26th March 2018: Dinosaur bones and Lover mummies {Dinosaurs in Teruel, 2018}

We got to Dinópolis so we could be there when they opened in hopes to ditch the families-with-kids crowds, but to our confusion, we were told that even if the park was open, the palaeontology museum would not be for another hour. Furthermore, the only option to see the museum was with a guided tour. We did not care much about the 3D cinema, but there was literally nothing else we could do until they opened the museum part. We spent the morning in the park. We had to watch the first film, and somehow ended up doing two rides (Viaje en el tiempo & Último Minuto) and a show (the T-rex one), but the big things we cared about were the museum and the so called “Tierra Magna”, where the 1:1 reproduction stand.

The museum has a direct view to the lab, and while it has very few original and unique exhibits, is really good and informative. The big problem was, in my opinion, that it was only guided-access and those stress me out. Why can’t I just roam to my heart’s content and have to listen to a poorly-trained guide? We somehow managed to ditch the tour when the second and third groups came in and a bunch of people mingled around.

A collage showing different fossils and replicas from Dinopolis

It was cold outside, so we only had a quick stroll around “Tierra Magna”. We had lunch and decided we were done. If I had to rate this, I’d say it is a decent palaeontology museum with a lot of kid-friendly stuff around it – the latter is completely skippable, too, but I guess it brings money.

Life-size reproductions of dinosaurs outside Dinópolis Teruel

In the afternoon we headed off to see the cathedral, Cathedral of Santa María de Mediavilla, but I did not manage to sneak a picture of the famous wooden ceilings.

Outside view of the Cathedral

Later, we had a reservation to see the Complex of the Lovers of Teruel, which included the Iglesia de San Pedro (Church of St. Peter), its cloister, and the gardens.

Nave in Saint Peter church

Cloister in Saint Peter Church

Finally we got to the Mausoleum, el Mausoleo de los Amantes. The story tells that she was a rich heiress and he was a poor man, so he left to gain riches. While he was away, she was given off to another man and married, and when he came back she could not be with him because she was loyal to her husband. He died of a broken heart after she refused him a kiss, and she died after kissing his dead body. The bodies of the lovers were buried together afterwards. The two mummified bodies were found in the church of St. Peter, and they were thought to be the lovers, so the tombs were sculpted – if you crouch, which by the way I didn’t, you can see the mummies through the marble. The tombs were designed so that the lovers’ hands are very close, but they don’t really touch, albeit their shadows superimpose, as if they did.

Mausoleum of the lovers - they lie next to each other, hands reaching for the other one, but only the shadows touch

After this, we walked around town for a while and found the third tower, the Torre del Salvador.

Salvador Tower

We finished the tourist day at the monumental Escalinata de Teruel (the Grand Staircase).

Monumental Staircase

As we walked back to the hotel, we saw a beautiful sunset.

Golden sunset