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Jaca as viewed from the Rapitan fort.
Jaca as viewed from the Rapitan fort.
Flag of Jaca
Official seal of Jaca
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country Spain
Autonomous community Aragon
Province Huesca
Comarca La Jacetania
 • Mayor Víctor José Barrio Sena
 • Total 406.34 km2 (156.89 sq mi)
Elevation 820 m (2,690 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 13,396
 • Density 33/km2 (85/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CET (UTC+2)
Website www.jaca.es
Castle of San Pedro.
Detail of Jaca Cathedral interior.

Jaca (Chaca in Aragonese) is a city of northeastern Spain near the border with France, in the midst of the Pyrenees in the province of Huesca. Jaca, a fort on the Aragón River at the crossing of two great early medieval routes, one from Pau to Zaragoza, was the fortified city out of which the County and Kingdom of Aragon developed: Jaca was the capital of Aragon until 1097 and also the capital of Jacetania.


Besides Jaca town, there are a number of outlying villages in Jaca's municipal term: Abay, Abena, Acín, Ara, Araguás del Solano, Ascara, Asieso, Astún, Atarés, Badaguás, Banaguás, Baraguás, Barós, Bataraguá, Bergosa, Bernués, Bescós de Garcipollera, Binué, Botaya, Caniás, Espuéndolas, Fraginal, Gracionépel, Guasa, Guasillo, Ipás, Jarlata, Larrosa, Lastiesas Altas, Lastiesas Bajas, Martillué, Navasa, Navasilla, Novés, Orante, Osia, Ullé, Villanovilla and Yosa de Garcipollera,


The origins of the city are obscure, but its name apparently reflects the Iaccetani, mentioned by Strabo as one of the most celebrated of the numerous small tribes inhabiting the basin of the Ebro. Strabo adds that their territory was the scene of the wars in the 1st century BC between Sertorius and Pompey. The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman world describes this modern city as the ancient "Iaca (or Iaka)" [1] which minted coins in the 2nd half of the 2nd century BC, a small number of which are now in the British Museum.[2] These show an unidentified bearded head, to the right with an inscription to the left and dolphin to right on the obverse. While the reverse depicts a horseman carrying a spear, to the right, with an inscription below in Iberian reading iaka.[2]

The Moorish writers mention Dyaka as one of the chief places in the province of Sarkosta (Zaragoza). When it was reconquered is unknown. Ramiro I of Aragon (1035–1063), gave it the title of "city," and in 1063 held within its walls the Synod of Jaca in which, the people were called in to sanction its decrees: an early milestone in the parliamentary traditions in the Pyrenees.

The mutiny of the garrison at Jaca, demanding the abolition of monarchy and a democratic republic, December 12–13, 1930, was suppressed with some difficulty. It was an early event that presaged the Spanish Civil War.

Main sights

Jaca is home to medieval walls and towers surrounding an 11th-century Romanesque cathedral.

The citadel, a fortification dating to the late 16th century, is home to a colony of rock sparrows.

The Diocesan Museum of Jaca (Museum of Medieval Sacred Art) protects Romanesque and Gothic frescoes from some of the most remote locations in the district of Jaca, unsuspected until the first one was discovered in the Church of Urriés, in 1962, where it had been hidden and protected by the painted and gilded retable, or altarpiece.

Tourism and sports

Jaca is a tourist destination in the region for summer holidays and winter sport.

Jaca was the host city of the 1981 and 1995 Winter Universiades. Its popularity for winter sports has been a motivating factor in the city's failed bids for the 1998 Winter Olympics, 2002 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics. It was again the applicant city of Spain for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but the bid failed again when it was not selected as a candidate city.


See also


  1. Talbert, R., (2000). (ed.) Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. Map 25, E3. Also CDROM disc entry Map 25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bagwell-Purefoy, P., and Meadows, A., (2002). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum (SNG). Volume IX. The British Museum 2. Spain. SNG No's 775-776

External links

Preceded by
The Aragonese Way of the Way of St. James Succeeded by
Santa Cruz de la Serós