| 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
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,
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.
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.