From the Roman era, they have been found building remains in what was Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Hospital. Would be that in this sector there is roman constructions with the character of public service, and perhaps recreational. It is known the Arabic usage of building on edifications previous, transforming them and adapting them to their uses and needs, with what was served as that demolition material. Therefore, it is possible that the location of the "Zuda", not only answered to strategic positions, but it would be also conditioned by the important constructions existence (in this case, Roman) and by the abundance of the material supplied for them.
After the presence of the Arabs, in this North sector of the city, would be lifted the Palace or Real Residence, maybe in what were gardens or square of the Zuda. To the North, and linked to the wall, there were buildings of military character; and between these and the Real Palace, a military Order lifted here church and some houses.
After the foundation of the University, to mid of the century XIV, and accordant the Middle Ages was going advancing, the neighborhood was changing its character to fight by that of an intellectual environment and of study. With accuracy, is not known where were imparted the first lessons, but there are motives establish to believe that it was in the own Royal Palace - in the weapons courtyard -, where they were the classrooms. The presence of the University, motivated the building in its around, of a construcions related to it. A Hospital and the Seminar, added new nuances to the activity developed in this neighborhood. To mid of century XVII, a hermitage (that of San Andrés), would be added to the already numerous churches and chapels that there were in its proximities. Result of all this. it was an assorted activity: soldiers, religious, students, sanitary, ... that gives us an idea than what the neighborhood was.
Does not result easy to follow the urban evolution of the zone before building the University, and they are not considerable with clarity the possible vestiges that they could remain of the Arabic Zuda. It is known that the "Santa Cruz" Church was built there and without doubt, would provide clear data the study of the buildings that compose the part most ancient of the Seminar. The tracing of its plant, the thickness of the walls, the buttresses presence, and even capricious alignment alterations, make to think about remote eras. All is built in connection with a central courtyard that has a cistern. The facade that gives to the East, has a projection with cubic form of modern construction, that in its interior harbors a staircase, but that perhaps it could be lifted on plant or previous tracing; maybe on the remains of an ancient Arabic tower.
The plan of the century XVIII, presents the blok of houses of the Seminar with a thoroughly different urbanization to the current: irregular in the tracing and without previous planning. It is known that from half of century XII, was built a small neighborhood in what had been the Zuda, but is not known until what point was into account the previous tracing. Nevertheless, other mainly warlike activities, not was permitting to think about urbanizations and since it was not existing yet a vigilant and mature municipal council, possibly were served of tracings and previous dependencies, preserving thus that irregular construction appearance, with juxtaposed volumes, so typical of the Arabs. Being this thus, the plan of century XVIII would give a remote idea of the place where it was the Zuda.
Since the Zuda was donated to the Montearagón Abbey, with difficulty it could be lifted in the same place the Real Palace, but this last would be installed about that; maybe in the garden, more yet if we think about the little appreciation than by the gardening, had those conquerors, busier in making the war than solace in gardens. The Real Palace so, was lifted in the proximities of the Zuda and consisted of a great hexagonal plant tower and of a lengthened proportions block. There were other smaller size buildings, that they would be those which going the time, would be destined for classrooms of the University. All this was in a great walled enclosure, but overdraft.
The isolation that the building was requiring by tactics reasons, and by so much, the prohibition of building in its surroundings, it is what generated the free spaces and the squares that there is in its around. On the other hand it is known that from very soon, some processions going through below of the arch located in the part North and supported in the tower. This constitutes an indicium of the fact that by this part there was street and, therefore, this was limiting the expansion of the Palace.
At north of this Palace, was located the military commission of San Juan of Jerusalem. The same as the order of the "Temple" was specifying of fortified constructions, by exigency of their living form and by the expression of their being form. All over this, so much the church as that of "Temple" had the character of strength. Its proximity to the Real Palace maybe it would not be fortuitous; but without doubt some, it were not. the one which were located about the tower and that the buildings with a militaristic character, were in the wall in an era in the one which were not existing permanently quartered armies.
Already in the century XV was built the Hospital of "Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza", when probably the square still was not existing or would be smaller, by being occupied by the courtyard or the walled enclosure of the Royal Palace.
Are something subsequent to date of the foundation of the University, the news that assure that some of its disciplines was imparted in dependencies of the Royall Palace. It is known that in the beginning of the XVI were made works of adjustment and reform in the premises that were serving for the teaching. However, they were several the buildings of the city that were serving to give the classes of the University. It went to final of the XVIIth century, when was projected and accomplished a new building of great architectural interest and urban. It was lifted on the ancient courtyard of the Palace, and it was incorporated to the new project, part of the palatial building that with precedence had been transformed into theatre. The project that designed J. Artiga was much greater and more ambitious than the one which in reality was accomplished. This is most reduced and of smaller proportions, but maintains what of original and distinctive had this: the octagonal plant closed and uncovereded, according to solution that until later only had been projected for cities and ports, and that, of course, had not been employed at least in Spain.
The project of J. Artiga not only has interest from the architectural point of view, but also from the urban, upon including a unitary restructuring of the square according to criteria of the era that, were obeying to baroque canons. In its joint was collecting special relief the great facade projected for the University, but not only was not remodeled ever the square, but not even was built the facade such as J. Artiga projected it. In its place, was made a most austere of conventual character, in tuning in with the typical constructions rest of the city. The successive urbans transformations that was going experiencing the zone, continued in the century XIX with a destruction sign. In second half of the same century, and such as was occurring in other zones of the city, were made to disappear streets and buildings, not always with vision from past and pragmatic position. Of this manner, was demolished the church of San Juan, and was built in its place, a bullring (in the year 1850). Disappeared the houses and the street that there was between and this church the Royal Palace; in this place was built a quarter. The seminar was remade completely, being extended on the streets and houses bloks that were occupying the space that today it is its earthly. In that occasion disappeared the arch that was covering the street call of the Seminar to its entry from the square. Disappeared also the streets from the Seminar and "Santa Cruz", that was crossed mutually, and was given to the building the facade that it today has.
The bullring that then was built had polygonal form. Upon eliminating the street that was surrounding the north part of the University, was annulled the character of exempt building with which this was built and that happily recovered. At this century already, new urbanizations have transformed several times the zone. In 1920 it was demolished the bullring, and thereinafter was widened the quarter from San Juan eliminating the street that until later was separating. Most recently, it disappeared the quarter and were built housing blocks. The square of the University was urbanized and the Hospital that in it was, it was razed. The band that travels the internal part of the wall remains without building, practically just as when was built this. Then perhaps it was reserved for power to collect the cattle in the event of siege. Already in the century XVII was lifted the hermitage of San Andrés in the calls threshing floor of Cascaro, but no vestige of it has arrived to us.
HOLY CROSS CHURCH: Was erected under this title after the conquest of the city, in the lands where was the Arabic Zuda. Initially it was gift made to the monastery of San Ponce of Tomeras, but finished being property of the abbey of Montearagón, since the Sir King Pedro was seen in the need of verifying the gifts promised to those monasteries and to the same bishop of Huesca. Many documents (that are soared in the beginning of the XII), testify that in its surroundings was beed building a small neighborhood and that in the century XII (or perhaps before), already was constituting parish.
The contiguous houses to the church, they were hostelry and nursing of the abbot and of the canons of Montearagón, until those houses and the same church, they were destined for Seminar, already at the end of the century XVI. In those same houses, they had many times General Courts of the Kingdom of Aragon. Of all this remains the church, that it is of an alone ship with apsis regulation, all ashlar principled of the s. XII. Disappeared the vault and the wall from setting, that it is where it had to of be the frontispiece.
REAL PALACE: Was residence of the Aragón Kings when those were in Huesca. The buildings that were composing it were built at the end of the century XII and principles of the XIII. This set had to offer a stately aspect, as is deduced of the description that makes Zurita and of the admiration that this author manifests. At present, they remain two united buildings mutually. One, the largest and lengthened, in the century XVII was transformed into its interior, suppressing the different plants that it could have. In its place was made a great room intended for theatre or auditorium of the University. The other building is an interesting hexagonal tower, interior so much as outwardly. In its external aspect, it is resembled to the tower of "San Pedro el Viejo", that it is also hexagonal with the difference of the fact that, while this has all the equal sides, that presents two of the longest sides, that give to the joint a lengthened plant. Inside, this plant originates two apsis in each one of the two preserved chambers. That of down it is designated the Room of the «Campana de Huesca», though nothing has to do with this fact, since its construction was much after that died the king "Ramiro el Monje" (the Monk). The Upper Room, designated of «Doña Petronila», it is an interesting surrounded enclosure of blind arches supported by storied capitals. The set, in what to us has arrived, it is an interesting shows of civil architecture of roman era. Without doubt some, this tower was somewhat more high and was terminated by merlons; datum that it has not been taken into account in the strange restoration that it has been made of the outside.
These two buildings would constitute the principal kernel of the Real Palace. There were in its proximities other smaller category constructions, that they are those which would be destined thereinafter for classrooms of the University, All this would be included or formed part of a great courtyard, that at the same time, would be seen surrounded by a wall.
TOWER: The tower that, about the Sircata door, was protecting it in position advanced with respect to the wall, was united to two buildings that in the past century was called «los cuarteles» (the quarters), and that appear to the end (after the church of San Juán) in the engraving that of this church made Parcerisa for the work of Quadrado. Madoz says that its factory was of stone, double-decker one, and of one the other. He was thinking that they had been room remains of the Palace. There is not exact news of the function that the tower and these buildings in the defense of the city would play. Arco Garay thinks that from them were organized the alertness and men allotment all over the upper part of the wall. These buildings have performed provisionally the jail and madhouse function. At present, transformed and adapted, they serve for elders residence.
CHURCH OF SAN JUAN: There were two churches. The second, according to the plan of the century XVIII and the engraving of Parcerisa, was remaining in the Zuda street, parallel to the same, and guided to the East. The first, according to the description of Aynsa that still saw it, was remaining to the North of the other.
The one which was built in second place was rather small. Allit, of ashlar with cannon vault, that probably would be noted. On it, and to the height of the cruise, there was a strange clear eastern influence tower. It does not seem that I had buttresses, what makes to suppose that its walls would be extraordinarily bulk, to can distribute the pressure that the tower would exercise on it.
Aynsa speaks of two doors, a that calls ancient and other that leave to the cemetery and that, therefore, would be put to the North. In this last, was registered the date 1.204, that was that of consecration and that gives an approximation to date the building. In times of the "Padre Huesca" this door had been blinded and near her had been opened other. The church had choir in high, according to the description of Aynsa, and in one of its walls there was a small tomb supported by brackets in the form of lion.
Near this church was the other, that was more ancient and it had 18 polychromed sepulchers, in two of those which had painted a bell without clapper. In the proximities there was a Hospital. The set belonged to the commission of San Juan of Jerusalem, that was established in Huesca to mid of the century XII.
HOSPITAL OF OUR MRS. OF THE HOPE: Was until a little while ago in the square of the University, in front of same, and was erected in first half of the century XV. In the year 1.600 were made important reforms, then was built a great room for sick on the church, and other for pilgrim and transient. Aynsa speaks us of the hygienic conditions of that room: "... were consisting of a permanent ventilation due to a great window that there was of each one of the smaller sides, East and West". Itemizes that the sick were not happening cold because were congenially withdrawn from the current. Speaks also of the beds, that had a canopy. Therefore, it can be thought that of he would hang the corresponding curtains that would implicate all the bed.
To the south of the church there was a courtyard with a straight porch with strong six stone columns. The church, that primitively was of three ships separated by polygonal columns, it was transformed into nave church only with deep communicated chapels mutually. The vault was decreases, of intersecting ribs. On the door there was an interestingt ympanum.
UNIVERSITY: It was founded by Pedro IV in 1.354. It is known little of the organization and operation in its first era. This period coincided with the epidemics and wars of the century XIV, that reduced considerably the population and weakened the resources. Hundred years after its foundation, Juan II must impel, since almost had disappeared.
Arco Garay thinks that about that first era, already would be given the classes in dependencies of the Palace, since by then, you laugh them went little to Huesca. In the beginning of the century XVI, the things went better, since were made some reforms in the classes where were imparted Grammar. To mid of the same century, it was necessary to buy some houses in the square of the Zuda, with conferences to the amplification.
Around the end of century was thought about making important works, since the classrooms were insufficient, there was not theatre for public, must use for this, the church of the Hospital; it were lacked space for the Arts and Philosophy teaching, as well as for the bookstore, the file, council and jails. Had not either lodging for the beadle. The works were begun in the beginning of the century XVII and lasted until 1.638 in which was ended the theatre built in the premises of the Palace, relinquished by Felipe III in the year 1.611.
Not always were imparted all the disciplines in the same building, not even after the construction of the that it has arrived to us. In times of the Padre Huesca, the Theology revisions, Canons and Laws, was made in the Associations of Santiago, San Vicente and Santa Osoria.
At the end of the century XVII, the University had reached great prestige and was in a moment of great brilliance. The pupils were numerous and the principal buildings were resulting insufficient or improper, because of this were imposed the construction of an agreed building with its range and category. The first stone of the current building was put on 1.690. This stone, with all the documentation and coins, was put below of the entry porch. The project was designed by Francisco de Artiga, a great man of not recognized wit: mathematical, poet, commentator, writer of the most assorted topics, recording, engineer and architect.
The Bibliography: ** "Huesca XVIII th century", by Antonio and Joaquín Naval Más.
* Manuel Tomé Bosqued.