Villa de Aínsa
From a distance it appears as a huddled, uniform, proportionate and harmonious farmhouse, highlighting the slender tower of the church, the enormous enclosure of the castle and one of the most beautiful squares in Spain.
Within the walls the wonder of the Romanesque in every corner, constant surprises in every detail. The streets, squares, square and church are worth a visit on their own.
Strategically located at the confluence of the Cinca and Ara rivers, Aínsa is a privileged starting point for walking or cycling excursions, for mountaineers and skiers, for hunters and fishermen who find here one of the few untouched corners that remain today, for lovers of art and history, and from which to visit the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido, the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park and, crossing the “Biello Sobrarbe”, the Natural Park of the Canyons and the Sierra de Guara.
It is located in the Sobrarbe region, which corresponds to the old County of the same name that arose more than a thousand years ago in the north of the province of Huesca.
At an altitude of 589 meters above sea level and with more than 2000 inhabitants, Aínsa has a privileged situation at the confluence of the rivers Cinca and Ara. And it is a strategic starting point to visit the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park and, crossing the “Biello Sobrarbe”, the Sierra Los Cañones de Guara Natural Park.
Aínsa is one of the largest villages in the Sobrarbe County, a centre of services and has an interesting tourist and commercial offer.
And it consists of two clearly differentiated nuclei: the commercial and modern part, which arose around the crossroads, and the medieval town.
EL BIELLO SOBRARBE
Aínsa is part of the municipality of AÍNSA-SOBRARBE along with 22 other villages, located mainly in what we call “Biello Sobrarbe”.
The trade and tourism sectors are the most developed, although there are still agricultural and livestock farms.
The time caresses with its long fingers of wise protector of the stones of a country of legend, that sinks its roots in remote times. The first settlers inhabited the shelters and caves of this prodigious environment, and with the passage of time they gave human form to one of the most beautiful enclaves of the Pyrenees. Stone on stone, road on road, name on name…the different cultures that inhabited these lands left their singular mark.
In a tozal to the north of the present village, remains of small constructions were found, without studying yet, with some sample of Roman pottery. However, due to the lack of documentation, we do not know the historical evolution of Ainsa until 1124, when Alfonso I granted it a Town Charter, with the same privileges as the city of Jaca.
The legend of the Sobrarbe Cross dates back to the year 724: The Christians who have fled from Muslim rule meet in Ainsa and undertake the reconquest. The Christian troops, led by Garcí-Ximeno manage to win the battle thanks to the appearance, on a holm oak tree, of a cross of fire, which gave them the courage to recover the city. The victory is still commemorated in our days with the biannual celebration of “La Morisma”. The cross on the kermes oak is the symbol of Sobrarbe and appears in one of the barracks of the Aragon coat of arms.
Celts, Romans, Muslims, Christians… a history of diversity and wealth that turns a visit to the Villa of Aínsa into an amazing journey through time, full of colour and sown with marvellous surprises.
Walking through the old streets of the town, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1965, we will enjoy the warmth of its people and the beauty of an environment with a clear medieval flavour.
Its old streets, its castle (11th – 17th century), the wall and its gates, the main square, the church of Santa Maria (12th century), declared a National Monument, or the façades of the Arnal house (16th century) and Bielsa house (16th – 17th century), are a stony summary of the idiosyncrasy of a town with a strong personality and a fascinating cultural heritage.
Aínsa, always welcoming, offers the visitor a wide range of cultural and leisure activities. Its privileged location makes it a starting point for hiking or cycling, for mountaineers and skiers, for hunters and fishermen who find here one of the few untouched corners that remain today, for lovers of art and history.