Bagüés

PROTECTOR OF ITS WALL PAINTINGS

Bagüés is located next to the provincial limit of Huesca, 160 kilometres from Zaragoza, between Berdún Channel and Pintano Valley, in a mountain area, a unique location surrounded by wild landscapes.

When reaching the historical centre of this beautiful town of Cinco Villas, one immediately notices that the architecture of its houses are in harmony with its location, at the foothills of the Mountain of San Juan de la Peña, where the climate is cold and, for that reason, the houses are “sheltered “with ashlars stones and slabs on their roofs, crowned by strange chimneys protected by a round roof so that the snow cannot get in.

Among the farmhouses, some manor houses show the noble past of this village –which was named after its former owner- to stand out. Today, Bagüés is the smallest village of the region, with only 37 inhabitants, who enjoy the beauty of its two chapels: the Virgin of La Paruela and the Virgen Del Pilar.

But if there is anything Bagües can brag about, it is its role as the guardian of one of the most singular pictorial collections in Aragon: the Romanesque mural paintings that covered the apse and the naves of the church of San Julián and Santa Basilisa, a Romanesque-style temple with Lombard influence. Today, these paintings occupy a place of honour in the Diocesan Museum of Jaca.

These paintings are, according to the historian María Pilar Giménez Aísa, the oldest set of Romanesque paintings preserved in Europe.

These paintings covered almost the entire church wall surface, showing the sequence of the narrative of the biblical episodes which goes from the creation of Adam, until the birth of Christ, ending with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the Lord in the area of the altar. Their bright colours and the tracing of their faces and their expressiveness, is unexpected for the time they were painted which makes this set a world reference for art scholars. Bagüés is therefore very proud to have zealously kept and protected them for years.

 

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