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Natural Monuments

Natural Monuments are defined as an element with a limited extent, but with great scenic, geological or ecologicalattributes for which a special protection is needed. Currently, four of the five natural monuments available in Aragon are located in the province of Teruel.

Grutas de Cristal – Crystal Caves

These caves are also known as “Cueva de Graderas” and they can be visited in Molinos, within Maestrazgo. They are one of the greatest geological wonders of the province.As a result of the slow limestone dissolution, the cave possesses underground galleries as rooms for visitors who are amazed at the amount of stalactites and stalagmites and rock columns, curtains, or waterfalls. People gave other names to these whimsical shapes such as the Mantón de Manila (literally “embroidered shawl”), la Virgen, La Tarta Nupcial ( or “wedding cake”) or El Pozo de los Deseos (“the Wishing Well”).

To the mentioned natural values we must add its paleontological and archeological significance. In fact, mammal fossils dating back more than 100,000 years were found in the cave, as well as the remains belonging to the so-called “Hombre de Molinos”, –

Puente de la Fonseca – a Natural Bridge

We find the Natural Fonseca Bridge In the vicinity of Ladruñán –pertaining to Castellote. River Guadalope has made a peculiar tunnel on the karst formation through the years.As in the rest of the natural monuments in the Province, the environment Fonseca Bridge has great scenic and environmental values. As a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, we can find crabs or the otters in the river, the Spanish Ibex or even vultures and eagles in the landscape. The axis of the river, where the botanical richness is superlative, is full of willows, poplars and cottonwoods, whereas the distant slopes are covered by a pine tree Mediterranean forest.

Nacimiento del Rio Pitarque – The Spring of the River

The source of River Pitarche, in the core of Maestrazgo, is located a few kilometers from the vicinity which lends its name to these waters. It is considered one of the most outstanding natural places of the province given its geological values, flora, wildlife and, of course, its surroundings.Although the real underground spring of this river is in Fortanete, its waters come out from a kasrt surface in Pitarque. In its initial stages, the river turns into a canyon river framed by large vertical walls, habitat for rupicolous bird colonies such as Griffon vulture, Golden eagle, peregrine falcon and other species. The natural wealth of this enclave is completed with the presence of protected species like the Spanish Ibex and otter, as well as a full botanical prosperity of unique flora.

Órganos de Montoro

These Cretaceous limestone formations, in Ejulve and Villarluengo, are astonishing due to its sub-vertical walls.Its components have been changing according to its exposure to erosion, so that the huge rocky mountains, look like almost sculpted nearly vertical rocks. Its appearance could be compared to an immense organ in any of the religious temples, that’s why it has been named Organos de Montoro.

The geological beauty of the landscape is improved by the presence of Mediterranean plants, mainly sclerophyllous oaks and scrublands that colonize every cracks and fissures. We must also mention the broad variety of animals, with the presence of rock-dwelling birds such as vultures or large herbivores such as Pyrenees goats.

 

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