Zaragoza: much to discover
Zaragoza is the fifth most populated city in Spain and capital of the province of Aragon. It was, centuries ago, one of the most important cities of the Roman Hispalis, when it received the name of Caesaraugusta in honor of the Emperor Caesar Augustus. There are many reasons why you should include Zaragoza in your next bespoke Spanish holidays. Here you have some!
Catedral-basílica del Pilar
The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar is one of the most imposing churches in all Spain. Its construction began in the thirteenth century, with the rise of a Romanesque church, and did not end until the mid-twentieth century, when the north towers of the temple were completed. In a marked Baroque style, El Pilar stands out for its frescoes located in its domes, for its main altarpiece, for the choir and for its eleven chapels.
Zaragoza has one of the most complete examples of Roman architecture and art in the country. The walls, the forum of Caesaraugusta, the museum of the fluvial port, the thermal baths, the amphitheater and the crypt of the church of Santa Engracia are some of the examples. All these constructions were made between the first and second centuries of our era.
Zaragoza in the medieval era
Zaragoza shines for its Roman past, but it stands out for the impressive medieval monuments it still conserves. Practically all of Spain was under Muslim rule for seven centuries. The mix of both cultures resulted in a mixture of the most peculiar styles. You can notice that, for instance, in the church of La Seo, the metropolitan cathedral of Zaragoza which preserves numerous Mudejar elements (Hispanic-Muslim style). The Stone Bridge, the Zuda Tower, the arch and the Dean’s House and the Church of San Pablo are other places you can not miss.
The capital city has a wide variety of museums. Beyond those dedicated to the Roman period, you can visit the Goya Museum (which houses the complete collection of Goya prints) or the Pilarista Museum (with all kinds of works of art dedicated to the Virgen del Pilar). There are also others dedicated to the Zaragoza fire department, the natural sciences and artists such as Pablo Gargallo and Pablo Serrano. The Tapestry Museum of La Seo, considered one of the most important in Europe, is another option to be taken into account.
Of course, Zaragoza’s gastronomy is another great reason to visit the capital of the Aragonese region, thanks to the innumerable products that grow in its orchards. You can not leave Zaragoza without trying the ternasco asado, migas, eggs with salmorejo, cod “ajoarriero” style, the fruits of Aragon and the “adoquines” (sweets) of El Pilar. It will be a spectacular culinary journey.