We'd heard that Teruel was a hidden gem protected by the Pyrenees but one worthy of a detour... so detour we did from Zaragoza and onto perhaps the safest motorhome aire you could imagine.... situated right outside the regional police headquarters.. it boasts an hourly inspection by the police and is free too!!! (at least that'll please the bank manager again :))
Yet that warm feeling of 'pennies saved' soon evaporated as both girls were given licence to spend what was saved in the bakery some 50m away... well by the time they came back with more than they could both carry.. we knew we were in trouble.. so with the belts tightened and the bellies full... we headed into Teruel on bike... At least we'd try to ride off the excess and again save on the cost of public transport... it's only some 2km to the centre and the ride's downhill!!!
Teruel is known for its association with the Mudéjar architecture that is so prevalent across Spain.. full of gothic style mixed with Islamic design! It's an open air museum to these ornate 'Mudéjar monuments that line the old town...If you get the chance, try to find one the wonderful ceramic illustrated maps that give brilliant visual pictures and directions.. it is a fantastic tour guide in it's own right!
Having loved our time down in Andalusia last October when we visited the truly unique Alhambra... we've actually taken quite a shine to this little pocket of Mudéjar charm in the North of the Spain... and could happily spend more time here... Teruel sits in a lofty position as befits its proximity to the Pyrenees, yet is also built on a cliff top that allows commanding views of the red ochre sandstone below... not to mention yet another impressive feat of engineering in the old roman aqueduct (much like the one we enjoyed in Segovia) or the infamous bull ring that saw the loss of Victor Barrio's life earlier this year
Teruel's history includes significant Jewish roots dating back to the middle ages, a link to the march of Christianity through Spain and saw one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Yet it's cultural heritage remains... recognised by UNESCO it has some of the finest mix of brick & ceramic architecture we've seen across Europe.. It also appears a welcoming place, full of smiles & people having fun.. in fact is almost reminded us of another of our favourite cities in Dubrovnik...
If you can only spare an afternoon we'd recommend visiting the kaleidoscopic brickwork of the Cathedral in the Plaza de la Cathedral & the awe inspiring Torre de El Salvador... but be warned that you might need longer than just an afternoon as it took us most of the day to delve into the alleyways, step into the nave's of churches and to explore the aqueduct & cathedral...
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