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Zaragoza is in the Zaragoza province in the region of Aragon. In the UK the city is often called Saragossa.
Zaragoza is the fifth biggest city in Spain, has a wealth of Moorish architecture and roman remains and yet is relatively undiscovered by tourists. It is known as the city of four cultures due to its Iberian, Roman, Moslem and Christian past. As well as many monuments to see it is a vibrant city with good shopping, restaurants and night-life.
Zaragoza was originally surrounded by Roman walls. These were 7m thick in some places and included more than a hundred defensive towers. Remains can be seen in various parts ot the city. The two most notable are the San Juan de los Panetes section in the Caesar Augustus Avenue and the Canonesas de Santo Sepulcro section which is in Echegaray y Caballero Street. A Forum, port, baths and a Roman theatre can all be seen upon the purchase of the Caesaraugusta route ticket.
Mudejar Architecture in Saragossa, Spain
Mudejar style architecture is very interesting and there are some wonderful examples in Zaragosa. The Mudejar-style is a result of Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures living together and is a Western style given a Moorish influence and feel.
The Aljaferia Palace. This 11th century palace was built for the Moorish kings. It is situated on the edge of town and with its gardens, market gardens and sumptuous style it was known as the 'Palace of Joy'. It is one of the few remaining examples of this period of Moorish architecture. The mosque and its minaret and the Torre del Trovador are original, other parts were added later mixing gothic, renaissance and mudejar styles. The throne room with a ceramic floor and a ceiling containing lots of gold is particularly impressive. This is one of the most important Moorish buildings in the Northern part of Spain.
The tower of Zuda was built on the Roman walls and was the headquarters of the Moslem governors. It was also a palace for the kings of Aragon after the reconquista. Later renovations have given it a Renaissance feel.
Cathedral of la Seo. This cathedral has a Gothic-Mudejar exterior and a fabulous Mudejar-style apse. It also has some excellent tapestries. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Church of San Pablo. This church is an excellent example of the traditional style of Mudejar churches.
Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar. This fabulous church is one of the main pilgrim sites in all of Spain. The building is Baroque, it has four ornate towers and a huge central dome surrounded by ten cupolas. Inside are paintings by Goya. The centrepiece of the church is a Pillar onto which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared before St James. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar was voted fifth out of the top twelve 'Treasures of Spain' in a national TV and radio competition in 2007.
Other Sites in Zaragoza
There are many other palaces, churches and sites of interest to make a visit to Zaragoza very rewarding.
The University of Zaragoza is one of the oldest in Spain. It was founded in the 16th century.
Places to Visit Nearby
The Ruta de los Vinos is a wine tasting route to the south of Zaragoza. Head to Carinena to see the murals by Goya in the monastery of Aula Dei.
Mudejar architecture enthusiasts will like the town of Tarazona which has some fabulous examples.
Map of Zaragoza and places to visit
Zaragoza places to visit
See more places nearby in the Aragon guide