Huesca temática

Number 122 - July of 2008Spanish language Principal menu

Bespén village

A picturesque place
with a remarkable oenological value

      Place of the province of Huesca, belonging to the municipality of Angüés. It has approximately 90 inhabitants and an altitude of 457 meters on the sea level. It is distant from Huesca 28 kilometers. They are named bespenenses.
     It can be arrived from Huesca by Monflorite, Alcalá del Obispo, Fañanás, Pueyo de Fañanás and Blecua. Before sighting Antillón, (famous for its walls), on the left hand, we will find the deviation to Bespén. Another optional route is for the general highway of Lérida (the National-240 of Huesca to Barbastro), straying to the right, nothing more past Angüés. Bespén is still part of the Valley (Hole) of Huesca, but already stepping in the Somontano (Under-mountains). It was village in 1233-1287 and became in place later. It had own City Council until its incorporation to Angüés, in the years 1960-1970.
     Several were their tenentes (King delegates) throughout the history, counting that the church already belonged to Montearagón in 1099, according to the document of Pedro I, mentioned by Ubieto Arteta. About the property of this earth, in 1149 was tenente (king delegate) the viscount of Gabarret and of Bearne, and in 1177, Galindo de Naya. On 6 of February of 1233, the king Jaime I of Aragon granted Artal de Foces the villages of Alquézar, Tramaced, Bespén and Usón. Fifty four years later, on 13 of December of 1287, Alfonso III de Aragon gave to Alamán de Gúdar the castle and the village of Bespén, strength of which scarce references are had in our days. Bespén also belonged to the infant Martin, for donation of the king Pedro IV de Aragon. In 1424 was of Berenguer de Bardají, compromiser in Caspe, and in 1436, of Lope de Gurrea. Finally, Labaña leaves perseverance, in 1610, of the ownership of Bespén to Juan de Torrellas. The secular dominion was prolonged, then, during centuries, until the abolition was decreed.
     The civil architecture is very similar to other towns of the area: some streets of simple and even long tracing, square and little squares, an attractive passage among streets, houses of rancid ancestry among restored housings and of new construction. Everything highlights clean, formal and are in its place.

     It calls powerfully the attention the parochial church, dedicated to San Juan Evangelist. It is romanesque of the XII century, of a single ship and semicircular apse. The access cover is composed of three archivolts of half point. The silhouette already highlights arrogance from the highway, with a monumental apse in first plane, toward the town. A staircase allows to arrive to the portico.
     Inside the municipal term rise the hermitages of Nuestra Señora de Pilar and of Nuestra Señora de la Sierra. The first is of the XIX century, of square plant. The second, of three tracts, has a previous origin - possibly, among the XVII and XVIII centuries-, but some modifications have deformed it, that it can almost be considered contemporary.
      The census of 1857 registered 475 inhabitants (almost half thousand), in front of less than 100 of the current time. And it is that, in the second half of the last XX century, the majority inhabitants went to Huesca; and other, to Catalonia. Bespén continues having agricultural resources and cattlemen; and during many years,its excellent wines enjoyed fully a deserved reputation; wines that can still be appreciated.
      Most of the towns of Altoaragón (Upper Aragon) lost inhabitants in favor of the big cities. Bespén has not been an exception.

  Click, another photograph

      Bespén suffered this sensitive decrease that it is not not even compensated in the summers, when temporarily return many of those that left. The aging population's progressive, like in so many places, made fear for its future.


 Manuel Tomé  Alfonso Zapater  To see some photographs of this article  .... *   Alfonso Zapater
** Manuel Tomé Bosqued

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