Travel Guide to Zaragoza

History and Extraordinary Art

Prepare to sumerge into this travel guide to Zaragoza, a province with a fascinating patrimonial legacy. This legacy dates back to the roman empire and constinues up to present day. The traditional celebrations, wine, and gastronomy are all a part of what makes it such a singular place.

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There are many places to explore in this travel guide to Zaragoza. So much that this is a destination that is recommended to stay at least 2 days to be able to see everything. Aside from it being one of the urban enchantments, the outskirts of the city are also very worth it to visit. Such as the Galachos of Ebro, which deepens the river ecosystems  that have a great influence in the city.

Next on our travel guide, lovers of inusual places and history can take a route up south. There they will be able to visit the birth town of Francisco de Goya, Fuendetodos, an the ghost town of Belchite. On another hand, the city is a notable gastronomic center and a economical center for international projection. Thanks to this, the options selected in our where to sleep and where to eat sections in our travel guide will make a great additon to your trip.

The iberian settlement of Salduie, that  Pliny the Elder identified with Salduvia, it is documented in the second half of the III century B.C. Two centuries later, in the I century B.C, this enclave was conquered by Rome. This was funded in the then Caesaraugusta. The new city was soon converted in the capital of the region. Thanks to that it enjoyed that priviliges such as tax exemption, theaters, and a forum. This was sustained by a rich economy, promoted by it´s river port and its roads.

During the final crisis of the Empire, concrete in 472, Caesaraugusta it was taken by the visigoths. Like this, it was incorporated to the Kingdom of Tolosa. In the VII century it converted in one of the most important cultural centers in the labor of diverse subjects. One of them was Braulio, situated among the major intellects of his era.

Later in . 714, Zaragoza was integrated to the caliphate of Córdoba under the name Saraqusta. Past the fall of the Omeyas, 1018, the taifa Kingdom of Zaragoza was set up. With that it also passed to be one of the greatest cultural and commercial center in the Ibérican Península.

The exiled gentlemen Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, Cid Campeador, served to Zaragozan Kings: Al-Muqtadir and his son Al-Mutaman. He was involved in the betrayal of Rueda of Jalón, this almost cost the life of his ancient Sir Castellano. His spectacular victories motivated the Zaragozans to give the ¨Sidi¨ apellation. ¨Cid¨ is what had happened in past history.

Alfonso I the battler raptured the plaza from the muslims in 1118, converting it into the capital of the Kingdom of Aragón. During centuries, Zaragoza maintained a prosperous community in the Jewish community. This population lived its era of Major Apogee in the XIV and XV centuries. However, upon the need to defend themselves from the inquisition. This promoted a celebrated assessination that would accelerate its expulsion.

At the end of the XVI century, the fugitive Antonio Pérez, secretary of Felipe II, took refugee in Zaragoza taking protection of Juan V of Lanuza. This would be based on the Privilege of Manifestation. This right limited the legal actions of the King of the Aragon territorry. The consequences were tremendous and ended the execution of Juan V of Lanuza and the taking of the city.

El Puente de Piedra de Zaragoza en una fotografía del siglo XIX

The Rock Bridge in a photograph of the XIX Century

During the Independance war, the city suffered the known, “Sites of Zaragoza”. In 1808 the Aragon capital was fences two times by the French troops. His resistance converted it into a symbol of the anti-Napoleon resistance in all of Europe. This was based on the huge diffusion that had diverse engravings about the subject. The main ones are the Zaragoza Ruins, the Brambila and Gálvez, and the Disasters of the War, from Francisco of Goya. This last one masterly immortalized some of those events and their heros.

The hardness of the Sites, especially from the second, was extreme. Heroic personalities helped sustain the resistance until the 12 of February 1809. In respect to this several figures shine through, such as General Palafox, the popular leader Jorge Ibor and Casamayor (Uncle Jorge), or Agustina of Aragon. In total, almost two-thirds of the maña population during the successes. Another tragic consequence was the patrimonial loss of the “Spanish Florence”.

In 1908, a century after the first happening, in Zaragoza it was celebrated in a great Hispanic-French Exposition. The intention of closing the wounds from the terrible glory crimes commited. On March 5th 1837, the carlisle troops of General Cabañero attempted to take the Maña Capital. However, they were rejected by volunteers from the city. Annually the ephemeris acts of these are celebrated in the Celebration of the Cincomarzada.

With the arrival of the railway in the city in 1861 and the construction of the North Starion was zoned in Arrabal. This is characterized by the modern construction, ultimately recovered. After this, a new treaty to the city took place. The result was a great advance in its industrialization that brought about rural immigration.

In the beginning of the XX century, the chard crops and the sugar industry brought a prosperous industrial bourgeoisie. This would support the regeneration of the National League of Producers (1899) and the National Union of Joaquin Costa and Basilio Paraiso (1900). Farther ahead they suffered greatly during the Civil War. In it´s beginning in July of 1963, General Cabanellas picked up a local guarrison against the Government. They accomplished to maintain the city despite the ferocious atack of Anarchist Militias that tried to fence it. In that moment, the bombarded Pilar Basílica was the symbol of resistance for the defenders.

In 2008, date of the bicentury of the first site and the centennial of the Hispanic-French Exposition, Zaragoza returnes to be part of an International Exposition. With that, came upon a process that has made the capital of Ebro a reference on an economic, turistic, and industrial level.

Up next on our travel guide, the best places to visit in Zaragoza.

Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain

 

The capital of Ebro is one of the most welcoming and dynamic cities in the Northern Peninsula. The visitors will find a rich hictoric and artistic heritage to see in Zaragoza that is part of this travel guide. This is due to its history that goes back more than two-thousand years.

The travel guide beguins through Plaza Pilar, where you can see the Basílica of our Lady of Pilar. This is one of the largest barrocan temples in Spain. The Basilica is also the center of the Marina pilgrimage. In it´s interior the most notorious is the main alterpiece in alabastro, of gothic style. As well as the Holy Church, designed by architech Ventura Rodríguez. As well as the notable vault of coreto with the slogan The Worship to the Name of God. It is also important to see the dome in front of the Church of San Joaquín, with the slogan Regina Martirum. Both jobs are work of arts of Francisco de Goya and are in the top artworks to see in our travel guide to Zaragoza.

At the same time, the choir and it´s 130 seats are of very high heritage value. Covering it´s entrace is a magnific gate of Juan Tomás Celma. Of course, you cannot leavethe building without admiring the image of the Lady of Pilar, the Pilarica, headwomen of the city. This is a sculpture of gothic style built upon a the Holy Column, built in 1435. Such well know art is work of Juan de Huerta. The figure was sculpted in golden wood with a tunic and a cape. In one had she holds her son Jesus Christ and on the other she holds a bird.

Between the Pilar and the cathedral you can find the Lonja. This is an old market centes in the city that has turned into a temporary hall exhibit. It is one of the best examples of civil renaissance architecture to see in Zaragoza. Along with this, what stands out is its magnific roof eaves. In the same plaza is the interesting Museum of the Caesaraugusta Forum, that since its subterranean location you can appreciate the organization of the city during the Roman area.

                                                                                              Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
                                                                     Basílica of our Lady of Pilar

The outskirts of the Plaza of Pilar you can find the remains of the Roman Walls of the city of Caesaragusta. Int the Tower of Zuda, an ancient tower in tribute to the muslim community is on the other end. This is built under a renaissance appearance and currently hosts a local tourism office.

On the other side of the Plaza of  Pilar the breathtaking Cathedral of Salvador (a.k.a. Seo). Is without a doubt a must not miss to see that is part of the Zaragoza heritage and this travel guide. Rebuilt on brick over the previouc Main Mosque, it was baptized as a cathedral in 1121. Along the XII century, the building was assigned as the north-east side as a Muslim side and the north-side as the Christian side. The muslim patio was eventually transformed into a cloister. The bases were set up like this for a bulding with 5 ships and six covered paths by domes of the same height. This is a part of the heritage you can not miss in this travel guide to Zaragoza.

Like every ancient building that is nine centuries old, the Seo brings together different styles such as the neo-classic Roman. From the exterior you can view the Gothic Tower and its beautiful North Wall in mudéjar style, which count as the Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. In it´sinterior you can see the main altarpiece of polychromed alibaster. The piece elaborated in the mid XV century of Pere Joan and Hans de Suavia. It is considered one of the best exponents to the gothic spaniard architecture. Finally, in the Evangelic side you can find the “Parish”,which hosts the tomb of Lope de Luna.

                                                                               La Seo, para disfrutar tras saber dónde comer y dónde dormir en Zaragoza
                                                                                                 The Seo

Behind the Seo, you can see the Arch of Deán, one of the most pinteresque places to see in Zaragoza. Close by is also the Bridge of Rock, from the XV century, the most ancient of which stand on top of the river through its maña capital. The Museum of  Flamenco Tapestries is another artistic jewel. The collection dates back to the XIV and XVIII century. This is considered one of the best in the world and in our travel guide.

Located on the other side of the city is the Aljafería, probably the most luxurious building to see in Zaragoza.

Declared a Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO in 2001, it was the fortified main palaca of the Taifa of Zaragoza. Today it makes up one of the main additions to the muslim art of the spanish XI century. With the past reforms after the reconquer of Zaragoza, its interior presents artistic spaces such as the Patio of Saint Isabel. As well as the Throne Hall and the Golden Hall. It is precise to appreciate the mixtilinear arches, “S” shaped springers, or the arabic decorations in wide surfaces. The progressive abstract of the molds that characterize the origin of the Nazari art, stand out as well. On another hand, the Aljaferia Palaza was the venue for the Holy Inquisition Tribunal in the city. Presently, it has a different purpose: the Aragón Courts meeting room.

Aslso, there are interesting mudéjar art works to see in Zaragoza, in which the Church of the Magdalena stands out. The tower, from the XIV century, is doted with interesting glass ceramic ornamental pieces. Other notable examples are The Church of San Miguel of the Navarros or The Church of Saint Pablo. Also present, is a suggestive framed cover in a squared template. Let´s see what is next on our travel guide.

The Palace of Sástago, built in a renaissance style between 1570 and 1574, is one of the major exponents of civil arquitecture in Zaragoza. With a notorious style, red bricks and baroque front of a great formality, just like the indoor pation. An antique resience of the Counts of Sástago, actually hosts a temporary exposition room. The Patio of the Infanta constitutes another of the great Aragon renaissance milestones. A part of the Zaporta Palace, home of an influyental Jewish convert banquer. It would be translated stone to stone to it´s current location. It is worth to note the decoration that gives it great gala, especially the inferior columns.

                                                                     Torre del Agua en Zaragoza
                                                                             The Tower of Water

The Zaragoza now,  more actual and modern is represented in the zone where the International Exposition was celebrated in 2008. It is made up of the magnific Tower of Water, an iconic building of the new city. The Bridge Pavillion of the architect Zaha Hadid and the Congressional Palace are work of contemporary architecture. This defined the city in the XXI century. Located here is the Fluvial Aquarium, the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world.

The intense cultural activity in the “Arab” capital can be seen through it´s numerous museums and exhibition halls. On a archeological level, you can not miss the thematic museums in the capital of Zaragoza. These go over their Roman heritage through the interpretation of the ruins. In these educational places are included the already mentioned Museum of the Forum and Museum of the Theater. As well as the Museum of the Fluvial Port and the Museum of the Termas of Caesaraugusta. These all posses interesting exposing proposals that surely deserve a close visit.

Regarding the Hispanic-French Exposition of 1808, it was constructed in the Zaragoza Museum. The place hosts a notable arqueological colection and one of paintings, in which some works of Francisco de Goya stand out. On another part, the Museum Pablo Gargallo goes over the original work of the Aragon sculpture in the interior of the Argillian Palaca. The edification is of the XVII century and it was later adapted as a museum space in which it´s central patio is the most notable. The Solans House, constructed in 1921, has been rehabitalized in 2006 as the home of the Ofice of the United Nations of Support to the International Action of Water, Fountain of Life (2005-2015). It is the point of departure for an itinerary for the unknown modernism of the  Zaragozan Arrabal.

As far as the intersting Museum Ibercaja Camón Aznar, it hosts a collection of works of art in the XV and XX century. In which you can find a hall completely dedicated to the exposition of Goya´s engravings. Lastly on this travel guide, you cannot miss the Pablo Serrano Museum. The space has been consolidated as the great center of Aragon contemporary art, with an innovating arquitectual proposal.

Palacio de la Alfajería, sede de la Inquisición en el siglo XV.
Dónde dormir en Zaragoza
Plaza del Pilar

Practical Data

Coordinates

41° 39′ 0″ N, 0° 53′ 0″ W

Distances

Huesca 74 km, Teruel 175 km, Barcelona 312 km, Madrid 317 km

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