Matarraña is a district of Aragon made up of 118 municipalities and is located in the east of the province of Teruel.
ARENS DE LLEDÓ
This village is close to the boundary with the province of Tarragona and is one of the easternmost in the district, with 240 inhabitants. It features the Gothic church of La Asunción de NuestraSeñora, the chancel of which has a sculpture of two fish, the emblem of the locality. The municipality lies along the banks of the River Algars, and a walk along this watercourse offers enjoyment of the native vegetation of the district.
A locality with 655 inhabitants, Beceite is found in the northeast of the province of Teruel, at the foot of the Puertos de Beceite massif. Once ringed by a wall, the village still preserves several gates, such as the Villanueva, Coll, San Roque San Gregorio and CalleLlana Gates. An important landmark is the Baroque church of San Bartolomé dating from the 18th century. A trail leads to the old Parrizal Mine, taking visitors deep into the Puertos de Beceite area. Stretches of this route run along the river bed until it reaches a place where the river is encased between rock walls some 60 metres high, with natural scenery and crystal clear waters. For those who like to find enjoyment in beautiful landscapes, there is a natural bathing area known as La Pesquera.
Located between the Rivers Matarraña and Algars, this is a small town with 1232 inhabitants. The historic quarter has been placed on Spain’s historical and artistic register, and it is easy to see why as this is one of the most beautiful of its kind in Spain. A large number of stately 18th century mansions line its streets and squares, such as the Calle Mayor, Plaza de España and CalleMaella. Another landmark is the church of NuestraSeñora de la Asunción, a work of Baroque architecture with a large and impressive doorway. A visit can be made to the Juan Cabré Museum, which houses this archaeologist’s private archaeological, pictorial and photographic collection.
This locality with 631 inhabitants is located on the right bank of the Calapatá Ravine, between Valderrobres and Calaceite. Three of its old gates still stand, known by the names of Valderrobres, San Roque and San Antonio Gates. Its streets are lined with historical buildings, typified by their use of stone and their wooden balconies. A landmark of this village is the church of La Asunción, a Gothic and late Renaissance-style building dating from the 16th century.
Fórnoles, a village of 101 inhabitants, is located between the Guadalope and Matarraña Valleys. A wander through it streets takes visitors to the 17th century town hall with its merchants’ exchange and former prison. Another building of note is the church, dating from the 14th–18th centuries. Located in a natural setting, the Sanctuary of Monserrate is a 14th-century Gothic church decorated with plant motifs and historical scenes. It can be visited via a route that follows traditional cobblestone paths.
This municipality of 420 inhabitants was made a historical and artistic conservation area in 1983. Among its most outstanding buildings is the church of Santa María la Mayor, a triple-naved Baroque building, and the town hall, in the Renaissance style and built in 1576. The street Calle Mayor and square Plaza Mayor are lined with buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries and palaces from the 18th century.
This municipality has 365 inhabitants. A landmark of the village is La Torreta, a tower that was once part of a castle and served as a prison. It can be visited and lovely views enjoyed from its vantage point. The church of El Salvador preserves its original organ built in 1704.
This municipality has 210 inhabitants. Its main square, Plaza Mayor, is the site of the old town hall that dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, built over a colonnade with pillars of differing heights, and the church of Santiago Apóstol.
Located in the north of the district, this municipality has 600 inhabitants. It was the site of an ancient Iberian settlement, the ruins of which have been uncovered. An important landmark of the village is the 16th-century town hall, enlarged in the 18th century, which features a portico of rounded arches. Its interior houses former prison cells, made up of two spaces, one of which has no access from the exterior. The other still has graffiti on the walls made by prisoners in the 18th century.
This municipality has 378 inhabitants. The village is built on a hill on which the ruins of a Moorish castle can be seen. The village was walled in the past, but only one of its gates, the Santo Domingo Gate, still exists. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is the starting point for the street Calle Empedrada, which leads down to the town hall.
PEÑARROYA DE TASTAVINS
Peñarroya de Tastavins is a municipality of 538 inhabitants that features traditional buildings with wooden balconies and eaves. A landmark of the village is its 17th-century Baroque church of Santa María Mayor with its bell tower. Another is the Dinopólis Museum of dinosaurs with its specimen of the first ever Tastavinosaurus to be found. Rock climbing is possible at the Rocas de Masmut, and the Escresola Ravine is a place of great natural beauty. The Mudéjar church of La Virgen de la Fuente, declared a World Heritage site, is worthy of a visit.
This municipality has 330 inhabitants. Its 16th-century town hall was declared a historical and artistic monument. Heading towards Valderrobres from La Portellada, the River Tastavins forms a 20-metre high waterfall.
Most of the houses in this village of 211 inhabitants, declared a historical and artistic conservation area, preserve their original stone structures. Some even retain the indigo-hued lime rendering from days gone by. The restored former prison is located inside the town hall, which dates from 1575.
TORRE DE ARCAS
This is the most southwesterly locality in the district and has 117 inhabitants. One of its attractions is the communal oven, where information is provided on the most traditional ways of making bread.
TORRE DEL COMPTE
This municipality of 179 inhabitants preserves its ancestral style of building, with indigo lime rendering on façades and the use of wood in balconies and eaves. The 16th-century town hall incorporates the former merchants’ exchange, now housing an ethnological museum that is open to visitors.
This municipality has 384 inhabitants. In the centre of the village is the square, Plaza Mayor, presided over by the 17th-century church of La Asunción in the Baroque style. Adjacent to the church is the town hall. The merchants’ exchange incorporated into it forms a corner and is accessed via a large round arch.
This town has been a historical and artistic conservation area since 1983 and is considered one of the most beautiful in Spain. There are 1914 inhabitants, making it the largest locality in the district. The old town is reached via a Medieval-style stone bridge crossing the River Matarraña. At the end of the bridge is the San Roque Gate. The town’s square features three historic palatial mansions, while the castle complex – built by the Archbishops of Zaragoza – and the church of Santa María la Mayor crown the hill on which the town is built.
This municipality has 410 inhabitants. It was previously walled, but only a few traces of the wall are left next to the church. The church of San Miguel stands in the square, opposite the former merchants’ exchange, which now houses a cultural centre in its upper level. There are early Iron Age Iberian settlements located in the municipality, known as El Castellar, Lliri and Mirablanc. Visits can also be made to the Museum of Historical Memory of the Matarraña, located in a place called Las Cuevas, inside the rock over which the church stands. Visits can also be made to the chapels of Santa Bárbara and La Piedad, old pools, La Tejería Fountain and the now abandoned hamlet of Mas del Labrador.