RASAL IS A VILLAGE IN THE PROVINCE OF HUESCA, JUST 40 KILOMETERS AWAY, AND LOCATED 711 METERS ABOVE SEA LEVEL, BETWEEN THE SIERRA DE JAVIERRE AND CABELLERA, IN THE BEAUTIFUL VALLE DEL GARONA, THROUGH WHICH THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER OF THE RIVER FLOWS THAT TAKES ITS NAME FROM THE SAME VALLEY, OR VICE VERSA. YES, GARONA, LIKE THE GREAT FRENCH RIVER WHICH IS BORN SPANISH, THERE IS IN THE VALLEY OF ARAN (LLEIDA). MAYBE IT IS NOT CASUALITY, BECAUSE RASAL'S LOCALS ARE NAMED “GABACHOS”.
The Garonne's valley runs longitudinally from the town of Arguis, where it begins, to the Gallego river, passing through La Peña - Estación, just at the beginning of the Pantano de la Peña.
In front of Rasal, on its South side, the Pusilibro peak rises majestically in the Sierra de Loarre, with a height of almost 1,600 meters, border with the plain of Huesca and beginning of the Pre-Pyrenees.
In respect of the constructions that the man has raised, still many typical houses with their stone facades are still conserved, as well as some monumental chimneys typical of the zone made in stone.
Its parish church, dedicated to San Vicente Mártir, is a work of the XVIII century and contains the Romanesque carving of the Black Virgin, belonging to the XII century, that was rescued from the Virgen de los Ríos hermitage, which has popular typology style. A church that looks like a museum, it really would not be said considering its exterior, which after passing its doors, the visitor will be able to discover.
Also we find the San Juan Bautista Hermitage, of the Moorish or serrablesa influence, XI century work, which a short time ago they changed the roof, as it was in very bad condition, as well as being declared Artistic Heritage. Hopefully the interior will be restored now, which also needed and what has already been discovered, certainly will bring more than one surprise. Next to the chapel there's a medieval necropolis that conserves its walls.
Also there's another hermitage called Ermita de la Trinidad, at the foot of the river Garonne, with a recreation area including a spring, that supplies a beautiful fountain of four pipes with a lion's head, on which we can read the year of its construction: 1926. Fresh and continuous water all year round, except for occasional dries for a few hours, to which the tradition of the inhabitants of Rasal attribute to a possible change of time: “Soon it will rain or there will be drought in several days”.
Another Rasal hermitage is the Ermita de la Virgen de los Ríos, located in the Barranco Os Means, at present in very bad state of conservation because the roof sank, falling inside the same hermitage. What a pity!
Around this hermitage, besides another spring that supplies water to the townhouses, we find the “covachas” aka shelters like: La Reina Mora, Cueva del Moro and Balcón de la Reina.
The Reina Mora caves are small shelters to the left and right of the ravine called Os Means.
Forato del Moro is located next to the Hermitage of the Virgen de los Ríos,and is a small artificial cave excavated in soft material, coarse, plugged by stones. Its architecture is similar to the stone fungus or Tramaced's sandstones; a short bend corridor and a final circular chamber of about 3 meters in diameter.
Outside the Forato del Moro, and aligned about 10 meters to the left, you see two small hollows, one of them is called Balcón de la Reina.
Rasal, like any other town, also enjoys its festivals. The festivals of Rasal have always been celebrated for the Virgin Mary in August 15, but in recent years, to coincide with several villages around, date has been changed to the previous weekend. Several events are celebrated, such as the Guiñote (card game) championship, Children's Games, Chocolatada (drinking chocolate) and popular dances.
The nights of the festive weekend take place with orchestra music, in one of the squares of the town, where the neighbors gather to dance until the wee hours of the morning.
On August 14 there is a popular dinner for the whole town, with dancing included. On the morning of the 15th, the mass is celebrated, and on the 16th the neighbors approach the Trinity's hermitage, with their baskets of food, where they spend the morning in communion with nature.
Rasal's environment shows us its oldest side in the vicinity of the municipality, where it is possible to find marine fossils that transports us to a time when the area was part of the ocean.
For the more daring, we recommend Barranco de Moliniello, where you can practice rappel without the agglomerations of Sierra de Guara. For the hikers we also have two PRs (small footpaths) which, starting from Rasal, will take us to Loarre o a Aniés, just on the other side of the mountain range, on footpaths that are rarely used today.
The typical Flora and Fauna of the area is composed by oaks and holm oaks, also Pines. Shrubs like Tojo and Boj, and endless aromatic plants like Thyme, Savory, Lavender, Tea, Oregano, etc. The Boar, the Fox, the Griffon Vulture, Tawny Owl, Kites, among others, are the animals that we will often cross walking along these lands.
A curiosity that I found searching for information about Rasal's name was his “possible” relationship with the surname Rosa, which has Andalusian origin that first led the Knight Don Tomas de Resa, and may also be called in other ways like Rosa, Resa, Rasa or Rasal, with this information in several ancient documents. I also found a possible relationship, not very distant from the previous one, to discover that Ras-al is an Arabic word, whose meaning is “The Head”.
Rasal, nestled in a magical area that some people see and others feel, conveys tranquility and calm to its visitors. A place to finding yourself again. Getting lost in its paths, its forests or its springs is simply recommended.
WE ARE WAITING FOR YOU!