The Spanish writer Azorín said that Albarracín was one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and we are not going to argue it, neither with him nor with the authorities that decided to declare this historic site a Property of Cultural Interest.
We know that a long time ago there were Celtic tribes around here, and we also know that the Romans settled in the area because they left the remains of an aqueduct and a few big footprints. However, Albarracín’s historical importance seems to start a little later, during the Medieval period.
It seems that the Visigoths liked the mountains, and decided to take advantage of the old Roman remains to settle in what they called Santa Maria del Levante. But the Visigoths could only enjoy it until around the year 711, when the troops of the Prophet appeared, conquering everything that was in their way. When they reached this place, it seemed a good idea to occupy the town, and over time they gave the city a name very similar to the actual one, and which comes from the Banu Razín clan.
So, the Muslims took charge of the place, and not even El Cid was going to take it away from them. Albarracín was the independent Taifa Kingdom of the Caliphate of Córdoba, with its towers and citadels, and things would stay this way until the twelfth century when it passed into Christian’s hands, but the villa still didn’t lose its autonomy or the old habit of doing its own thing.
As a result, between Moors and Christians, the Middle Ages left plenty of treasures in the fortified town. The old walls, the Church of Santa Maria and the Torre del Andador are good examples of this, but also the Mayor Square, which served as the place to gather the men of arms when the enemies were approaching. We all know how much they liked to fight in those days.
Medieval times passed, and Albarracín knew how to continue being an important town. Unlike other places, it kept its power intact, and between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the town was filled with remarkable buildings such as the Cathedral of El Salvador, the Church of Santiago, the Episcopal Palace, the Town Hall or the Ermita del Cristo de La Vega. To all these, noble mansions were added, like the ones of the Arzuriaga or the Monterde y Altillón families, and which today you can admire in this amazing and historic town.