In 1073, King Sancho introduced a community of Augustinian monks, and used Loarre as his base for the conquest of Huesca in 1094.
The outermost walls of the castle and their eight towers were built between the XIII and XIV centuries.
Extensive restoration work took place in 1913 and later in the 1970s. Today it is fortunate to have an association of friends to protect its interests and a campaign to have it declared a UNESCO site.
The stars and director of the film spent their free time in the Hotel Villa de Ayerbe, seven kilometres from Loarre, where visitors today can find ample evidence of their stay.
The attic rooms occupied by Scott and Bloom each have a collage of images and press cuttings related to the movie, while Neesom’s room has a similar one outside in the corridor, and two more are to be found in the small bar next to reception.
The owner Antonio proudly shows the guestbook with the thanks given by all who stayed there.
At the battle of the Guadalate River in 711 Julian supposedly betrayed the Visigoth king Don Rodrigo. Julian probably had good cause, as the King had impregnated his daughter, Florinda.
After the defeat the Count and his daughter retreated to Loarre. She committed suicide by throwing herself from one of the towers and the count, after dying, was buried at the entrance to the church of San Pedro so that anyone who entered would step on the traitor.
Since then Julián’s ghost, wanders around the castle’s outbuildings weeping disconsolately on nights with a full moon, lamenting his betrayal, which enabled the Arab conquest of Spain.
Some years later in 1410 the King of Aragon, Martín el Humano, died without descendants, and Fernando de Antequera became the new sovereign, with the support of Benedict XIII, better known as Pope Luna. Some nobles, such as the Count of Urgel, Jaime de Aragón, and the Infante Antón de Luna, refused to accept him.
When the Pope learnt that his niece Violante de Luna, abbess of the convent of Trasobares, was having an affair with Antón and supporting the rebellion, he ordered the burning of the convent and the scattering of the nuns.
Violante took refuge in Loarre, which after two months of siege was conquered by Fernando’s men. Violante was arrested and imprisoned, and since then appears on the night of San Juan upon a balcony looking for the reinforcements that her lover would bring to free her. When the Moon is full, she can be seen, all in white.
It must get a little crowded on the battlements some nights.