|These two medieval kingdoms
are located southwest of the French border, with the Pyrenees
to the northeast. The landscape offers spectacular views, the mountains
contrasting with the lush valleys of the lower ground. This is a
popular area for skiing and winter sports.
The main resorts include Astun, Candanchú,
Cerler, El Formigal, and Panticosa.
has been inundated with tourists ever since American writer Ernest
Hemingway put the town on the map with his novel The
Sun Also Rises (1927). His fascination was with the Corrida,
the running of the bulls, at the
Festival of San Fermín , July 6th - 14th.
During this week, brave or foolhardy visitors join the young men
of the town in trying to outrun a large herd of bulls that stampedes
through the town’s narrow, closed streets. Visitors should
book early and expect relatively high prices. Outside the fiesta
season, Pamplona’s main attractions are its old walled quarter,
Renaissance Cathedral and imposing Citadel.
Aragon rose to prominence in the late 15th century when its kings
resided at Zaragoza, now the regional capital of
Aragon. Located on the River Ebro, it is a university
town with a medieval Cathedral, a 17th-century basilica dedicated
to the Virgin of Pilar (a focus of pilgrimage and
celebrations in the second week of October) and the Aljafería,
a Moorish palace dating from the 11th to the 15th centuries. The
Museo de Zaragoza has finds dating back to the
city’s Roman foundations. In the surrounding countryside there
are several areas noted for their wine production, such as Borja
and Cariñena, and several castles.
Huesca, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees,
is an important market town. There are several attractions within
easy reach, including the Ordesa National Park,
excellent walking and climbing country. The popular summer holiday
resort of Arguis in the Puerto de Monrepós
region. The spa town of Balneario de Panticosa,
and the high-altitude resort and frontier town of Canfranc.
The third and southernmost province of Aragon is Teruel.
The provincial capital is sited on a hill which is surrounded by
the gorges of the Rio Turia. It has a pronounced
Moorish influence (the last mosque was not closed until 10 years
after the end of the Reconquista in 1492), and there are several
architectural survivals from its Islamic period. Nearby is the small
episcopal city of Sergobe, spectacularly situated
between two castle-crowned hills.