- Huesca (province)
Positioned just south of the central
Pyrenees, Huesca borders Franceand the French Departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiquesand Hautes-Pyrénées. Within Spain, Huesca's neighboring provinces are Navarre, Zaragoza and Lleida.
The modern day province comprises 10
comarcas and 202 municipalities. "See also list of municipalities in Huesca."
Covering a primarily mountainous area of 15,636 km², the province of Huesca has a total population of 218,023, (in 2006), with almost a quarter of its people living in the capital city of
Huesca. The low population density, 13.94/km², has meant that Huesca's lush valleys, rivers, and lofty mountain ranges have remained relatively pristine and unspoiled by progress.
Home to majestic scenery, the tallest mountain in the
Pyrenees, the Aneto; eternal glaciers, such as at Monte Perdido; and the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido, rich in flora and protected fauna. Popular with mountaineers, spelunkers, paragliders, and white waterrafters it is also a popular snow skiingdestination with notable resorts in Candanchú, Formigal, Astún, Panticosaand Cerler.
The romans colonised the province of Huesca, which formed the northern part of
Hispania Tarraconensis, and continued to live there well into the 5th century until the arrival of the visigoths. As a mountainous frontier region, it was difficult to dominate. The northern counties had at one time belonged to the Kingdom of Navarrebut split off and managed to stem early moorish invasions in the Middle Ages by forming alliances between themselves and with the Franks, to become frankish feudal marches. The imperative of sovereignty, or independence, for the northern border counts, gave rise to the legendary Kingdom of Aragon, which was the precursor to the Empire or Crown of Aragon, and ultimately the Kingdom of Spain.
Spanish is the primary language in the province, however the local linguistic varieties in the center and north of the province (often called fabla) belong to the
Aragonese language, which now survives mainly in the northernmost comarcas, such as the Aragon river Valley in Jacetania, the Alto Gallego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza, where hitherto landlocked and isolated villages have helped the language to thrive into the 21st century.
In the easternmost areas of the province, varieties of the
Catalan languageare spoken, with a few transitional varieties difficult to classify as Aragonese or Catalan.
* [http://www.aragonguide.com/cats.asp?cID=64 Huesca Tourism Travel Guide ("in English")]
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