In the province of Zaragoza, Purujosa is located in the southern foothills of the Moncayo, bordering the province of Soria. A large part of its municipality is within the protected area of the Moncayo Natural Park. The hamlet of this small town, located on a rocky spur between the Isuela River and the Barranco de la Virgen, blends in with the landscape. Although the first testimonies that speak of population settlements in the surroundings of Purujosa go back to prehistory, the town was founded in the eighth century by a tribe of Berbers, the primitive urbanism typically Muslim that retain their steep and narrow streets so testify. Purujosa was donated by Alfonso II to the monastery of Veruela in 1177 and belonged to it until the middle of the 13th century. In the 14th century it was part of the heritage of the Martínez de Luna, future Counts of Morata, to whom it belonged until the 19th century. Nowadays, the effort of the Purjosanos to keep their history, culture and traditions alive is rewarded, because the visitor who arrives to Purujosa sees his expectations of the place increased.
The distribution of the village of Purujosa is reminiscent of the Celtiberian settlements that existed in the area, villages fortified by nature itself that, adapting to the terrain where they were located, are situated in high hills but protected by other higher elevations. When strolling by its streets of typical names, Mayor, Tarazona, La Virgen, La Corte, El Castillo, Colladito, La Amargura or Los Presos, we are discovering beautiful corners and incredible viewpoints where to stop and camera in ristre, to capture them and to enjoy them. In the highest part of the town, where the Mayor and Castillo streets converge, as if hidden between the houses, we find the parish church of El Salvador, which was remodeled in the sixteenth century but was originally Romanesque transition to Gothic, late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. From "La puerta el Lugar" in the street Mayor, the street leads us to the hermitage of the Virgin of Constantine or the Virgin of the Cave. The small chapel, embedded in the rock, holds a wooden carving of a seated virgin, in Romanesque style from the 13th century.
Purujosa, immersed in the hidden face of the Moncayo, in the less known area of the Dehesa del Moncayo Natural Park, guards precious geological and landscape treasures in which a rich variety of flora and fauna coexist. From its location, Purujosa is the guardian of incredible ravines, such as Valcongosto, La Virgen and Cuartún, crossed by hiking trails to enjoy its impressive limestone walls. If you are an experienced speleologist, the caves you can visit include Cueva de los Rincones, Cuartún and Cueva Liendres. A few kilometers away, by road, from Purujosa is the Peñas del Cabo gorge, where you can find the largest climbing school in the Moncayo Natural Park, a natural park that is crossed by marked trails of the GR 90 Tierras del Moncayo and Sistema Ibérico Zaragozano. Mountain bike routes, hunting grounds... complete a wide range of activities that will delight any visitor to this incredible place.
Purujosa celebrates its patron saint festival in honor of the Virgin of Constantin in May, but the exact weekend varies from year to year. San Ramon is celebrated from September 8 to 10, although its feast day is August 31. And the feast of Santa Lucia, December 13, is usually moved to the bridge of the Constitution, December 6.
Located in the ravine of the Virgin, the Peirón de la Virgen de la Leche, the only survivor of the two peirones that the town had, is an interesting ethnological remainder. The peirones in Aragon, crosses of way, go back to the antiquity. To their function of orientation in crosses and bifurcations we must add their value derived from popular religiosity. Milestones on the way of pilgrimages, a framework for prayers and ceremonies, a commemorative character, the peirones are a symbol of the Christian faith of the population that is reached, and bless those who leave it protecting them on their way or in their work. In Purujosa it was a tradition that when the young men left for the military, they put a candle in the Peirón of the Virgin of the Milk, as a farewell to the town and a request for luck to the Virgin during the military service.
A curious and striking inhabitant of the ravines of Purujosa is the ocellated lizard, the largest lizard in the Iberian Peninsula, known in Aragon as "fardacho". It is easy to see it, with the arrival of the heat, on the rocks, or taking a little walk through the streets of the town letting us admire its beautiful figure and colorful of brave reptile moncaino.
Through an access, which in part is carved in the rock of the walls of the Barranco de la Virgen, one arrives at the hermitage of the Virgin of the Cave, or as it is currently called in Constantí. It is located inside the cave where legend has it that the image of the Virgin was found during the Reconquest. The cave continues behind the main altar, and where the oral history places the Emperor Constantine the Great in one of his journeys through Hispania in the 4th century, even making him spend the night there. He was driven by a great devotion to this Virgin and paid for the construction of the chapel on the site. There is a popular belief that "the Lady", perhaps an ancient goddess of nature, later Christianized, punishes the region with catastrophic hailstorms in the years when the corresponding pilgrimage is not organized on her feast day.
Purujosa can be reached from Morata de Jalón, in the province of Zaragoza, on the A-2302 road through the valley of the Isuela River. On the other hand the road CV-630 communicates it with Cueva de Ágreda and Beratón, towns of Soria.
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