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Cultural Heritage

Historical and Artistic Heritage of Ainsa

Historical and Artistic Heritage of Ainsa

On a hill by the Cinca and Ara Rivers, by a crossroads between the Pyrenees and the Somontano, we find the medieval town of Aínsa, which preserves the bright of former times, when Muslims and Christians contributed to its development.

This architectural and urban complex of great value was declared Historical Complex in 1965. Currently, the old quarter, the castle and the collegiate church have been declared a Site of Cultural Interest, according to the Law on Aragonese Cultural Heritage.

The Old Quarter has a uniform and harmonious appearance, with a strong medieval character, inviting visitors to stroll around its Main Square, a landmark of the county, around its streets with hanging flowers, around its cobbled paving squares, following the tracks of Romanesque style and history through its buildings: the 12th century Santa María collegiate church, with its high tower, the 13th century Portal de Arriba and Portal de Abajo, the 13th century Arco del Hospital, the 13th century remains of San Salvador church, the walled complex, built from the 11th up to the 16th centuries.

The Main Square, surrounded by an arched porch, was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, dominated by the stunning figure of the bell tower of the Romanesque Santa Maria church.

Some of its 16th and 17th century houses are remarkable, with excellent examples of popular architecture in Casa Arnal, Casa Bielsa and Casa Latorre.

The Castle was built along many centuries, preserving few elements of the original Romanesque building. Specially noteworthy is the Tenente Tower, with a pentagonal plan, currently serving as an EcoMuseum, being the oldest part of the castle, built in the 12th century.

Near the castle, the 17th century monument devoted to the Roofed Cross commemorates the legendary battle between Christian troops lead by Garcí Ximénez against the Muslim troops in 724, when thanks to a miraculous apparition of a fire cross on a holy oak, Christian troops defeated Muslims. This heroic deed is celebrated every two years, on the second weekend of September, with the traditional performance of La Morisma in the Main Square.

The Peña Montañesa, the Mediano reservoir and, in the background, the Pyrenees constitute a wonderful frame for this spectacular scenery.