving from its Plaza Mayor, we appreciate the transformation that a large house has undergone that used to open in front of the exit of the door of San Roque and the inn where I stay. A small French stone shield has been attached to the wall of said house, in whose field two bears appear in an attitude of fighting against each other, the shield being mounted by helmets and lambrequins. Are they weapons of the Bielsa?

Another noble house in this square is the one still called the Pereret family, whose wide balconies are supported by projecting stone footings, with a stepped line. In this classic building, two of these footings appear hidden, from which two glass viewpoints emerge to the outside, decomposing the harmony of the facade. On a balcony of the noble floor a coat of arms appears, flanked by two tenant wolves, whose accentuated sexing soon distinguishes the male from the female. An outstretched hand appears in the field of the shield, which can be weapons of the Guilleuma or Manero.

Another magnificent manor house seems to border that of the Council, separated from it by a narrow street that comes from the San Roque bridge, the house where I have received an inn, as many times as in Valderrobres I died. She may have had her armory stone, now missing, if it is not found behind the label of the industry that is housed in it. This house has been very distorted by men and time. It had three floors, ending in a large terrace. Closed by a poyal with gothic finials. In the canton there is still a quadrilateral tower that ends in four angular auctions.

In this Plaza Mayor stands the town council house, begun in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, and completed in 1599, a date that appears on the two heraldic shields: above the entrance door, under the porches, and in which it appears carved on the cornerstone, at the height of the first floor, where you can see two mythical tenant griffons, male and female, in profile, holding the town's coat of arms: a stout oak.

The entire building is made of ashlar stone, consisting of three floors: the first one used for cells and bailiffs' houses; the second to municipal offices, and the third to sunbathing, where the construction ends, protected by a magnificent carved eaves.

The balconies on the main floor are framed by simple pilasters that support triangular pediments; beautiful wrought iron projections, protected by shelves, in a scroll of the same metal, so characteristic of the Aragonese forge workshops.

The highest body of the building forms a <<loggia>> or solanar, which protects the daring eaves. Magnificent architectural ensemble of the Aragonese Renaissance, which in 1929 deserved to be reproduced in the Spanish Village of the International Exhibition of Barcelona.


Family of recognized cleanliness of blood, since ancient times, and of roots in Aragon, as we have already said. For this reason, once it was heard to say: <<If they weren't the Moleses, there would be no Aragonese>>, of whose line we speak, when we did it of the Valderrobres cross.

The manor house of those still stands, located in the old <<carré Pla>> or Llana street, which today is known as Mayor, bearing number 5, on the same sidewalk and very close to the House Consistorial.

It has a wide facade, with two semicircular doors; One of them, the main one, although important reforms were made in the house, many remains of its original distribution remain, which denounce a construction from the late Gothic style. Its windows are rectangular.
It has an underground plant connected to the Matarraña river; mezzanine floor for stables, garages and warehouses; noble floor with daring balconies and windows and, finally, the attic as an Aragonese solanar, all the way through semicircular arches, protected by a projecting wooden eaves.

On the main door, the heraldic shield of the Moles still hangs, already from the time of Felipe III; split shield. In the upper field, three molars topped by Latin crosses; in the lower one, five rhombuses, going over the shield a winged helmet, appearing all surrounded by the lambrequins. The letters MO-LES appear on the foot, leaving the surname in the middle, to the left and right of the shield.

That must have been a splendid mansion that, furnished, as its inhabitants required, must have been the envy of the region.


Crossing the beautiful stone bridge, whose cutwater falls to our right, we arrive in front of the Puerta de San Roque, also called the Puerta de los Leones, through which we enter the town.

The door, all of it built with carved stone ashlar, is flanked by the town hall house, and on the other side by an old medieval house with the pretense of a fortified enclosure, which on the river side has lost almost all its character, although its façade facing the Plaza Mayor retained much of its original character, especially in its terminal body.

The Puerta de San Roque, itself, has the shape of a keep with its defenses, ending in a crenellated terrace, of which a small tower is missing in its front part. At the top appears a barbican, supporting its parapet with three solid modillions.

The entrance arch is made up of a series of spars in radial cut, resting on the cushions that form the foot. A niche was once opened over the keystone of the arch, which houses the stone image of the titular saint.

On stone pedestals of 1.70 meters high, attached to the jambs of the door, they look like two beautiful crowned lions showing the arms of Valderrobres enclosed in a shield. These are the lions that came down many years ago from one of the castle's rooms, which they gave their name to, as has already been said.


The so-called <<Parrizal>> is a natural region, open on both banks of the Matarraña, which owes its name to the fact that in the past a good number of <<parrizas>> or wild vines were raised there, which in Latin they called <<labruscas>>, which have disappeared, occupying those areas of vegetation the massifs of boxwood, holm oaks and holly, Scots pine, Aleppo and blackberry, appearing the solera covered with bearberry and creeping plants, with an abundance of ivy and grasses.

Very rugged area of ​​the Matarraña River, it comes from the upper part of the basin, adorned with cliffs and large cliffs that were once involved in the passage of waters, when the river was more mighty. After passing that region of the basin, you reach a part of the channel that receives the name of <<Las Gumias>> because of the accidents that seem to affect the shapes of piles, surely sharper in times before ours. Which time and atmospheric phenomena have managed to round off and kill its artists, as can be seen in the place of the <<Black Badina>> of Parrizal, in its upper part.

The riverbed becomes narrow; other times, wider, it opens to an inordinate breadth, to then close in canyons that narrow thick natural walls, as in the famous <<Estrecho del Parrizal>> until passing through <<Mas de Lluvia>>, following the riverbed your destination until near the town of Beceite and, on your way out, around the town licking your feet on the plain, then strolling up to the highest of Valderrobres when you receive the Tastavins.

Among those fearsome accidents are the storms that develop, those that, being very abundant, produce that they develop, those that, being very abundant, produce continuous landslides, which is also helped by the strong wind <<mestral>>, corruption of the French <<mistral>>, so similar to the <<Aragonese wind>>.

From the ancient presence of the <<Hispanic Pyrenean capra>> among some deer in this region, there are still living traces with the presence of some of those animals, especially the wild goat, although the deer disappeared from these lands not many years ago.

As for the ancient traces, there are some prehistoric ones in which curious rock compositions can be seen, which can be admired in the Palaeolithic stations that appear near Cretas, in the province of Teruel, ten kilometers from Valderrobres , as it is in the <<Roca dels Moros>>, of the Calapta ravine, and in the <<Els Gascons>> ravine, also near Cretas.

From the Matarraña to the east, extending well into the province of Tarragona, the ports of Beceite extend, in which the <<mestral>> often blows, cool and dry, extending the rugged lands from north to south, from Lledó and Arens de Lledó to the port of Benifazá, through the Algás and Matarraña rivers, but to the right of these.

There is not much proliferation of the


Among the predators of wild goats we must also mention the owl << Grand Duke >>, which knows very well these lands that it continually recognizes for its rapacity. Another enemy of the offspring is the wild cat, which may not be so harmful for having a night life, because when it roams the field the offspring are at rest. The goats' great enemy is the fox, who waits on the prowl during the absence or remoteness of the mother, which, if perceived, attacks the thief with boldness, until it ever lets go of its prey. But, despite all this, the worst enemy of the wild goat in the ports of Beceite is man, under the circumstance, sometimes permanent, of a poacher-hunter bandit. This is the one who chases males as well as females, without respecting their age. The poacher had to be an occasion waiting for the mother to give birth, but the capture project remained there, frustrated by the speedy lightness of the newly calved calf, which did not allow its possible predator to breathe. On the contrary, I met a guard who, in the surroundings of the Pena swamp, had to launch projectiles of agglomerated earth at wild cattle, to scare them away; The kids had come so close to him, perhaps confident that a long time ago (except for some cases) no fire had been made on them.

In spite of everything, taxidermists are increasingly requested to dissect trophies, always with such decorative antlers, that the proud corsairs usually place in the busiest rooms of their house, as we have seen in some of this hunting region.

Of the observations of guards and peaceful farm keepers a writer said that: <<The best hours for observation are those of dawn and dusk>> (18), adding that the best time is that of the bait, when they are found grouped in large herds that sometimes exceed a dozen heads. So, when they split up after the crossing, they are easy for the guards to know, even in gender and number.

In the <<Parrizal de Beceite>> groups of up to twenty specimens have been seen, which came down to the town in search of food through the vineyards, sometimes even mixing with domestic goats and crossing with them, being born then offspring with a marked mountain character, especially among cattle that are not kept in pens.


Leaving Valderrobres on the way to the reservoir, the town is barely behind, it is necessary to take a detour that, six kilometers away, will leave us in front of the reservoir. It is very beautiful and regular in its contour, capable of storing about twenty million cubic meters that the streams provide it: Pena, Formenta and Manzanera, as well as other contributions that some ravines contribute. With its waters lands are irrigated until reaching the vicinity of Fayón.

Rainy day was the one we chose to visit the reservoir. Arrived at the house of the guard Ramón, to enjoy the beautiful view we stand in front of the shady area of ​​Mas de Ferrás. It was the month of March and still the heights of the <<Picotsa>>, a daring hill that closes the swamp on one side, still appeared Snowfall. That we had already entered the spring; but already in Valderrobres, the night before, he had left us white. However, we are headed to Pena.

(18) GALINDO CABEZO, F ,: Reve. <<Teruel>>, nº 33 Year 1965

In the waters of the beautiful and calm swamp the barbel, madrilla, tench, carp, etc., animals that are disappearing from our fresh waters, consumed by the American species of perch and pike, as is happening in the famous <<Estanca>> of Alcañiz, where it is now impossible to see its tasty eel, so sung in the old fishing treatises, because of that and because the zafariche where the eels entered the <<Estanca>> was cut off.

In the afternoon, after the rain stopped, under the heights of the <<Picotsa>> the <<boira>> appeared.

Attracted by the clean and clear water of the swamp, in addition to the extensive layer of vegetation around the reservoir, live the marten, with such delicate and valuable skin; the wild cat, the agile genet, the badger, the free, rabbit and partridge.

Wild boars come to take refuge in the << Mola de la Tosca >>; Ramón knows it and sees them, as well as in all those places he sees the wild goats walking jumping and gathering, in the happy town halls of his days of heat. Ramón, the guard, knows the games and the number of heads in each of them.

Very varied birds are usually seen flying over and around the waters of the reservoir; including the sea heron, which here is called <<garrapescaire>> a slender wader. There are also ducks of the so-called <<green neck>>, as well as gulls and other aquatic birds of the order of waders and riverside birds.

A magnificent future awaits this beautiful place. Last year the project for the use of the waters of the headwaters of the Matarraña and Pena rivers was approved by the General Directorate of Public Works. The works will be the responsibility of the State. In them, a weir will be built, which will divert the waters of the Matarraña to the Pena reservoir, through a channel in a tunnel all of it, five and a half kilometers long.

Its purpose is to improve the irrigation of 1,700 hectares of farmland, distributed between Valderrobres, La Fresneda, Torre del Compte, Valdetormo, Calaceite and Mazaleón, in the province of Teruel, Maella, Fabra, Nonaspe and Fayón, in the of Zaragoza. That day this will be one of the most beautiful places of tourism and entertainment in the sub-Aragonese land.


It was a cold night in March, after heavy snow had fallen on the town. I was walking down Calle Llana after dinner when I heard the sound of <<pulgaretas>>. Where I thought I heard the noise I went upstairs, entering a large quadrilateral room where some young people, boys and girls, were playing castanets or chopsticks. Their movements were very slow, as they were practicing some jota airs that captivated me.

I spoke with them, and at my request they began to move in search of the interpreters that were missing there. It was a great disappointment not to be able to find the singer Rafael Millán, with a fine tenor voice, but soon after, guitarists and bandurists came with pairs of young players, who soon began to move to the sound of the <<Pulgaretas>> accompanying the bars of the Bolero by Valderrobres that, in another time, in this land it was customary to dance.

The couples began the dance with a soft dotting, changing their position from a straight line to a staggered, leaving forming parallel lines. With their hands behind they made a showy braiding of their feet, separating again to join with the right hand joined at the top, to finish the beautiful dance, together, in a final jota danced in the style of Bajo Aragón, in which giving quarter turns hold hands, and join and separate.

During the performance of the bolero the counter was setting the rhythm, reeling off stanzas with the air of a cut jota, like the <<zaragozana>>.

Seis versos de arte menor el bolero, para seguir con cuatro pentasílabos a manera de seguidilla, mas cuatro veros de pie quebrado, para terminar en un aire de jota cantado en octosílabos.

The lyrics and the choreography of Valderrobres' bolero were lost when he abandoned the custom of interpreting it, but many years ago, when <<Tía Cotorra>> was still alive, with her contribution she even greeted that set of dances and tunes, teaching the young people of her time to braid it and, being old, I cannot perfectly remember the lyrics of the composition. This was given to me, but finding some defect I fixed two or three dissonant words, which I give here as the group of three stanzas has been:

Si bailas el bolero,
Ve con cuidado,
Que al dar la vuelta
Puedes caer
Y oírse el ruido
Desde Teruel
¡viva la jota!
¡viva Aragón!
¡viva mi pueblo
¡Que es lo mejor!
Mañica es bajoaragonés
Tierra de amantes dignos de Teruel.
Que viva siempre
Mi gran bolero bajoaragonés.
Bolero de Valderrobres
Honras Aragón y España
Con tu aire tierrabajino
Y garbo del Matarraña-

This ending is sung as a chorus.

Then they sang and danced the jota de Teruel, throwing beautiful tunes into the air. Jota braided with toes and heels, to later sing a beautiful song that the natives usually interpret in August, when they are threshing:

Las barandillas del puente
Se menean cuando paso.
A ti solica te quiero:
De las demás no hago caso.

Recua sings in which the fidelity of the peasant love is affirmed, which deserved to be collected by our musician Don Miguel Arnaudas, in his << Cancionero de la Provincia de Teruel >>

After what has been said, little or nothing remains for me to say, if it is not a desire to sing the rich wines of the region, which in our days, fortunately, are already packaged neatly and even elegantly, served in the tables of our hotels and tourist inns, as I have been able to practically observe and consume that <<where there is wine from Valderrobres ...>> and God forgave me for how devoted I am to that broth.

I could say almost the same about its black olives, so rich, that they are the complement of a medium meal and the supplement of a good meal.
Those of this land have no rival.
Very rich are also the sweets known by different names in this land, in which, sometimes, when composing, they use the tasty almonds that they produce here, resulting from those mixtures <<almendrados>>, <<casquetas>> and <<mostachones>>, so pleasant to digest, especially at the dessert of meals, when they are consumed with that local wine that, being old, begins to be famous.

Memories, many remain in the mind of this humble chronicler, who spent such happy days among the simple and noble peoples of this land; days that you will always remember with pleasure.



From Zaragoza to the beaches of Vinaroz, Benicarló, Peñiscola, etc., they have been carried out by two different routes. After 14 kms from Alcañiz, or through Gandesa or Morella. Well, the one we have marked on this map is for VALDERROBRES.

From Zaragoza to Valderrobres (by Alcañiz) ... ... ... 137 kms

From Valderrobres to Peñiscola (through Tortosa) ... ... ... 105 kms

They total 242 kms.

The pasapues project is an extension of the Aragon project is like that, and tries to collect and relate all possible types of documentary information about Aragon: texts, books, articles, maps, illustrations, photographs, narrations, etc., and proceed to its publication and diffusion.

Aragon, Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza, Saragose. Mudejar, Ebro, Pirineos. Calatayud, Tarazona, Daroca, Sos del Rey Catolico. Spain

Copyright 1996-2024 © All Rights Reserved Francisco Javier Mendivil Navarro, Aragon (Spain)

Explanations or to correct errors please press here

Legal Warning. This activity of the Asociacion Cultural Aragon Interactivo y Multimedia
As opposed to the threat of the hope of the water trasvase: CONGRATULATIONS.

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