Aragon, is a land of contrasts, of melancholic villages anchored to the edge of a medieval tradition, where Muslims and Christians, even resolving their differences by the force of the sword, left remarkable wonders for enjoyment and enjoyment of a posterity, which not always knew Appreciate them in all their value.
The region known as the Five Villas, is a privileged area, which stands out, mainly, for the media beauty of its villages, almost all of them retaining a good part of its old medieval aspect and, above all, for art lovers in general, and Romanesque style in particular, to maintain, more or less in an acceptable state, some temples, whose sculpture still has many things to tell.
Leaving for the better occasion another of the riches of this noble Aragonese land, such as the rich and varied cuisine, one could say of a population like Uncastillo, which does not matter, at all, the cardinal point where the traveler begins his visit: whether from the north, from the south, from the east or from the west, you will always have at your disposal the objective of your camera, such a splendid panorama, that you cannot help thinking that it is part of a wonderful postcard.
As a reference, before introducing ourselves to the media admiration of that Romanesque art that gives it fame, and so that you have an approximate idea of its privileged situation, we will say that the Five Villas border with Huesca and Navarra, so that it has not to be surprised if in the historical-artistic legacy of Uncastillo, we meet again with the famous jaqués or original crismons, a priori, from Jaca or with the wonderful sculptures of the so-called Master of Agüero or San Juan de la Peña.
Of the importance of Uncastillo in medieval times, they give testimony, not only the canvasses defeated by time and a thousand and one avatars of the castle that rose proudly over a cliff, watching over the population and its surroundings like an eagle that peers at the horizon, but also, the number of churches that he had, both inside and outside its walls, six, not counting the small hermitages that were located around him as a stellar map, metaphorically speaking, displayed on the earth.
Of the Romanesque churches, all of them belonging to those distant and not well clarified twelfth and thirteenth centuries, deserve special attention, for their constitution and importance, those of Santa Maria, the main one of all and in fact, the one that most sculptural and mystical wealth deploys, that of San Juan and that of San Felices.
The church of Santa María, is located a little above the general road, not far from where an indicator sign, indicates 60 kilometers from the town of Ayerbe, Huesca - where it is assumed that the church of San Miguel, from which barely surviving its tower today, it was one of the churches that the Knights Templar had in the area-, 13 kilometers from Luesia and 15 kilometers from Sádaba, of which it is remarkable, above all, its spectacular castle, which also, as It was customary, perhaps taking advantage of the models of the Celtic castros and the ancient Roman watchtowers, rises above a population subject to its side.
Apart from the beauty of its tower, the apse and the magnificent thematic idiosyncrasy of its many and varied capitals, the most outstanding part of the church of Santa María is, without a doubt, the main door, located on the south side of the ship.
A cover, mysterious and fun at the same time, where the familiar hand of stonemason teachers, such as Agüero's aforementioned, speculates on different aspects of life and beliefs of the time, where there is no lack of known references to the apostles, located as statues-atlantes on both sides of the porch and support points to the archivolts, with courtly scenes, not alien to eroticism and the most shameless mischief.
Being the main one and the one that still keeps the cult active, inside it there are some sacred objects belonging to the rest of the city's temples, where the presence of several Marian carvings, of excellent stroke and remarkable state of conservation.
Worth seeing, something more embedded among the narrow streets of Uncastillo, the temple dedicated to the figure of San Felices, not only remembers in his main eardrum the supposed martyrdom of the saint, who remembers, comparatively speaking, those others dedicated to saints of similar features, such as San Pelayo, located in the Burgos Merindades.
Following up the street from the church of San Felices, and also located on a high, looking towards the collapsed canvases of the castle, there is a curious temple, attributed, according to some sources, to the Knights Templar, which is that of San Juan.
This temple, dedicated more or less than a museum today, has, next to its apse, place from which you have an extraordinary panoramic view of the entire town, an extraordinary cemetery, whose tombs, anthropomorphic, are directly carved on the extreme hardness of the rock where it sits.
One of the characteristics that most attracts attention is the great proliferation of stonework marks, on whose origin and meaning, historians have not yet agreed, since while for some they would constitute a signal that determined the ashlars placed by each quarry in order to perceive their corresponding wage, for others they would be personal signatures, or even, going even further, symbolic reviews that would represent messages for the initiated and that would determine information such as directions to follow, safe places to inhabit or dangers, which would indicate some possible heterodox beliefs, whose danger was in exposing openly.
The houses, still maintain that iron unity characteristic of a few times, the medieval ones, where any space was usable, and sometimes, walking through the narrow streets, you have the uncertain feeling that it is almost impossible to guess where one house ends and another begins.
Like so many villages, not only Aragonese but also Castilian, clay is the most remarkable material, although, a careful look at the rooftops of Uncastillo, makes see any curious who long ago lost their original blood color, on the other, worn for the hard days in the sun, which, however, gives them a remarkable mimetic appearance with the characteristics of the land where it sits.
In short, a visit to Uncastillo will not only leave a pleasant taste in the traveler's mouth, but it will also leave you in your mood, the certain feeling of having made a trip through time and having walked through streets full of echoes , stories, events and characters who still remember with attachment, their ancient medieval roots.
And if the visit is prolonged, it is recommended to see the sunset from the height where the Romanesque church of San Juan sits: for sure, they will have a memory they will never forget.
NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property.