Municipalities and Villages in Sobrarbe
Web: Turismo Boltaña
o Inhabitants: 804. The whole municipality counts 924 inhabitants.
o Height above sea level: 643m
o Name of its inhabitants: boltañés
o Local Holidays: 25th January and the third weekend of August.
o Monuments: the 16th century Gothic St. Peter Apostle's Church, with the Choir of St. Victorian's Monastery, and the remains of the Medieval Castle.
The following villages belong to its municipality: Ascaso, Campodarbe, Margudgued, Morillo de Sampietro, El Pueyo de Morcat, Sieste, La Valle, Aguilar, San Martin, Matidero, Seso, Silves.
Boltaña shares the seat of the County Council with Aínsa.
This town was the head of a former county called Boletania, with a confusing history, during the Muslim period.
There are still remains of its castle on the top of the slope. Boltaña stretches from the surroundings of this slope to the road. The walls of the 11th century castle are made of stone. This castle is supposed to have been a defensive border against Muslims. At the external end of the complex, there is a projecting tower with hexagonal plan.
The Old quarter can be found uphill, over the St. Martin Gorge. By the road, we find the modern built-up area.
Streets are steep in the Old quarter, until reaching the parish church, which was once a collegiate Church. It belongs to Gothic style, and it was built on the basement of a former 13th century building. The fine manufacture of its ashlar blocks is specially outstanding.
The church is devoted to St. Peter Apostle, and it has a plan of big size, divided into three groin vaulted naves. It has a polygonal chevet of three sides. There is not either transept or lateral chapels. The bell tower is attached to the north-eastern side of the chevet, like the vestry, where we can also find the Town Hall.
The Choir has been improved with ashlar blocks taken from St. Victorian's Monastery. There are 29 choir stalls arranged along a tier, with their mercy seats and backs, with vegetable and figurative carvings. On the bas-relief of the backs, St. Benedict's life scenes are depicted.
The "palotiau" of Boltaña is a dance whose music shows deep Celtic influences. It is performed by 16 dancers, a master and a steward. It is a religious dance and it is performed as a ritual, although it is danced in other kind of occasions at the present days.
On 25th January, the festivity devoted to St. Paul's conversion, the dancers follow the saint to its hermitage, according to the tradition. On Lignum Crucis, on 14th September, the dancers perform the "palotiau" along the procession and in the square.