The Spanish revere their titles and history, and Cariñena is no different. This community of some 3,500 residents has the look and feel of a small village, a “pueblo”, in the Aragon countryside. There are no supermarket chain stores, no shopping malls, no traffic lights, and no busses. The core of Cariñena existed inside a protective wall that has been replaced by a tranquil tree-covered area (“paseo”) to walk – the full journey around can be done in some twenty minutes. I think my subdivision is bigger than Cariñena!
But Cariñena was rewarded by King Alfonso for its loyalty when on June 4, 1909 the City Council received notification from the governor of Zaragoza that a day earlier the Minister of the Interior issued the following Royal Order:
“His Majesty the King has deigned to issue by this Ministry the following Royal Decree – Wanting to give a test of my Real Appreciation to the Villa de Cariñena, province of Zaragoza, for its historical importance and adhesion to the Institutions; I come to grant you the City Title. Given in the Palace on June 3, nineteen hundred and nine – Alfonso – The Minister of the Interior – Juan de la Cierva y Peñafiel -“
Shortly thereafter the City Council made preparations for a ceremony and proposed that the Plaza Alta be given the name of Alfonso XIII, that Calle del Cordero be renamed Tejón y Marín, and that Calle de las Siete Esquinas be renamed Marqués de Villafranca.
On June 20, 1909 Cariñena, decked in flags and pennants, received the governor and other dignitaries who arrived by train and paraded to Plaza de España for speeches, placing new signs on the renamed streets, and certainly a bit of wine that accompanied dancing in the Casino.
Fortunately, the City retains its village charm and soul. When you visit you’ll feel it instantly as you walk the streets and enjoy the sights and sounds. Oh, and you’ll appreciate it when you ask for a glass of Particular garnacha and hand over less than two Euro. Have the meat plate in La Mazuela and another glass of wine and you’re on your way for less than $10. Enjoy the village prices and save the city trips for later. Zaragoza and Madrid will wait for you. Just one more reason to visit la ciudad de Cariñena!