Huesca is the capital of the province in the autonomous region of Aragon in Spain.
During Roman times the city was known as Osca and was a Roman colony under the rule of Quintus Sertorius, who made Osca it’s base.
The city minted its coins and was the location of a prestigious school founded by Sertorius to teach young Iberians in Latin and Roman customs.
After Sertorius, Strabo renamed it to Ileoscan.
The eighteenth-century Spanish historian Enrique Flórez has pointed to the impossibility of a city delivering such large amounts of beaten silver, as recorded by ancient writers under the terms Argentum Oscense, signatum Oscense. He believes that “Oscense” means “Spanish”, being a corruption of “Eus-cara”.
The romanticized city was made a municipium by the decree of Augustus in 30 BC. At a municipium, the citizens possessed (limited) Roman civil law, but at the same time retained their independent administration, except for case law and foreign policy.
Traditionally the most important celebration in the city is celebrated on August 10, the name day of San Lorenzo or Saint Laurentius, who was born around 220 in Huesca. He was a deacon in Rome. According to a legend on a grid above a fire. A grid is a commonly used ornament on buildings in the city.
San Lorenzo is the patron saint of the city of Huesca.
With the sound of a rocket fired from the balcony of the town hall, the nine days of activity and fun begins. With music, folk groups and traditional dance, concerts, associations, religious events, sports, “vaquillas “(bullfighting with young bulls) and a whole series of festive activities for young and old.
One of the essential sights in Huesca is the Cathedral of Huesca, the Catedral de la Transfiguración del Señor.
It was built around 1273 and expanded into the 15th century. The porch with images of the apostles dates from 1300-1313 — the tower and cloister date from the 15th century.
Building the cathedral of Huesca started in the time of James I of Aragon (1213-1276), which is quite late compared to other churches in the area, dating from the Romanesque period. It is because, in Huesca, Christian worship took place in the mosque building for almost two centuries, until the end of the 13th century.
After the initiation of James I’s cousin (James Sarroca) as bishop of Huesca, the king regarded Christian worship in the mosque as inappropriate. So in 1273, he proposed to build a new gothic cathedral, which was more and more common in Europe, on top of the old mosque.
What to do in and around Huesca
Huesca is a perfect starting point for visiting beautiful destinations such as National Park Ordesa and Monte Perdido or the ruins of the castle “Castillo de Montearagon”.
You can find more tips to do in the surroundings of Huesca here.