Is Teruel worth Visiting?

October 3, 2021

Teruel

Teruel is not Spain's most popular tourist destination. In fact, locals coined the moto "Teruel exists" in the 90's to raise awareness about the lack of visitors. The moto became so famous that it is now part of Spain's popular culture.

However, it's not like there's nothing to see in Teruel, quite the opposite. It's one of those places off the beaten path that should actually be on your must-see list. The streets of Teruel are practically a display of Mudejar art. The cathedral and three other churches are UNESCO Architecture World Heritage Sites and there are stunning examples of art nouveau architecture. Apart from the artistic heritage, Teruel is famous for some tragic love stories worthy of Shakespeare himself. 

So if you are in the area, Teruel is definitely worth visiting.

Teruel

Need more reasons to visit Teruel? Here are the best things to see and do in this city of many hidden gems.

What is Mudejar architecture?

There was a time when 3 important cultures coexisted in Spain: Jews, Muslims and Christians. All three of them shaped the country and left a remarkable legacy. Toledo is the best example of the coexistance of all three of them and Teruel has the most impressive muslim heritage.

Muslim workers were highly regarded at the time and were often employed as builders. So Mudejar style refers to the application of decorative Islamic art styled motifs and patterning to Christian styles of architecture such as Romanesque, Gothic or Renaissance.

Best things to do and see in Teruel

The twin towers: Torre de El Salvador & Torre de San Martín

Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, these twin towers are amongst the best preserved Mudejar-style architecture in Spain. 

The legend has it that two builders -and friends- Omar and Abdala wanted to marry the same girl, Zoraida, so they were challenged to build a tower each. The first to finish the tower would marry Zoraida. Omar finished first, but to his dismay he saw that his tower was slightly crooked. Ashamed of his mistake, Omar jumped from the tower killing himself. So Abdala married Zoraida in the end. They did not end up living happily ever after as the memory of the lost friend haunted them forever.

Teruel towers

La Escalinata

Built in neomudejar style at the beginning of the 20th century and located near the train station, this spectacular staircase pays tribute to the Mudejar art in the city.

Teruel staircase

Teruel Cathedral

Most cathedrals in Spain are Gothic-style so the fact that Teruel cathedral is Mudejar makes it even more unique. In fact, signs of several architectural styles can be appreciated in this building. Inside you can find a coffered celling that is considered the Sistine Chapel of Mudejar Art.

Teruel cathedral

Teruel cathedral

Teruel cathedral

St. Pedro’s Church

Unlike most churches that are built with stone, San Pedro's church was built of brick. The interior of the church is jaw-dropping. The colorful walls andthe Renaissance altar will leave you speechless.

Teruel San Pedro

Plaza del Torico

A tiny bull sculpture gives name to Teruel's main square. Together with the Lovers of Teruel, the little bull is a major icon in this city. The other main attraction of the square are the art nouveau buildings and the lively restaurants.

Plaza del Torico
Plaza del Torico

Casa El Torico

Ornate exteriors, colorful flourishes, iron and glass work make Art Nouveau buildings unmistakable. The decorative movement that flourished in Europe throughout the 18-19th centuries has left us some stunning examples of architecture like Gaudi's work or Casa el Torico. The "little bull house" was built in 1912 and it's one of the best preserved art nouveau buildings in the region of Aragon.

Art Nouveau building

Los amantes de Teruel - the lovers

The Lovers of Teruel is a romance story that is alleged to have taken place in 1217. It's the story of Diego and Isabel. Isabel was the only daughter of one of the wealthiest families in the city but Diego came from a poor background. In order to be able to marry Isabel, Diego reached an agreement with her father: he would leave Teruel for five years to build his fortune. The time passed by and since there were no news about Diego, Isabel got married obeying her father. Five years later, Diego returned and when he heard the news about his lover being married, he died on her feet. Next day, during the Diego’s funeral, Isabel gave him a kiss and died as well. The remains of the Lovers of Teruel can now be visited in a mausoleum attached San Pedro Church.

Teruel lovers

Where to stay in Teruel

In the outskirts of Teruel you can find the Parador. The neo-mudejar style hotel is decorated with marble, tilework, ogival arches and Arab details. If you go during the summer you can enjoy a wonderful dinner at their garden barbeque and swim in the pool. 

Parador Teruel
Parador Teruel
Parador Teruel

What to eat in Teruel

"Jamon de Teruel" (ham) and "longaniza" (pork sausage) are the most famous products from the city. Some typical recipes from Teruel are "migas" (toasted bread crumbs), garlic soup or cod with tomato. For dessert, you must try peaches from Calanda which are a delicacy!

Best things to see around Teruel: Albarracín

Albarracin is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Located just 30 minutes west from Teruel, this fairy tale village is one of the main attractions in the area. The steep and narrow streets together with the reddish buldings will make every photo look like a postcard. 

Be sure to climb the Muslim walls for the best views of the town!

Albarracin
Albarracin
albarracin

Albarracin


MY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

I hope you enjoyed this Teruel city guide. If you liked this post, you can pin it and save it for later.

Teruel

1 comment

Thank you for taking out the time to leave a comment!