Biescas encourages you to take a trip back in time to discover this town in a special and different way. An ethnographic tour has been launched that turns the streets into an authentic open-air museum, through old photographs that show different areas of the town as they used to be. These images have been placed in the places where they were taken, so that it can be seen what Biescas was like before and how it has evolved to the present.
It is an itinerary of 22 old photographs that range from 1905 to the 1940s. The images are accompanied by a QR code that, when scanned, reproduces an audio-guided explanation of the image itself, with curiosities and details that may escape us. This innovative project has been promoted by the Erata association, and has had the collaboration of the Biescas town council and the Ordesa-Viñamala Biosphere Reserve.
In addition, a brochure has been prepared that allows you to follow the path of the photographs, material “that has been worked with great care and that has its charm, since it is designed in an old tone,” says Nuria Pargada, mayor of Biescas. It includes a map with the 22 enclaves where the photographs have been placed, all along Biescas except one, which is located in the Port, at 1,500 meters above sea level. “From the city council we want to invite people to see that before we had in Biescas and compare it with the present”, adds the mayor.
This project is now under way, after two years of research. “The initial idea was to make people aware of the evolution that the streets and squares of Biescas have had, because it has been remarkable, and especially after the Civil War, because Biescas was severely punished,” explains Antonio Lalaguna, president of Erata. Following this idea “We have been researching for about two years in different photographic archives, collecting images and then selecting the ones that were most appropriate to place.” The result “is obvious and draws attention”, since the photos “are placed at the points where they were taken, so you have a very clear vision of the before and now”, adds Lalaguna.
Among the curious images, one of the old laundry stands out. “It coincided that we were doing the recovery of the sink and With one of these photographs we were able to verify that it was covered, so the project was given a twist and it was done as it appeared in the photograph”, recalls the president of Erata.
Another to highlight is that of the church in the neighborhood of La Peña. “The tower sticks out more than it was before the war”, emphasizes Pol Campo, a member of Erata who has also worked on this project. In its beginnings, the church had a medieval tower, which was not destroyed but was badly damaged, so they built “on a chapel that was attached, hence it looks somewhat displaced”.
The Biosphere Reserve has contributed to the project by financing it to create the posters with the images. “They asked us to collaborate and we thought it was a very interesting project, it is also a bit of the philosophy of the Reserve”, as Sergio García, manager of the Ordesa-Viñamala Biosphere Reserve, concluded.