The river of Aragon. The valley of Aragon. Suddenly, the landscape widens so that the traveler can contemplate the gigantic snowfalls of the Collarada and La Espata. Down below, the water laughs like a crystal, a song, a mirror.
Villanúa extends itself on the plains, under the mountains crowned with white. Life – with more than two thousand in the summer and three hundred in the winter – develops on the plain; however, within man there is always that irresistible temptation of climbing the mountain. The illusion of the peaks travels with each life.
Huesca runs from this point until its encounter with France. The region was born within the Pyrenees’ canyons. The footprint of our first inhabitants – the Argonese – has been sealed in time.
Villanúa has given itself an appointment at the 330th kilometer of the highway that goes from Madrid to France, half way through between Jaca and Candanchú – 14 kilometers in one or in another direction – and at 103 from the capital of the province.
I remember the words of Ramón J. Sender, when he would speak about Villanúa. From the summit of Collarada, the writer could see the Atlantic. Or at least he thought he could see it. It would be better to say that he sensed it and dreamt it. The mirage of the snow would open unexpected routes that led towards the blue ocean. Sender continues to dream about his summers in Villanúa and his Atlantic visions.
As a child, he used to spy on Ramón and Cajal, who would also spend summers in Villanúa. Since then, the “Fountain of Paco” started to become famous. The locals would say that those sulfurous waters of the fountain would cure bad intentions. Cajal would laugh at those ingenuous affirmations, however, when he thought he was not being watched, he would go near the fountain, take out a small tin cup from his pocket, and would drink and drink and drink.
The landscape was always appealing at any time of the year. Along the highway, where the hotels and hostels are located, the different housing estates would surge. The actual town is located on the other side of the river, where the grey rock, almost black, gives shape to the condominiums.
Tourism implies some limitations. The weather and the landscape are assured attractions. And then, there are also winter sports, hunting and fishing.
- How does Villanúa develop if its population alters from three hundred to two thousand people?
- Naturally, since the services have been already foreseen for that type of increase in the population, which is expected every year.
Moreover, there are also those visitors that just pass by and make little stops along the way; the excursionists. - I think – says the mayor – that we are just starting. Possibilities are immeasurable.
Among touristic resources, without being exploited, in their own right, are the famous caves of "Rebejo" and "Esjamundo". The second one has a height of two kilometers in longitude, and was named after those who discovered it and the place it is located.
- It was discovered by Esteban and Javier, and the place is known as “Mundo”.
The “Esjamundo” caves are like miracles of nature. According to many, they are inferior to the “Drach” caves of Mallorca. They are two kilometers of stalactite and stalagmite, with surprising corners, streets and squares, lakes and streams.
Alfonso Zapater. Esta tierra nuestra I.
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999 Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL