Goya and Aragón

Aragon, an autonomous region of the kingdom of Spain, has an extension of 48.000 km2 and a population of 1.200.000 inhabitants. Its autonomous government, the Diputación General de Aragon, and its parliament, the Cortes de Aragon, are located the historical city of Zaragoza (600.000 inhabitants), where the university and the temple of El Pilar also settle.

The territory of Aragon was historically populated by Basques, Iberians and Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Berbers. Aragon appeared in the 8th century as a county, forming part of the Carlovingian kingdom, but enjoying in fact an ample autonomy.

The Kingdom of Aragon was born in the year 1035. The kings of Aragon were, throughout the successive centuries, Counts of Barcelona, Kings of Majorca, of Valencia, of Naples and Sicily, of Corsica, of Sardinia, Marquesses of Provence and the Rosellon, Lords of Montpellier and, even, Dukes of Athens. They had the honorific title of Kings of Jerusalem and headed the extraordinary and singular political unit that is known as the Crown of Aragon. With the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabelle I of Castile, the Catholic Kings, all the states of the Crown of Aragon and those of the Crown of Castile and Leon, including the thereafter discovered territories of America, were united under the government of a single dynasty.

Its varied geography, whose center is crossed by the river Ebro, has been the cradle of illustrious personages like Martial, Saint Vicent, Avempace, Fernando el Católico, Miguel Servet, Gaspar Sanz, Balthasar Gracián, San José de Calasanz, Francisco de Goya, Santiago Ramon and Cajal, Luis Buñuel, Ramon J. Sender... These powerful and universal personalities of the Culture, the Literature, the Arts, the Music, the Sciences or the Politics are the best embassy of Aragon before the world.

By Guillermo Fatás

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