Birth of the Tagus River: the origin of the longest river in Spain is in Teruel

Birth of the Tagus River: the origin of the longest river in Spain is in Teruel

Discover the amazing origin of the Tagus River, the longest in Spain, located in the picturesque Sierra de Albarracín in Teruel

Redacción Thursday, July 4, 2024 / 18:54

The starting point of Spain’s longest river, the source of the Tagus River,  is located in Aragon. Specifically, in the picturesque Sierra de Albarracín in Teruel . This iconic location not only marks the beginning of the river, but also offers a unique landscape full of natural beauty and a serene atmosphere, perfect for lovers of nature and Spanish river history.

Frías de Albarracín: where the Tagus River is born

The source of the Tajo , a spectacular natural enclave located in the Sierra de Albarracín , is the starting point of the longest river in Spain, offering an idyllic landscape that captivates all its visitors.

Frías de Albarracín  is the town where the Tajo River , the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, is born . This small but charming place sits on the slopes of Cerro del Castillo , from where it dominates a vast natural depression, offering spectacular views of Peña Rubia and the Cañón de la Hoz .

The town is home to valuable architectural and cultural treasures, including the Church of the Assumption , an impressive example of neoclassicism in Teruel. In addition, there are various hermitages of great historical interest such as the old hermitage of the Immaculate Conception, that of San Roque, that of San Juan near the Fuente del Buey , and that of Carmen, located in the now uninhabited Casas de Frías .

Close to natural attractions such as the Devil’s Cave and various natural springs, Frías de Albarracín also stands out for the curious ‘H tree’, two pines that have naturally joined together to form this letter, a phenomenon included in the Catalogue of outstanding trees and groves of Aragon .

Surely you have ever wondered  which river is born in Albarracín , so keep reading…

The source of the Tagus River is located specifically in the Fuente García stream , within the Montes Universales. This point is marked by impressive statues, installed in 1974 and the work of the sculptor José Gonzalvo , which symbolize “Father Tagus” and the provinces of Teruel, Cuenca and Guadalajara , guardians of its source.

Although the waters do not initially form a stable channel, later the Tagus becomes a river with a continuous flow, offering idyllic landscapes and inviting you to explore the Alto Tajo Nature Trail.

The curious monument to the birth of the Tagus River

Where does the Tagus River really originate? Its true origin is uncertain.

The monument to the Birth of the Tagus River is located in an impressive natural setting, in the middle of the Montes Universales , a mountain range that reaches more than 1,800 metres in altitude.

From Fuente García, a thin thread of water emerges and descends towards the area of ​​the monument, collecting the flow of many other fountains along the way, marking the first steps of the river in its incessant search for the sea.

Designed in 1974 by the artist José Gonzalvo Vives , originally from Rubielos de Mora, this monument pays homage to the three provinces that make up the initial course of the river: Teruel, Cuenca and Guadalajara . Each of these provinces is symbolized in the sculpture.

Teruel is represented by a “torico”, an iconic symbol of the region; Cuenca is represented by a star and a chalice; and Guadalajara by the figure of a knight. Dominating the scene is the imposing figure of Father Tajo , an allegory of the river personified as a great titan.

The sculpture of the Titan is particularly symbolic, emerging from a large mountain. The sword stuck into the base of the sculpture symbolises the deep fissure that the river creates in the Iberian Peninsula, and the crack that runs through its body represents the riverbed that runs from west to east.

The Titan ‘s beard evokes the melting of mountain waters after the snowy season, while the star on its crown indicates that the river has its origin in the winter snows of the mountains.

Birth of the Tagus River in the Sierra de Albarracin, Teruel

What to do at the source of the Tagus River?

In the idyllic location where the Tagus River originates , visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Surrounding the monument to the birth of the river, several trails extend to invite exploration and discovery, including local paths and sections of the well-known GR-10 and its variant. These trails are perfect for those who wish to immerse themselves in the natural landscape and follow the route of the river as it begins its long journey to the ocean.

The area is also equipped with recreational areas that allow visitors to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the place. These areas offer picnic facilities, ideal for a refreshing break, as well as strategic points to take photos of the surroundings and rest in the middle of nature.

Not far from there is the bridge of the three provinces, an emblematic place where Teruel, Cuenca and Guadalajara meet . This site not only offers an interesting geographical significance, but also panoramic views from which you can contemplate the interconnection of these regions thanks to the Tagus River.

How to get to the source of the Tagus River, in Frías de Albarracín

To get to the source of the Tagus River from Frías de Albarracín , you must take the A-1704/CU-901 road that connects Frías de Albarracín with Huélamo. Approximately 10 kilometers from Frías, you will find a clearly signposted detour to the source of the Tagus River .

This access is possible from both the province of Teruel and from Cuenca. If your trip starts in Cuenca, you will enjoy the journey through Puerto del Cubillo, a stretch known for its spectacular panoramic views that will undoubtedly enrich your route.

The road is well maintained and the signs are clear, making it easy to navigate to this iconic natural site.

Follow the directions for this location and you will get there easily:

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