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Sábado, 20 Enero 2018    

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Ribagorza is an emblematic name in the history of the old Kingdom of Aragon, and still after many centuries this land keeps abundant traces of that rich and ancient past. Cave paintings, Paleolithic and Neolithic rests, Lombardian Romanesque and Medieval fortresses are the reflection of the historical heritage of the county. Ribagorza has a picturesque landscape, located in the center of the Pyrinees and framed by three beautiful rivers: Esera, Isábena and Noguera Ribagorzana. The result is a perfect setting for the enjoyment of mountains, water, flora and wild life. Thick forests and wild rivers tangle with rural trails, thus making possible to engage in all kinds of outdoor sports and providing a wide array of leisure choices.

 

GRAUS, history and heritage

Graus is the capital of the county of Ribagorza, one of the historical counties that formed the Kingdom of Aragon. Our town keeps amongst its streets and squares an exceptional heritage that was officially acknowledged by the Spanish government in 1975. It is located in the core of the Aragonese Pyrinees, where the rivers Esera and Isabena merge and the junction of trails promoted the transit of different settlers along the centuries. There is an archelological site, named Forcas after the rock wall it is sheltered in, whose remnants date back to prehistoric times. To access Las Forcas we cross over the river on the medieval bridge over the river Esera. Romans and Muslims left their trace in this land of untamed nature, but the town started its real developement after the Middle Ages. Barrichós is the name of the original core of the settlement, its name refers to its location as ‘the low part of town’. It still preserves remnants of the walls that enclosed it back in the day. Witnesses of this are the different gates: Chinchín, Linés and El Barón, that lead the visitor into the historic quarters. Small squares and narrow lanes run from the gate of Linés or Benasque to the gate of Chinchín or Barbastro. The main street was named after San Vicente Ferrer. On our tour we go by splendid noble homesteads such as Oliván, Esmir, Solano, Fantón, and the great mansion belonging to the Mur family, where a romantic medieval legend is set. The main square, or Plaza Mayor, is probably one of the most beautiful of its kind in Aragon. It is sorrounded by a porch and keeps a certain medieval flavor. The City Council has rounded archs built in brick following the mudéjar influence that is characteristic of the Aragonese Renaissance arquitecture, and dates back to the 16th century. We also find in the same square a Neoclassical palace, named Casa Bardaxí, and two astonishing buildings: Casa del Barón and Casa Heredia, with peculiar allegories painted on their façades dating from the early 19th century. Apart from these noble homesteads, religious arquitecture in Graus deserves special attention as well. The Church of Saint Michael was originally built in Romanesque style, but has been remodelled along the centuries. It hosts the cross (Santo Cristo) that San Vicente Ferrer donated after his visit in the early 15th century. The most important local festival, known as Fiestas Patronales, is celebrated yearly in his honor from the 12th to the 15th of September. This picturesque celebration has also been recognised by the Spanish government for its touristic value. Nevertheless, the most emblematic religious building of the village is the Basilica of the Virgin of La Peña. This temple was built in a Gothic-Renaissance style under a big rock named Peña del Morral, and it has become the main symbol for the villagers. Its main entrance is magnificent and an open cloister offers a perfect lookout over the Rivers Esera and Isabena. From the site we can access a trail leading to the little hermitage of San Pedro, where a pilgrimage takes place in the spring time. The basilica has an area, once dedicated to shelter pilgrims, that now hosts an interesting Icon Museum. And yet another combination of a church and a museum is to be found in the former church of La Compañía, a remarkable Baroque building that has been transformed into Espacio Pirineos, a centre for Culture, Investigation and Leisure in the Pyrenees.

 

GRAUS, crafts and food

The town is rich and varied in craft-making, and the visitor can find high quality pieces in materials such as copper, leather, olive tree wood, boxwood or stone. Food is also worth noticing when visiting Graus. Typical dishes include charcoal-grilled, oven grilled or stewed young lamb (Ternasco de Aragón), shepherd style lamb, river trout, and all kinds of products derived from the hog killing like tortetas (a doughnut-shaped mixture of fat, bread, anise and blood in its ‘black’ version) or morcillas (blood sausage). A special mention goes to the local version of the traditional spicy sausage or longaniza de Graus, reknown all over Spain for its quality, based on a traditional recipe that has been awarded regionally. Every year its relevance is highlighted in a longaniza festival (Día de la Longaniza), when the locals show their skills in the making of the longest longaniza and the biggest grill in the world, both registered in the Guiness Book of World Records. Graus has hosted also one of the most important markets in the whole country for black truffles, and the offer is complete with desserts like the traditional turrones (Christmas sweets of Muslim origin), pastillos (thin dough pastries stuffed with almonds and honey or pumpkin) and crespillos (borage leaves covered in a sweet batter, deep fried and sugared).

 

GRAUS, nature and action

Situated in a privileged place with a spectacular natural environment, Graus is a perfect place for those who love and enjoy nature. From Graus we organise quite a number adventure activities, water sports such as canoeing, sailing or water-skiing on the Barasona lake as well as rafting, kayak and hydrospeed on the river Ésera. In this sense Graus offers a wide range of facilities, like the Base Náutica on the left shore of the Barasona lake where you can practise all these water sports and enjoy yourself on a large green space.

 
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Oficina de turismo del Ayuntamiento de Graus . Plaza Mayor 15 - 22430 - Graus | Huesca | Spain . Tel. 974 540874 . graus@turismograus.com

Colabora: Gobierno de Aragon. Departamento de Ciencia, Tecnología y Universidad