Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aragón

Aragón is an autonomous community in Northern Spain comprising the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel. 



Zaragoza, the capital, with its many magnificent buildings, and the spectacular Ordesa National Park are both in Aragón. What else is Aragón famous for apart from Henry VIII's wife, Catherine? - well skiing for a start. The Pyrenees of Aragón are situated in the north-east of the region in the province of Huesca and include great peaks and secluded valleys that have retained their unspoiled beauty due to their inaccessibility.

Teruel in the south of the region is famous for its Mudéjar-style architecture. The city of Huesca also has many fine buildings, especially churches.

Teruel - Mudéjar architecture © Robert Bovington
 There are a number of other places of note in Aragón. Jaca, a city in the province of Huesca, has many notable landmarks that include the 10th century Romanesque cathedral, and the Citadel, which was begun in 1593 and recently restored. The city was a favourite residence of the Aragónese kings.

Another interesting place in Huesca, is Barbastro, a town of Roman origin that has a number of medieval attractions including the 16th century cathedral. Orchards and vineyards surround the town and the excellent Somontano wines are produced in this neighbourhood.

Near Babastro lies the medieval village of Alquézar, which is dominated by a beautiful building that is both castle and church - the Colegiata is the high point of one of the prettiest villages in Aragón. From this strategic position there are panoramic views across the surrounding countryside.

Describing the beauty of this area of Spain one could easily be lost for words - maybe that is why there are so many languages spoken in this region! In addition to Spanish, spoken by the entire population, there is an original Aragónese language, still spoken in some valleys of the Pyrenees. Catalan is spoken in areas close to the adjacent region of Catalonia and a number of dialects persist elsewhere in the region.

text extracted from "Spanish Impressions" by Robert Bovington

ISBN 978-1-4452-2543-2 available from 
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also available in e-book format from Lulu and in Kindle format from 
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