This village is located in the province of Teruel, in the heart of the region of Maestrazgo, a perfect destination for those who love rural areas, history, and nature. Spain has many little inland villages which have no comparison with the big cities. Villarluengo has just around 200 inhabitants and it is located on top of a cliff. A mysterious and enigmatic village due to its rocky and wild environment, what makes that its small houses can be seen from far away. For these reasons, Villarluengo has become an interesting attraction for tourists.
Villarluengo not only stands out for its natural tourist attractions in the surrounding area, but also for its great history, which dates back to the Muslim period. If anyone wants to learn about the history of Spain and the villages of Teruel, discover more about this fascinating town is a must.
The history of Villarluengo dates back to the time of the Reconquest, in the 11th century. It was one of the crucial points in the north of the peninsula, as it was the boundary of part of the territory that was divided between the Christians and the Muslims. It was in 1176, when the first written documents mentioned this town appear.
Villarluengo lived through different kingdoms until it was repopulated and ruled by the Templars in the 14th century, which helped it to progress and increase its wealth. However, in the 19th century arrived the Carlist Wars. At this period, one of the most important Paper Mills in Spain was opened.
However, the town suffered great damage to both its infrastructure and its heritage not only because of the Carlist Wars, but also for the Civil War. This village became gradually smaller and emptier with the arrival of democracy and rural depopulation. However, many rural areas in the country have recently been highlighted as for example Villarluengo, and, due to its wonderful natural environment and its great historical legacy, it has recovered the prestige and interest of the past.
Although Villarluengo is a small village, it is also a place with different historical spots which are worthy of visiting. It is really easy to discover and find historical remains when you are taking a stroll in this town: from the town hall in Aragonese style, dating from the 16th century to the remains of a wall arch dating from the 12th century, during the rule of the Aragonese Knights Templar. Of course, everything is fascinating, but there are some essential stops for all visitors.
It is necessary to mention the church of ‘Nuestra Señora de la Asunción’ in a neoclassic style, dating from the 18th century. It consists of three naves covered with a central half-barrel vault; it is reinforced with two octagonal towers that can already be seen when you arrive to the village. Not forgetting its fortifications, which are crowned by four large towers scattered around the town. These are the Jorge, Sancho, Soriano and Montesanto towers. Other outstanding elements are the hermitages of San Bartolomé and San Cristóbal.
However, the remains of the Paper Mill and the ruins of the Monte Santo convent are the most relevant spots. The Papel Mill was one of the most significant industrialised events of the 17th century in this village, which is located just 7 kilometres from the centre. So, it is the perfect trip to discover its infrastructure and the remains of the past. The Monte Carlo convent was built in the 16th century and has a mysterious history behind it. Legend states that before being condemned to death, Juan Herrero saw the face of the Virgin Mary on the wall of the convent. Years later, and without knowledge of this event, another man, Juan Ferrero, came back to proclaim that he had seen her. It is said that when he hugged her image to his chest, it was engraved into his skin.
There is much more to do in Villarluengo, not just strolling around the town. This village is located in the middle of a stunning natural area, so there are many interesting plans to do in the surrounding area, in the heart of Maestrazgo.
This is one of the most attractive places of Villarluengo, which can be reached on foot from many paths and routes. This is a huge limestone rock formation that has shaped the entire geology of the area. It is ideal for hiking and for discovering the flora and fauna of this beautiful part of the country.
One of the most popular trips is hiking to another little town: Pitarque. It has just 70 inhabitants and is located at the foot of the Peñarrubia mountain, which makes it a perfect access point for hiking routes. Furthermore, when you arrive, you can pass through its famous stone tunnels.
This chapel, hidden in the middle of the nature, was built during the 18th century. This small stone building is only a 20-minute drive from Villarluengo, and it is part of the ‘Red Natural de Aragón’ (Natural Network of Aragon). It was completely destroyed, although there is an exact recreation of the original.
For lovers of extreme and aquatic sports, here there is a highlighted spot: ‘La Granja Ravine’, an incredible waterfall which is just a 15-minute drive. Besides, the river has created some perfect pools for the summer, which can be reached by a short walk.
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