Saragossa – Belchite
“The white salpetrous earth remain prisoners in the landscape,…
as intercepted gigantic waves of the sea in its fall.”
It takes our trip in Saragossa, from the old Station of Utrillas on the street Miguel Servet. We will leave the city by the highway of Castellón. To the few kilometers we will take the deflection towards Valmadrid. After crossing the Imperial Channel of Aragon and the route of Saragossa-Barcelona railroad, and back leaving several polygons, “the mount of rosemary and thyme its reign begins that will last the way throughout”. Surrounded by a “phantasmagoric and unreal landscape” we will raise the port smoothly. The inhospitable steppe is today a natural space protected and zone of special protection for the birds.
Small tower of Valmadrid is the first locality with which we will be. Where the track of the old one via of the railroad is guessed between the plots. Valmadrid gives the welcome us to the Region of Belchite. Here an old Square of Switchman is witness still of a past time. Valmadrid counts in its proximities with the “shipwrecked rest of the great pine that, in times, had to cross all these places”. We will lead until reaching the stop of the Port of Valdescalera where we will have to stop to contemplate the extraordinary salpetrous earth landscape “white”. An ample horizon in which it emphasizes, to far, the silhouette and the smoke of the Thermal one of Andorra.
We will descend accompanied from a terrible dryness until the Puebla de Albortón. In this lunar landscape José Antonio stops itself to meditate on its people, the emigration and its history. To little kilometers the route of the railroad returns to cross and in the environs we will find the station of Azuara, that left of its primitive use, serves today as paridera for the cattle. When arriving at the crossing with the A-220 highway the traveller can take the option to go to Fuendetodos, birthplace of Francisco de Goya where he will be able to visit his native house and the Museum of the Engraving.
In opposite direction we followed the route drawn up towards Belchite. Before it waits the Monastery to us of the Virgin of the Pueyo, “a sanctuary – of plan orientalelevado on a knoll”, in which it emphasizes its Mudejar tower. A deflection to the left will allow us to surround its perimeter and to stop to contemplate “to the sober landscape that surrounds it and in its ingenuous baroque interior and a shattering one to us”. Back from the highway we will walk in parallel to the rest of the railroad and soon the olive trees announce to us that it is close Belchite. We will cross the new town until giving us with the Arc of Villa, one of the front doors to the Old Town of Belchite.
After her the rest than Mudejar Aragonese was a beautiful gothic town, scene of one of the most bloody battles of the Civil War. The ruins of the churches of San Agustín and San Martín de Tours, the one of the Convent of San Rafael and the Tower of the Clock, confer to the urban landscape
a devastating and phantasmagoric atmosphere.
Flat and Steppes of the right margin of the Ebro
Natural spaces of great geologic and faunístico value, declared Place of Communitarian importance within the European network Nature 2000, that is framed within the Zone of Special Protection for Aves (ZEPA) of “Steppes of Belchite – the Planerón – the Lomaza”.
Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Pueyo
Located possibly on the old Roman Belia, it has his origin in a medieval hermitage of the s. XIII. It includes an ample closed enclosure in which we found civil constructions and hospedería. The present church, of baroque style, is of 1725. They emphasize the rest of the Renaissance cloister of the convent of the Augustinian ones, and the Mudejar tower, both of the s. XVI.
Fuendetodos, Goya and the Nevero
Birthplace of Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) whose native house can be visited. Near her the Museum of the Engraving welcomes the graphical work of the painter and everything on the techniques of the engraving. In the environs is the Nevero de Culroya, of the s. XVIII, most important of the Field of Belchite.
Convent of San Rafael. Old town of Belchite
Baroque construction of the s. XVIII that consisted of monkish dependencies, church, school and cemetery. Very destroyed during the battle of Belchite it was left after the civil war, and at present one is been of ruin. Of the church it is only the facade in which point is opened to the cover in means arc.