A medieval castle
Name: ______________________________________ Subject: _______________________ Date: _______
The village is located at the bottom of the valley, at the border of the mountains’ skirt, sheltered by the mountains of the Loarre, which gives it its name. The light brown stain of the earth extends all throughout the plain, dotted with the green and the gray colors of the olive trees.
Above, a little more than four kilometers uphill, is the most important Romanesque fortress of all of Spain, and someone even ensures of all of Europe. It is that so, that the popularity of the Loarre Castle makes you forget about the village that has its same name.
The landscape is breathtaking. The hills reach abysmal heights. One can then understand why there are so many legends. The rocky castle often camouflages into the blue sky. Sometimes, it even hides between the clouds. The 11th and 12th centuries anchored themselves between the gigantic rocks of the castle, between the hills of a ghostly dried up sea, where only little yellow flowers, rosemary and thyme thrive next to the yellow-green boxwood. The wall, almost rebuilt in its entirety, puts siege to the fortress, covering up to one hundred and seventy-two meters. Nine masonry walls, of about a meter and a half thick, are covered by many other round towers, which are three to four meters in diameter. They are separated from each other by eleven to thirty meters. The battlements, with small windows and walkways, are back on the site after a couple of successful restorations.
The large balcony of the "Queen’s living room" powerfully attracts attention. The semicircle on the rock of the temple captivates tourists. Then, the tower of the "Kings", is the watchtower ... Everything stands firms on the rock, as if trying to go against nature. "It is the monument of Aragon – said Ricardo del Arco - which best reflects the rough and strong nature of this land".
The main entryway has an immense beauty; a door with a semi-round arch, sided by two towers and two robust cubes of undeniable beauty.
The noble façade of the castle rises up in front. One must cross the open space and go up, step by step, until the entrance of the palace. There are several inscriptions that help reconstruct the past. The castle’s yesterday is alive in each stone. An impressive royal staircase, of twenty steps, starts from the doorstep. At an average height, two doors open to the right and to the left. They are, respectively, the crypt and the body of the guard.
- In this crypt - ensure the neighbors of Loarre - Saint Demetrius is worshipped, the patron saint of the villa. Above, there is the temple, a remarkable Romanesque church dating back to the 11th century. On the doorpost of the entrance, there is an inscription of “1095”, so that there is no doubt, even if “1105” is inscribed in the front of the façade. Eight steps separate us from the main staircase. One must go back to the flat area to continue the tour of the castle, whose plants and rooms astonish visitors. The military life of the fortress developed around the homage tower. The second floor of galleries forms a set of unique beauty. The tower and the chapel of the queen captivate due to their severe simplicity. The mountain chains on the one hand, while on the other, the abyss that bonds with the plains of Huesca.
It is as if one would go back into the past. The words of Sancho Ramírez still resound there. The supporters of the Count of Urgel, who never accepted the failure of Caspe, continue to be strong.
The historic importance of the compound and its characteristics are of public domain. Loarre is the most visited place of Aragon. Many excursions are organized there. This time around, the most important Romanesque monument of Spain has earned the maximum attention.
Alfonso Zapater. Esta tierra nuestra III Adaptación
Instructions: In the comprehension test circle one of the following letters: a, b, c.
INTERACTIVE COMPREHENSION TEST
1.- The Loarre Castle is of which architectural style?
2.- How many kilometers are there between the village and the castle?
3.- From what century is the castle?
a) The ninth and tenth centuries.
b) The tenth and eleventh centuries.
c) The eleventh and twelfth centuries.
4.- How is the castle wall?
a) Rebuilt in its entirety.
b) Without rebuilding.
c) Quite damaged.
5.- Which is the most important balcony?
a) The "Kings".
b) The one in the "Queen’s living room".
c) "The Infantas".
6.- What are the characteristics of this land?
a) Rough and difficult.
b) Sad and melancholic.
c) Rude and strong.
7.- Who is worshipped in the crypt of the castle?
a) Saint Joaquin.
b) Saint Demetrius.
c) Saint Joseph..
8.- What style is the temple of the castle?
9.- In the castle, people seem to hear the echo of the words of:
a) Sancho Ramírez.
b) Alfonso I.
c) The Cid Campeador.
10.- Who did not accept the faillure of Caspe?
a) The followers of Sancho Ramírez.
b) The followers of the count of Ribagorza.
c) The supporters of the count of Urgel.
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain)
No 141, of29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL