Loarre Castle lies, near a village by the same name, in the province of Huesca in Spain.
Loarre Castle is situated in the southern foothills of the Pyrenees and is said to be the oldest fortified castle in Spain. Above the castle entrance is a inscription which dates back to 1096. However during excavations Roman and Iberian coins were found.
The castle we see today was built in the 11th century upon Roman walls and is said to be the starting point of the Romanesque style of architecture in Aragon.
It consists of two parts; the castle built in the times of King Sancho el Mayor, which has two towers, and the Romanesque monastery attached to the castle, built by Sancho Ramirez in 1071. In the monastery is a beautifully preserved Romanesque church with a crypt.
The walled enclosure at the castle's feet, with its 10 semicircular towers and one square one, was built in the 13th century. In this enclosure a civil settlement was situated of which nowadays only a watchtower remains.
The castle was never besieged because it was built during the expansion of the kingdom of Aragon and by the time it was finished its defensive aim was unneeded.
This is a very nice castle which offers great views over the Huesca valley and also the winding road leading to the castle is a biker's delight! Loarre Castle was also one of the few castles which wasn't freely accessible when I visited Spain; you have to pay a small entrance fee.