Church of the Virgen de la Carrasca

It is believed that in 1212 a shepherd found the Virgin in a holm oak tree. In the same place of the apparition, the Templar monks of Castellote ordered the construction of a hermitage and, at the end of the 13th century, a convent. The procession of neighbors from the towns of Castellote, Cuevas de Cañart, Villarluengo, Tronchón, Mirambel and Olocau del Rey used to go to this sanctuary until the Archbishop of Zaragoza prohibited any of them because of the chaos that occurred in such gatherings. In 1737 the interior was renovated. In the sacristy a fragment of the holm oak where the Virgin would have appeared was kept as a relic.

It is a church of original gothic design, which underwent modifications and enlargements in the 18th century, especially transforming the roof and the interior appearance. It has a single nave and chapels between the buttresses, which apparently were built in a second phase in some of the sections of an annex cloister, which was part of a conventual complex with stables, cellars and other rooms of which some remains can still be traced. The tower is located at the foot of the nave.

Inside, the Gothic chapel of Santa Lucia, the most interesting element of the church, stands out. It is covered with a ribbed vault and historiated capitals. The entire interior has a profuse pictorial decoration dated 1719, around which various esoteric theories have been elaborated. Also preserved in the interior is a beam decorated with linear gothic style paintings belonging to the first church.

The legend about the origins of the church fits in with the creation of other Marian sanctuaries of Maestrazgo in the Middle Ages. A Romanesque Virgin carved on a wooden trunk is found near some natural element or associated with it: the


in the case of the Virgin of the Water in Castellote, a bramble in the case of Aliaga and a holm oak in Bordón.