Huerta de Vero
Huerta lies to the north of the Somontano region, in an area of such historical richness that it is considered by many to be an open air museum; the River Vero Natural Park. It is also within easy reach of the Sierra de Guara National Park.
Vegetable plots dotted with small houses are carefully tended by gardeners while the riverbanks hide vestiges of old mills and ancient bridges; just a few abandoned stones in some cases. The fountain highlights man’s intelligent use of water over the centuries.
Climbing up the hillside of San Pedro, the town of Huerta is a lush fertile place on the banks of the River Vero. Along the same riverside the scant remains of old mills and bridges lie sleeping.
The stone houses reflect the past lives of their inhabitants. They are simple functional buildings, perfectly adapted to the surroundings, to tradition and to the necessities of their builders. They have beautiful exteriors, some decorated with geometric signs, and others with pleasant paved patios. The solar symbols and four-petal roses sculpted on the keystones of the old doorways of the houses hide messages that have been lost in time.
Steep slopes and intimate streets dating from different eras, lead to the church. This Romanesque building was replaced in the 18th century with a completely restored model, rebuilt in the popular baroque style.
Night time bonfires accompany the fiestas of San Fabián and San Sebastián on the 20th of January. On the 15th of May, Huerta honours San Isidro with the preparation of a huge pot of beans. The pilgrimage to Santa María de Dulcis also takes place in May. The cycle of fiestas finishes with the annual festival in honour of the Virgin Mary in August. On All Souls Night Huerta maintains the tradition of scooping out pumpkins and placing candles inside – similar to Halloween jack-o-lanterns.
Hoz de Barbastro
The municipal council of Hoz-Costean is made up of Montesa, Hoz de Barbastro, Salinas de Hoz, Costean and Guardia (uninhabited) all of which are located in the environs of the mountains known as the Sierra de Salinas.
The almost exclusive use of rough stone gives an urban landscape of pink tones and rough textures, in which the buildings are grouped into two well-defined areas. Many houses display beautiful ironwork, such as doorknockers in curious animal shapes.
Built in honour of Mary Magdalene, the parish church was constructed in the 17th century on the remains of a medieval castle. In its architectural design, different styles merge such as: Gothic (the ribbed vaults); Renaissance (cupola with cross); and Mudejar (gypsum decoration on the arches).
Hoz de Barbastro holds its local fiestas on the 22nd of July in honour of Santa Maria Magdalena.
The small village of Permisán belongs to the municipal council of Ilche and is located on an agricultural plain to the south of Somontano.
Its most noticeable features are the fortified palace and the Los Angeles parish church, both of which date to the 16th century.
The palace is made up of two sections. The huge quadrangular block made of ashlars (measuring 20 x 14 metres) was used as a house. The square tower (sides each measuring 6 metres) rises at one of the corners and has a defensive air. The tower highlighted the elevation of the building and so a gallery of brick arches was added to the main section to reflect the height of the tower. The walls have large openings where artillery was once stored.
The simple church building with its single nave is attached to the palace and was built at the same time.
Castejón del Puente
The village of Castejón del Puente sits on the right hand bank of the River Cinca. Although historically linked to the neighbouring region of Cinca Medio, it currently stands well within the Somontano boundaries.
Since Roman times, the village has been an important communication point between Levante and Cantabria. Because of this, history has left its mark as can be seen in the parish church, chapel, trenches, waterwheel and remains of an old bridge.
Castejón del Puente also boasts two areas listed in the national inventory of Places of Community Interest in relation to biodiversity of natural areas within the Natura 2000 Network. The Soto del Rio Cinca (riverside thickets) and the Cantiles de Yesos (cliffs) are home to a number of unusual species such as the otter, the Egyptian Vulture and the Freshwater Blenny. As well as the many aquatic species, herons and well fed white storks are just a small example of the rich and varied bird life of the area.
Holm oak forests, sparse slopes with typical steppe vegetation, fertile vegetable plots, thickets and meanders make up the varied landscape enjoyed by the residents of Castejón, with fishing (trout, barco, eel) and hunting (wild boar, quail, partridge, and rabbit) both being popular.