Balcón del Pirineo has an eagle’s eye view of nature over the Broto and Ordesa Valleys in the Pyrenees of Aragon. Enjoy rural tourism in its very essence.

 

Cultural heritage in the surrounding area:

 

1. Following the course of the Ara River along N260:

 

In the Broto Valley, the “Casa del Valle” and the prison are two highlights, both dating from the 16th century, which can be visited in summer. Oto, with its two defensive towers. Buesa features an impressive church and a chapel devoted to St. Christopher, as well as a parchment that tells us the history of the village back in the 11th century. The esconjuradero, a type of shrine, and the image of Christ in Asin de Broto. The defensive tower in Linas de Broto and the carnival of Torla. In the area of Sobrepuerto belonging to Broto, we can find the 11th-century Lombard-style Romanesque church in Otal, the terraces of Escartín and the church of Bergua.

 

Following the course of the Ara River, we reach Fiscal, which features the recently restored Lacort fulling mill, a Romanesque gateway and an observatory.

 

In the middle basin of the Ara River, there are several villages that were abandoned as a result of the failed Jánovas reservoir project. Paradoxically, it is interesting to note that janovas comes from Arabic, meaning gate, and allegedly the Muslims never crossed this point. The deserted villages of Cajol, Burgase, Muro and Yeba, with magnificent views, are worth a visit.

 

Finally, we come to Boltaña and Ainsa, the first of which is the county seat of Sobrarbe, boasting castle ruins and a pretty 16th-century parish church. Near Boltaña, Guaso and Santa Maria de Buil are must-sees. Ainsa represents the crossroads between the Cinca and Ara rivers, and also a mixture of cultures and legends, well worthy of a stroll through its stone-paved streets, the ruins of its castle engulfing us in a magical medieval spirit, with the silhouette of Monte Perdido y Ordesa in the background.

 

2. More cultural attractions in Sobrarbe County:

 

The architecture and uniqueness of the San Vitorian Monastery, the chapels and dolmen of Tella, Alquézar and the Fanlo collegiate church.

 

In the municipality of La Fueva, Muro de Roda features the 12th-century St. Mary parish church, in which only the foundations of the original round tower remain standing. There is also the 16th-century St. Bartholomew. chapel.

 

The Samitier castle and the Abizanda castle, its lookout tower and residence make it a unique example. The Binéfar puppeteers give performances here.

 

Musical folklore, the Ainsa Castle festivals, carnival celebrations in Torla and Bielsa, and the ethnographic documentary festival in Espiello all round off the agenda.

3. Travelling to the heart of the Aragonese Pyrenees, between the counties of Ribagorza, Serrablo and Jacetania.

 

The Romanesque churches of Serrablo, built in Lombard Romanesque style, are well-known, some of which are located in villages like Olivan and Larrede that can be accessed by car, and others, only on foot. Also worth visiting are the chapels of L’Angusto, Escoronillas and As Arrodillas, nestled on the side of Mount Oturia, setting out from Yebra de Basa, in honour of Saint Orosia.

 

The magnificent vantage point afforded by the Oroel Peak over Jacetania, which is also home to a chapel devoted to Saint Orosia, is recommended.

 

The Pirineos Sur music festival in Lanuza and Pyrenees folk festivals in Jaca are some other highlights.

 

The heritage in Jacetania is extraordinary. In Jaca, a tour of the cathedral cannot be missed. The cathedral of Jaca was the first Romanesque cathedral in Spain, and its checkerboard pattern can be seen repeatedly along the Way of St. James. The Diocesan Museum in Jaca is another must-see. Jaca also boasts a wonderfully preserved fortress.

 

Continuing toward Pamplona, we reach Santa Cruz de la Seros and the San Juan de la Peña Monastery. Both the original monastery, which was the most important monastery in Aragon in the late Middle Ages, and the new San Juan de la Peña monastery are national monuments. In terms of history and heritage, it should be noted that it was built between the 11th and 12th centuries, holds the remains of several rulers of the kingdoms of Aragon and Navarra, and was granted to the monks of the order of Cluny, who commissioned the Romanesque capitals in the cloister.

 

As an anecdote, adding to the magic of the setting of San Juan de la Peña, with its holly tree forest, crag and incredible vantage point known as Balcón del Pirineo (Balcony of the Pyrenees), legend has it that the Holy Grail was housed here for a time, attracting the composer Wagner to visit it in search of an inspiration.