Huesca temática

Number 120 - May of 2008Spanish language Principal menu

Pertusa town

Iberian and Roman,
hospitable and festive

      Village of the province of Huesca, placed in the Somontano (Down Mountains), along near to the Alcanadre river. It has approximately 149 inhabitants and an extension of. 29 Km2. Its altitude is 204 meters on the level of the sea. It is distant from Huesca 30 kilometers. They are named pertusanos.
      It is not yet somontano, but Huesca flatness. To sixteen kilometers of the capital, in route towards Barbastro, between Siétamo and Belillas, the deflection for Pertusa is born, in the route of the promising waters. The highway begins straight, to the right of the general road, but very soon curves between holm oaks and olive groves. It dominates the gray, that clears every so often to let see the green colour of the seeded lands. Torres del Monte, Blecua and Antillón are watched with pride, from its hills, on the narrow asphalt road. At the end, Pertusa, with the Alcanadre river putting it a wall, circumference of waters in accordance with the deep channel, that gives almost a complete return to earth and the small village, a small peninsula emerging in the left margin of the river. In front, to the other side, in the highest summit, whitens the chapel of the Virgin of the Victory with its bulrush arrows in the blue firmament.
      It is necessary to double more curves to arrive to the town, capricious goings and comings by asphalt and to cross the bridge of five arches. The primitive flour industry of Pertusa had some importance. The old mill would say it, although no longer the murmur of the water is listened
when beating against the blades of the buns or water wheels under vaulted cavity and the tooth no longer turns with its monotonous sound to illuminate the new flour. We get up again and the river is down, as in the abyss. A viewpoint on waters is the infantile park, behind the back of the House of Village constructed in 1946. At some time it was explained to me that the name of Pertusa meant “divided stone”; and it would have sense since the Alcanadre river seems to do this same, to divide the stone to break through there, in the depression.
     The origin of the village remained written in the stone. Pertusa comes from the Roman splendor to the architecture of the XVIth century. Roman is the name of the village. It belonged to the mansion of the same name, in the first way of Antonio's itinerar, in territory of the ilergetes already -Ilergetes was one of the towns that occupied part of the Iberian
Peninsula before the arrival of the Romans-. It's sure that there are remains of a Roman roadway, in a good condition of conservation.
      The crypt of the parochial of Santa Maria is a pure Romanesque style and it is supposed that includes the whole subsoil of the current church. The arches get lost between walls that were raised later. The whole remaining building corresponds between XVIth and XVIIth centuries, and even it is possible that there are enough work of beginning of the XVIIIth. The cloister, although with repairing and modern plasterings, speaks about collegiate church of yesterday. Near to the church, but without forming set with it, the haughty tower rises, with reliefs and friezes of undoubted value. Well it deserves, together with the crypt, the declaration of national monument.
      The clock of the tower keeps on measuring punctually the passage of time. Perhaps the years of major splendor owed to its condition of barony of Pertusa, with domains in different places of the region. In the XVth century, the barony was of the Bardají, but from 1503 it passed to being property of Saragossa. So much it is, that some historians considered Pertusa like a neighborhood of Saragossa. The nuns of Santa Ann resided there and had their convent, in the Renaissance big house that lodged the community, dated in 1718.

      Pertusa, with its history of centuries, is a village got into the scenery, almost an island in the middle of the Alcanadre river, near to the aqueduct that saves dreams of new irrigations. The routes of communication invite to the trip, between Huesca and Barbastro, inland, to thirty kilometers of the capital. To one hundred five km.of Saragossa. There the holm oaks finish to transfer space to the olive groves. Then, the clear mount, green in the springs and gilding in the falls. The Summer attracts those that went away.
     The hermitage of the Virgin of the Victory, to the other side of the river, on the highest summit, is visible from any place of Pertusa. Although of Iberian origin, Pertusa - that was also named Partusa and Dertusa- corresponds better with the Roman time, to be in the itinerary of the route coming from Monsoon, that already is mentioned by Antonino. They are remains of the stone bridge on the Alcanadre river, like irrefutable testimony. Lope de Fortuñones was gentleman of the place in 1135. .
      Here prepared Jaime I his army, according the journalists relate, to attack Panzano and Lascellas. The place where great military concentration encamped is well-known like Val of King. At that time the year 1255 ran. In 1395 the town was sold by Maria de Luna, woman of Martin I, to Bernardino de Pinos, that paid seventy and five thousand Barcelonan pays. Three years later it returned to the real dominion, with the promise of not being separated of Corona, in which case it would should belong to the city of Saragossa. “Nevertheless - Ana Isabel Lapeña- relates, Alfonso V yielded the town like payment of a debt to Berenguer de Bardaxí, in whose family remained until 1503, date in which, after a claim of his settlers, Saragossa and Pertusa decided both the dependency second with respect to first, as far as government and administration”.

  Click, another photograph

      This is the reason that Pertusa uses identical shield that Saragossa, with the unique difference of which in its silver bordure appears the legend “Barony and town of Pertusa”.
     The lineage of this last name, corresponding to noble native family of the own locality, documented from times of Pedro II, uses shield military revolt, first and fourth quarter of azure, with five pears on its natural colour and its stem, and the second and third party, of silver, with three bars of gules (rose color) loaded with three tops of golden arrow.
     Pertusa celebrates its holidays on the 15th and 16th of August, in honor of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Although there are other holidays, for San Blas and Santa Águeda.
     Have not lost either the tradition of the bonfires of San Antón. They were lighting in the different streets. Sometimes the fire lasts entire days with its corresponding nights.
      The sighting of Pertusa, from the highway, is surprising; when nothing seems to warn us that the village is there above, raised, at the edge of the abyss that the river has agreed with the step of the centuries.


 Manuel Tomé  Alfonso Zapater  To see some photographs of Pertusa ... * Alfonso Zapater. Aragón pueblo a pueblo
* Manuel Tomé Bosqued

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