Welcome to Puigmoreno, a town in the Lower Aragon region and part of the city of Alcañiz. It lies at an altitude of 310 metres above sea level, next to the hill of Puigmoreno, from where it took its name in recent times. It is 10 kilometres from Alcañiz proper and 4 kilometres from its neighbour Valmuel.
Archaeological excavations in the area have discovered remains dating between the Bronze Age and the Iberian and Roman period. After the Christians reconquered the area from the Moors in the 12th century, as with the rest of the lands of Lower Aragon, King Alfonso II of Aragon donated the area to the Military Order of Calatrava, whose cross is still to be seen in the doorway of the Masada de la Orden (Farm of the Knights) located in the vicinity. This led to the Commandery of Alcañiz administering and governing the entire region. After this time, the area became home to mainly farms, most of which were inhabited until the Spanish Civil War.
The village as it is known today was founded in the mid-20th century. In the 1950s the Spanish government's National Colonisation Institute, through its General-Directorate for Devastated Regions, created a series of hydraulic infrastructures to promote agriculture in areas devastated by the civil war. In the case of Lower Aragon, the purpose-built villages of Valmuel and Puigmoreno were planned for the area near to the River Regallo.
The locality was originally named Campillo de Franco, later changed to Puigmoreno de Franco. With the arrival of democracy in Spain, the reference to the former dictator was removed and the village was officially known as Puigmoreno.
Like Valmuel, Puigmoreno was laid out by the architect José Borobio according to the architectural current of rationalism, which essentially gave priority to function.
Both villages were surrounded by fields and laid out around a central square, where the most important buildings were located. This is the case of Puigmoreno's church, with its tall circular tower. It is accompanied by the fountain, health centre, government building and community centre.
The houses built for the new settlers were equally simple, with a yard in the rear for keeping animals. The Val de Zafán railway line also passed through Puigmoreno, and although it is now disused, the locality's request-stop station, built in stone with austere lines and semicircular arched doors and windows, still stands.
Life in Puigmoreno takes place in its wide and airy, tree-lined streets, made for strolling and enjoyment. The locality is a living example of Spain's recent history, of which more can be learnt with a visit to the Interpretive Centre for Settlers, opened in 2008 in neighbouring Valmuel.
For more information on the cultural heritage of Puigmoreno