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Villages

Alcaine

Data

Old name: al´Caz / arcayne
Demonym: Alcainense, alcainero
Inhabitants: in 1900, 1,089 hab. / in 1950, 713 hab. / in 1995, 50 hab. / in 2019, 59 hab.
Altitude: 658 m

Routes from the village

Services

Accommodations
Q

Accommodations

RURAL TOURISM HOUSING “CASA MARISOL”.

C/ San Valero, 5
978 810190
Owners: Marisol and Dolores.
Modality: Shared accommodation.
Capacity: 8 people, double rooms.
Equipment: washing machine, fireplace, television, heating, refrigerator.
Services: kitchen, breakfast, pets allowed, the whole house is booked.

THE SOURCES LODGE

Pza. Pascual Albero, s/n
978 813256
Opening: All year round.
Capacity: 20 beds distributed in 2 pavilions with bunk beds, plus a double room.
Equipment: Central heating and hot water, kitchen, dining room, meeting room and games room.
Services: Restaurant.
Web: http://www.alberguelasfuentes.com

CASA RURAL EL PERCHE

C/ Cabezuelo 28
978 81 33 04 – 678 94 72 11
Contact: elperchealcaine@yahoo.es
Web: http://www.elperche.es

The village

Alcaine rises on impassable and frightening rocky ridges that surround and protect it, on the left bank of the Martín river and on the right bank of the Radón river, at the foot of which they converge to flow into the Cueva Foradada reservoir. This position, which today causes problems of isolation and isolation, once protected it and allowed the town to be linked to an independent lordship in medieval times, which belonged to Don Artal de Alagón (1272), although shortly after (1293) it became dependent on the Crown. The Sesse family, don Juan Galindez, acquired the place in 1333. From the 15th century onwards, the village of Alcaine appears associated with the Bardaxí family, together with the villages of Oliete and Obón. The matrimonial links of this family connect the locality with the Bermúdez de Castro (XVIII century) and the Rebolledo de Palafox family until the XIX century.

Alcaine did not need a wall, the protection was entrusted to its rugged terrain whose armor was composed of steep and rugged rocky escarpments and a series of independent towers strategically anchored in the rocky ridges surrounding the town. This unique defensive system (11 independent towers and a fortress) made of stone and mortar, seems to take us back to the years of Arab occupation and must have been quite common during the medieval centuries, although the remaining examples are very scarce, which revalues this system as Cristóbal Guitart explains.

Around this defensive system and around the town there is a hiking route through the rocky cliffs that require extreme caution (PR-TE 98) and that can cause certain problems for hikers with vertigo problems. Some of the towers have been recently consolidated, others were adapted for use as pigeon lofts that once served for the use of pigeon guano as fertilizer and pigeons and pigeons as food, and of others there are only a few barely perceptible remains.

The strategic location of Alcaine to control the Martín valley seems to be confirmed in the “Cantar del Mío Cid” (XI century), when the raids of this warrior through the “Val del río Martín” are described, identifying“al’Caz” with this town.

The urban fabric is characterized by the terrain, adapting the buildings to its irregularity. This causes the main axes of the population to follow the contour lines at different levels of slope, and the buildings -many of them still show the tapial on their facades-, adapt to the rugged terrain and the heights marked by it, so that the slope or lower slope of the streets presents the descending access stairs -integrated in the façade itself-, to access the houses through boxed doors, while on the upper slope of the street the steps are ascending and invade the road itself, outside the façade line where the doors of the house are located. In addition, these slopes allow some buildings to reach up to five stories and not clash with the urban environment. It is an environment that has managed to maintain its old and popular flavor, probably thanks to its isolation. From the river, the urban center shows spectacular views of houses built on dreadful cliffs.

The main axis of the village opens into three squares. To the north is the irregular Church Square, where the church of Santa María La Mayor (XVII-XVIII Sgs.), recently restored and with a unique bell tower of Mudejar tradition, stands out. The main chapel of the church has an elliptical dome and lantern with eighteenth-century decoration and a spectacular and prolific polychrome baroque altarpiece. In the center is another rectangular square (of San Agustín), from which a steeply sloping cross street leads to a beautiful corner passageway. The third square – Plaça Mayor del tenor Albero – includes the most outstanding civilian buildings, together with the City Hall -in the basement is located the sliceThe main building, then a pelota court, formed by two semicircular arches and today adapted to be used as a bar or social center, stands out a old house masonry structure, nowadays restored as a hostel and Wildlife Interpretation Center of the Cultural Park of the Martín River.

The main axes are cut by sloping streets, highlighting the Nevera street that still preserves the local refrigerator in a small replaceta. The accesses to the locality are flanked by different peirons and the location of the town itself allows you to end up at any point over amazing viewpointsThe viewpoint of San Ramón, which allows access to the river through a cobblestone stairway, or over the Radón River, all of them with a great wealth of scenic views.

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