The small town of Jaca can be found in the Pyrenees mountains, Spain. It’s close to the French border. The city has some important historical buildings and is one of the stops along Camino de Santiago. Whether you plan to do a day trip or visit for a longer holiday, let’s see what are the top things to do in Jaca.
Due to its location, the town of Jaca has been an important fortification in the past. Strategically located between two rivers, it’s no surprise that one of the main attractions in Jaca is a medieval fortress. It is without a doubt a true off-the-beaten-path attraction, but if your itinerary allows for a visit there is plenty to see in Jaca.
Best Things to do in Jaca
1. Ciudadela de Jaca y Museo de Miniaturas Militares
One of the most important pieces of history in Jaca is in a form of a huge military fortress. It’s a pentagonal-shaped fortification, that you can enter through a drawbridge.
The inside of the Ciudadela de Jaca is very well preserved and renovated to show an impressive sight. You can walk around the courtyard and enjoy medieval architecture.
Museo de Miniaturas Militares is also located within the fortress. It’s a museum of military miniatures. This exhibition showcases the military history of Spain through well-built miniature displays.
When planning your visit you should also look through the event schedule. Throughout the year there are multiple interesting events organized by the Ciudadela de Jaca.
2. San Pedro Cathedral
You can find the San Pedro Cathedral just outside of the fortress. It’s a very important religious sight. The Cathedral is a perfect example of the early Romanesque building style. It’s among the oldest Romanesque cathedrals on the whole Iberian Peninsula.
Although the Romanesque style doesn’t allow for too much decoration from the outside, once you step into the Cathedral, you will be blown away. It’s full of beautiful statues. cravings and paintings.
3. Museo Diocesano de Jaca
Right next to the cathedral, you will be able to visit the Diocesan Museum of Jaca. It houses many important religious relics. The small museum is well set up, to showcase the different artwork and sculptures from this region of Spain.
4. Explore the Old Town
You can start your exploration of the Old Town of Jaca from Plaza San Pedro. You can walk the small alleys and streets and check out the architecture around you. Being a mountain city, close to the border, it will show more varied styles in buildings than your usual coastal village.
As things to do in Jaca, you need to seek out the Torre del Reloj inside the Old Town. It’s a medieval tower, that has survived through time. Today it stands proud on Plaza de la Cadena. Even better, Plaza de la Cadena is also the cultural hub of the city. Around it, you will find restaurants and bars, where you can spend some quality time.
5. Monasterio viejo San Juan de la Peña
When you are traveling in the region of Jaca, you can visit Monasterio viejo San Juan de la Peña . You have to drive here, but it’s one of the most amazing things to do in Jaca.
This is a Monastery, that’s half-craved into the cliff wall. A very unique sight and attraction. In the medieval ages, this was amongst the most important religious sights in Aragon.
Today, you can visit the Monasterio Viejo San Juan de la Pena to marvel at the amazing construction. An attraction that will inspire you to take many pictures.
Cute Spanish Mountain Town
As you can see, Jaca serves as an important monument of the past. It’s a city where both military and religious history is present. You can visit this town as a day trip and explore the small streets and medieval buildings. Or, you can do a weekend getaway, and explore the whole area around the town to have a chill, laid-back holiday.
Featured image by Flickr user juanedc