Aledo Castle (Aledo - Murcia)

What to see in Aledo


Aledo Castle

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The Homage Tower of the Aledo fortress was built between the end of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century.

The town of Aledo has the typical urban appearance of the Andalusian Muslims. This tower was surrounded by seven other defensive towers.

The tower has a quadrangular plan and is divided into three levels.
On the ground floor is the cistern with two rectangular naves covered by a barrel vault. On the first floor, there are different explanatory panels, which allow us to understand the medieval historical context of Aledo, in addition to recreating its defensive system and talking about the influence that the Order of Santiago had on the town. On the second floor, the drawings that remain on the walls stand out. These drawings, which belong to different eras, show horsemen on horseback and boats, among other things that inspired the first settlers of the tower.

From its terrace, it is possible to be amazed by the view of the urban area of Aledo and the entire Guadalentin Valley. This view, plus the presence of the sea in the background, makes a visit to the tower essential for those who travel to this town.

Wall of Aledo

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Wall of Aledo (Aledo - Murcia)
The medieval enclosure of Aledo had a perimeter wall, which, added to the location of the town, helped to make it an impregnable place for those who wanted to invade it.

During the period of Arab domination, the wall was made up of simple walls with a parapet and battlements.

After the Reconquest, this was replaced and fortified with masonry elements.
The wall was built following the rammed-earth technique, which requires that a wooden mould be placed first, then filled with earth, which is compacted and allowed to dry. Finally, the mould is removed and a wall of great resistance can be seen.

What can be seen from the wall today was built during the 11th century. In the last decades, different reconstruction tasks have been carried out, trying to give value to the wall again. Thus, it is possible to see the wall with different levels of conservation throughout the town. Despite these differences in its state of preservation, as a whole they allow one to imagine the view that those who came to this town in the Middle Ages had and found this imposing view of a village completely fortified in height, with walls and towers.

Church of Saint Mary la Real

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The Muslims ruled the town of Aledo for a short time, long enough for them to build a mosque, which had a single nave and a minaret.

When the town was ceded to the order of Santiago in 1257, as happened with many temples in other regions of Spain, the old temple was transformed into a Christian church.

Construction of the current church began in 1761 though, due to lack of funds, its work was completed in 1803.
This is why its aesthetics belong to a Baroque period but with neoclassical influences.

Inside, it is worth going to the altar to see the details that decorate the figures carved on the wall, where the image of Saint Mary is deposited.

The Pillory

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A few steps from the Homage Tower, we will find the pillory. Unlike most village pillories, which were simple wooden poles, this one is covered with exposed bricks—something that was practiced in some villages to make them more resistant.

Although the Cortes of Cadiz ordered the destruction of all the pillories to ensure the freedom of all the cities, there are still many in different regions of northern Spain.
That of Aledo is the only one that still survives in Murcia, perhaps because its cylindrical structure was always covered with a layer of exposed brick that protected it from the passage of time.

When we visit these types of places, it is good to remember that we are not only in front of another tourist spot, but that we are seeing an element that represents the cruellest elements of the Middle Ages and the feudal system. Prisoners who had survived the torture of an executioner were brought here to be insulted, beaten, and humiliated by the neighbours. On other occasions, the head was brought, which was impaled on the tip of the pillory to serve as a warning for thieves, those who had debts, or those who wanted to question authority.

It was built in 1592, when King Philip II of Spain authorized the town to emancipate itself from the jurisdiction of the Order of Santiago, thus permitting it to have its own jail and pillory.

Door of Traditions

Door of Traditions (Aledo- Murcia)
When we approach to see a door, we think that it will lead us somewhere, but the door of traditions is actually a monument created in 2008.

This work by the sculptor Antonio Labaña Serrano is made of a bronze sheet on which the author has recorded the most characteristic elements of Aledo's culture. Thus, we can see representations of the “Auto de Reyes”, the auto sacramental of The Agony of Good Friday, the “Jirillos” of the day of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the Corpus Christi, the grapes, and much more.
In addition to observing the door, from the viewpoint, you can take advantage of it to contemplate the landscape of the Guadalentin Valley.

Bust "Uncle Juan Rita"

Uncle Juan Rita was one of the greatest troubadours born in Aledo; he died in 2020 at the age of 108. He had the happiness of receiving this tribute while he was alive, although the bust was a tribute not only to him but to all the troubadours of the region, who brought culture to all the territories of Spain. These artists sang “trovos”, which are quartets of eight-syllable verses in which they demonstrated their ability to improvise on the music of the “Cuadrilla”, showing their ingenuity and audacity to rhyme while exposing the life events of those who heard their songs.
Juan Tudela Piernas, which was the real name of Uncle Juan Rita, was a man of incredible vitality. Until his last days he could be seen enjoying a Cuban cigar and a glass of cognac.

His bust can be found at the point known as “El Rancho”, on Marqueses Street, the street where Juan Rita was born. In this place, the inhabitants of Aledo gather every January 6 to celebrate the “pujas” dance, and the neighbours, to the sound of the group, with their timples and clarinets dance a “luis” or a “malagueña”.

Monument to the Blood Donor

Monument to the Blood Donor (Aledo - Murcia)
Not only do the magnificent landscapes, history, and culture make the people of Aledo stand out but they can also proudly say that they are generous and supportive. A sample of this is the monument that the Brotherhood of Blood Donors of Murcia gave to the municipality to thank and honour the residents of Aledo, who for many years were the largest blood donors in the entire Murcia region.

The monument is a bronze sculpture that represents Aledo's solidarity through men, women, and children who hold a drop of blood with their arms raised.

Las Cuestas Area

Las Cuestas Area (Aledo - Murcia)
If Aledo seems stopped in time, the best way to transport ourselves to the past will be by walking through the Las Cuestas area. Here, we can see the original entrance to the old walled city.

That is not the only reason why we recommend going up this winding road. From this area, you can be dazzled by the magnificent views that the landscapes of the area give away. In recent decades, multiple revaluation works were carried out, especially on the path to Las Cuestas, so that today its image brings even more beauty to an environment that already made us sigh.

Strait of Arboleja

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The Strait of Arboleja is part of the riverbed of the Lebor ravine. It is a canyon whose walls, over 10 meters high, close until they are barely one and a half meters apart.

This prevents the sun's rays from hitting the lower rocks, giving way to the growth of mosses and ferns.

The walls of the strait have been eroded by wind, water, and microorganisms for millions of years.
In addition, its walls allow you to travel to a remote time when the region was under the sea, so it is possible to observe ancient coral reefs and other fossils. This set of fossils, added to the rocks and humidity, gives us an incredible image in which a complete range of colours and shapes are mixed.

The complete route of the Arboleja is about two kilometres long and is circular, so you start from the parking lot and return to the same place. Some adventurers depart from Alejo, being an 8-kilometer stretch to the strait.

Los Molinos Ravine

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This ravine allows us to observe part of the region's past and is usually enjoyed as part of a walk that connects the town of Aledo with the Strait of Arboleja. Others prefer to do the La Huerta Hermitage - Los Molinos ravine - Aledo route, which has a circular route of 8.5 kilometres and starts from the Virgin of La Huerta Hermitage.

Formerly, there were 11 mills, which used the force of water to move the stones and turn the grain into flour. They were of fundamental importance to the lives of the residents.
Today, of most of the mills, only a few ruins remain. The best-preserved is the one known as New Mill or Patalache Mill, which was built in the first half of the 19th century. It is still possible to see the mill building and also the water channel structure.

As we walk, we can understand why the ancient settlers decided to put these mills here. Here, it was possible to take advantage of the natural flow of water. In addition, to improve the use of water, the channels were created to optimize grinding and irrigation. At the same time, the unevenness that existed between the different mills was used.

With this walk, you can also see the eroded walls in the Lebor ravine, the water wells, and the straits that have been formed by the erosion of wind and water over time.

Los Allozos Hermitage

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Los Allozos Hermitage (Aledo - Murcia)
Los Allozos is an abandoned hamlet near Aledo and is currently surrounded by vineyards dedicated to the cultivation of table grapes.

The hermitage was built in 1729 and functioned as a temple until 1963.

As the village was far from the main communication routes and did not have basic services, the residents moved to other towns. Together with the town, the hermitage was also abandoned.
Today it is almost in ruins, although it is still possible to see its façade, which has a baroque style.

Aledo Arch

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Aledo Arch (Aledo - Murcia)
This point is used as a reference for most of the walks that begin and end in Aledo.

It is located at the intersection of several roads and close to the entrance of the town. One of the most interesting walks is that of Aledo Arch - Casa del Peñón - Aledo Arch, which has a distance of 8.5 kilometres.

The Aledo Arch is one of the last remaining vestiges of the ancient water systems, which made the water flow from different sources through pipes to the towns of the region.

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