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Alarcón

Cuenca

Alarcón is one of Spain’s prettiest towns. On a crag, wedged between the deep gorges of the Júcar river, it was declared a Historic-Artistic Site due to the beauty and harmony on display in its ...
48
2km
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Muralla de Alarcón
0.7km
Castillo de Alarcón
0.4km
Murales de Alarcón
0.2km
Iglesia de Santa María
0.4km
Sendero Hoz de Alarcón

Alarcón is one of Spain’s prettiest towns. On a crag, wedged between the deep gorges of the Júcar river, it was declared a Historic-Artistic Site due to the beauty and harmony on display in its monuments and surrounding area.

 

With an impressive height and natural defence, it’s not surprising that it has been chosen since ancient times as a place for settlement. The Arabs erected the first fort, and the name comes from their language.

 

The town is steeped in all the cultures of its various populations who changed the architecture and layout. Enclosed in a walled area, the town is almost fully intacted and welcomes us.

 

Upon reaching Alarcón, the first thing we see is the Torre de Armas (‘Weapons Tower’ or Torre del Campo) and the Puerta del Campo, a gate we can see the castle through. The Alarconcillos and Cañavate towers can be seen from here We go through two more gates before reaching the town: the Calabozo Gate –with the Calabozo tower– and the Bodegón Gate, at the foot of the castle.

 

Below we’ll find some impressive views of the Alarcón gorge and the Henchideros dam. The imposing castle is above us.

 

The Alarcón castle retains its Muslim style, but its subsequent renovations reveal its original medieval structure. It’s one of the best preserved castles in Spain, as it was never embroiled in any conflicts. The keep stands out among its towers and defences, the involuntarily protagonist in all Alarcón ‘photos’. The castle has been a Parador Hotel since 1964.

 

The Infante Don Juan Manuel square is one of Alarcón’s highest points and seems to keep the dimensions of what it must have been the 16th century square. Here lie the Concejo Palace and the Church of St. John the Baptist, an old place of worship and currently deconsacrated.

 

This church of St. John houses a radical, contemporary offering worthy of your time: the Murals of Alarcón, by Jesús Mateo, a permanent piece of non-religious art that takes advantage of the inner layout of the spaces and the facings. In 1994, the artist penned the first designs that would give rise to the Murals of Alarcón. With total freedom and rare creative potential, it led to a project with a unique plastic identity, based on Nature and Man as pretexts to configure a personal, committed universe. The Mateo Mural is now a modern landmark of Castilla-La Mancha heritage, and a must for visitors to the area. Jesús Mateo finished the Murals in November 2002, leaving art for future generations. In short, it is already part of the best artistic heritage of our times.

 

Our journey through Alarcón reveals a healthy representation of almost all Spanish art in the town’s religious temples. Don’t miss the church of Santo Domingo de Silos, the church of the Trinity, and the imposing St. Mary’s Church.

 

The St. Mary’s church was built in the Renaissance as an “exemplary temple” according to the styles of the time, and is close to attaining such perfection. The façade bears the hallmark of the talented sculptor Esteban Jamete. The interior features the stunning altarpiece at the high altar, one of the best preserved and a unique Renaissance piece in Castilla-La Mancha.

 

If we’re pining for nature, the short “Hoz de Alarcón” route, PR-CU 71, departs from the town. This short itinerary is around 8 km long, meaning a two-hour walk. We can admire Alarcón from the surrounding area, with stunning views of the gorge and impressive environs. If we have more time on our hands, the longer GR64 route joins Alarcón with el Picazo, following the flow of the Júcar river.

 

Alarcón is a journey through time, no less. A comprehensive monument in every sense.

Tourist office
Oficina de Turismo de Alarcón
Posada, 6
16214 Alarcón
969 330 301
Further information
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Castilla-la Mancha