Aragon has served since time immemorial as a bridge between inland Spain, the Mediterranean civilization and the Atlantic world, that is, as a “a land of passage” or crossroad. The most diverse peoples have coexisted in its territory, from Basques, Iberians and Celts, to Romans, Goths, Arabs and Berbers. Already in medieval and modern times, it received a large number of immigrants from what nowadays are the Basque Country, Navarre and the South of France.
Aragon emerged as a political entity in the Middle Ages, in the midst of the political upheavals unleashed by the Islamic invasion of 711. It takes its name from one of the small Pyrenean rivers that drain into the Gallego river, one of the mightiest tributaries of the Ebro river.
In the valley of the Aragon river, a group of Christians who refused to submit to the new Muslim conquerors took refuge. There they reorganized, together with the local population, under the leadership of the Carolingian emperors. They founded churches, monasteries and fortifications, and waged a slow war of reconquest against Al-Andalus. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Aragonese counts, taking advantage of the confusion in which the Carolingian Empire had descended, gradually gained autonomy until they found an independent Kingdom, under the protection and complicity of the Papacy.
For their part, the Muslims founded a prosperous region around Zaragoza, characterized by its small cities, its fertile irrigation and its active artisan and commercial life. During the 10th century, with the weakening of the caliphal central power, they also managed to form an independent kingdom, the Kingdom of Zaragoza.
Over time, the mountain Christians came to take control of the Muslim Kingdom of Zaragoza. From then on, the Kingdom of Aragon, extraordinarily reinforced, performed for many years, and despite its small population, an important place in the history of Spain and Europe.
In the following pages dedicated to the History of Aragon you can find information on the following topics:
|InfoGoya 96 is an initiative of the University of Zaragoza, sponsored by the Institution Fernando el Católico of the Deputation of Zaragoza and other institutions.