Ruta Sierreta de Arbe – Bárcabo


1- Bárcabo
2- Campo Royo
3- Chapel of San Benito
4- Olson
5 Hospitaled Castle
6- Hospitaled
7- Bárcabo

1- This route begins in Bárcabo and visits one of the most forgotten places in Sierra de Guara and surrounds. We can leave our vehicle on the roadside in any of the many lay-bys to be found in the vicinity of the village.
2- A track branches off from the Lecina-Almazorre road when we reach the first houses. We take this track until we reach the top of the hill (direction Suelves).
3- A short way down on the left we will see the entrance to a poorly marked trail, which will later turn into a path. We follow this (keeping to the top of the hillside) and pass by Peñarubia shortly before reaching the chapel of San Benito.
4- This chapel is reached by several paths, but we will have to retrace our steps a little and take the trail in the direction of Olsón. This trail starts on the north and more abrupt side of the hill, on the right.
We will continue on along this trail without turning off anywhere. It is very easy to see and furthermore we will always have a view of the village of Olsón as a reference..
5- When we reach Olsón, we cross the village and when we come to the last house on the other side, we take a trail that goes off to our left. We will not take any notice of any of the intersections, staying on the main one, which is the most visible. When we reach Eripol (a village we will see up on our right) we will see the ruins of Hospitaled Castle on the left-hand side on top of a small outcrop.
6- After visiting the castle ruins, we continue along the trail, which will take us to Hospitaled.
7- On the other side of the trail we have just walked along, going in the same direction, there is another trail leading to Bárcabo. This is the last leg of our walk.

History and culture

The Sierra de Arbe marks the geographical divide between the regions of Somontano and Sobrarbe. The name Sorbrarbe may come from “sobre el monte Arbe” (on Mount Arbe) and likewise the former name of the Somontano de Barbastro district (Somontano de Sobrarbe).
The views of the two regions are really spectacular from the chapel of San Benito, located on one of the highest spots in the area. Equally stunning is the view of the southern slope of the Pyrenees.
The village of Bárcabo is home to many ancient family seats, along with its 12th-century Romanesque church, which was restored in the Baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The chimneys are curious with their protective talismans at the top to ward off superstitions.
Another village that attracts attention is Olsón. Its church of Santa Eulalia is considered to be the cathedral of the Sobrarbe. It dates back to the 16th century and has a Renaissance-style portico and altarpiece. There is a stone tablet on the corner next to the cemetery, where we can read the initial date of its construction, with the date of its completion appearing on the lock to the door.
Between Olsón and Hospitaled is Espluguiello castle. These are ruins of an ancient 11th-century castle that formed part of the line of defence between the Christian kingdom of Sobrarbe and the Muslim dominion of Alquézar. Close by are the remains of a Romanesque church and a settlement believed to have been built by the Iberian people. It is surprising to see the sandstone rock with grooves cut in it to channel the rainwater down to some wells that were dug out for its storage. Other holes in the rocks suggest that there were wooden beams inside them, and thus it is thought that they were also used for housing.
It is interesting to note that inside the church there is an inscription reading “on 16th October in the year 1557 this church is consecrated by Pedro Agustín, Bishop of Huesca”.
This is evidence of the importance this entire area had at the time.
Every year the inhabitants of Olsón hold a pilgrimage to the church of San Benito.


ROUTE: 6 Sierreta de Arbe (Between Comarcas)
START-FINISH: Barcabo- Bárcabo
DIFFICULTY ACCORDING TO THE 5-POINT MIDE SCALE (SYSTEM DEVISED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ARAGON TO MEASURE DIFFICULTY) M (level of risk) = 3; I (signposting) = 2; D (difficulty) = 2; E (duration of effort) = 4
LENGTH: 21.3 km
Mountain bike: Yes (90% can be covered by bike; Technical Difficulty (TD) = Very Difficult; Physical Difficulty (PD) = Very High)




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