Ansó is a village, a municipality and a valley which borders France in the Aragon Pyrenees. A peculiar location that has made it be at the heart of many conflicts.
By the times of Jaime the Conqueror, the village was already a vigilant border. Shortly after, in 1375, the people from Ansó had to mediate in a dispute between the French of Baretous and the Navarrese of the Roncal over a matter of boundaries and pastures. It was all fixed by arranging the so-call Tribute of the three cows. This is a ceremony that has been repeated every year since, on July 13, and it is considered the oldest existing treaty in Europe. Quite incredible!
The mountains and valleys of this area, so green, have always been used to grazing animals. And there is still amazing landscapes, beech forests and even some Pyrenean bears. But also, in the village of Ansó, they constructed an architectural ensemble with stone, tile, work and time, which today is marvellously conserved and hides many corners of great charm.
There we have, for example, the Church of San Pedro. A temple of impressive dimensions, and a particular defensive aspect that you probably didn’t expect to find in a town like this. It was erected in times of Felipe II in the place where there had already been an old church. Inside there is an organ which was manufactured on the other side of the Pyrenees, and back in the eighteenth century crossed the mountains dismantled into individual parts.
It is possible that strolling through Ansó, the beautiful chimneys catch your attention, and also, almost certainly, the narrow corridors that without exceeding half a meter, separate some houses from others. They are called arteas and are one of the features of this really peculiar place. So much so, that it even conserves one of the most striking traditional dresses in all of Spain, the Ansotano Costume, to which a festival is dedicated on the last Sunday of each August.
Do not leave without seeing the Casa Morené, it is a perfect example of a Pyrenean house, or without visiting the defensive tower in which, according to the legend, a queen was locked up: Blanca II of Navarre. Or at least that’s what some people say, as there is no reference to it in the queen’s biography. In any case, as we are not usually very meticulous when it comes to legends, we tell you about it. To believe it or not, it is up to you.