Castle of Loarre

Carretera del Castillo s/n. Loarre. Huesca.

Cultural Visit

Loarre Castle is the oldest Romanesque castle and best preserved in Europe. It´s located on the natural border between Ebro river valley and the mountain range of Pyrenees, the castle dominates the Hoya de Huesca landscape from a cliff at 1070 m. above sea level.

The castle was built during the XI century in different stages that were meeting the different needs. 

The first phase begins around the year 1020 by the great King of Sancho Sancho el Mayor, who in his eagerness to protect the Pyrenean counties from the Muslim attacks, takes advantage of the mountains of the Huesca pre-Pyrenees to install a series of forts that will create an authentic fortified border, of which Loarre will be one of its last links. Of this first phase the two main towers and the Romanesque chapel of Santa María stand out. The second phase is initiated by his grandson, the second king of Aragon Sancho Ramírez, around 1071, who with the support of the Holy See decided to surround the old fortress of his grandfather, which was still a frontier, with a large monastery that will house a order of Augustinian canons, uniting in Loarre the sword and the cross, the military and the monastic function. Of this phase highlights the impressive Church of San Pedro, a unique jewel of Romanesque architecture crowned by a spectacular dome.

Supported by the Pope, Sancho Ramirez surrounded the old castle of his grandfather with a great monastery for an order of Agustinian Canons monks, joining the cross and the sword, the military and monastic function in the same building. The most prominent build of this phase is the impressive St. Peter’s church, a wonder of Romanesque architecture, crowned by a dome. 

The last phase of construction will be delayed until the end of XIII century, and it is the wall marked by semicircular towers that runs over 170 m of perimeter, and that surrounded not only the fortress, but also a small town emerged under the castle, and that is the origin of the current Loarre. It will be already at the dawn of the Renaissance when such a great fortress is finally abandoned leaving its presence undaunted at the top of the Sierra de Loarre.

Schedule

Winter (from November 1 to February 28):

  • Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 17:30
  • Special hours for December 24 and 31: from 11:00 to 14:00

Spring and Autumn (from March 1 to June 15 and from September 16 to October 31):

  • Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Summer (from June 16 to September 15):

  • Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00

Closed:

  • January: 1st
  • December: 25th

Location

Address:

Carretera del Castillo, nn, Loarre, Huesca

How to get there:
  • From Huesca: road A-132 towards Pamplona / Ayerbe and turn at Esquedas towards the A-1206 road, towards Bolea / Loarre. 
  • From Puente la Reina de Jaca: road A-132 towards Huesca / Ayerbe and turn at Ayerbe towards the A-1206 road towards Loarre / Bolea.
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