Alcolea del Pinar
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Alcolea del Pinar, Spain
|Autonomous community||Castile-La Mancha|
|Municipality||Alcolea del Pinar|
|• Total||113.68 km2 (43.89 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,203 m (3,947 ft)|
|• Density||2.9/km2 (7.5/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Its importance is related to its role as main crossroads. Its main street (Calle Real, Royal Street) was the old main road between Madrid and Barcelona, and Alcolea was the junction point to the road to Teruel and southern Aragon. Moreover, a little northward, in the municipality of Medinaceli, there is another main junction, this one heading north, towards Soria, representing the main access from Madrid to La Rioja and Navarre. As a result, Alcolea del Pinar has been an important hub for the road-related services, with a relatively large Guardia Civil (rural police)station, devoted to traffic control, and a base of the Ministry of Public Works, for the maintenance works of the A-2 highway (Madrid-Barcelona). Currently, the new high-speed rail line between Madrid and Barcelona goes just by side of the town, parallel to the A-2 highway. As a matter of fact, Alcolea del Pinar is situated in the highest point in the A-2 highway between Madrid and Barcelona (1200 meters above sea level, 3600 feet.
Alcolea del Pinar has several touristic attractions, being the most relevant the 'Casa de Piedra' (Stone house). The 'Casa de Piedra' was built by Lino Bueno in the early 20th century, within a solid, large rock. With the single use of a pick, Lino Bueno succeeded in creating a real home within the rock, with no any other construction material but the rock itself. The construction took 16 years, and Lino Bueno died when he was still working in the creation of another room on the upper floor.
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