Water as an identifying feature
The church of San Mateo Apóstol keeps watch from its defensive position on an overlook above the river that has lent its name to this town, known as “little Venice”, with the Camarena canal running through its center, flanked by London Plane trees. The church was built in the 16th century and was originally a fortified church, which is the reason for its high position and tower.
The tower’s position behind the chancel, the prismatic shape of its lower section, lacking in any decoration or openings other than the windows near the top, and the fact that the entrance is on the second floor, lead to the assumption that this was a pre-existing defensive tower forming part of the castle from which the square where it is located gets its name.
Mudejar balcony over the Gállego River plains
The façade of the church of San Mateo Apóstol is one of the most richly decorated in the Aragonese Mudejar style, and clearly one of the symbols of the town. The temple features a single nave divided into two bays covered with rib vaults, with side chapels and another space for the choir at the west end. The chancel has straight sides and is covered with a star rib vault. The choir dates from the late 15th century and its altarpiece is from the Renaissance period. The Plateresque-style main altarpiece depicts the apostle Saint Matthew, and other paintings in the church bear a resemblance to those of the parish church in Zuera.
San Mateo de Gállego has a 21st century interpretation center about Mudejar ceramics, a space for building knowledge and culture and sharing creative experiences. Known as the Taller Museo de Fernando Malo, this is a top-rate cultural resource for discovering the value of ceramic craftsmanship throughout history.
The Santa Engracia chapel is also worth a visit, offering incredible views of the Ebro River gorge.