Its pre-Roman Iberian name was Bolskan, the capital of the Ilergetes, in the north of Hispania Tarraconensis, on the road from Tarraco (modern Tarragona) and Ilerda (modern Lleida) to Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza) (Itin. Ant. pp. 391, 451), and under the jurisdiction of the last-named city. Pliny alone (iii. 3. s. 4) places the Oscenses in Vescitania, a district mentioned nowhere else . The city's name was rendered as Osca, and was a Roman colony, Urbs Victrix Osca, during the Roman Empire. Under the impetus of Quintus Sertorius, the renegade Roman and Iberian hero who made Osca his base, the city minted its own coinage and was the site of a prestigious school founded by Sertorius to educate young Iberians in Latin and Romanitas in general. We learn from Plutarch (Sert. c. 14) that it was a large town, and the place where Sertorius died. It is probably the town called Ileoscan (Ἰλεόσκαν) by Strabo, in an apparently corrupt passage (iii. p. 161; v. Ukert, vol. ii. pt. 1. p. 451.) It seems to have possessed silver mines (Livy xxxiv. 10, 46, xl. 43), unless the argentum Oscense here mentioned merely refers to the minted silver of the town. Florez, however (Med. ii. 520), has pointed out the impossibility of one place supplying such vast quantities of minted silver as we find recorded in ancient writers under the terms argentum Oscense, signatum Oscense; and is of the opinion that "Oscense" in these phrases means "Spanish", being a corruption of "Eus-cara". (Cf. Caes. B.C. i. 60; Vell. Pat. ii. 30; "Euskara", Basque for the Basque language.)
The fully Romanised city, with its forum in the Cathedral square, was made a municipium by decree of Augustus in 30 BCE. It was renamed Wasqah during the period of Arab domination, when the fortified city was a stronghold defending the frontier against the Christian counts and local kings of the Pyrenees. In 1094 Sancho Ramirez built the nearby Montearagon castle with the intention of laying siege to Wasqah; here he met his death by a stray arrow as he was reconnoitring the city's walls. It was conquered in 1096 by Peter I of Aragon.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) the "Huesca Front" was the scene of some of the worst fighting between the Republicans and Franco's army. The city was besieged by the Republicans, George Orwell among them (see below) but never fell.
Huesca celebrates its most important annual festival in August: the festival (or fiesta) of San Lorenzo (Lawrence), a native of Huesca martyred in 268 AD. The anniversary of his martyrdom falls on August 10. The fiesta starts on the 9th and finishes on the 15th. Many of the inhabitants dress in green and white for the duration of the fiesta.
San Lorenzo, born in Huesca, was bishop of Rome and martyred by the Romans, burned on a grille (at least according to legend). Hence the grille is the symbol of San Lorenzo. It can be seen in a number of decorative works in the city.
Huesca is also the birthplace of film director Carlos Saura and his brother Antonio Saura, contemporary artist. There is an international film festival held annually.
The writer Oscar Sipan, winner of several literary prizes, was born in Huesca in 1974. The celebrated illustrator Isidro Ferrer, though born in Madrid, lives in the city.
Huesca possesses many churches.
Orwell never did: but the Indian writer Shashi Tharoor fulfilled his wish, on his behalf, in 1980, and has written about the experience ().
Huesca is also famous for the legend of the Bell of Huesca.
ANÁLISIS DE LA ESTRUCTURA Y COORDINACIÓN RELACIONAL ENTRE STAKEHOLDERS DEL CLUSTER DE FRUTAS DULCES EN LA REGIÓN LLEIDA-HUESCA, ESPAÑA1
Jan 01, 2010; RESUMEN La Región Frutícola de Lleida-Huesca es la principal zona de producción de frutas dulces de España (manzana, pera,...
Blasisaurus canudoi gen. et sp. nov., a new lambeosaurine dinosaur (Hadrosauridae) from the Latest Cretaceous of Aren (Huesca, Spain).(Report)
Dec 02, 2011; Introduction The hadrosaurids were very successful herbivorous dinosaurs during the closing stages of the Cretaceous (Horner et...
From Huesca to Rangers, Novo loving life in Scotland; Spanish striker doesn't intend on saying 'Adios' any time soon
Dec 04, 2004; WITH the future of Jean-Alain Boumsong being debated as often as the Frenchman is scouted, Alex McLeish will have been heartened...