Huesca temática

Number 189. July-September of 2016 Spanish language Principal menu

Félix of Azara

Illustrious personage
student of various materials

    He was born in Barbuñales (HU) on May 19, 1742 and died in Huesca on October 20, 1821. He is one of the Aragoneses with more Hispanic-American and European significance of the eighteenth century.
     He began his studies at the 'oscense' Sertoriana (from Huesca), under the direction of his uncle Don Mamés de Azara (canon of the Cathedral of Huesca). He studied there from 1757 to 1761; studied Philosophy, Arts and Law, although attracted to a military career, he became a cadet of Infantry Galicia Regiment. He studied mathematics in Barcelona, being promoted to Second Lieutenant of Infantry and eyeliner Engineer National Army and Borders.
     After several jobs in rivers hydrological correction (Henares), fortification in Figueras and Mallorca, took part in the expedition to Algiers in 1775, where he is seriously injured and rescued by Count Fuentes.
     As Lieutenant Colonel of Engineers of San Sebastián in 1781 received orders to go to Rio de la Plata as commissioner of limits and as Commander. There should give effect to the Pardo treaty of 1778 fixing the Hispanic-Lusitanian land border in South America. He spent 12 years waiting for the Portuguese side that should work with him, but that allowed a thorough study of Paraguay under item Hispanic, socioeconomic, geographic, zoological and ornithological, which made him indispensable person of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
     Named "honorary citizen'', was charged with the colonization of what is now Uruguay, choosing as his lieutenant, José Gervasio Artigas, who would be later prócer (national hero) founder of the Republic of Uruguay. It was the year 1801 when he received permission to return home, going to Paris, where his brother Joseph (was ambassador of Napoleon Bonaparte), he presented at the Museum of Natural History where Cuvier and many others were greeted with admiration.
     After resigning the Viceroyalty of Mexico that offered Godoy and accept being a member of the Board of Fortification of both Americas, he retires to his hometown.

    And after the War of Independence, he goes to Huesca. This time he was appointed alderman of the city, not being accepted by the people such a Satué, known for 'Frenchified'.
    As a member of the Royal Economic "Aragonesa" Society of Friends of the Country since 1779, he performs his latest studies Aragonese court: `Las pardinas del Alto Aragón', `Los olivos de Alquézar y sus aldeas' and others on the Aragonese decay and division the region in the provinces. He died in Huesca in 1821 and was buried in the cathedral pantheon of Lastanosa. He was portrayed by Goya in 1805.
     Some of his international works are: `Reports on the rural state of Rio de la Plata ',` Páxaros of Paraguay', `Quadrupeds of Paraguay',' Travel to South America '(compendium); the last three, led to the initiation of the theory of evolution of species (years later, developed by Darwin).

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     Felix de Azara, has much iconography; he has dedicated a monument in Asuncion also and a statue in Barcelona.

 Manuel Tomé
**Manuel Tomé Bosqued

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