The mountain ranges in the north of this region formed the frontier in Mediaeval times between the Christian populations in the mountainous north and the Moslem settlements on the fertile plane to the south.
Journeying through La Hoya de Huesca takes you back to the past, where a system of towers and castles built high on rocks served the Christians in their attacks during the Reconquest. The subsequent Christianisation of the towns was organised from the Romanesque monasteries and parish churches; there were a great many in this territory. Over the years these buildings were embellished with exceptionally beautiful mural paintings and magnificent altar pieces.
To complement these impressive edifices, there are other ethnographic elements, obviously Mediaeval in origin, dotted around this territory: bridges, mills, springs, wash-houses, spring-pools, ice wells, hermitages carved in the rock, and protective features in towns and on houses, particularly in the mountain areas
SIEGES AND DEFENCE. CASTLES, TOWERS AND FORTRESSES:
Loarre Castle, Montearagón Castle, Marcuello Castle, Salto de Roldán, Huesca city walls, Antillón city walls and town centre, Almudévar Castle.
RELIGION IN MEDIEVAL TIMES.
Indispensable Medieval temples: Santiago (Agüero), Huesca Cathedral, Santa María Collegiate (Bolea), San Pedro el Viejo Church (Huesca), San Miguel de Foces Church (Ibieca), San Miguel Church (Barluenga), Santa María del Monte Church (Liesa), Pertusa Church.
The Mudejar North
The Mudejar architecture, built by Moslems under Christian domination, is one of the distinguishing marks of Aragon’s national heritage. Its beauty, quality and uniqueness have contributed to its recognition as World Heritage. The most outstanding components of this architecture can be found in Teruel, but the samples further north in Aragon are in La Hoya de Huesca. You can appreciate the fine elegance of the towers in Alcalá de Gurrea, Montmesa or Nueno.
Popular religion in rock and silence: Rock hermitages in La Hoya
The temples on the “route of silence”, an evocative name used to describe the principal rock hermitages that you can see in La Hoya de Huesca, are all in extremely beautiful solitary places. They are small in size, generally built during the Romanesque period and added to later. Apart from the beauty of the place itself and the architectonic value of the temples, you will come across eagles and other birds of prey, as well as interesting species of rock plants.
You will have to trek to the entrance of these rock chapels. However, their importance from a cultural-ethnographic-trekking and landscape point of view makes them well worth a visit.