The town of Montalbán borders the Martín River Cultural Park to the south. Located in the Cuenca Minera Central, it appears in 1189 in the hands of the Azagra de Albarracín, to later become the seat of the Commandery of the Order of Santiago in the Crown of Aragon, which instituted in the thirteenth century -Peter II gave the town to the Military Order of Santiago in 1210-, had jurisdiction over the surrounding territories of Utrillas, Castel de Cabra, Palomar de Arroyos, Torre de las Arcas and Peñarroyas.
The locality is also mentioned in the Cantar de Mio Cid when describing his raids along the Martín river valley”.The (Val) of the Martín river all went to Paria.“, citing this locality in verse 1089 “e dexado a Huesa e tierras de Mont Alvan / Contra la mar salada conpeço de guerrear“. As a result of its passage, the toponymy could be enlightening, knowing the surroundings of the Infierno ravine, such as the Peña del Cid and the Peña del Cid ravine.
Of the walled enclosure that extended along the left bank of the Martín river, there are still significant remains and some camouflaged among the constructions of buildings. Inside the enclosure, two rocky escarpments control the accesses through the valley and undoubtedly played a major role in medieval times according to the remains located in the easternmost of both, where the “.Castle” of the town that watched over and controlled the access to the interior through the Martín river valley. Remains of this castle can still be seen in the remains of ashlar constructions camouflaged among the escarpments that today are known as “las peñicas”. From the other elevation -era de la Cruz-, you can see and control the access through the ravine of the wadi, from where you can enjoy a good partial view of the town, with the image of the church that emerges over the roofs of the village.
The perimeter of the wall strategically accommodated both elevations. Towards the west, we locate the “portal of Daroca”, with a portico of good masonry, on which rests a cube of the wall and a tower whose interior was destined for prison of the town and that also gave its name “Torreón de la Cárcel”. From here the main axis of the town, initially called Daroca street, straight, narrow and urban, with ancestral buildings giving a stately character to the space. From this street and in a northerly direction, two small squares open up and covered passageways or alleys are generated on the right (the Jewish quarter) and on the left others that ascend towards the elevation of the Era de la Cruz.
Daroca Street ends at the Plaza Mayor -where the town hall is located-. In this square is located the most outstanding building of the town, standing out for its volume and overwhelming majesty, the “church of Santiago”, considered one of the most distinguished buildings of Aragon, a jewel of the Gothic-Mudejar style in Teruel, built during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The temple, dedicated to Santa María and the apostle Santiago el Mayor, was built on an impressive stone wall of well-worked ashlars, giving it an air of strength due to its sobriety and volume. In the upper bodies of the temple and the tower, bricks carefully ornamented with colored glazed terracotta inlays were used, adding and diversifying the chromatic variety offered by the temple as a whole, an example of medieval Aragonese architecture. The buttresses that surround the building are square, adopting a polygonal shape in the apse. The interior of the single nave church is one of the widest in Spain. It has a basilica floor plan, with a heptagonal apse at the east end, while the bell tower rises on the opposite side. A brick wall surrounds the basilica nave. Two monumental gothic portals with strong flaring, with archivolts of pointed arches give access to the nave from both sides of the building.
To the east, the main axis extends from the square through the street of Santa Engracia, from which depart alleys in both directions showing a more popular neighborhood. To the north, the “portal de la Rambla” opens. At the end of the street, there is the “portal of Santa Engracia” or “arch of the Wall”, which marked the way to the hermitage of the same name, now in ruins, to flow into the bed of the ravine of La Muela and join the local access road to Peñarroyas.
Manor houses, coats of arms on the porches, passageways, cantilevered floors, covered alleys, viewpoints, make every corner of this town remind us of its rich medieval past as historical head of the region, enriched by the subway conduits that run through it and that are ancient and spectacular drainage channels known as “.the pipe of the villa“.
Recently, under the church, a large artificial cavity was found which, after cleaning, appeared to be a large cellar, probably dating from the 17th century, and which today houses the Geology and Speleology Interpretation Center of the Martín River Cultural Park. Near the cemetery, already on the right bank of the Martín river, is located the refrigerator, recently consolidated and restored.