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  • Jerome Lim

Spain's most beautiful town

The mediaeval town of Albarracín in a remote corner of Aragon, is a most photographable of spots. Coloured by the oxidised-iron-laced stone that is used in the plaster on its houses, Spain's 'most beautiful' town takes on an especially enchanting glow and is at its most photogenic in the light of the morning.

With a history that goes back to the 11th century, the old town is also very much coloured by its past. It served as the seat of the Taifa of Albarracín - one of several independent principalities that emerged from the 1031 breakup of the Cordoba Caliphate - and derived its name from the ruling Al Banu Razin family. The town fell to the Almoravids in in the early 12th century before it was conquered by Peter III of Aragon in the late 13th century.

The town is dominated by an imposing wall to its north. The wall was constructed in the 11th century and expanded subsequently. The Torre del Andador at the top of the wall, as well as the fortress dates back to the 10th century. The town itself is dominated by the bell tower of the 16th century Cathedral of El Salvador.

The rust coloured houses of Albarracín, seen in the morning light.
A fairy-tale-like scene with the bell tower of the Cathedral in the foreground and the (mostly) 11th century northern walls rising in the background.
The town, viewed from the northern walls.
The northern walls.

A view up the 10th century fortress.

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