Cave paintings and medieval heritage histor 1

Cave paintings and medieval heritage

Cave Art: World Heritage

In addition to the exceptional landscape legacy of the Guara Natural Park, there is also a rich historical heritage. Starting with the life of prehistoric man, the legacy of megalithic monuments and cave paintings, which have been declared a World Heritage Site, the entire Guara Park provides visitors with the opportunity to observe the passage of time. Sights range from small fossils in the Sierra de Sevil to beautiful Romanesque and Baroque structures, such as those in Alquézar, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

Here at the Hostería de Guara we will help you to organise your tour on your own or with a guide, in order to discover the most interesting and representative places. Most of these places are only accessible on foot, so we divide the visits according to geographical areas.

Follow the footprint of man in Guara from Prehistory enjoying the architectural rock beauty

The cave paintings of the Vero river are the most famous prehistoric artistic representations of the region, although there are many others.There is an Interpretation Centre for visitors where most guided tours to the rock shelters begin. This centre also offers workshops and activities for children. As far as prehistoric remains are concerned, the megalithic constructions of Ibirque, perfectly preserved, and the dolmen of Losa Mar, located near Otín and accessible from Rodellar, stand out in the north of the Sierra.

These are the shelters with cave paintings that we recommend you visit: For guided excursions, visit Arpán, Mallata and Barfaluy. For individual visits, you can go to the shelters of Chimiachas and Regacens.

We provide you with the agenda and timetables of the visits to the shelters and the activities of the Interpretation Centre.

The shelters of the Guara canyons were chosen by prehistoric man to portray his paintings on their walls more than 22,000 years ago. A real journey through time: from the Palaeolithic hunters to the Neolithic farmers and the Bronze Age inhabitants, everyone has left their mark here. This is why all of the classic styles of European prehistory can be found in Guara: Paleolithic Art, Levantine Art, and Iberian Schematic Art. The vertical walls of the canyon of the river Vero concentrate the largest number of representations in the region.

In 1998, UNESCO listed them as World Heritage sites. They form part of the European Cultural Route “Prehistoric Rock Art Trails”.

Hiking trails to visit the cave shelters:

Alquézar is undoubtedly another of the historical gems of Guara. It is only 15 km from our hotel Hostería de Guara, so it is ideal to spend a day enjoying its beauty and then return to the hotel to rest.

Alquézar: Historic Site

Between the deep walls of the Vero ravine, stands the collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor, and at its feet the labyrinthine medieval village of the monumental town of Alquézar, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1982 and one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain and in the World.

Rock, water, history, art and legend come together in Alquézar. These characteristics make it a surprising, unique and unexpected place. Walking through its streets leads us back in time.

In Alquézar we can relive the splendour of the 16th century and the Mudejar legacy.

Find out more about the village of Alquézar and prepare your visit.

The Sierra de Guara contains numerous examples of Gothic linear mural paintings, very rare in Spain and well worth a visit. In Guara we have 3 temples that house paintings from this period: San Miguel de Barluenga, San Miguel de Foces and San Fructuoso in Bierge, just a few metres from our hotel.

Mural paintings of San Fructuoso, in Bierge.

 In this part of the Natural Park where art and nature go hand in hand, it is essential to highlight the Romanesque hermitage of San Andrés de Nasarre, which we will find on our route through the abandoned villages of Otín and Nasarre starting from Rodellar.

Leaving the Natural Park and penetrating into the Somontano de Barbastro, we must mention several artistic representations from the Middle Ages to the 20th century:

Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, in Barbastro.
Sanctuary of Torreciudad.
Monument to the 20th century, in Abiego.

An important part of the historical heritage of the Sierra is its hydraulic engineering and architecture, once again showing the inheritance left by the different cultures that have passed through it.

Fountains, irrigation infrastructures, old bridges, wells and springs are elements that can be found throughout the territory, as a whole, witnesses of how man and water were part of this land.

During the last decades of the 20th century in the Sierra, these elements of the daily life of the inhabitants fell into disuse, and with it into oblivion, until some of them have been recovered after years of restoration.

Washing places, ice wells, irrigation wells, bridges, mills and dams, irrigation ditches, ponds… They all form part of the landscape and culture of the Sierra.

Continuing with the architectural representations on our path of discovery through the Sierra de Guara, special mention must be dedicated to the large number of cave hermitages distributed throughout the territory of the Natural Park. From the hermitages of San Cosme and La Fabana in Vadiello, to San Martin de Morrano, the Virgin of the Castle and San Martin de Lecina.

We can also find ruins of ancient watchtowers and castles such as Naya and Los Santos.

Another historical heritage that is also important in the Sierra is the unity that exists between religious and pagan beliefs that have been passed down for generations in our villages and that were mostly lost with the depopulation of the area. Nowadays, many of them have been recovered, such as the festivities of the Matacía in various villages, the night of the Animas, the small pilgrimages during Holy Week, the Crespillos (Candelera) festivities…

In Adahuesca there is an Interpretation Centre that collects legends and stories that our ancestors told.

In our blog we will try to increase information about the diversity of our historical patrimony.


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