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date: 20 August 2019

Loarre Castlelocked

  • David L. Simon

Extract

Fortress in Huesca province, Aragon, Spain. It commands a magnificent situation in the foothills of the Pyrenees overlooking the vast plains of Sotonera south to Huesca and beyond. The complex was built largely during the 11th and 12th centuries, when its position on the frontier between Christian and Muslim lands gave it its strategic importance. The first of the two major building programmes began c. 1020, when Sancho el Mayor (reg 1063–94) reconquered the surrounding lands from the Muslims. At least three towers, two of which survive, the Torre del Homenaje and the Torre de la Reina, as well as a chapel dedicated to S María de Valverde and connecting walls are attributed to this campaign. The Torre del Homenaje was built in an isolated position in front of the fortifications, to which it was connected by a wooden bridge. It contained a basement and five floors. The Torre de la Reina, comprising a basement and three floors, is particularly noteworthy for three sets of twin-arched windows, with columns of exaggerated entasis and trapezoidal capitals that have been related to both Lombard and Mozarabic architectural forms. The chapel is composed of a single-cell nave with an eastern apse covered by a semicircular vault. The original timber roof of the nave was replaced by a vault at the end of the 11th century....

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