Monday, October 3, 2016

Castillo de Loarre

GR1 Sendero Historico day 25.
Distance: 6.0km (734.9km), time spent: 2:39.
Weather: Fantastic.


About three kilometres above Loarre lies Castillo de Loarre guarding over the village. It is not just Loarre it is watching over, but also the surrounding area, Hoya de Huesca, and onwards, from its location high up on some cliffs it has good control of the view of the vicinity. I had originally planned to besiege the castle tomorrow morning on the way to Bolea, but since the weather is so wonderful, I have chosen to walk up to the castle today.

Kingdom Of Heaven, a castle on top of cliffs.

Castillo de Loarre with its entrance.

There are no army of considerable size that is on its way to conquer the castle, although I do get support from a dog that decides to keep me company up the meandering road. To conquer the castle fortunately does not require any army, it is enough to pay the entrance fee of 4.5€. At this time of year, the conquerors will be thrown out at 7 o'clock, not 8 as the person at the hotel told me, I get less time to look around.

View with castle walls and the Albarrana tower.

Inside the church of San Pedro. The entrance to the castle lies underneath the chapel.

The castle was built in the 11th century and is in good shape given its age. Two of at least three towers are still standing, Torre del Homenaje (the keep) and Torre de la Reina (the Queen's tower). Inside the castle there are also several remaining chapels, like the chapel dedicated to St. Mary of Valverde and the church of San Pedro. As with the Palace of Kings in Olite, you can here also climb up in towers, disappear down in dungeons and passages inside walls, scout out from the fortress walls. We are talking a real medieval castle here. Ridley Scott used Castillo de Loarre as a location when recording Kingdom Of Heaven.

The fireplace inside Torre del Homenaje.

View of Hoya de Huesca and Loarre from the castle.

There are no Templars here now, the only ones that I meet are other visitors and there are not many of them. I am almost able to go wild in peace. And stand and look out across Hoya de Huesca and wonder how it must have been to stand there during Sancho Garcia III's reconquest of Huesca from the Moors.

Castle yard. Torre de la Reina closest, Torre del Homenaje behind.

Castle yard with the Queen's viewpoint.

The castle is at its most impressing when seen from the outside, but inside the castle walls there are also a lot of great interest. The windows in Torre de la Reina are some wonderful ornamented Gothic windows. In the church of San Pedro, it would not have been surprising to find a divine light from a grail. Remains of the archways of the monastery. View from the castle. And not the least, the medieval toilet, which unfortunately is out of order.

After walking high and low in the castle, I hear shouts from below that I interpret as the warning that it is closing time and that the doors will be closed. If I had my backpack with me and water, I could get me a very cool night, although somewhat illegally. The sun is lower on the sky now and about to begin its descent, the castle walls has got a much redder hue. The dog that followed me up comes running, must have been waiting for me outside. I sneak away from it on the path going down to Loarre again (which I did not find on the way up).

Archways in the remnants of the monastery.

In the horizon, the colour changes from red to purple. On the way down, I stop at the campsite, where there is a bar. I feel that I earn a cold and good beer after having conquered Castillo de Loarre. When I get back home, I have to watch Kingdom Of Heaven again. It is not among the best movies Ridley Scott has made, but it can boast a stunning castle.

Castillo de Loarre.

For more information about Castillo de Loarre: www.castillodeloarre.es.

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