The appearance of modern Zaragoza began to take shape back in the days of the Caliphate of Cordoba, when the Moors reigned supreme over almost the entire territory of the Iberian Peninsula. It was during this period that the flourishing of the luxurious architectural style of Mudéjar, harmoniously combining Arabic and European motifs, occurred.
History has left to descendants the luxurious temples of Nuestra Señora del Pilar and La Seo, the Muslim fortress of Aljaferia, which looks like it was built in our time, picturesque squares in the historic center of the city. Zaragoza still remembers the presence of the crowned Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, carefully preserves the cultural heritage of the talented Francisco Goya and Pablo Gargallo, hospitably opening its gates to tourists.
What to see and where to go in Zaragoza?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar
The largest baroque temple in Spain, built in the XVII-XIX centuries. The first religious building on the site of the current church appeared in the 2nd century, then it was successively replaced by Romanesque and Gothic churches. The modern building makes a strong impression: there are 4 towers 90 meters high along the edges, 12 domes are covered with Moorish ornaments, and Francisco Goya himself painted the interior.
Cathedral of La Seo
In ancient times, the site of the temple was the forum (the center of the Roman city), during the reign of the Moors - the mosque of Saragusta al Bayda. In the XII century, after the liberation of Sagagosa, instead of a Muslim temple, they began to build a Christian one. From the beginning of the 13th century, coronations, weddings and burials of Aragonese rulers took place in La Seo. The cathedral was built in the magnificent Mudéjar style. Craftsmen from Seville took part in its decoration.
Moorish fortress of the XI century. It was erected after the collapse of the Caliphate of Cordoba, when Zaragoza became the capital of an independent emirate. After 1384, Aljaferia became the residence of the Catholic kings Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. At this time, the building was rebuilt in the Mudéjar style with Gothic elements. Since the 15th century, the dungeon of the Inquisition was located here, then - the barracks. After restoration in the 20th century, the fortress housed a museum, a court and the Legislative Assembly of Aragon.
Another name for the square is the Cathedral Square, since the facades of two cathedrals overlook it at once. The first mentions of this place are found in the documents of the Early Middle Ages. It is believed that until the 16th century there was a cemetery here. The square acquired its modern look only in the 1940s after restoration. One of the main attractions besides the cathedrals is the Fuente de la Hispanidad fountain, which symbolizes Latin America.
Plaza of Spain
One of the central squares of the city, where a monument is erected to the inhabitants of Aragon who fell for the fatherland, who courageously resisted Napoleon's army for two months. Near the monument, the jets of the fountain beat. As a result of the latest restoration, the place acquired a fairly modern look - it was surrounded by the facades of hotels, business centers and administrative buildings.
Calle Alfonso street
A typical walking street with a lot of tourist-oriented shops and restaurants for all tastes. Probably, there is one in every Spanish city. The alley is located in the very center and stretches from the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar. In winter, at Christmas, the street is decorated with ceremonial garlands; in summer, people sit at the tables of street cafes, enjoying lunch and wine.
A stone bridge
Crossing the Ebro River, built in the middle of the 15th century. Two centuries later, it was destroyed by a flood, but a few years later the structure was restored. Quite often, the structure is called the Lion Bridge, since at the entrance there are four bronze figures of lions, created by the sculptor F. R. Lajos in 1991. The noble king of animals is considered a symbol of Zaragoza.
Museum of the Roman Forum
In ancient times, Zaragoza was a flourishing Roman colony. Today, on the site of the ruins of the former forum, there is a museum where you can look at what remains of the ancient square, theater, thermae and other buildings. Near each object, its original image is placed, since it is not always clear from a pile of stones how the structure actually looked.
Museum of Zaragoza
The collection consists of ethnographic, archaeological and artistic exhibits, the museum also has a library and a restoration department. Here you can see examples of Roman mosaics, interior items from the fortress of Aljaferia, Renaissance paintings, Romanesque sculpture and much more. The Museum of Zaragoza is considered one of the largest in the province of Aragon.
Pablo Gargallo Museum
The exposition is dedicated to the work of P. Gargallo, an avant-garde artist who is considered the founder of this trend in Spain. The master's works are exhibited in the 17th century Archillo Palace. Although the painter is not as famous as Pablo Picasso, his contribution to art is difficult to overestimate. Many buildings in Barcelona are decorated with his work, among the most famous are the Hospital of Santa Creu and Sant Pau and the Palace of Catalan Music.
La Seo Tapestry Museum
The museum is located on the territory of the Cathedral of La Seo. The tapestry collection consists of elaborate panels depicting scenes from the lives of monarchs, aristocrats and townspeople. Each canvas is quite large, it depicts an incredible number of actors and details, which makes one admire the skill of the people who created this magnificence.
Francisco Goya Museum
The collection is dedicated to the work of the famous painter, who, thanks to his talent, has received worldwide recognition. The museum was opened in 1979 on the initiative of Professor H.K. Aznar and his wife M.L. Alvarez Pinillos. The couple collected Goya's works for a long time and decided to make their collection public. Today, in addition to the artist's paintings, the museum exhibits engravings and paintings by his contemporaries.
Cultural center "CaixaForum"
The center is located in a building of modern architecture, shaped like two crossed cubes. The building was designed by the architects of the Estudio Carme Pinos bureau. They were faced with the task of creating something unusual with the help of advanced technologies. "CaixaForum" consists of exhibition galleries and concert venues, there is also a restaurant, an observation deck and a shop.
Exchange building "La Lonja"
Historic building of the 16th century in Pilar Square, built on the initiative of the Bishop of Aragon, Hernando. Today, an exhibition hall is located under its high vaults, so you can get inside only during the work of some kind of vernissage. The stock exchange building in the Middle Ages often became an architectural decoration of the city and a symbol of its financial power.
The market appeared in Zaragoza in the Middle Ages. Today, retail space is housed in a picturesque two-story building. Here you can buy products of local farmers, Spanish delicacies, sweets and spices. In addition to products, the market sells clothes, jewelry and antiques at very affordable prices. In small cafes located right on the territory, visitors are offered to taste dishes of national cuisine.
The city aquarium specializes exclusively in river species, which makes its collection quite unique. Representatives of the fauna of the African Nile, the Spanish Ebro, the Brazilian Amazon, the Vietnamese Mekong and the Australian Darling Murray live in the basins. During a tour of the aquarium, guests are told interesting facts about river inhabitants and ecosystems.
Hispanidad Waterfall Fountain
The fountain graced Pilar Square in 1991. It was built in honor of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. It is made in the form of a split niche, where streams of water flow. Next to the fountain is a figure of the globe. Hispanidad is the collective name for 23 countries where Spanish is spoken. They are united by common cultural roots thanks to the era of the great geographical discoveries.
A large shopping and entertainment complex where you can shop in numerous stores, taste delicious dishes in restaurants and just have a good time watching a movie in one of the cinemas. In the center there are fountains and an artificial lake, the banks of which are bordered by green spaces. The place is more like some kind of seaside resort than a shopping mall.
Park Grande José Antonio Labordeta
The oldest park in Zaragoza, where many interesting sights are located. Monument to King Alfonso I the Warrior, two branches of the city museum, the 18th century botanical garden, monuments to the actor P.K. Soria and opera singer M. Fleta, the Rincon de Goya pavilion. The park received its modern name in 2010 in honor of the politician and part-time poet H. A. Labordeta.
The Ebro is the second longest waterway of the Iberian Peninsula after the Tagus, and also the most full-flowing in Spain. It is believed that the name of the river was given by the ancient Iberians. The Ebro rises in the Cantabrian mountains, crosses the Aragonese plain and flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Several settlements are located on its banks, including Zaragoza. The river is not suitable for navigation, but its waters are used to irrigate vast agricultural lands.