Booking.com: best prices
Teruel is in the Teruel province in the region of Aragon.
Teruel is the capital of the Teruel province but is very small for a city set as it is in a very underpopulated area. But despite its small size it is packed with monuments, notably of the Mudejar style. It was a notable Moorish city and retained a Muslim presence and influence after the Reconquest in 1171.
The Mudejar towers, which can be seen from the outlying countryside, and the Mudejar ceiling in the Cathedral. The Cathedral is listed as a World Heritage Site with UNESCO as part of the Mudejar Architecture of Aragon.
Teruel Cathedral is a wonderful example of Mudejar architecture. The Mudejar-style is a result of Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures living together and is a Western style given a Moorish influence and feel. The cathedral was built in the 12th century and added to over the years. It has a Mudejar tower but its 'piece de resistance' is its fabulous painted ceiling depicting medieval life and incorporating lots of Islamic motifs. To see it properly you need to put money in the box to illuminate the ceiling.
The towers are the other main sights of Teruel. The best is the Torre de San Salvador. It is possible to climb up this one (the only one you can do so). The colours of the tower are fantastic as the tower is decorated with patterned tiles. The tower sits at the top of the 'La Escalinata' steps which are decorated with tiles and bricks and whose Mudejar style adds to the Mudejar splendor of the tower itself.
The San Martin tower is similar but a little less spectacular.
All of the towers are seperate to their churches presumably copying the style of the mosques of the Muslim builders.
Next to the cathedral is the Museo Diocesano housed in a 16th century palace. It contains some excellent carvings.
Another excellent museum is the Provincial museum with some very good ceramics.
The San Fransisco Convent from the 14th century houses some excellent 17th century tapestries.
The Mausoleo de los Amantes, the Mausoleum of the Lovers of Teruel, is near San Pedro's church and tower. Here the town's famous lovers lie. The story is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.
Diego who is poor wants to marry Isabel who is rich. Her father gives him five years to go away and get rich. He does so but returns to find that Isabel has married that same day. He is refused a last kiss and dies of a broken heart, she kisses the corpse and dies. Their statues in alabaster lie hand in hand and attract many visitors.
There is a festival every year to celebrate the Lovers of Teruel. It is held during Valentines week and is quite a big event with medieval costumes, re-enactments of battles, roasting pigs etc. The other main festivals are the festival of Saint Christopher, held on the Sunday closest to St Christopher's day (10 July) and the Easter Week processions which are a big event in many Spanish towns.
To the north of the town is a lovely 16th century aqueduct, the Acueducto de los Arcos.
For restaurants and bars head for Plaza Juderia.
Close to the centre of town is the Dinopolis Attraction a large dinosaur park. This combines dinosaur themed rides with one of the largest dinosaur museums in the world. It has more than 500 exhibits including life-size skeletons of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brachiosaurus.
Places to Visit Nearby
Albarracin is a beautiful town about 40km west of Teruel.
Ademuz to the south of Teruel is an interesting town and a good walking base.
Alcaniz is the place to head for for some of the best Easter week celebrations in Spain. Underneath the old quarter a network of tunnels link all the houses and can now be visited.