Name of inhabitants: Alaconés,
inhab. in 1900 / 1.060 inhab. in 1950 / 509
inhab. in 1995
Elevation: 704 mts.
Alacón lies on a high hill visible from a great distance around the Martín river valley, and is therefore an important lookout on the Arcos mountain range. It is also almost exactly situated at the intersection of the Muela and Mortero ravines where, taking advantage of a spring the Saint Michael's hermitage (ermita de San Miguel) was built. It was later reconstructed in the XVII century.
Passing through the hill and on its north side, we can find a number of wine cellars hollowed out into the rock. Their terrace structures served to overcome the difficulties related to the steep slope. Cool in summer and mild in winter, these wine cellars are used to produce and store the famous Alacón wine, processed according to the traditional methods of the region.
During the Middle Ages, Alacón was an independent territory between the Mitra of Saragossa (in the villages of Albalate del Arzobispo, Alloza and Ariño) to the east, and Honor de Huesa del Común, a subject of the Crown, to the west. According to Castillo Genzor, the dominion of the Señores de Alacón began with the Comendadores de Montalbán of the Orden de Santiago, and was later passed to the Crown under Alfonso II. In 1499, it was taken over by the Bardaxí family, who ruled the village until the beginning of the XIX century.
The evolution of the urban center is characterized by its masonry buildings (from its origins, Alacón has always had rich quarries), which are presented in three different sectors:
1. On the top of the hill we can still detect some traces of the old wall enclosure, to which the people of the village still refer to as the Castle neighborhood.
In this area you can find a wall arch, the only access point to the enclosure. This is a round ashlaring arch without any additional decoration. Close to it is the old Concejo bakery , which now hosts the main building of the Cultural Park of the Martín river, whose entrance arch is also round and of ashlaring and masonry. Attached to the arch is the city hall with its irregular-shape square, where the consistorial building, now turned into the Centre of Interpretation of Paleontology of the Cultural Park , is situated.
The Our Lady of the Assumption church (Iglesia de Ntra. Sra. de la Asunción) is at the highest point of this neighborhood, with a beautiful lookout from where you can see the traditional farmyards, cultivated land, the Muela ravine and the rock belt of the Felio hill, where numerous shelters with rock paintings can be found. The church is a baroque building from the second half of the XVIII century. Its general restoration ended in 1999, resulting in a beautiful temple with an outstanding brick main façade and the belfry, which has no tower , given its high position. This makes it unique in the region.
To the east, and on another hill, is a medieval half-destroyed embattled tower known as "la Torre Vieja" (the Old Tower ). It was part of the defensive enclosure, and marked the end of the wall. It still shows a horizontal line of vaults. Nearly attached to the embattled tower is the Holy Sepulchre hermitage (ermita del Santo Sepulcro) and the calvary . Narrow streets go through this neighborhood and also connect with the wine cellars.
2. The second sector of the urban center is characterized by a group of houses, which was built in the middle of the slope, attached to and protected by the fortified area. It was established beyond the enclosure due to a population increase, but still preserved the medieval style with four parallel and concentric streets around the castle neighborhood. The streets are not steep, but follow the natural landscape, so that the approach to the historical center is not difficult. The concentric circle-roads are connected by small streets.
3. The third sector is the most regular and modern. It formed in the lower part of the hillside, starting from the Planillo square (plaza Planillo) and Replegador square (plaza Replegador), and is thus characterized by a small incline. Its plastered buildings hiding the brickwork, together with newer buildings, take away from its traditional look.