Zaragoza Sights and Landmarks Guide, Spain
Zaragoza Sights – The Old Town
The thing you should start with if you want to get a real feel of the history and atmosphere in Zaragoza is the part known as the old town and you can get there by crossing the Bridge de Santiago along the Ebro River. It is an area rich in different architectural styles where you will find monuments dating from the Roman, Arab and Aragonese Era. These are in fact the most remarkable buildings in town and among other Zaragoza sights they are a must. Start with the impressive Basilica del Nuestra Senora del Pilar, one of the most visited places of pilgrimage in Spain. It is a baroque building finished in 1681 that rises 130 meters high and was painted by Goya and Francisco Bayeu to honor the city’s patroness, the “Holy Virgin of Pilar”. In her honor the people from Zaragoza have also organized a fiesta (celebration) which takes place every year starting with October 12 and is the perfect period to visit the city.
Another important sight in the old town is the Catedral de la Seo (Cathedral of El Salvador), built in the 12th century but modified several times since, a building which displays several architectural styles, starting with the Romanesque and ending with the Gothic or the Baroque. The Palacio de la Aljaferia is one of the few remaining buildings from the Moorish era and it perfectly preserves Islamic architecture from the Taifas. It later became the royal residence of the kings of Aragon and it now functions as the headquarters of the Courts of Aragon.
Zaragoza Sights – Important Buildings and Museums
If you are more passionate about history you should definitely go to see the Roman wall and theatre ruins which are very well preserved and give a unique look to the banks of river Ebro. Near them you will find the Tower of Zuda (the only remaining part of a 10th century Moorish palace) and the church Iglesia de la Magdalena. There are more palaces if you just take a walk along the river and they create the typical Zaragoza atmosphere: La Audiencia (one of the most beautiful palaces in Aragon), Patio de la Infanta (which hosts a lot of works by Goya) and the Palace of the Counts of Sastago, which is frequently used for exhibitions. Interested in visiting some of the museums? We recommend the Museo Provincial (which hosts an impressive number of prehistoric objects and important paintings by Goya and others) and the Museo Camon Aznar, for paintings, sculptures and ceramics. However, if you are really passionate about ceramics, Valencia is the place for you, with the absolutely stunning Ceramics Museum. If you are more on the contemporary side you should visit Museo Pablo Gargallo to see impressive modern and postmodern sculptures.
Zaragoza Sights – The New City
“The new city”, as it is called, is the most animated and lively part of Zaragoza and it stretches between Plaza de Espana, Paseo de Independencia and Plaza de Aragon. This is the area where all the commercial activities take place, so if you are interested in some quality shopping this is where you should go. Whether you just miss or can't wait to see some of Barcelona Sights, this "new city" of Zaragoza sure brings about a similar atmosphere. From the classics Mango and Corte Ingles to small boutiques with handicrafts, you will find all you are looking for right in this area. There are also lots of bars and restaurants where you can stop for some delicious local cuisine or just for a refreshing cocktail on a sunny day.
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