Jaca is known as the "pearl of the Pyrenees". It is a cosmopolitan European city, and an important stop along the "Camino de Santiago", the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela.
In Jaca we must visit the "Ciudadela" (citadel), a great example of 16th-century military architecture, which was declared a National Monument. Construction work for the citadel began in 1591. The building has a pentagonal floor-plan of huge dimensions, and is built on a flat surface.
We find in Jaca many other remarkable buildings, such as the Romanesque cathedral (11th century), declared a National Monument; the monastery of the Benedictines; the church of Santiago; the hermitage of Sarsa; the bridge of San Miguel; the 15th-century Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower), and the City Hall.
Among the local holiday celebrations, we must mention the one that takes place on the first Friday of May. It commemorates a medieval battle, with activities like jousts, tournaments, and a beautiful flag-waving show, as well as ancient Aragonese sports like javelin.
The pilgrimage of Santa Orosia, famous all across Europe, takes place in Jaca on the 25th of June, and in Yebra de Basa on the 25th of July. During these pilgrimages, some of the most ancient dances in the Pyrenees are staged, to the sound of sacred and ancient instruments like a primitive flute with three holes, and the string psaltery.
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