Huesca temática

Number 60. April of 2003. Spanish language  Principal menu

Huesca "under-mountains"

Geographical enclave,
"under the mounts"

      It is an area situated in the geographical center of the Province of Huesca, that extends of West to East in a natural region, that its own name defines like "under the mounts' (Somontano) just, where the "pre-pyrenees" mountains chains that reflect parallels, lose height.
      By this reason, constitutes a zone of transition among the mountains chains and the plain; a natural region extended, of dry climate but with a great deal of water and that defends of the cold winds north mercy to the mountainous barrier.
      The Somontano is the most habitable area, by its defense of the north cold and of the desert Southern heat of the Province. Historically, is cultures confluence zone and border of civilizations.
      There are two Somontanos: that of Huesca and that of Barbastro.
      That of HUESCA, extends since the river bed of the Gállego river (at Western), to that of the Alcanadre river (at East). The Mountains Chains of Gabardiella and Guara limit it at North, and the plains of Tardienta and Grañén, at South. It possesses a good quantity of towns and villages that live on the agriculture, the cereal and the garden, as well as of the ovine stockbreeding.
      The phenomenon of the depopulation has mark ed with intensity, but has not arrived to extreme of the massive abandonment as on North of the Province. Here the agrarian mechanization and the communications are easier and the possibility of the irrigation of the lands exists.
      Inside the region, counts on itself the reservoirs of Las Navas, Sotonera, Arguis, Belsué, Cienfuens, Vadiello and Calcón, that ration the water of irrigation. The artistic demonstrations of the churches proliferate, ermitas and noble houses. In Agüero, for example, it emphasizes the unfinished church of Santiago, that of Santa María in Concilio (beautiful romanesque exemplary, of circular floor), the churches of Ayerbe, Loarre, Barluenga, Liesa, etc.,..
     The castle of Loarre, is an unique copy of romanesque art in civil construction. It is elevated on a rocky promontory in the slope of the Puchilibro to 1.591 m. of height. It formed part of the system of defenses carried out by Sancho Ramírez king of Aragon, in the middle of the XIth century to contain the attacks of the Arabs and to support the conquest of the lands plains.

      Since its height, is possible to contemplate extensive pans of the plains of Huesca and even of mountains chains situated at South of Zaragoza. The architecture used in the Church of the Castle, its dependences and towers, do of it, a true jewel.

      In the Somontano of BARBASTRO, another fortress exists: Alquézar; that was strong Moslem place while the Christian advances were consolidated toward the plain there by the times of Ramiro I and Sancho Ramírez. It is situated in a hillock and surrounds by themselves cut rocky and walls with battlements (still are conserved). It possesses a magnificent one Colegiata (collegiate church) inside the primitive precinct. The town is impregnated of a medieval air in the middle of a landscape of transition that goes since the harshness of the of Sevil Mountains, to the tenderness of the gardens of the rivers of the plain.
     The channel of the Cinca river, fed by the reservoirs of Mediano and El Grado, transform into extensive irrigation wide zones of the Somontano. The ditches of Pertusa and Selgua, and the Channel of Aragon and Catalonia (derived from the reservoir of Joaquín Costa), modify the productive structures of that extensive zone understood among the lands of the Somontano and the Ebro river.

  A road in the Somontano. To the end: Guara Mountain Chain

     Barbastro, very noticeable city of the Province, has been called to be important head of region, in the axis of development that the Cinca river is promoting. Is Episcopal Headquarters, with a beautiful cathedral of the XVIth century and constitutes a good commercial center and of communications. It has in motion an industrial zone that receives a great transforming number of businesses of agrarian and industrial products.


* Manuel Tomé. Diverse sources.


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