Surrounded by the river Guadalaviar and erected on a cliff, Albarracín has managed to overcome the passage of time and today is preserved as in the seventeenth century, when its decline began.
Some time ago Albarracín had challenged all the people around him. It was in the 10th century when the Berber family Banu Razín was installed in this nucleus of Muslim origin, which gave its name to the nucleus and had a great influence on the history of the city. Albarracín is a focus of great interest and diversity, both for its Muslim past and its situation halfway between Aragón and Castilla, in one of the Spanish regions with the greatest ethnographic, folkloric and architectural interest.
The first settlers left their mark in the area 10,000 years ago in the Rodeno cave paintings. As a sample of its Roman and Visigothic past, it has an aqueduct about twenty-five kilometers long that carried the water from Albarracín to Cella and that at the time was one of the longest river works of the entire Roman Empire after the constructions carried out in Rome. It was an independent kingdom of the Cordovan Caliphate and belonged to the family of the Beni Razin, who as mentioned above, gave it its current name. With Ibn Ammar, this territory reached a great splendor, being a center of culture and refinement before the arrival of the Christians.
Throughout its history, Albarracín has been characterized by its indomitable and independent character. In fact, his Taifa was the last one next to that of the city of Zaragoza to give in to the Almoravid dynasties and, once the Arab domination disappeared, the knight Pedro Ruiz de Azagra took Albarracín, turned it into a fort cordoned off by the The wall that is still preserved and well into the sixteenth century was governed by a system of fiefs, totally independent of Castile and Aragon.
Lunch of the day was in one of the great restaurants of the region, Tiempo de Ensueño, “little brother” of Hospedería El Batán restaurant, the only restaurant in the province of Teruel awarded with a Michelin Star.
On December 7th 1996 the “Historic Walled City of Cuenca” was declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, thanks to its magnificent preservation of the original urban landscape, the medieval fortress, its rich civil and religious architecture from the 12th to the 18th centuries and the exceptional fusion between the city and the beautiful natural environment in which it is located.
The city is located in a mountainous region: Serranía de Cuenca. This mountain range is conformed, next to the Paramera de Molina and the mountain range of Albarracín, as the interior or Castilian branch of the southern half of the Iberian System. Actually, Cuenca is made up of two cities. One is the upper city, the monumental area; the other, the lower city, is the modern zone that emerged from the extensions undertaken from the 19th century. The monumental area is a medieval city that for defensive needs is located on a long and steep spur at the confluence of two river courses, which resulted in an unplanned city perfectly adapted to the difficult characteristics of the natural environment.
The Cathedral of Santa María and San Julián, was the first building that began to be built after the conquest of the city in the place where the old Muslim citadel was located. According to Vicente Lampérez, restorer of the facade, is the clearest example of pregothic architecture, considered the earliest example of Gothic in Spain, with influence of the first French cathedrals of the Gothic of the twelfth century as Soissins, Laon and Notre-Dame in Paris. It began to be built at the end of the 12th century and was consecrated in 1208 by Archbishop Ximénez de Rada, although it was not finished until 1271.
The planned route for Sunday morning took us to the historic Molina de Aragón through the Alto Tajo park, after passing through and stopping at the famous Ciudad Encantada (“enchanted city”), an impressive natural place where the action of wind and water for thousands of years has created limestone and calcareous formations that look like sculptures carved by ancient artists.
Declared a National Site of National Interest since 1929, this natural area is a place unique in Spain and in Europe.
After knowing Ciudad Encantada walking between and under its huge formations, the group started the route towards Molina de Aragón through a spectacular journey through lonely roads that run immersed in an endless forest, perfect to enjoy driving your Porsche.
Molina de Aragón is a small town of 3,000 inhabitants that, despite its scarce current population, has a huge history. The origin of the foundation of this town goes back to Arab times, who inhabited this area occupying a previous Celtiberian settlement. Even the small Kingdom of Taifa that was created here is named in the epic Spanish book Cantar del Mio Cid.
The spectacular Castle of Molina de Aragón, located in a strategic enclave from where the lands of Castile and Aragón are dominated, was declared National Monument in 1931 and has its origin in a fortress erected by the Andalusians between the tenth and eleventh centuries over a millennium Celtiberian castro and was the residence of the kings of the taifa.
Lunch was held in the well-known restaurant El Castillo, the best restaurant in Molina de Aragón and whose name can not be more suitable. After the exquisite lunch we ended the tour with the assurance that these three days have automatically become a beautiful memory that will last in the memory of the members of the Porsche Club.