By orvalrochefort from Belgium (the secret valley) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons By Juan Carlos Gil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 es], via Wikimedia Commons
Spain · Albarracin
Albarracin is one of the most attractive towns in Teruel, the southern province of Aragón (North-East of Spain). It is one of the most beautiful and historic villages in Spain and it is set on a cliff over the Guadalaviar River. Its medieval constructions have remained virtually unchanged for centuries.
The pink-hued medieval houses of Albarracin are like nothing else in Spain. So authentic are its twisting, narrow streets with their overhanging wooden balconies that one half expects Don Quijote and Sancho Panza to appear from around a blind corner.
The village is very valued by the Spanish Government which declared Albarracín as National Monument back in 1961. Not too far from the village, people can find prehistoric cave paintings which depict a variety of animals thousands of years old.
This entire multicultural heritage brought a wide range of architectural and cultural styles and built the village as it is now; narrow, steep and unorganized streets are all around. The medieval defensive walls are much longer than the village itself and, approaching Albarracin from the town of Teruel, people discover an excellent view of such ancient construction. We must also add that the drive is a lovely one through a great natural scenery.
Albarracin is also a bunch of hanging houses and more cramped ones that seem to be playing hide and seek among themselves. When wandering through the lanes look out for some well preserved and attractive houses such as Casa del Chorro, Casa de la Julianeta and Casa de la Calle Azagra. These three houses stand out in the middle of the village, all surrounded by civil architecture of ochre, wood and wrought iron masonry.
Albarracín also offers the opportunity to visit some museums; the Bishops Palace has a Diocesan Museum attached to it with a good collection of Flemish tapestries. Other museums that you should not miss are the museum of Albarracín, the Museum of the ironworks and there is even a Toy Museum, all of them are places of great interest.