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19 junio 2024

Sádaba: the town dominated by its medieval castle

Located in the historic region of Cinco Villas, Sádaba boasts the only Gothic church in the whole area, as well as one of the best preserved medieval castles in Aragon and Spain. Don't miss the best places to discover this town.

Sádaba is one of the Cinco Villas that give their name to the region where they are established (Ejea de los Caballeros, Tauste, Sos del Rey Católico, Uncastillo and Sádaba). A town whose stone streets take us back to a past marked by its geographical location, border crossing between the Kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre. Crossed by the river Riguel, on one side is the old town and the population center, while on the other, on a rocky promontory sits the jewel of the town: the castle of Sádaba.

Sadaba Castle
Video Alfredo Cortés

On the other bank of the Riguel River is the castle of Sádaba, the most emblematic monument of the village. It is a late medieval fortress built in the 13th century. Rectangular in shape, it has seven imposing towers that from a short distance seduce visitors with their magnificent restoration. The interior of the castle can be visited and the price ranges from 2 € for adults and 1.5 € for young people between 12 and 18 years and retirees. Admission for children under 12 is free. Your visit is a good opportunity to do slow driving in Aragon.

A castle that stands out for its austerity, and whose only defense are its walls. Inside, you can see the large cistern, the chapel with the cross of the Order of St. John to which it belonged for years. If you are looking for more information about Sádaba and its castle, the tourist office is located in a small room of the castle.

Castle of Sádaba
Castle of Sádaba. (Photo: Olga Gudnikova)

Located in front of the castle gate (North wing), is the Nevero de Sádaba. Used from the 16th to the 20th century to store snow in summer, this example of popular architecture was very common in the area and throughout the country. Composed of sandstone, it allowed to combine layers of straw and snow for its conservation.

Church of Santa María, the only one of Gothic style in the Cinco Villas region.

The protagonist of the old part of the town is undoubtedly the Gothic church, the only one in that style built in the whole region. The church of Santa María is considered one of the best examples of Aragonese Gothic architecture, serving as a mold for other buildings of the time. Built in 1531, its nave is covered with a star-shaped ribbed vault.

Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, its interior treasures the main altarpiece, the rocky organ and the choir stalls.  In its exterior, the gothic tower of polygonal section with cresting, pinnacles and flying buttresses stands out. It has two access portals, one of them of flamboyant Gothic style.

Inside the Gothic church of Santa María
Gothic church of Santa María. (Photo: sadaba.es)

Sádaba is an ideal place if you want to walk through the streets of the medieval urban area. Stroll through the neighborhood of the Ermita and know the old Paseo de la Estación.

Mausoleum of the Atilios

On the outskirts of the town, the Mausoleum of the Atilios, known as the Altar of the Moors, rises above the fields. Protected by a wire fence, this curious construction from Roman times was part of the mausoleum of a wealthy family of landowners whose dominion was notable in this region in the second century. Another important archaeological remains still preserved in the locality is the Mausoleum of the Synagogue (4th century A.D.).

Mausoleum of the Atilios. (Photo: Sadaba.es)

In the vicinity of Sádaba, the 12th century Cistercian Monastery of Cambrón and the 12th century church of Puylampa, whose torch served as a guide for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, also stand out.

Gastronomy in Sádaba

After years of working in Sevilla street in Zaragoza, the restaurant run by Joan Rosell and Isabel Elorri moved to the Hospedería de Sádaba. La Encantaria won the award of “Third best restaurant in Aragon” for its traditional cuisine with a touch of innovation, a unique fusion that leaves no one indifferent. Another restaurant that you can not miss is Laura Restaurant, characterized by its unique fish and its amazing roast.

As for the pastries offered by its three ovens, the most laminated can enjoy the torta de manteca, as well as many other varieties that delight the palates: dobleros and doblericos, knee cakes, anise, muffins, sweet pastries … and of course, its tasty village bread.


The natural site of Valdelafuén is located just 2 km from the village of Sádaba and in it is the reservoir with the same name. Classified as a special bird protection area, its abundant flora and fauna make it an ideal place for water sports, fishing, hiking and cycling.

Roman site of Los Bañales

Very close to the town of Layana is the Roman site of Los Bañales. This enclave has thermal baths built at the end of the 1st century A.D. and an aqueduct that transported water to the city from a nearby reservoir. The remains correspond to a city that has not yet been identified. If you are thinking of visiting them, there are several open days throughout the year.


On route through the magical places of Cinco Villas

Get to know Sos del Rey Católico, one of the historical jewels of Aragón.

Uncastillo, the maximum expression of Aragonese Romanesque architecture

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