Teruel - Spain
|Thursday, 22 May 2008 04:58|
The beauty of the city's cultural inheritance, which has some Islamic influence, has been recognised by UNESCO, which includes four churches in the World Heritage Site Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, notably the city's ornate cathedral in the Mudéjar style.
One of Teruel's best known monuments is very small statue of a bull on top of a tall column, known as El Torico ("the little bull"). It is located in the main square, Plaza Carlos Castell, more commonly known as the Plaza del Torico in the middle of the city center.
Other sights include:
On the outskirts of Teruel is Dinópolis Teruel, a combined theme park and museum centred around dinosaurs. Promoted as a Parque paleontológico (paleontological park), it includes a life-size robotic model of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Dinópolis also owns three other museums in the surrounding area, which display the remains of dinosaurs discovered in the region.. The chimney of Teruel Power Plant belongs to the tallest freestanding structures in Western Europe.
The Diocese of Teruel and Albarracín (Latin, Turolensis, Albarracinensis) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory located in north-eastern Spain, in the province of Teruel, part of the autonomous community of Aragón. The diocese forms part of the ecclesiastical province of Zaragoza, and is thus suffragan to the Archdiocese of Zaragoza.
In 1912 the diocese of Teruel comprised the civil province of the same name, excepting the town of Bechi (Castellón).
All the churches of Teruel are contemporary with its foundation (1176), as the founders built nine churches, one, Santa Maria de Media Villa, in the centre, and the remaining eight in a circle following the circuit of the walls. The central church, was made a collegiate church in 1423 and named the cathedral in 1577. It was originally built of brick and rubblework, but since the restoration in the seventeenth century it has lost its primitive character. The Doric choir stalls were the gift of Martín Terrer de Valenzuela, Bishop of Teruel, and later of Tarazona.
The Church of San Martín is remarkable for its Arabic tower. The tower, Moorish in style, was built in the twelfth century. Pierre de Bedel, builder of the Arcos de Teruel (Aqueduct) and of the Mina de Daroca, repaired its foundations from 1549 to 1551.
The Church of El Salvador is remarkable for its Arabic tower. The tower, Moorish style of the thirteenth century, was reinforced in the nineteenth century by brick additions.
In the Church of San Pedro rest the bodies of the famous "Lovers of Teruel", Diego Martínez de Marcilla and Isabel de Segura.
The episcopal palace is in no way remarkable except perhaps for its courtyard, which has a well-proportioned Ionic colonnade.
The Casa del Capítulo, where the ecclesiastical chapter used to assemble, has an altar dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and to St. Emerentia, patroness of the city.
In the city there were two important and wealthy families, Marcilla and Segura. Juan Martinez (also known as Diego) was a Marcilla and Isabel a Segura. The two were in love as childhood playmates but when they were both at an eligible age to wed, Diego's family had fallen on hard times. Isabel's father, being the most wealthy in all of Teruel, forbade the marriage. Diego, however, was able to make an agreement with the father in which he would leave Teruel for five years to try to build his fortune. If Diego was able to gain wealth within those five years he would be able to marry his love, Isabel.
During those five years her father pestered her to marry someone. She replied to him by saying that God wished her to remain a virgin until she turned twenty, saying that women should learn how to manage the household before getting married. Because her father loved her dearly and wished for her happiness, he agreed and for five years, they waited for Diego's return.
Diego was not heard from in those five years and so on the day of the five years' close Isabel's father married her to Don Pedro de Azagra from Albarracín. Right after the wedding ceremony there was a commotion at the Zaragoza gate. The watchmen informed the village that Diego Marcilla had returned with great riches and with the intent of marrying Isabel. Diego had not counted the day in which he petitioned Isabel's father whereas the Seguras had.
That night, Diego sneaked into the bedroom of Isabel and her husband and gently awoke her. He pleaded to her, "Besame, que me muero," (Kiss me for I am dying) and she refused, saying "No quiera Dios que yo falte a mi marido," (God does not wish me to deceive my husband) "Por la pasion de Jesucristo os suplico que busques a otra, que de mi no hagais cuenta. Pues si a Dios no ha complacido, tampoco me complace a mi." (For the love of Jesus Christ I beg you to find another, and to stop caring about me. If you can't please God, then it won't please me either.)
He begged one last time, saying that he was dying and wished for a final kiss. But still she refused. Upon hearing this Diego could not bear the separation between himself and his love, and with a sigh he died on the feet of his beloved Isabel. When she realized that he died, she shivered. She woke her husband, telling him that his snoring scared her and she wished to hear a story. And he did, and in return she told him her own story. She told him of Diego and how he lay dead beside the bed.
"Oh, you wretched! Why did you not kiss him?"
"To not deceive my husband." She replied.
"Of course," he groaned. "You are a woman to praise."
They agreed on secretly burying him in the local church because the husband feared that he would be blamed for his death. The next day, during the funeral for Diego Marcilla, Isabel showed up dressed in her wedding dress. She proceeded to walk to the front of the church and place a kiss on the man whom she had refused but in doing so Isabel died, falling prostrate on the body of the man whom she loved.
|Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2009 19:07|
We have been getting a lot of questions and we know there are a lot of experienced backpackers here, so we would compile a list of tips for them.