Huesca thematic

Number 80. January of 2005. Spanish language  Principal menu

Bolea Town (Spain)

Streets of mediveval layout
that culminate in town top, with the "Colegiata"

      Bolea belongs to "the Sotonera" region, being its capital, about 700 inhabitants, an altitude of 627 mts. of height and 20 km. to Huesca; they are known as "boleanos" (from Bolea).
      In the highest part, it emphasizes parochial church of Santa Maria, popularly well-known like Colegiata. The town ascends by its good paved streets showing its rejuvenated buildings; some date from century XIX. Raising by the street of the Horno (oven), was a small board, a drawn key and one arrow with a legend `"Jose Ontiñano" (in nº 20 of this street); who traditionally kept the key from the Colegiata. More down the Church of the Solitude rises, but still there is more churches and hermitages, as they are the one of Santo Tomás and the Virgin of Mueras. The festivals are celebrated for San Bartolomé, the 24 of August.
     There is unamimity in the origin of Bolea, whose word is accepted that comes from Indo-European "bols" and the place was simply born like a castle; soon the Roman influence would come, but more determinant would be the Arab one until Sancho Ramírez (1081). It was here, where Alfonso I the Fighting, the 11 of January of 1125, prepared his famous expedition to Andalusia. The Muslim castle of the Pueyo, after Reconquest, became church and it still announces its origin from the summit, with the battered tower-bell to the winds.
      The Colegiata dates in its present factory of 1535-1556 and was made by the teacher Balthasar Barazábal and it is delayed gothic. Emphasize its three ships mainly, the greater altarpiece, the stalls of the choir and the facade .... If we visited Bolea we do not leave of to prove the cherries, ham and the wine. This villa is located to the Northwest of the city of Huesca, dominating the sides of the tip of Gratal and Caballera mountain range, to 656 ms. of altitude, on a promontory; from there the plains of the Hole of Huesca and the Sotonera watered by the Sotón river can be contemplated. Its economy is based on the culture of cereals, almonds tree, cherry trees and olive trees.
      There is cattle exploitations, industry textile, rustic mechanics and cabinetmaking, although many of its inhabitants develop their labor activity in the near Huesca. About its iberian past - like "Bolskan'"(Huesca) - exist numerous pieces found in the country known as Betance, of which it emphasizes the figure of a lion. Judging by the archaeological and numismatic rest found in the country of Crown, it had to enjoy great splendor at the Roman time. Not in vain, was forced step of the roads main towards the North.
      Still it was Muslim when king of Aragón.,Sancho Ramírez, in 1093, he names to the villa, priorato of the Abbey of Montearagón, privilege that would show until 1571. In 1577, when happening to depend on the Bishopric of Huesca, the temple becomes Colegiata, with a chapter formed by a Vicar and nine canons, who received the tithes of all the ample region that from its strategic position, dominated. In 1548, it's included Bolea between the cities and more important villas of the kingdom of Aragón. In 1890 it got to count on almost 2.500 inhabitants. As a result of the ecclesiastical confiscation (half-full of century XIX), the Colegiata is going to lose all its privileges and it will be converted in a parochial church, which it is at the present time. The building was declared Historical-Artistic Monument at 23 of February of 1983.

      The Greater Altarpiece, is a masterpiece from First Spanish Renaissance made between 1499 and 1510. It constitutes a combination of 20 paintings on table, and 57 wood sculptures. The general plan of the altarpiece is gothic. Its structure is compound of an ample bank, a body of altarpiece with 5 streets and 3 floors, and a cover, that frames the set.
      It honors a magnificent tabernacle-exhibitor in fine wood (the design remembers the mudejar apses of the Aragonese churches) that serves as pedestal of the central stature of the Asunción of the Virgin. The work of carving, was made by Gil de Brabante (flemish sculptor that had factory in Huesca). Most exceptional of this altarpiece, constitute the wonderful paintings made by a painter, possibly Italian, who remains in the anonymity by lack of written documentation; he is known like the Teacher of Bolea.
      This painting I will be imitated later, in many altarpieces by the painter Pedro of Aponte, to which erroneously the responsibility of this altarpiece has been attributed to him . The Teacher of Bolea displays a stylistic characteristics, in that two currents are united: flamenco, by the correct resolution of the space concept and the appearance of corporal expression in right proportion; and Italian, - it is the predominant one that comes from "Quattrocento" and shows to us for the first time in the Iberian Peninsula the perfect use of the perspective, illumination and shaded (Last Supper, Lavatory, Descent, etc.). It enhances the exceptional colorful, totally original, with an ample range of red, green tones and blue. The style of this teacher, is linked with the work of Juan of Burgundy, Pedro Berruguete and Santa Cruz, who belong to the Castilian School. The iconography of the Body of the Altarpiece makes reference to the Birth of the Virgin, Announcement, Birth of Jesus, Epiphany, Fled to Egypt, etc., ... The iconography of predela shows subjects of the Passion, Oration in the Orchard, Prendimiento (arrest), Scourging, Ecce-Homo, Painfull way and Descendimiento (going down). They are tables of great complexity and compositive work. In the altarpiece it is noticed in addition, the Slaughter of the Innocents and the Last Supper.

      Other local festivals are: San Sebastián (20 of January) with popular bonfire. La Romería a Santa Quiteria (22 de Mayo). Medieval food. And the Romería (procession) to the Trinidad, the subsequent Sunday to the Corpus Christi.


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