The history of Belchite can be summed up like this: after the national uprising against the Second Republic, the militaries of Zaragoza supported the coup, transforming the area into a battle field. The republican army moved forward claiming the regions until they stumbled with an impressive military contingent barricaded in Belchite.
The battle was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of Spain.
The town resisted with such strength that after the victory Franco himself honored the people that were still alive.
He offered a gift for the town, they had to choose between changing the system of dry land crops to an irrigation one, which would have completely transformed Belchite, making it the richest land in Aragón, or to build a new town. They chose the second option, which has left a legacy to new generations: a memory of what happened in that place.
Belchite is frozen in time, abandoned by its people, looking towards itself and the few visitors that go there.
The new town was rebuilt by the republican prisoners, and most of them continued living in the ruins of Belchite, since they had no future elsewhere.
In the mountains of Moncayo, 84 Km from Zaragoza on the N-122, you can find Tarazona. It is a nice city which has more than 2000 years of Mudejar art throughout its streets and squares.
It has monuments dating from the XII to XX centuries. It is the site of the town hall of the zone, and has an exhibition area, medieval city, sport centre, wide choice of hotels, municipal swimming pools and industrial areas
The local saint’s festival is celebrated from the 27th of August to the 1st of September in honour of San Atilano
Uncastillo is a small pretty medieval village which is considered to be the best Romanic complex of the XII century in Spain. In 1966 it was declared a site of historic and artistic importance. It is worth at least spending a day visiting it.
I walked through the narrow steep streets without hurrying, I looked up and down and from side to side, because there are many treasures to discover. Don’t miss visiting the castle, where the Torre del Homenaje (XI century) and the palace (XIV century) are preserved; the church of Santa María (XII and XV-XVI centuries), with an impressive side gate, and the church of San Martín de Tours, converted into a Centre of the Interpretation of Romanic art (XII century).
There, there is a beautiful audio-visual presentation, “Piedras para la Fe”, which transports us to the medieval age so that we can get to know the work of a stonecutter and the society of that time.
When the lights are lit you can see the interior of the church and the magnificent collection of furniture, religious objects and altars.
Important: visiting the interior of the monuments is only possible with a guide from the Interpretation Centre in a guided visit.The Centro de Interpretación San Martín de Tours is open in winter Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00. At Easter and summer, it is openfrom Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.
The visits in the Centre and the village begin on the hour. The visit in the Centre lasts one hour, and that in the village one or two hours.
Villa de Uncastillo, one hour visits: leaving from the church of San Martín, Lonja-Palacio de Martín el Humano, Plaza del Mercado, Mediavilla Street, Town Hall, church of Santa María. Two hours visits: leaving from the church of San Martín, Lonja-Palacio de Martín el Humano, Plaza del Mercado, Mediavilla Street, church of San Andrés, church of Santa María, church of San Juan, church of San Felices, Town Hall. I included a visit to the inside of the monument.
Held the last week in July. Truly spectacular, all the village dress in medieval costume, also the buildings. Parades, battles, theatre, falconry, archery, medieval children games, etc.
I’ve been there three times: twice for the fair and once at Easter, this year it rained so there were no processions, but the brotherhoods made a little exaltation in the church with drums. It’s like a duel between hand drums and bass drums. Two hotels: Cienbalcones, opened in august 2007 in a renovated building. It has the splendour of an architecture at one with the village, more than a hundred balconies look out of its facades, and modern interiors. A very good restaurant.
The Posada del Almudí, has two buildings situated in front of each other in the centre of the village of Daroca. It has two distinct areas: one belonging to the restored building from the XV century and the other from the present with a modern and functional design. A good restaurant.
We found out about Anento in the summer of 2016. Once a family member took us there for an afternoon excursion. Driving from Monreal del Campo, we took A-23 freeway to Zaragoza and exited in Lechon and drove the back road to Anento. We saw the sign Castillo and took the road to this ruined castle, the only intact structure of this monument is the fortress. Coming here gave us a top view of the village and its surroundings - its vegetation, the canyons, the hills, and part of the village. Driving from a vast plain, we felt that we found a place that is special for us and that increased our appetite to find more about this place.
We drove down and parked in the public parking space right at the entrance of the village. We strolled in and silently passed the church and followed the sign aguallueve where we passed parcels of orchards. We carried on walking onto the vegetation and passed the stairs heading up to the castle. Along the way, we ran into a old couple sitting at the picnic area; they were holding water container, gave us a smile and started to talk to us. Charo and her cousin Alberto chatted with them while I walked towards the faucet to go for a drink and listened to the conversation. The water is refreshing especially during the heat of the summer. Then, we continued on and followed the aguallueve trail.
When we reached aguallueve, a natural wonder in this village, where cold water drips and goes to the natural pond. We took a refreshing shower and also went into the small caves and discover what a natural wonder of this place has. Then, we continued on taking the trail, which took us the shaded area of aguallueve. We passed through trees that stretched out to find light; trees that are covered with poison ivy. We also stopped by the orchards around to see what they were cultivating. Then, in no time, we reached the tourist info office.
We also went back to chruch and went into the porticoe