Loarre castle, Romanesque fortress

Loarre castle, Romanesque fortress

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The best preserved Romanesque fortress in all of Europe is located in Huesca. The loarre castle, a Christian building dating from the 11th century, is located in the middle of the slopes of the loarr sawe, guarding the plain of the Hoya de Huesca.

Has a privileged view of Bolea, an old Muslim site that they were interested in having controlled.

Its construction was ordered by the King Sancho III, as an outpost to plan the attacks against their enemies, which were many, since at that time both Islamic peoples, other Christian neighbors such as Navarros and Castellanos, or Urgellitanos, coveted these lands. It is the time of The Crusades religious.

Its foundations are a large mass of granite rock, a place carefully chosen to prevent the blasting of opposing armies from penetrating the walls of the enclosure. This also gives it a majestic appearance from any point of view. From its prominent height of more than a thousand meters above sea level, it has seen a diversity of cultures, battles, religions and very disparate civilizations pass throughout its thousand years old.

The walls and details of each corner of the castle reveal secrets of the different currents that have influenced its elaboration: being in the christian-muslim border, It is not surprising that it has traits of these two cultures. In addition, the set, as we know it now, is much broader than it was in its origins. Several different stages have been studied in its construction.

The oldest part of the castle is the Lombard enclosure, whose purpose was the defense of the Loarrés people, conceived by The Mayor of Navarra (Sancho III).

Its stage of splendor coincides with the subsequent enlargement carried out by the Aragonese King Sancho Ramírez, which very cleverly achieves combine religion and army in a symbol as special as the castle of Loarre. Its purpose was to achieve protection of the Roman Pope (at that time, Alexander I) and get prestige and recognition for their lands. And so he did. Sancho Ramírez could be considered a precursor of the movement “Europeanist”In Spain, although there are those who called it Frenchified. In exchange, the Pope would obtain a free way to access the interior of the Iberian Peninsula from Aragon, and abolish the Gothic-Mozarabic ritual, against which he had been fighting for years.

At this stage the castle donjon is built, also called tower of tribute, and the impressive St. Peter's Church, with ornaments in the purest jaque style. At that time, the only church that overshadowed its grandeur was that of San Pedro de Jaca, with which it shared many characteristics. It was also influenced by the same artistic current as the castle of Moissac, the school of Bernaldus Guiduinus.

Given the difficulty of accessing this churchIn 1505 the parish was lowered to the town of Loarre, so that the faithful could go to it without having to ascend the mountain. From then on, the fortress stopped being traveled and its evolution was in parentheses. The only agents that modified its structure were the weather conditions.

Apart from its Romanesque church, other characteristics that make Loarre Castle unique are its crypt and the hermitage inside. During the 18th century, a series of reforms were carried out in the church of San Pedro, such as the introduction of a baroque altarpiece. On three occasions in its long life, the castle was pawned or sold by the Aragonese leaders, and it was forgotten.

Thanks to the writer Jose Maria Quadrado, This majestic architectural work was once again the object of curious and interested looks, and several generations of romantic writers found their inspiration in it.

Inside, famous films have been shot such as “The Kingdom of Heaven”, from 2005, or “Miguel and William” from 2006. The program had previously been shot The Night of the Castles, from Televisión Española, a gymkhana where participants had to go through its facilities until they found the princess.

In 1906 it was declared National Monument, and has subsequently run as a candidate to become World Heritage. Today it is one of the most visited fortifications in Spain. Its good state of conservation allows the visitor to observe a large number of details of its construction and decoration.

A castle that we cannot miss if we want to know another piece of our history.

I study journalism and law, and for both subjects history is essential. It is the basic pillar of our life. As a mother I try to introduce my son to the roots of our origin. I love to tell you stories about how our ancestors lived and interesting anecdotes that pique your curiosity. An exciting world that we will learn together here in Redhistoria.

Video: Loarre Castle