Things to Do in Ademuz

Rustic Enclave between Teruel and Cuenca

The so-called Rincón de Ademuz (Corner of Ademuz) is an enclave of the Valencian Community surrounded by Teruel and Cuenca. Besides its capital, it includes great attractions like the Church-Fortress of Castielfabib and the Natural Park of Puebla de San Miguel. This land with delicious apples is a great place to walk, rest, and get away from everything.

Planning your Trip to Ademuz

This town has an interesting monumental heritage that will talk about a half day to tour, but if we visit the neighboring town of Castielfabib, you will have an adventure-packed day. The town has various sites to see, including several hermitages and churches such as the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Orchard or the Archpriestal Church of San Pedro and San Pablo, the remains of an Arab castle, as well as other attractions we will mention in the section about things to do in Ademuz. Trekking through the nearby Natural Park of the Town of San Miguel is one of the activities you can do. Anyone who wants to visit can travel south on the N-330 to see the desert of Señorío de Moya; Those who return in this direction can can take the opportunity to make a visit to the wine town of Utiel. Another alternative is to take the CV35 to visit the historic village of Alpuente. Check out our pages on where to sleep or what to eat in Ademuz for more detailed information.

Do you want to learn more about this place?

Ademuz was a territory dominated by the Bereber family of the Banu Qasi since the 8th century. W the caliphate of Cordoba was destroyed around the year 1009, the so-called Rincón de Ademuz became part of a small kingdom that incorporated much of the mountain range and the capital in Alpuente. The powerful family of the Banu Qasi, which ruled other kingdoms in the present Aragon, La Rioja and Navarra, would govern the area until the year 1104, when the family would be defeated by the Almoravids. It will be the Almohads who later dominated the area.

The Knights of the Order of St. Jorge, led by King Pedro II of Aragon, conquered the castles of Castielfabib and Ademuz in 1210. The conquering of Castielfabib was important to the king, and he summoned the Cortes General of Aragon that same year so that his nobles and ecclesiastics could prove the feat had been achieved. The king decided that Ademuz would be the royal town, while Castielfabib was entrusted to the Order of the Temple.

The Rincón de Ademuz was part of the Kingdom of Aragon until 1260, when it happened to belong to what used to be the Kingdom of Valencia. The origin of the current city dates back to the donation of King Jaime I, from the Arcos de las Salinas to the Council of Teruel on June 17, 1269. Since then, it has remained a Valencian territory.

In 1319, when the Knights Templar were removed, Castielfabib was handed over to the Order of Montesa, who set up a barony to administer the whole region, known as the Rincón de Ademuz.

The Rincón de Ademuz has caused numerous cartographic errors for centuries, appearing with the Kingdom of Valencia or other territories. Until the end of the eighteenth century, there was no correct representation of the area as an administrative enclave. During the nineteenth century, on two occasions, there were attempts to dissociate Ademuz from Valencia, but the attempts were unsuccessful. The decree of King Joseph I on April 17, 1810, included the Shire in the Prefecture of Alto Guadalaviar. The return of the Bourbons prevented a forced entry.

With the new provincial division of 1812, the Rincón became part of the province of Teruel. Power was returned to the absolutists in 1823. The territorial boundary of the region remained unchanged during these times.

Old Photo of the View of Castielfabib
View of Castielfabib

Regardless of the interesting legal-administrative evolution of the region, Ademuz was the scene of numerous war conflicts throughout history.

In the 14th century, the population was devastated during the so-called “War of the two Pedros,” and was destroyed a second time during the War of Independence, during which it housed a French garrison continually harassed by the guerrillas. Finally, the region was a continuous scene of battles during the First Carlist War, in which the Carlist General Ramon Cabrera starred in numerous battles, including the destruction of the Castielfabib.

We begin our visit at the the outskirts of the town, at the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Huerta, a Romanesque site founded by Jaime I in the 13th century and modified in the 16th century with the addition of two chapels with Gothic roofs. The portico is supported by two Tuscan columns and it is crowned by a Romanesque belfry with a modern inscription in Hebrew. Its three-nave interior is supported by Gothic arches.

Up the Street of Mesón Antiguo, you will find a fountain with a mural of Manises tiles that represents the urban center and the Pico Castro. In the Square of the Church (this was an extension outside the walls of the town), we find the Portal of St. Vincent, which is the rest of the wall from Ademuz. The square is presided by the Archpriestal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (18th century). It has a carved wooden door. The front of the epistle leads to the square, which is accessed by a stairway with handrails that have supports from a Roman sepulchre. The interior consists of a rustic nave. There are also altars designed by the local artisan Ángel Ramírez, and a table of the Virgin of the Milk, from the Valencian school of the 15th century.

On Empedrado Street, the old prison is now used as a temporary exhibition hall. On San Joaquin Street, you can find the Hermitage of San Joaquin and Santa Ana, from the 15th century. It is covered by a half-point arch, framed by a second Gothic arc. On the Vallado Street, you can find the Plaza de la Soledad and La Cueva excavated from the rock.

The town hall is characterized by its quarry and a wooden balcony. Casa Garrido, from the 18th century, is currently a country house, and has a half-point arch at the entrance.

In the upper part of the village is the Cubo del Tío José el Maroto, a typical site where wine was made. From there, a road leads to the Santa Bárbara recreational area, where the remains of the Moorish castle are found. From there, you can enjoy extraordinary views, and you can also follow a paved road to the Viewpoint of the Zafranares.

There are are several places with interesting buildings in the region. In Torrebaja, we recommend the House of the Picos, a residence-manor fortress. Another spot of interest is the Church of Santa Monica and its hermitages.

Vista de Ademuz

Even more interesting is the town of Castielfabib, which some people call “the Little Albarracín”. Within the walled complex, the imposing Church-Fortress stands out, built by the Arabs on a site that can be traced to the Iberian period. King Pedro II of Aragon had to besiege it for months until it was surrendered and such was his pride in the feat that he summoned the Cortes General of Aragón, which lasted for three days. This is a fortress in which you can see the additions made during the many wars. Most notible are those made in 1835 during the First Carlist War. The fortress was destroyed during the war and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, whose foundations are from the 13th century, must have been rebuilt in the following years. Every Sunday of Resurrection, the villagers repeat a medieval tradition, climbing up to the top of their bell tower to tie their feet and hands to the bell called “Guillermina” while it chimes.

In Castielfabib, you should also visit the Convent of San Guillén (16th century) and the Hermitage of Our Lady of Grace (15th century).

The town de San Miguel gives name to a natural park that includes the Macizo of Javalambre, where the Pico Calderón rises. At the Peak of the Cross of the Three Kingdoms (1552 m), in the neighboring Arroyo Cerezo, the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Valencia converge. There, legend has it that the three kings of Aragon, Castile and Valencia ascended to address their various issues periodically.

The ART AND NATURE Sculpture Park of Rincón de Ademuz, created by the sculptor Lucas Karrvaz, consists of a series of sculptures that have remained in different localities of the region. Works can be found including: El Caminante by Lucas Karrvaz, in Casas Bajas; Horse y Manzana de Oro by Philip Bews, Echoing Walls by Diane Gorwin, in Arroyo Cerezo; La vaca loca y El Nacimiento del euro by Trujalia en Torrebaja; La ventana, by Ana Medina, and Levantemos el Rincón, by Antonio Lucio Morales Gómez, in Casas Altas.

Important Information

Coordinates

40º 3’ 48’’ N, 1º 17’ 10’’W

Distances

11 km from Castielfabib, 153 km from Valencia, 281 km from Madrid

Altitude

741 m

Inhabitants

1,203 (2013)

San Blas (February 3rd, the Priest blesses the ‘sleeping bread’), San Vicente Ferrer (On a particular date, Easter cakes are made and, at night, the ‘hoguericas’ of St. Vincent are lit in the streets), Fiestas de Toros y Encierros (August 12-15th), Virgen del Rosario (October, Patron celebration), Fiesta de los Quintos (8th of December, street performances are carried out and donations collected)

In Castelfabib: Semana Santa

Feria de San José (March 19, traditional Cattle Fair), on Christmas Eve, the famous ‘célebres albadas,’ takes place, with vocal pieces by the villagers, accompanied by bandurrias and guitars)

Rincón de las Hespérides

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