Its spectacular and strategic location, on the slopes of the Atalaya, and its numerous natural and urban monuments, make Castellote a place of special interest. It was declared a Historic Site on July 1, 1982 and declared of Cultural Interest in 2007 by the Government of Aragon.
The most remote period of its history is evident in the paleontological site of the Barranquillo fossil trunks. The first mention of Castellote that has come down to us dates from 1158, which places it within the limits of the bishopric of Zaragoza.
From that moment Castellote is consolidated as a place of great importance in the reconquest against the Muslims. It first depended on the Spanish nobleman of Castellot, and then passed to the Order of the Holy Redeemer of Alfambra and, finally, to the Knights Templar. These will hold power until the dissolution of the order at the beginning of the 14th century, serving then as an encomienda center. It later became the property of the Knights of San Juan or Hospitallers, until the disappearance of the Military Orders.
Castellote currently houses two interpretation centers related to its heritage. These are the headquarters of Dinópolis, Bosque Pétreo, with paleobotany as a common thread, and the Interpretation Center of the Order of the Temple.
The following districts are located in the municipality:
Abenfigo is a village with an Islamic past located at 527 meters above sea level, next to the A-226 road about five kilometers from Castellote. It has a set of well-kept streets, clean, quiet and decorated with lots of pots and plants.
Several buildings stand out, such as the Parish Church of San Julián, dating from 1546, recently restored. Next to the church is the old school and foremast.
Continuing towards the lower street, we find magnificent views of the weir and the orchards bathed by the Guadalope River. From the square you can see the pylons of the Calvary seated on a nearby hill. This calvary was built by the residents of Abenfigo in the mid-twentieth century, so that each station was paid for by a local family. The procession to Calvary is celebrated on Good Friday.
Another of the town’s attractions is the paleontological site of dinosaur ichnites (footprints) located a few meters away, recently declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Las Planas de Castellote
It is a town belonging to the municipality of Castellote located 650 meters above sea level. Its streets, very well kept and embellished with multiple flowerpots and curious facades, offer the visitor a pleasant urban tour. The town is located near the Santolea reservoir and is developed around the parish church of San Marcos (17th century) and its interesting calvary. In its surroundings there are places of interest such as the farmhouse of El Huergo, Perogil, El Alconzal or Los Alagones.
It was called Aldeya de Las Planas until 1785 and since 1833 it is written as Las Planas de Castellote.
Luco de Bordón
Luco de Bordón is one of the five towns that were added in the 1970s to the municipality of Castellote, from which it is approximately twenty kilometers away. The town is located 811 meters above sea level.
Its historic center is elevated above the ravine, and dominates the perspective of the Calvario hermitage. One of the jewels of the town is the Plaza Mayor, of irregular layout, with the Town Hall with the typical structure of the Aragonese town halls of the Modern Age and the church dedicated to San Juan Bautista of the early seventeenth century, of transition from Gothic-Renaissance to Baroque. There are also some large houses and interesting examples of popular architecture.
Of long tradition and very remarkable are its pilgrimages, a point of reference in the Maestrazgo, such as the one that takes place to go to the hermitage of the Virgen del Pilar, which can be accessed through the GR 8 long-distance trail towards Bordón.
In its municipal district there is also a small abandoned neighborhood, Torremocha, which can be accessed through the short-distance trail, the PR TE 89.
Two Merchant Towers
It was a “villar” (between farmhouse and village) from the late twelfth century until the seventeenth century, when the church was erected and demographically consolidated (14 residents in 1646). In its southern part is located the Plaza Mayor, from which depart two streets around which the hamlet is crowded. This locality was incorporated into the municipality of Castellote in the seventies. It is located at an altitude of about 750 meters and is accessed via the TE-V-8101 road.
Highlights of the town center include the parish church of San Abdón and San Senén, built in the Baroque style and dating from 1630, the old Town Hall (which houses the jail) with the traditional fish market, as well as the Calvario hermitage and the municipal laundry. In its streets we also find niches dedicated to San Roque and San Blas.
The neighbors restored the furniture of the old school by hand: the desks of past times, maps and other school materials that nostalgically evoke other decades.
Also noteworthy is the recent restoration of some early 15th century Gothic panels of Saints Abdón and Senén, which are located in the church.
Located at an altitude of 735 meters, it has about 50 inhabitants distributed between the urban center and its small neighborhoods and farmhouses of La Algecira, Crespol, El Higueral and El Latonar.
In Ladruñán we can emphasize the church of Santa Bárbara, baroque work of the XVIII century of masonry, with three naves, covered the central one with groin vault and of half barrel with lunettes and the cruise with dome. At the foot is the choir loft, and on the Gospel side is the tower, with two masonry bodies. What gives it character are the popular paintings of the second half of the 18th century, representing altarpieces. Although the church was stripped of its furnishings during the civil war, it preserves an interesting medium-sized 17th century image of Santa Barbara. Other buildings are: the old town hall, located in front of the church, deeply transformed, whose market was used for a private house and today the two access arches can be seen on the facade; and the Convent of San Miguel de la Cueva, located in a beautiful place, sheltered by a large cavity that the Servite monks used as a monastery before going to the monastery of San Miguel de la Cueva. The Caves of Cañart.
On the outskirts of the village there are important groups of Levantine Rock Art (Abrigo del Arquero, Friso abierto del Pudial, Abrigo del Torico, Abrigo de la Vacada and Abrigo del Ángel) and an important cave in history, the Cueva Cambriles, an important refuge during the Civil War.
Want to know more? Click on the following link to contact the Castellote Tourist Office and take the guided tour.