The provincial capital of TERUEL offers an appealing glimpse into this rugged and sparsely populated wedge of Aragón. Because it’s often overlooked, the region came up with the playful slogan “Teruel existe” (“Teruel exists”). If you’re looking for remote, you’re in the right region, with its back-of-beyond villages and medieval sights that haven’t been prettified. The land, too, is high and harsh, with the coldest winters in the country.
Teruel the town is a likeable and impressively monumental place, with some of the finest Mudéjar work in Spain. Like Zaragoza, it was an important Moorish city and retained significant Muslim and Jewish communities after its Reconquest by Alfonso II in 1171. As you approach town, the Mudéjar towers, built by Moorish craftsmen over three centuries, are immediately apparent, and – like the fabulous Mudéjar ceiling in the cathedral – should not be missed.
The centro histórico, on a hill above the Río Turia, has Plaza del Torico at its heart, and is enclosed by a few remains of fortified walls, with a viaduct linking it to the modern quarter to the south. Leading off to the north is a sixteenth-century aqueduct, Los Arcos, a slender and elegant piece of monumental engineering.