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30 mayo 2024

Get to know Loarre, more than a castle

The municipality of Loarre offers more reasons to visit than the magnificent castle. The church of San Esteban, the castle of Marcuello,

Loarre is a small municipality located in the region of La Hoya de Huesca. Its name is lobarrés/a.

It is surrounded by fields of crops and holm oaks that withstand the harsh weather conditions of both winter, with very low temperatures, and summer. Regarding its fauna, we can see the imposing bearded vultures, griffon vultures, eagles and hawks in the area. Already on land we can see foxes, badgers and wild boars.

Loarre is an attractive town at the foot of the mountains, with a main square presided over by the 16th century town hall.

The town is located on the slopes of the mountain range of the same name and has a town council that administers the smaller entities of Linás de Marcuello, Santa Engracia de Loarre and Sarsamarcuello. The current town of Loarre began as a castle village, called San Esteban de la Huerta. It was conquered in 1070 by King Sancho Ramírez, who rebuilt the castle and erected a royal chapel with a monastery, which became dependent on Montearagón.

Loarre Church of San Esteban
Loarre Church of San Esteban (Foto: Loarre.es)

A year later, in 1071, Pope Alexander II took it under his protection. During the 11th century, the castle of Loarre, together with that of Marcuello, had a fundamental strategic importance within the Aragonese defensive system, against the Muslim position of Bolea. As the castle lost importance, the importance of the population settled below increased, until it acquired its own personality. In 1505, with the construction of the parish church, Loarre felt independent of its castle. It has the titles of Noble and Antiquísima villa.

Among the places to visit we find the parish church of San Esteban with an interesting tower that belongs to the sixteenth century and is of purist Gothic tradition.

Very close to the municipality, 5 km away, we find the Loarre Castle. A masterpiece among the Spanish Romanesque fortifications, the natural space that hosts it contributes decisively to its superb prestige. Fortifications and limestone rock pitons embrace in harmonious symbiosis, causing sensation, amazement, by constructive ingenuity and impregnability. It is a Historic Artistic Monument since 1906. The primitive enclosure was built in the time of Sancho III el Mayor, around 1020. The tower of the Homage and the Queen, some canvas of wall and the small church of Santa Maria survive.

At 8 km from Loarre we have the Castle of Marcuello, fortification of the eleventh century, along with two Romanesque churches of the twelfth century. It is a majestic set that has the wonderful viewpoint of the vultures.

In the mountain range of Loarre, the beauty of its surroundings, the places of Fuenfria, El Puzo and Santa Marina are worth mentioning.

Festivals: May 15, Santa Marina with pilgrimage to the hermitage of the same name. July 24 and 25, St. James, the main festivities and October 8, St. Demetrio.

Viewpoint of the Vultures
This is a route of only 4.4 km that allows you to admire these impressive scavenger birds soaring through the skies and offers one of the best panoramic views of the Mallos de Riglos. Although it can be done by car, it invites you to do it on foot to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

How to get there? The route starts in the town of Sarsamarcuello. Once there, follow the signs that indicate the way to the Marcuello Castle.

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