Through Valleys and other areas
The Cinca Valley
The source of the River Cinca is the glacier of Monte Perdido. The river fl ows through the valleys of Pineta and Bielsa past the Devotas canyon until it reaches the lands of Tella-Sin, Puértolas and Laspuña from where it fl ows on to fl atter and hotter areas.
One of Bielsa’s most prosperous periods was the 16th century because of its iron mines, known and sought after all over Spain. The parish church and the Town Hall belong to that period although both had to be rebuilt after the Civil War. The impressive Town Hall façade is one of the few examples of Renaissance architecture in the area. The town Ethnological Museum exhibits Civil War images of “La Bolsa de Bielsa”, a group of antifascist soldiers.
Javierre’s church (12th century) is devoted to Saint Eulalia. You can see its altarpiece and several 15th century icons.
The Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel, opened in 1976, connects Sobrarbe with France via the A-138 route.
There are eleven villages distributed in several valleys belonging to the Tella-Sin municipality. You can visit the Pyrenean Electricity Museum in Lafortunada.
The church in Badaín dates back to the 11th century although it was altered and enlarged in the 16th century. Part of the building is used as a hostel.
There is a lovely walk which will take you to the Romanesque hermitages in Tella, a tourist circuit which is rounded off by the Visitors’ Centre (Molino House and Maestra’s House).You can also see Tella’s famous dolmen, very near the village, and the cave of the Cave Bear.
You can gain access to Añisclo and Escuaín valleys through Escalona.
You can enjoy watching the raft descent in Laspuña, celebrated once a year. The Nabatas Museum and the Luis Pallaruelo EcoMuseum in Laspuña are interesting to visit. Don’t miss La Fuensanta, the place where San Victorián is said to have made a fountain spring up. A stone fountain, a hermitage and the hermit’s house were built after the discovery.
The River Cinca fl ows abundantly through Labuerda without the rush of its mountain waterfalls. In Aínsa, the river’s main tributary, the River Ara, fl ows out into the Mediano and El Grado reservoirs.
The Renaissance church in Labuerda is outstanding. From there you can discover San Vicente de Labuerda church, an important Romanesque example which has a magnifi cent 15th century Gothic altarpiece. The church is next to a weather temple. The superb tower of Casa Buil is in the village.
The old quarter of Aínsa, declared National Heritage Monument, well deserves a visit. The visitor will feel as if time has stopped while walking round its castle (11th-16th centuries),
its main arcaded square, each porch being different or visiting Santa Maria Romanesque church (12th century) with its beautiful cloister. Strolling along the cobbled streets, you can feel the passage of history in this medieval town. You can also visit the Cruz Cubierta shrine and admire a column inside which represents a tree and the cross of Sobrarbe, symbols
of the borough appearing in the Aragón coat of arms.
Morillo de Tou and Ligüerre de Cinca were expropriated and abandoned after the reservoirs of Mediano and El Grado were built in the second half of the 20th century. Both villages were rebuilt thanks to the initiative of the two biggest trade unions in Spain transforming the ruins of Morillo de Tou and Ligüerre de Cinca into two modern holiday resorts, espectively.
“El Palacio” in Ligüerre is an outstanding 16th century fortifi ed house. The tower has many battlements.
The tower of La Asunción church (16th century) in Coscojuela de Sobrarbe is the highest tower in Sobrarbe. The cross of Sobrarbe is engraved in the linteled doorway of the church. Coscojuela has several typical Pyrenean vaulted streets.
Perched at the top of a hill, both the 11th century castle and church of Saint Emeterio and Saint Celedonio of Samitier are the vantage points from which you can enjoy the most breathtaking views of all Sobrarbe and the Entremon ravine.San Vicente tower (16th century) is Samitier’s most prominent feature.
Abizanda’s impressive defence tower is of Moslem origin but it was rebuilt in 1023 in Lombard style. You can enjoy a wonderful view from its platform. The museum of Beliefs and Popular Religiousness of the High Pyrenees is in the abbey of La Asunción church (16th century).
Did you know...
that the iron gates of El Escorial were made with iron from Bielsa’s mines?