Until the city had plumbing installed in the 19th century, water was carried into the confines of the city walls by means of an aqueduct which in itself was built in the 16th century. Before modern plumbing, cisterns were also used to store water for the people.
The aqueduct has a few different levels of various arches, the middle layer being a passage for pedestrians to cross the river. The upper level carried the water for over 300 years.
Much of the city has the old Moorish influence showing in the facades of the buildings, notably the tiling work and the towers.
However, the front of the Biblioteca Publica and the adjoining Seminario Conciliar have a distinctively different European feel to them. The building, the plaza and the church are not so noteworthy by themselves, but collectively gives a nice juxtaposition to the overshadowing Torre de San Martin.
While it may only take a couple moments, I found the old city mural to be quite nice and genuine. Its free for the viewing and only takes a few minutes. Its a large wall mural, made from painted ceramic tiles.
The small scenes around the perimeter show the towns history, chronicling specific events and significant things such as the "Amores".
There are lots of things to do and look at in Teruel, the average person will always look up. While this is typically the best way to see a city, I recommend you occasionally look down too. Many cities, particularly those with old historic roots have some interesting manhole covers donning the areas flag, crest, symbols, etc.
The Arches Aqueduct is one of the most important engineering works of the Spanish Renaissance building which was made in order to improve water supply to the city of Teruel, which had hitherto depended on the cisterns constructed in the last quarter of the fourteenth century.
The Neomudéjar staircase was built to link the historical city centre with the railway station. It was designed by Carlos Castell, and conducted by José Toran in 1920-21.
On a wall there is a relief representing a scene of the Lovers.
The details of the decoration are very faithful to the genuine Mudéjar style: ceramic plates and cylinders, tiles, bricks making relief, etc. Look at the splendid lanterns decorated with crowns and iron elements.
At the foot of the steps we will find the Botanical Garden and in front of the station, the Institute of Secondary Education, designed by Antonio Rubio, which also felt Neo-Mudejar influences.
The Medieval Cisterns were in the XIV century, below Plaza del Torico.
We can see the two cisterns: “fondera” and “somera” (deep and shallow). There was also a channel connecting them.
There are some explanations of the cistern system and a photography exhibition and a room for audiovisuals in the “shallow” cistern.
The entrance is in Ramon y Cajal street, very near the street which leads to the Tourist Office. The entrance fee is 1.20 €.
The Mausoleum contains the tombs of Isabel de Segura and Diego de Marcilla, the Lovers of Teruel.
The Mausoleum is a building attached to Saint Peter’s church. The building is divided into six sectors in which we can read about the history of the lovers, other tragic love stories, etc. Too long preamble in my opinion.
The Lovers of Teruel have been a source of inspiration for many artist. Just before reaching the tombs, we see some paintings related to the lovers: El Amor Nuevo, by Jorge Gay, and a replica of the wonderful painting Los amantes de Teruel by Antonio Muñoz Degrain (the original is in the Museo del Prado, Madrid). There are also some poems inspired by the tragic love of Isabel and Diego.
Finally we arrived at the tombs of the lovers. They were sculpted by Juan de Ávalos. The tombs are carved out of alabaster and bear the family shields of Marcilla and Segura. The lids are exquisitely carved: one features the strong and handsome Diego, his one arm outstretched, reaching for his love Isabel. The lid for Isabel is radiant and most beautiful. Their hands come close but they do not touch, since they were never together in life.
The Mausoleum entrance is in Plaza de los Amantes. You can visit also Saint Peter’s church, the Mudéjar tower, the cloister and the Andito. There are guided tours, which I recommend. There are different fees according to the places you visit: from 3 to 8 € (reduced for children, groups and retired).
The church was built in the XIV century. The altarpiece was made in wood by Gabriel Joly (the same artist who made the altarpiece of the cathedral) in the XVI century. He also made the retable of Saints Cosmas and Damian, in the chapel where the mummies of the Lovers were found.
The church has an Andito, a corridor that surrounds the church above the side chapels and opens to the exterior, which used to allow watching the peaceful coexistence of Christians and Jews.
The church has suffered several reforms along the centuries. Between 1896 and 1902 a great reform was made. The Neomudéjar painting is work of Salvador Gisbert. Matias Abad restored the grillwork. The works were directed by Pablo Monguió. The primitive cloister was substituted by a Neogothic cloister.
The tower is the earliest example of Mudéjar architecture in Teruel. It was built in the XIII century.
The lovers of Teruel, Isabel de Segura and Diego de Marcilla, belonged to important families in the city. The two young fell in love. As Diego was the second son, he had not wealthy to offer, so he departed to build up a fortune to be able to marry Isabel. There were no news of Diego in five years, so Isabel's father married her to Don Pedro de Azagra.
Right after the wedding ceremony, Diego de Marcilla returned with great riches and with the intent of marrying Isabel. Diego ran to the feet of Isabel and pleaded her for a kiss but Isabel refused as she was already married. Then Diego with a sigh died on the feet of his beloved Isabel. The next day, during the funeral for Diego, Isabel showed up dressed in her wedding dress. She walked to the front of the church and gave to Diego the kiss she had denied. Suddenly she died, falling prostrate on the body of the man she loved.
This unlucky event happened in 1217. In 1555, two mummies were found out in Saint Peter’s church, under the chapel of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Along the centuries, the mummies have been exposed in different ways. Finally, Juan de Ávalos sculpted the tombs of the lovers and since 2005 they rest in the new Mausoleum in a building attached to Saint Peter’s church.
Pablo Monguió was an architect born in Tarragona who left a great work in Teruel. He built two Modernist houses at Plaza del Torico: Casa del Torico and Casa La Madrileña. He also built Casa Ferrán, at Calle Nueva (from Plaza del Torico to Staircase).
Casa del Torico is one of the best Modernist buildings in Aragón.
Pablo Monguió also built the Escuelas del Arrabal, outside the walled town, near the aqueduct. This building houses now the Historic Archive of the Province.
Plaza del Torico is in the middle of Teruel city center. In the centre or the square is a monument to the bull (toro), but since the bull is quite small, the diminutive torico gives name to the square.
The Torico is on top of a fountain. We visited Teruel in Christmas, the fountain was covered by green branches as though it were a Christmas tree, hiding the fountain.
There are some nice Modernist (Art Nouveau) houses around the square.
This tower is earlier than Torre del Salvador. Like Tower of El Salvador, it consists of two towers, one covering the other and the stars to the bell between them. The outer tower has all the decoration elements.
This tower is in the same square as the Public Library and the Seminary.
Through the tower you will see the Portal de Daroca, one of the gates of the wall.
This tower is a nice example of the Mudéjar art in Teruel.
The tower has the structure of an Almohad minaret: tow towers (one inside the other) and a stair in the middle. The internal tower is divided into rooms covered by cross vaults.
The support of the bells was added, as we can see in the pointed arch windows that top the structure of a minaret. Such overlap caused structural problems, which were solved in 1650 with an enhancement of stone at the base and the removal of the vault cover. This was remade in 1953 with lightweight concrete.
This tower is contemporary to the tower of San Martín. It features a carefully crafted ornamentation.
There are 120 steps to the top. From the bells there are magnificent views of Teruel.
The entrance fee is 2.50 €.
The Episcopal Palace houses the Museo de Arte Sacro.
The construction of the palace started in the late XVI century.
The museum contains pieces of religious art from different periods: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
There are some images of Saint Joachim with Mary, which is not very usual.