Agustina de Aragon. (1786-1857). Personages. Aragon.

Agustina de Aragon. (1786-1857). Personajes of Aragon.

Heroine of the Sieges of Zaragoza.

Aragón > Personages

Heroine of the people, she is one of the most eloquent symbols of the Spanish resistance against the Napoleonic invaders.

Que Valor, Goya
!Qué valor!, Goya.

Agustina de Zaragoza was undoubtedly one of the most representative figures of the resistance of the Aragonese people against the French troops during the War of Independence. His popularity after the Portillo episode was enormous, becoming the great Hispanic symbol in the face of the attack by Napoleonic troops, along with many other heroes of popular mythology, considered as the Numantines of modern times according to Pérez Galdós: Those half-naked countrymen, with espadrilles on their feet and a handkerchief wrapped around their heads... Agustina was born in Barcelona, dying in Ceuta, where she went with the last of her husbands. History documents her arrival in Zaragoza, at the age of 22, in the middle of the war against the invaders.

On June 15, 1808, the French forced the entrances to the city through the Casablanca area, trying to penetrate Zaragoza between the Carmen and Portillo gates and in the midst of an intense artillery attack, closing the siege at various points of the city. The great assault on July 2 focused, among other areas, on El Portillo, where the battery set up there had been losing its defenders one by one. It was then that the heroine appeared, taking the match from the hands of a dying man, she fired the cannon at the attackers, getting her to withdraw. It is this fact that Goya immortalized in his series of Disasters of War, with the engraving titled What courage!, in which the young Agustina appears next to the fired artillery piece.

Agustina de Aragón means, above all, one more name of the Aragonese resistance against Napoleon, who is accompanied by the priest Sas, Father Boggiero, Uncle Jorge, the Countess of Bureta, Casta Alvarez, Manuela Sancho and a huge list of anonymous heroes. made up of soldiers, peasants, nobles and bourgeois, old people and children who opposed their bodies to the disciplined and well-equipped French army.

Agustina intervened in other episodes of the Sieges of Zaragoza, participating in the fight for the convent of Jerusalem (and also in the Siege of Teruel). Her eventful life will still lead her to the Site of Tortosa, where she was once again taken prisoner, escaping later.

His risky participation in the contest earned him a pension of 100 reales that Fernando VII granted him. The heroine was united in marriage, first with a soldier, then, when he was left for dead, with Captain Luis de Talarbe and, finally, with another man at arms, Juan Eugenio Cobo de Belchite.

Agustina died in Ceuta in 1857. In the same year, the Zaragoza City Council agreed to transfer her body, a measure that was not carried out until 1870, resting her remains first in the temple of El Pilar and later, definitively, in the church Nuestra Señora del Portillo.

Miguel Beltrán Lloris

Published in: Beltrán, M. ; Beltrán, A. ; Fatás, G. (dir. y coord.). Aragoneses Ilustres. Zaragoza: Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada, 1983. p. 9-10.

Aragoneses Ilustres

Agustina de Aragon. (1786-1857).

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