Huesca, the capital of the province that takes its name, has approximately 50,000 inhabitants and was founded in the 1st century BC. It has a surface area of 15,615 Km2 and an altitude of 488 meters. Huesca is contained to the north by the mountain ranges of Gratal, Gabardiella and Guara and to the South by Tardienta and Granen. It also borders with France through the passages of Somport, Portalet and Bielsa.
Originally the independent state was known as Osca and proudly boasted of an advanced education system and Senate. From the 8th century, the area became a Moorish stronghold. Huesca was the region’s capital until 1118 when it was then passed to Zaragoza. Huesca is now the provincial capital.
The altoaragonesa capital was the first Ibero-Roman Acropolis and also a staging point in the Roman road network. The city has much to offer and getting around is quite easy via the main roads highway and bus service that has regular routes with the main cities of Spain.
The RENFE has several daily services, and the airport is only 30 minutes away. The city of Huesca feels hospitable and boasts of a great quality of life.
Places of interest in Huesca
The Gothic Cathedral
The pleasant old town has a Gothic cathedral. The eroded west front is surmounted by an unusual wooden gallery in Mudejar style. Above the nave is slender-ribbed star vaulting studded with golden bosses.
The cathedral´s best feature is an alabaster altarpiece by the master sculptor, Damila Forment. On the altarpiece, a series of energetic Crucifixion scenes in relief are highlighted by illumination.
Opposite the cathedral is the Renaissance town hall. Inside hangs La Campana de Huesca, a gory 19th-century painting depicting the town’s most memorable event: the beheading of a group of troublesome nobles in the 12th century by order of King Ramiro II. The massacre occurred in the Sala de Campana of the 17th-century university. This now houses the superb Museo Arqueologico Provincial, containing archaeological finds and a collection of art, including Gothic frescoes and early Aragonese works.
Jaca dates back as far as the 2nd century AD. In the 8th century, the town bravely repulsed the Moors – an act which is commemorated in the festival of La Victoria – and in 1035 became the first capital of the kingdom of Aragon.
Jaca’s 11th-century cathedral, one of Spain’s oldest, is much altered inside. Jaca´s only other significant tourist sight is its 16th-century citadel, a fort decorated with corner turrets, on the edge of town. Today the town serves as a principal base for the Aragonese Pyrenees.
Loarre Castle in Huesca province, Aragon
Tucked away in the northeast corner of Aragon, at the head of the Esera valley, the village of Benasque presides over a ruggedly beautiful stretch of Pyrenean scenery. Above the village rises the Maladeta massif. There are magnificent views from its ski slopes and hiking trails. Several local mountain peaks, including Posets and Aneto, exceed 3,000mts.
Concealed in the heart of Graus’s old town lies the unusual Plaza de Espana, surrounded by brick arcades and brightly frescoed half-timbered houses. One of these was the home of the infamous Tomas de Torquemada, the Inquisitor General. It is best to explore this town on foot.