I love visiting the city of Jaca, known as the pearl of the Pyrenees. In 2014 we went for a walk and we found the recreation of some historical facts. That weekend, the streets of Jaca were the scene of battles between Spanish troops and the Napoleonic army that had taken it in 1814.
In 1813 after almost five years of occupation the French troops began their retreat from the Iberian Peninsula to the north. The situation in the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning was very complicated both for the Allies (Spanish, Portuguese and British) and for the French occupiers, perhaps even more so for the latter. There were internal tensions on both sides and the war had left the camp devastated, so the supply of food was not guaranteed. In addition, the Grande Armée suffered a tremendous setback in Russia, which meant the reduction of the French contingent in the Peninsula to concentrate a greater number of troops in Central Europe.
The city of Jaca had fallen to the French in March 1809. It was a point of passage between France and Spain and easily defensible, thanks to its walls and, fundamentally, to its Citadel. Pursuing in their retreat the French army, the Spanish troops arrive at Jaca. However, its Citadel remains a stronghold for the French.
On December 11, 1813, the Treaty of Peace was signed between Napoleon and the King of Spain Ferdinand VII, recovering the throne of Spain and ending the War of Independence. Until February 17 this news did not reach Jaca, where they continued to fight to recover the Citadel. The next day, the capitulation of the Citadel was signed leaving the French marching with war honors before the Spaniards were formed in front of the fortress.
One thought on “Jaca returns to the Napoleonic era”
Excellent pictures and history lesson!!