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Jaca

Jaca

Jaca, town (1990 pop. 10,874), Huesca prov., NE Spain, in Aragón, in the Pyrenees (alt. c.2,700 ft/820 m), near the French border on the Aragón River. A communications center and an episcopal see, it is a processing center for lumber and for the farm products of the fertile Aragón valley. After its recapture from the Moors it was (11th cent.) the cradle of the Aragonese kingdom. Huesca, taken in 1097, replaced it as the capital. Jaca has ancient walls and towers and a Romanesque cathedral (11th-15th cent.).
Jaca (Chaca in Aragonese) is a city of northeastern Spain near the border with France, in the midst of the Pyrenees in the province of Huesca. Jaca, a ford on the Aragón River at the crossing of two great early medieval routes, one from Pau to Zaragoza, was the fortified city out of which the County and Kingdom of Aragon developed: Jaca was the capital of Aragon until 1097 and also served as capital of Jacetania.

Jaca had, in 2004, 12,322 residents and is a premier tourist destination in the region for summer holidays and winter sport. Jaca was the host city of the 1981 and 1995 Winter Universiades. Its popularity for winter sports has been a motivating factor in the city's failed bids for the 1998 Winter Olympics,2002 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics. It was again the applicant city of Spain for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but the bid failed again when it was not selected as a candidate city.

Jaca, an episcopal see in the Roman Catholic Church since 1063 , is home to medieval walls and towers surrounding an 11th century Romanesque cathedral.

The origins of the city are obscure, but its name apparently reflects the Iaccetani, mentioned by Strabo as one of the most celebrated of the numerous small tribes inhabiting the basin of the Ebro. Strabo adds that their territory was the scene of the wars in the 1st century B.C.E between Sertorius and Pompey. The Moorish writers mention Dyaka as one of the chief places in the province of Sarkosta (Zaragoza). When it was reconquered is unknown. Ramiro I of Aragon (1035 - 1063), gave it the title of " city," and in 1063 held within its walls a council, in which, the people were called in to sanction its decrees: an early milestone in the parliamentary traditions in the Pyrenees.

The mutiny of the garrison at Jaca, demanding the abolition of monarchy and a democratic republic, December 12–13, 1930, was suppressed with some difficulty. It was an early event that prestaged the Spanish Civil War.

The Diocesan Museum of Jaca (Museum of Medieval Sacred Art) protects Romanesque and Gothic frescoes from some of the most remote locations in the district of Jaca, unsuspected until the first one was discovered in the Church of Urriés, in 1962, where it had been hidden and protected by the painted and gilded retable, or altarpiece.

The Jaca citadel is home to a colony of Rock Sparrows.

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