Jaca in the heart of Aragon! Monasterio San Juan de la Peña!!!

Well, our rains continue in my neck of the woods but we advance with errands all over. France is also on a rainy period with some flooding’s especially in the east of Paris, Seine-et-Marne 77. I like to shift gear into my beloved Spain, and especially the wonderful old kingdom of Aragon.

We came actually from France when we were base in Pau, the trip by car is easy over the mountains and Jaca is just there after  Somport. Jaca is Aragon at its best, and we also took advantage to see the wonderful Monastery of San Juan de la Peña. I will give you  a bit more update here.

First, as usual for me, will give you my previous blog posts on these unique wonderful spots in my beloved Spain. Jaca city and the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña.

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/08/25/jaca-in-aragon-spain-we-i-come-again/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/08/26/monasterio-san-juan-de-la-pena-aragon/

Jaca is in the province of Huesca in the autonomous region of Aragon, On the axe Pau Zaragoza passing by the Somport tunnel (or as when I started coming here just pushing 2nd gear over the mountain trails!). It is in the heart of the heart of the Pyrénées in the valley of Aragon, parallel valley to the axis of the Pyrenees, at the foot of Mount Oroel. The city is on a depression of the Canal of Berdùn 818 meters below sea level. It is part of the metro area of the north of Aragon in the Jacetania.

By road as we do, we take it from France under Somport tunnel with the N134 France and then come out with the N330 Spain to direction Huesca, Zaragoza taken the panels for Jaca. (future expressway under construction as we passed last year with the new A21 linking all the major towns in Aragon, Navarra, and beyond. There is bus service between main towns such as Castiello, Villanûa , Canfranc, and the ski resorts towns of Candanchu and Astun. The train takes you to Huesca, Zaragoza, and Madrid, as well as the closest airport is Huesca at 80 km, Pau in France at 130 km.

A bit of history I like

Jaca was inhabited by the Jacetani people from pre Roman times, the Roman consul Caton the old conquered it in 196 BC. It was the first capital of the kingdom of Aragon and a point of departure for the Conquering of the New World. The city was from early 11C a fortified military camp as it had an strategic location by the foot of the peak of Somport and on the Aragonese road to St James (Santiago de Compostela). Ramiro I of Aragon , son of king Sancho III the Great of Navarra inherited the county of Jaca and later the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagorce and takes the title of king of Aragon in 1038. He obtained from the Pope to name Jaca the seat of the bishops of Aragon and gives the city title or fuero of Jaca in 1077 , as well as ordered built the Cathedral of St Peter. Once Huesca is taken from the Moors in 1096 ,Jaca loses its role as capital but stayed a strong commercial center and controlling the road from Zaragoza to France as well as holding resting place of pilgrims on the road to St James.

During the war of successions of Spain ,Jaca takes side with the Bourbons , winners the king Felipe V puts a flower of lily on the coat of arms of the city. . During the Napoleonic period in the war of independence of Spain ,Jaca falls to the French in 1809 and will stayed French until 1814. The 1868 revolution (aka La Gloriosa the glorious) against the queen Isabel II the seminary was cancelled, volunteers of Liberty were formed ,civilians organized to protect the public order against the followers of Isabel and against the absolutists in favor of a constitution of 1856, the non nata as it was never put into law.

In December 1930, the Jaca uprising, a mutiny whose leaders demanded abolition of the monarchy, was suppressed with some difficulty. It was an early event that preceded the  Spanish Civil War. At the start of the Spanish Civil War, in August 1936 many of the protagonists in the uprising were executed by firing squad.

Things to see in Jaca

The wonderful St Peter’s Cathedral (Catedral de San Pedro), the superb Citadel aka St Peter’s castle or Castillo de San Pedro until the 19C , ordered built in 1592 by king Felipe II; the San Miguel de Jaca bridge, the museum of military miniatures, Done with lead the material used to make the 32,000 figures, each under 20 mm , in 32 glass enclosures. Recreating periods such as the first great armies”, “From the Crusades to the 18th century” “Towards Great War (WW1)”, “The Spanish Civil War and Second World War” and “Towards peace”. The final scale model rises directly from the floor and is the biggest and most attractive of the museum. It recreates the range of tanks and vehicles in the First Brunete Armored Division. The display is made up of nearly 5,500 pieces which commemorate the greatest combat unit in the Spanish army. the Clock tower of Jaca ,gothic style built in 1445 on the same spot as the palace of the Aragonese kings, that was destroyed by fire in 1395. Later uses as king’s representative in the city , prison and since 1986, the HQ of the European Council Pyrenean Work Community.   A cultural heritage kept at the Municipal Archives building, the Libro de la Cadena or the book of chains, a manuscript containing the statues , rights , privileges of the city fuero of Jaca, a copy from the 13C with 101 parchment pages covering the period from 931 to 1324.

Jaca Jaca Jaca Jaca

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, it is a must in the north old Spain.

City of Jaca on tourism in Spanish ; http://www.aytojaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos.html

Good site Unofficial Jaca on tourism in Spanish : http://www.jaca.com/turismo.htm

Tourist site on the metro area Jacetania in English: http://aspejacetania.com/turismojacetania.php

Region of Aragon tourism on Jaca: https://www.turismodearagon.com/es/ubicacion/localidad/jaca.html#.WxzbWu6FPIV

I like to mentioned briefly on the Monasterio San Juan de la Peña very near Jaca. Only 23 km in the village of Santa Cruz de la Séros, in the Sierra de la Peña mountain at about 1200 meters altitude and a spectacular view up to it.  From Jaca take the road N240 direction Pamplona, you follow the signs for Santa Cruz de la Seros and a mountain road A1603 takes you to the old monastery and from there 1,5 km to the new monastery. Better as they said park in the new monastery and take the navette bus to the old; the road is really narrow and steep and hard to park along it if impossible.

It was founded in the year 920 in a very secluded site that was previously occupied by the monks that came here hiding from the Moors invasion in 720. In the 11C it took the Clunician reform against the vices that suffered the Church.  In the 16C another monastery was build in the baroque style a bit further up, the road been very narrow and steep parking was very difficult and still is;;;; the cars were park near the newer monastery and a navette bus takes you to the old included in the admission price.

 Monasterio San Juan de la Pena  Monasterio San Juan de la Pena  Monasterio San Juan de la Pena  Monasterio San Juan de la Pena  Monasterio San Juan de la Pena

All I can say see it , its a must and a wonderful jewel of my beloved Spain. Some official webpages to help you get there.

http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/monasterio-san-juan-de-la-pena.php?L=en

http://www.aspejacetania.com/lugares.php?idio=en&Id=139

A wonderful, terrific, no words combination to see something real of Spain Jaca and the Monastery de la Peña are unreal. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

 

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2 Comments to “Jaca in the heart of Aragon! Monasterio San Juan de la Peña!!!”

  1. Very nice. I love visiting old monasteries and ancient buildings in general.

    Liked by 2 people

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