Jaca, the most important municipal center in Alto Aragón, is anything but sleepy. Bursting with ambition and endowed with the natural resources, jacetanos are determined to make their city the site of a Winter Olympics someday. Founded in 1035 as the kingdom of Jacetania, Jaca was an important stronghold during the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula and proudly claims never to have bowed to the Moorish invaders. Indeed, on the first Friday of May the town still commemorates the decisive battle in which the appearance of a battalion of women, their hair and jewelry flashing in the sun, so intimidated the Moorish cavalry that they beat a headlong retreat. Avoid the industrial looking outskirts and head straight to the atmospheric casco antiguo (old town) where there's a splendid 11th-century cathedral and fortress, and where bustling eateries abound.
FODOR'S GO LIST 2016
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