Villarroya de los Pinares is located in the northern part of the Sierra de Gúdar, at an altitude of 1,337 meters. In this town of more than 200 inhabitants, the Guadalope river, born in its municipal district, the Agua Blanca river and the Barranco del Cañadizo ravine converge in an extremely abrupt and mountainous terrain. Its environment is articulated by the constraints of the environment, which gives it that mountainous but calm air at the same time.
The importance of this town lies in the concentration of civil architecture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its urban center follows a medieval layout, distributed among three hills on both banks of the Guadalope. The whole village is of interest: in any corner or house we can find details and elements that will arouse curiosity. Come by and discover it.
A bit of history
Villarroya was a lordship of the military Order of St. John of Jerusalem since 1190, when it was donated by Alfonso II, constituting an encomienda of its own. Until the 19th century it was part of the Bailiwick and Encomienda Hospitalaria de Aliaga together with Fortanete and Pitarque.
One of the moments of greatest splendor of the town occurred during the life of Francisco Peña (1540-1612), an illustrious personage of the town for being president of the Tribunal de la Rota and for bringing economic impulse to the town. Although he spent most of his life in Rome, he never forgot his homeland and here he built what is today the Casa Peña, one of the main palatial buildings of the town. In addition, he collaborated in the remodeling of the parish church, especially the chancel, the main altar and adjacent chapels.
At the end of the XVIII century it had 400 neighbors or families, occupied in the factories of cordellates, garters and cloths, in agriculture and sheep, especially in the farmhouses. Even then, the pine forests were already very diminished.
The heritage of Villarroya de los Pinares
Villarroya was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1982. Despite not having large spectacular buildings as in other localities, there are a good number of manor houses that give value to every corner of the town.
Among the most significant buildings is the Church of the Assumption, a large part of whose construction dates back to the 15th century. Attached to the temple is the old jail. Another monumental complex is located next to the seventeenth century town hall, which has the typical structure of the town halls of the area, with the peculiarity that it opens a portal of the disappeared walled enclosure. Nearby there are several mansions from the second half of the 16th century. The rest of the town’s buildings of interest are located on the outskirts of the town center, such as the recently restored 15th century defensive tower, used as a bell tower, and two imposing baroque palaces, Casa Peña and Casa Carreras. The repertoire is completed with the Sanctuary of San Benón and the hermitages of Loreto, from the XVII century, La Purísima, from the XVIII-XIX centuries, and El Calvario, from the XVII-XVIII centuries, the latter in ruins.
In the vicinity of the Church of the Assumption we find the Interpretation Center of the Order of St. John of the Hospital. The location of this center is justified by the historical presence of this order in the town, having been part of the Bailiwick of Aliaga. In addition to dealing with matters related to the Order, the Center dedicates part of its contents to the study of different aspects of this town. A space with a lot of information and interesting to deepen on the involvement of this order in the territory.
If you are a nature lover, here you can also stroll and enjoy the surroundings. You have different route options towards the source of the Guadalope river, along the ethnobotanical path or towards Allepuz to do the famous Camino de los Pilones.