Vue aérienne de la citadelle de Jaca. Source : © Juan Carlos Gil - License Creative Commons - Libre de droit
Jaca is at the heart of the Pyrenees, on the Way of Saint James in Aragon.
It is protected from above by Coll des Ladrones and Tourelle des Fusiliers Forts. It shows that Vauban's military methods for defending positions had spread far and wide. The Spanish citadel at Jaca is a pentagonal construction with defensive ramparts at each corner linked by a wall walk. Felipe II (Philip II) ordered its construction in a suburb of Jaca in the 17th century, fearing an invasion by French heretics.
Building commenced in 1595, using plans drawn by Tiburcio Spanoqui, and was completed in the 18th century. The inside of the citadel is accessed via a mannerism-style gate featuring the shield of the Austrians. Jaca Citadel and its counterpart in Liège, Belgium, are the only fully preserved pentagonal-type citadels still standing.
It was declared an artistic monument in 1951 and restored in 1968. It was also awarded the European prize.
Its exterior protection system is built around a ditch. The Cour d'Armes is formed of a double arch, and alternate pointed arches and basket-handle arches supported by pillars with stone bases and brick tops.
The 17th-century church is dedicated to San Pedro, with a notable baroque gate and wall paintings by Topete.
Aragon Valley Tourism Association
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