The Gállego River kitchen garden
Villamayor de Gállego is located near the confluence of the Gállego and the Ebro Rivers, with a long history dating back to Roman and Muslim era settlements.
The Arab presence in the village is evidenced above all in the Loma del Pesebre watchtower and in the inherited tradition involving the construction of spectacular structures for harnessing the available water resources, in addition to its urban design dotted with brick palaces and the imposing Mudejar tower on the church of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, the only element remaining intact from the original Mudejar church and a clear sign of the town’s economic strength at the dawn of the modern era.
The tower was commissioned by master builder Domingo de Estala in 1587 and is a superb example of late Mudejar style. It is divided into two sections: the lower section is two storeys high with a square floor plan, and the upper section is a three-storey octagonal volume, with small turrets at the corners. It combines abundant brick decoration with pieces of Muel tile work.
The ancient “Almamblas”
Villamayor de Gállego was established over an ancient village that the Muslims called Mamblas or Almamblas, perhaps located near the Torre de la Hacienda and the old canal. It was founded in the mid-12th century after the conquest of Zaragoza by Alfonso I as part of the monarch’s plans to populate the regions taken from the Muslims shortly before that.
The sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Pueyo sits perched atop a hill along with the town’s other monuments, consisting of the church, with its passageway or cloister, the sanctuary caretaker’s house, a residential building and a small adjacent chapel. The sanctuary is a Mudejar style building constructed in the 15th century, expanded in the 16th and remodeled in the early 18th century.
The centerpiece of the town’s natural heritage is the famous Sabina de Villamayor, a monumental, two thousand-year-old Juniper tree with a rough trunk whose solitary silhouette rising up out of farmed fields make it worth a visit.