Huesca thematic

Number 82. March of 2005. Spanish language  Principal menu

Ayerbe town

Highway and square
surrounded by buildings

      It is a villa and judicial administrative area of Huesca, in the Region of the Hoya de Huesca (Hole of Huesca), 63.3 Km2 of extension, 1.100 inhabitants (2.049 in 1950), 582 ms. of height and to 28 Kms of the capital. They are named ayerbenses. We will be able to arrive by the old one highway to Jaca, by the port of Santa Bárbara. For the traveller who goes from yhe plain to the mountain, eager to be with the beauties of Pyrenees, Ayerbe is a highway and a square, with remarkable buildings to both sides - of ashlar masonry stone majority and brick the others -, gardens, the palace of the marquess one that takes the name of municipality and a civil tower - the one of the clock - higher than the marquess house.
      In 1768 - according counted Llanas Almudébar- with the unavoidable demolition of the church of Our Lady of the Cave, it is consideredthe problem of the positioning of the clock, that of always was in the tower of the church. Lookinfg for a new lodging it's thought about the facade of the palace of the Marquess. The idea does not seem well to this one, and the ayerbenses (Ayerbe inhabitants), hurt in their dignity, decide to raise a tower for this only and exclusive aim, with which they build beautiful and original tower of the Low Square. When doing they try that be higher than the one of the palace, with the double intention to show to the Marquess that moreover they do not need "walk" of rendered, an united town "raises more" than Marquess.
      Ayerbe arises like an appearance, after doubling the last curve of the highway, a few more than twenty-eight kilometers of Huesca, the capital, and to ninety and nine of Zaragoza. The urban area is based on a plain, next to the Vadiello river. To the right, the mountainous area of Loarre (seven kilometers until the town of same name and twelve until the monastery); to the left, the majestic mass of the mount of San Miguel, crowned by the hermitage and the castle, of end to end; to the bottom, Murillo de Gállego and the Mallos de Riglos like embedded in the blue sky, next to clouds.
      It is difficult to specify the origin of the municipality. Ubieto Arteta emphasizes the location of the castle, the more northern Arab fortress of Spain. -was born the population to the portection of the castle, as it happened to other so many places?. There is one who assures that the first name was Alquerbe de la Laguna. On the foot of the slope of the mount an immense pool was extended; when drying it, they began to build there same. Others speak of Basque origin, because Basque it is the present toponymy. The certain is that Ayerbe was based on a Roman road and was fortress during many times. Near the villa Ebellino resided, whose mansion appears reviewed in the itinerary of Antonino. In 1276 was gentleman of the territory Don Pedro, son of Don Jaime de Aragón and doña Teresa Gil de Vidaura.
      The streets take all of the highway that it crosses by the Low Square and the High one, separated both by the palace of Marquess de Ayerbe. This title, with greatness of Spain, was granted in 1750. By the others, they are possible to be admired numerous nobiliarios shields on the facades of other remarkable buildings, although they do not arrive nor with much at the magnificence of the palace. iI is not necessary to forget the contribution the ayerbenses to the history of Spain, when they knew very strikingly to gain the peerage title of infanzones.
      Ayerbe demands a detailed visit, at least for confronting still the effective history in our days. Of the more northern Arab castle of Spain only it is left the base. The walls that are contemplated still on correspond to apse of a church constructed at time of Reconquest. They run abundant legend around the castle. The one of the famous calf of gold has received more consistency than no other, until the point of which they excavated in repeated occasions to make it reality. It is said that the Moors left buried a gold bull. It still follows without appearing. However, they discovered sarcophagus of the centuries XlI and XIII. The fact justifies that they project to carry out new excavations. There was a tunnel that arrived from the castle to the "source of the three pipes", they count. Under the "Rock of the Sun" (Peña del Sol) they constructed one watchtower, with object to protect the construction of the castle of Loarre, to the time that watched the movements of the castle of the Moors.

      Many assure that Ayerbe grew thanks to the French colonizers and that since then expanded the population. Certainly still enough names Gauls last . One of its mayors, without going more far, was called Gregorio Morlans Orleans. Ayerbe was in being able of the French until eve of the Pillar of 1811, in which they were defeated by Mr. Mina. The colonizers made an important work and Ayerbe knew times of splendor and got to surpass two thousand and five hundred inhabitants.
      During several centuries, it had two parishes: the colegiata of San Pedro (collegiate) and the church of Our Lady of the Cave. Both finished in ruin, although of first is still conserved the romanesque tower. The present church comes from the ex-convent of Dominican, and it was consecrated by Zarandía bishop in 1856.
      It's impossible to separate the name of Ayerbe of the memory of Santiago Ramón y Cajal; the wise person born in Petilla de Aragón passed great part of his childhood doing pranks through ayerbenses earth. When he was going to rob fruit to the orchards - indicated doctor Torrero -, first he threw a stone; if the birds flutter around, scared, he entered without fear, because he was safe that he was not going to find the master, and in opposite case he resigned to his venture. In the building number 19 of the old Calle Nueva, today dedicated to Don Rafael Gasset, there was a tablet with the following inscription: "In this house lived the insigne wise Santiago Ramon and Cajal. Ayerbe, to its preclear inhabitant in the centenary of his birth. 17 of May of 1952". Today there is a Center of Interpretation. The old Low Square now takes the name of our famous prize Nobel. Ramón y Cajal always was considered himself an "ayerbense" more. To verify it is enough with reading his works, specially the titled "My childhood and youth".
      Luckyly, they are still conserved the best customs and traditions. Procession to the Virgin of Casbas is repeated traditionally the 1 of June, in fulfillment of a vote offered by the town year 1640. The patron celebrations take place from the 8 to the 12 of September, in honor of Santa Leticia. The hermitage of San Miguel, that presides over the Hill, is place also of public veneration. (More information)
      The folklore offers interesting peculiarities. "Aragón, wild earth", of the teacher Rovira, and "Jota de Ayerbe" are dances that captivate by its beauty and call the attention powerfully. Jota (The Jot), with music of Antonio Zaragoza has variations in the plain and the in the mountain. An important folkloric past has been compiled, with the incorporation of many elements of century XVI. The traditional clothes offer peculiar particularitities; the one of the men is made up of marinetas, trousers, shirt with white and blue rays, loose shirt, wide belt, black socks and sandals; the head, cover with cachirulo (a headscarf) and hat of Sástago. The women dress pleating long smock, until the feet, with straps, white blouse underneath, apron, little sleeves, long shawl, white stockings and sandals; the hair, gathered with a shawl.
 Plaza de San Pedro
      The folkloric group of Ayerbe is formed by many people, between musicians, singers and dancers. It is the flavor of the revived past today. That special and unique flavor that continues still conserving the famous cakes and the bread of Ayerbe.


* Alfonso Zapater:"Aragón town to town"
** Diverse sources

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