What to see in Huesca capital in one day

Today we approach Huesca capital, one of those cities little known for inland tourism, but which has a picturesque historic center and is surrounded by exceptional monuments, which is why it is known as the Gate of the Pyrenees. Huesca is a small city, which you can explore its old town quietly walking to discover its monuments, museums, squares and green areas; forming the perfect itinerary to enjoy a full day discovering a little more about its history and traditions. Do you want to discover What to see and do 1 day in Huesca? Well, keep reading.

A bit of history

Its origin is due to a Celtiberian population named Bolskan. Later with the Romans it would be called Urbs Victrix Osca (Huesca, Victorious City) and the Muslims would call it Wasqa, they endowed with strong walls. Its walls saw the death of King Sancho Ramírez of Aragon, who fell from an arrow trying to cross them in 1094. However, two years later, after the battle of Alcoraz it was conquered by Pedro I, in which Saint George, future patron saint of Aragon, made his miraculous appearance.

Huesca was the capital of the Court of the Kings of Aragon for years. That is why the famous Alfonso I the Battler was buried here, or saw the birth of up to three monarchs: Queen Petronila, Alfonso II and Pedro II.

In 1135 the famous episode of “La Campana de Huesca” took place. King Ramiro II of Aragon summoned several rebellious nobles, with the aim of building a bell that would ring so loudly that it would be heard throughout the kingdom. He was making the nobles enter a room and was beheading them one by one, and with it, ending the rebellion. In 1247 another event of great importance took place in the city, a session of Cortes from which the first Fueros de Aragón would come out. Such a document is the basis of all subsequent law of the Aragonese kingdom and crown.

Huesca Street
Huesca Street

In 1354 the University of Huesca was founded, one of the oldest in the Peninsula. It then had 5 faculties: Theology, Civil and Canon Law, Medicine and Arts. And it was developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These centuries were a time of great economic, social and demographic splendor for the city.

In the eighteenth century, after the War of Succession, Huesca welcomed hundreds of Catalan students. The reason was that the Nueva Planta Decrees had closed the Catalan centers and Huesca was the closest option. This university would close definitively in 1845.

Since the late nineteenth century, the population undertook various urban remodeling and modernist works, giving its current appearance.

What to see in Huesca?

The walls

Once in the city, the first thing is to know that the city is organized around its historic center. So the first thing is to contemplate your Walled enclosure. Since Huesca, was already fortified in Roman times, and expanded during the Muslim rule, with 9 gates and a hundred watchtowers. At present, only a section of walls between Joaquín Costa Street and the Plaza de Toros is still standing. A space that can be visited thanks to its restoration, preserved by the Torreón del Amparo and the Puerta de Montearagón or San Agustín, better known as “La Portela”.

Wall of Huesca
Wall of Huesca

Casino de Huesca

We enter the interior of the old town of Huesca, and nothing better than making a stop at the Plaza de Navarra, with several interesting monuments. At its center is the Fountain of the Muses of the late nineteenth century.

Casino de Huesca
Casino de Huesca

At the end is one of the main modernist works of Huesca, the Casino. Work of the early twentieth century, fruit of the impulse of the local bourgeoisie, and designed by the Catalan architect Ildefonso Bonells. It stands out for its white façade with a geometric structure reminiscent of a medieval castle, its beautiful entrance gate and the luxurious lobby. Inside we can see the Red and Blue rooms or the main staircase, decorated with a bust of local politician Manuel Camo made by Sebastián Miranda.

St. Mary’s Cathedral

We continue with the St. Mary’s Cathedral, built on the remains of a Roman temple, a Visigothic church and a mosque Muslim, from the thirteenth century. After numerous renovations it acquired its current Gothic appearance. In the same stand out its façade, and protected by a large eaves, highlights its pediment. One of the great attractions to see in Huesca capital. Also important is the Gothic cloister of Papa Luna, which preserves the northern bay of the Romanesque cloister and part of its southern bay integrated into the diocesan museum, and the Main altarpiece built in the early fifteenth century by Damián Forment, who as a self-tribute, was portrayed at the bottom of it.

Cathedral of Santa María - Huesca
Cathedral of Santa María – Huesca

The cloister of the cathedral and the Episcopal Palace make up the Diocesan Museum, which has a large collection of sacred art from the cathedral and other parishes of the diocese of Huesca. Its most representative piece is the main altarpiece of the castle of Montearagón.

Diocesan Museum - Huesca
Diocesan Museum – Huesca
Diocesan Museum - Huesca
Diocesan Museum – Huesca

Town hall

In front of the Cathedral is the Town hall (XVI century). It is a representative building of the Aragonese Renaissance with two symmetrical towers and a large eaves running on its top floor. It keeps inside the famous painting La Campana de Huesca (1874) by the painter José Casado del Alisal.

Luis López Allué Square

We follow the Luis López Allué Square, today Plaza Mayor, pedestrian and rectangular in shape, is surrounded by buildings with arcades on its four sides, giving uniformity and symmetry to the whole.

Plaza Luis López Allué - Huesca
Plaza Luis López Allué – Huesca

Here is the grocery trade, still active, oldest in Spain: Ultramarios “La Confianza”. It is another outstanding example of Huesca modernism opened in 1871.

Plaza Luis López Allué - Huesca
Plaza Luis López Allué – Huesca

Also in the square is located the Pedagogical Museum of Aragon. Its collections allow us to take a tour of the history of Spanish education in the twentieth century.

Monastery of St. Peter the Elder

Another of the religious monuments of Huesca is the Monastery of St. Peter the Elder, from the twelfth century, is one of the most important sets of Aragonese Romanesque. It was built on an ancient Visigothic temple dedicated to San Pedro. From it the Romanesque cloister is preserved, which houses the pantheon of the Aragonese kings Alfonso I the Battler and Ramiro II the Monk, making it a must visit within the Aragonese Romanesque.

Monastery of San Pedro el Viejo - Huesca
Monastery of San Pedro el Viejo – Huesca

Convent of San Miguel

Another important convent to see in Huesca capital, is that of San Miguel. It is a monastery of Carmelites better known as “Las Miguelas”, founded in 1110. Later in the Middle Ages it was an important hospital, leprosarium and even meeting place. It met the City Council until the late fifteenth century. The tower, the central nave and two chapels next to the presbytery are in Romanesque style, while the head is Gothic. Nearby is the St. Michael’s Bridge (1912) on the river Isuela. It has the peculiarity of being one of the first suspension bridges in Spain.

Convent of San Miguel - Huesca
Convent of San Miguel – Huesca

Provincial Museum of Huesca

In the headquarters of the old university is located today the Museum of Huesca, divided into two sections an Archaeology and Fine Arts. The first includes a sample of the different cultures that have passed through the city and the second highlights the lithographs of the series of The Bulls of Bordeaux by Francisco de Goya and the complete works of Ramón Acín. In addition, the building was the residence of the kings of Aragon, so it preserves the Throne Room, the Doña Petronila Room and the Bell Room, where it is supposed to have been the scene of the legend of the Bell of Huesca.

Museum of Huesca
Museum of Huesca

Miguel Park Servet

And we ended up in the Park of Miguel Servet, with 100 years being the place of recreation of the Huesca population, with its 7 Ha of green area, is an ideal place to go with children. Here we find various plant species, several ponds, a bandstand and several sculptures such as Las Pajaritas by Ramón Acín, the one dedicated to the Pyrenean kings or the little house of Snow White (a reproduction of the house of the seven dwarfs that hides a library inside).

More information

Tourism of Huesca: https://www.huescaturismo.com

Where to eat

From the most traditional cuisine to the most innovative proposals, the gastronomy of Huesca is based on hunting, fishing, livestock, local orchard or pastries. One of the most important areas of the city to enjoy its gastronomy is the neighborhood of San Lorenzo, with the streets of Coso Alto, San Orencio, Padre Huesca, Martínez de Velasco Avenue or San Lorenzo itself, are some of the streets with more bars in Huesca.

Flower (Calle Porches de Galicia, 4) is an establishment with a long history behind it. It prepares seasonal menus and has a kitchen in which innovation plays an important role, both in the preparation and presentation of attractive dishes made from quality raw materials. In its bar there is always a good selection of tapas.

The Origin (Plaza Del Justicia, 4) is another restaurant to consider in Huesca, both for its traditional seasonal cuisine and for the touches of innovation that all its dishes present.

Comomelocomo (Calle Padre Huesca, 5) is another establishment to take into account for its innovative and quality proposal.

And finally Da Vinci (Calle Padre Huesca, 13), more classic cut and good variety. Very good potato ball and tuna.

Where to sleep

If you want to discover the city of Huesca and tour the province, here are the best accommodations in the city:

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