Zaragoza City: A Guide For Tourists
Zaragoza is the capital of the Aragon region of Spain. It is also considered to be the 5th largest city in Spain. It is situated in the northeast part of Spain, halfway between Barcelona and Madrid.
History of Zaragoza
Two thousand years ago, Zaragoza was discovered by the Romans. Zaragoza was named after the Roman emperor Augustus. In the 11th century, the city was placed under the reign of the kings of Beni Hud. El Cid, a famous character in the history of Zaragoza was considered to be a Christian hero but the truth is he was a mercenary hired by the Muslim Beni Huds. The city of Zaragoza is also known for its resistance against the Napoleonic army invasion in the 19th century.
Plaza del Pilar
The Plaza del Pilar is the location of some of the most beautiful places to see in Zaragoza. Just within the vicinity of the plaza are the Cathedral La Seo, El Pilar and La Lonja.
Basilica del Pilar
Basilica del Pilar is located in the middle of the Plaza del Pilar and the Ebro River. It was built in veneration of the Virgin of the Apostle whose apparition appeared before Saint James in 40 AD. It was nearly destroyed during the Civil War after a few undetonated bombs were dropped right on the Basilica. The Basilica has a big magnificent dome in the middle that is surrounded by ten small domes. Each one of the ten small domes has a tower on each of their four corners. Inside the Basilica are intricate carvings and elaborate frescoes. The central dome houses a collection of paintings by the famous artist Goya who was born in a tiny village near Zaragoza.
La Seo Cathedral
The La Seo Cathedral has a Gothic design and was built right where the mosque used to be. The cathedral is now a museum and has a huge collection of oil paintings, rich tapestries and fine statues. Just a short distance from the La Seo is the La Liona, a magnificent architectural work of art created from tons of tiny bricks. The inside of the La Liona is filled with beautiful stone decorations.
In the 11th century, the Aljaferia Palace was built in the western part of Zaragoza City. It is an old Moorish palace complete with a mosque and a main courtyard. It has undergone quite a few renovations throughout the years but the intricate ceiling with images of Ferdinand and Isabella has been preserved.
Puente de Piedra
Puente de Piedra overlooks the entire Zaragoza City as well as the Ebro River. It was built in 1813 and has a unique combination of Italian, Basque and French design influences.
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