Europe

We visited Caspe, the city of commitment

Today we are going on a trip to a place outside the main tourist agendas: Caspe. It is a city in Bajo Aragón where you can immerse yourself in its rich history and, in addition, practice nautical activities. Yes, you have understood correctly, in this interior region of almost desert landscape you can practice water sports in the so-called ‘Mar de Aragón’.

The Sea of ​​Aragon is a reservoir on the Ebro River that endows the city with a variability of tourist offer that leaves no one indifferent. Do you want to know more about this unique town?

Caspe, capital of Lower Aragon

Caspe is the capital of the Bajo Aragón region, in the province of Zaragoza. It is located in a strategic place in the Ebro valley. Due to its proximity to the mouth, it is one of the main outlets from Aragon to the Mediterranean.

Another advantage of Caspe’s location is its short distance (approximately 100 kilometres) from the Aragonese capital, Zaragoza, and the Catalan cities of Lleida, Reus and Tarragona. To this we must add the train line that connects it directly with Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza and Madrid.

A little history

The strategic location that Caspe currently occupies has meant that this space has been occupied for centuries. The researchers believe that different Iberian peoples populated the place between the 7th and 1st centuries BC. c. Later, it was part of the Roman Empire, of the Arabs and already in the year 1169 Alfonso II integrated it into the Crown of Aragon.

The Compromise or Sentence of Caspe of 1412

The Caspe Compromise of the year 1412 it was a sentence by which it was decided who should be the heir to the king of Aragon, Martin I the Human, who died without legitimate offspring. The large number of candidates claiming the right to the throne was brewing a succession war.

To avoid this situation, nine legal men, who represented the three main arms of the Kingdom: Aragon, Valencia and the Catalan Counties, met to elect the most legitimate candidate to occupy the throne. The chosen one was a Castilian infante from the House of Trastámaras, Fernando I of Aragón.

This fact is very important because through dialogue it was possible to avoid a war to occupy the throne. But it is also so because this election was decisive in the subsequent dynastic union between the Kingdom of Castile and that of Aragon, a union that would change the destiny of the Hispanic world and even of Europe.

What can we do in Caspe?

It is known that the interior of Aragon is a region with an extreme climate, with very cold winters and hot summers. Caspe’s climate is somewhat exceptional, since the swamp acts as a thermal regulator. This means that the city probably has the highest average annual temperature in Aragon.

Let us not think that in Caspe we will enjoy a temperate climate like on the Mediterranean coast. The north wind, frost and fog are common in the winter period and in summer it is not uncommon to reach 40 ºC. Even with this, Its climate is friendlier than in other Aragonese regions.

We visit the cultural artistic heritage of Caspe

As we indicated before, Caspe is a site that has been inhabited since time immemorial. The cave paintings of the Plano del Pulido Shelter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, and the Roman mausoleum of Miralpeix are examples of this.

The collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor del Pilar is one of the most impressive buildings in Caspe. It is located in the highest part of the urban area and was part of an acropolis organized by the Order of San Juan. This included the church, the castle and the convent. The collegiate church is an example of the purist Gothic style of Aragon, still influenced by the Cistercian style.

The proclamation mass of the decision of the Caspe Compromise was celebrated in this church. During the Civil War the altarpieces and two Gothic tombs were destroyed. The True Cross of Caspe, one of the most important relics of Christianity, managed to overcome the ravages of war and is still preserved in the building.

Other monuments that you can visit in Caspe are the hermitages of Santa Quiteria, Montserrat, Magdalena or Balma. If you are more interested in visiting civil court buildings, you can delight yourself with a visit to the Castle of Commitmentto the tower of Salamanca that houses the Museum of Heraldry or to the Plaza Mayor.

Let’s soak a little!

The main recreational activity that takes place in the Sea of ​​Aragon is fishing. The introduction of the catfish, an exogenous species and, therefore, without natural predator, has allowed these animals to live for many years and grow freely, becoming true river monsters.

The adrenaline produced by capturing these enormous specimens has led the Sea of ​​Aragon to become the venue for important national and international fishing championships. The catfish and the black bass are the most persecuted species, although there are also others such as the grim reaper, the pike or the European perch.

In the Sea of ​​Aragon not only fishing. In Caspe, a set of services related to sailing has been developed. For this, several piers and a jetty were built. As a good place where these water activities are practiced, you cannot miss a yacht club, the one in Caspe is El Dique.

The activities that you can practice here are many: windsurfingwater skiing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking or sailing. For this reason, if you don’t feel like going to the crowded Mediterranean beaches, but want to spend a fun day soaking, visiting Caspe can meet your expectations.

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