Attractions And Places To Visit In Zaragoza, Spain
Zaragoza is the capital city of the Aragon region, and features a diverse array of historical and architectural attractions.
Most notably, the Nuestra Seora del Pilar basilica is a popular pilgrimage site, featuring multiple domes and a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Other landmarks blend Islamic and Gothic architecture.
The Aljafera Moorish palace dates back to the 11th century, and the Cathedral of the Savior was built in the 12th century. The old town is lined with earthy-coloured houses and a Gothic cathedral.
In August, the old town hosts a cultural festival that celebrates its unique culture. You can also visit nearby Daroca, which features Romanesque and Mudejar architecture and is enclosed by red cliffs.
Many of these buildings are Unesco world heritage sites. The city’s historic center is an essential stop while visiting Zaragoza. Ancient Roman remains, Aragonese Mudejar architecture, and medieval buildings all line the streets.
The old wall and the Torreon de la Zuda, an old Muslim fortress, are also prominent features of the city. You can climb to the belvedere point for free, if you have the time.
The city’s museums and galleries are worth a visit. The Zaragoza Museum displays the largest collection of paintings by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco de Goya.
The collection includes his famous portraits of the Duque de San Carlos and Fernando VII. You can also check out his engravings at the Ibercaja Camon Aznar Museum.
Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar #1
The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a Roman Catholic church in Zaragoza, Aragon. It is dedicated to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Pope John Paul II has praised Our Lady of the Pillar as the Mother of the Hispanic People. The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is located in the center of Zaragoza and is one of the most important churches in the city.
It features beautiful architecture and 11 cupolas. It also has four towers and nine dome-topped chapels. Its artwork includes pieces by Francisco Goya.
The Church of Our Lady of the Pilar was restored in the 1990s by the Spanish Historic Patrimony Institute. It contains an image of Our Lady of the Pilar that is surrounded by a silver marble column.
This column has a diameter of 9.5 inches. Some “pillarists” claim that this pillar never moves. The image is often depicted with a cloak, which is a symbol of gratitude and emotion.
The Virgin of the Pilar has a small shrine that is located within the church. Its location is perfect for contemplation and worship.
It was designed by Jesuit architects Bianqui and Primoli and inaugurated on 12 October 1732. After a fire destroyed the church, it was rebuilt in the baroque style. Today, the church houses the altarpiece and the Pilar.
La Lonja de Zaragoza #2
The Lonja de Zaragoza is a Renaissance-style building in the Plaza del Pilar in Zaragoza. It was constructed in the XVI century and originally served as a place of commerce and trade.
The building’s central torre was a center for economic activities, particularly in agricultural trade. The building is now only open to the public when exhibits are being held.
In the late 1800s, La Lonja ceased to be a commercial center and was transformed into a theater. The building was severely damaged in the earthquake of 1758, but was restored after the ensuing Guerra de los Sitios.
Throughout the years, many notable architects worked on the Lonja. The late Ursula Heredia wished to honor the famous aragonese painter Carmen Gomez Urdanez.
La Lonja de Zaragoza is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Constructed in the 16th century, it stands as a symbol of the commercial power of the city.
The exterior of the building features coloured medallions of Aragon and its interior is decorated with columns made of stone.
The Lonja of Zaragoza’s fachada is composed of 153 figuras, including women and comerciantes. The edifice is considered to be a symbol of the people and was connected to both the Diputation of the King and the Monarquia.
The Lonja was built with a luxurious feel, as it was inspired by the Vitrubio, a famous Spanish architect.
The Catedral De Zaragoza in Zaragoza #3
The Catedral de Zaragoza is a monumental building in the city of Zaragoza. Its interior is comprised of various parts that make up its architectural ensemble.
The Gothic style is evident in the structure of the naves, which are supported by contrafuertes. Mudejar cimborrio, a fundamental construction material, and mudejar ossuario are found on the façade.
The exterior of the building is simple but does not reveal its internal structure. It is surrounded by cloisters which are used as the homes of the cabildo members.
The Gothic style was first introduced in the 16th century and was perfected in the Baroque period. The cathedral was built by the architect Pere Johan between 1434 and 1480.
In the sixteenth century, it was expanded to five naves and used local materials, such as alabastro, polcromado, and mudejars. It is considered to be the culmination of the gotica and joya.
Another architectural gem is the 11th century Aljaferia Palace. This fortified Moorish castle is a great place to view the city’s past. It is built in brick and has a quadrangular plan with a large rectangular tower.
Its plasterwork ornamentation and Islamic-style coffered ceilings give the building a charming look. Another noteworthy architectural feature of the Catedral de Zaragoza is its Gothic style Saint Chapel.
It was recently redecorated in the Baroque style by Ventura Rodriguez, one of Spain’s greatest artists. The interior is covered in marble, silver, and other decorative materials.
It also boasts a 14th century Gothic alabaster statue of the Virgen del Pilar, which is believed to have been carved by a French master.
Museo Pablo Gargallo in Zaragoza #4
In this palace-style museum, original works of Spanish sculptor Pablo Gargallo are displayed. These works are displayed within a Renaissance-style palace. Inside, you’ll find original paintings, sculptures and other works by the Spanish sculptor.
The museum is open to the public daily. The museum is spread out over several floors. On the first floor, you’ll find a 15-minute documentary about the artist’s life.
The second floor contains sculptures ranging from 1904 to 1934. The fourth floor contains documentation, cartoons, and other works. The museum also has two basements that serve as temporary exhibition spaces.
Pablo Gargallo is Aragon’s contribution to the artistic avant-garde. He was a close friend of Picasso and Juan Gris and spent his most productive years in Paris.
In his work, he introduced Cubism to sculpture and invented three-dimensional figures from flat metal plates. His sculptures depict famous people such as Greta Garbo. The museum holds over 100 works by the artist.
Museo Pablo Gargallo is located in Zaragoza. If you’re driving, Moovit can provide you with directions and free maps.
The Aljafera Palace in Zaragoza #5
The Aljafera Palace is a fortified medieval palace in the present-day city of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. The palace was built during the 11th century during the reign of Abu Jaffar Al-Muqtadir, a ruler of the Banu Hud dynasty.
This fortified medieval palace was originally constructed by the Moors in the 11th century and expanded by the Catholic king and queen in the Renaissance.
The palace boasts ornate ceilings and intricate Moorish arches and is considered a historic monument. Guided tours are available in Spanish. Audio tours are also available.
The palace is free to visit and is open to the public every Sunday. The Aljaferia palace is one of the three most impressive Moorish palaces in Spain. The other two are the Alhambra in Granada and the Mezquita in Cordoba.
It was originally a fortress, but was later used as a royal residence, becoming the seat of the Spanish Inquisition. Today it is home to the Cortes (Parliment) of Aragon.
The main entrance to the Aljaferia is marked by a recessed arch and a five-lobed tympanum. The central courtyard contains a throne room and a small prayer room, both decorated with floral motifs. Inside, you’ll find inscriptions from the Quran.
The Iglesia De San Pablo De Zaragoza #6
The Iglesia de San Pablo dezaragoza is one of the most important churches in the city. It is located in the Barrio de San Pablo, also known as “El Gancho”. Its origins date back to the late XII century.
Initially, it was a simple ermita. After several centuries, it grew into a major church that now supersedes the Basilica del Pilar and Catedral de la Seo. Its importance was so great that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
The original ermita of San Pablo was located in the barrio of labradores, which was developed in the siglo XIII. The ermita was built on top of a small ermita dedicated to San Blas. Jordan de Asso dates this structure to 1284.
In 1259, Don Arnaldo de Peralta founded the parroquia of San Pablo. It was later included in the Arcedianato de Salvador. The Iglesia de San Pablo dezaragoza is located in Zaragoza, Spain.
It is the city’s tertiary catedral and one of the most important structures in the city. Though its interior has undergone several modifications, the edifice still retains much of its original construction.
The San Pablo de Zaragoza Cathedral is a historic landmark surrounded by ancient Roman walls. It was first built in the 13th century and later remodeled in the sixteenth and 17th centuries. The interior features mudejar and gothic styles.
The Basilica of Santa Engracia in Zaragoza #7
The Basilica of Santa Engracia is a beautiful church in Zaragoza, Spain. The church dates back to the 3rd century and was originally a Christian chapel. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a Plateresque building was added.
It was partially destroyed during the siege of Zaragoza in 1809, but was later rebuilt. Visitors may visit the church during the day or visit the crypt at night.
The Basilica of Santa Engracia is open to the public every day. Mass is celebrated several times a day in the church. It is open from 9:30am to 1pm and from 5:30pm to 9pm.
The Basilica is also home to the Goya Museum and Ibercaja Collection, which showcases the artist’s fine art collection. The Goya Museum is an excellent way to learn about the artist’s life and career.
The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and other objects. The Basilica of Santa Engracia was first built in 1511 by Gil Morlanes and completed in 1517 by his son.
It was renewed in the 18th century and was adorned with medallions and sculptures of saints. The basilica has four sanctuaries that represent the parents of the Western Church.
The building also contains four Paleo-Christian tombs, dating back to the 4th century. The tombs depict the soul in paradise.
The basilica’s doorway is framed by an Archivolt with cherub heads, flanked by figures in niches. Above the door, a frieze shows King Fernando V of Aragon and Isabella I of Castille kneeling before the Virgin and the infant Jesus.
The relief on the door depicts Christ on the cross. In the background, three tree stumps are placed in front of the door. An empty sentry box stands on the left side.
Museo de Zaragoza #8
The Museo de Zaragoza is Spain’s national museum and has collections spanning from the Lower Palaeolithic to the modern era. Its collections include Iberian ceramics, archaeology, and fine arts. Its galleries showcase Spanish history and culture.
The museum is home to several valuable collections, including a flamboyant Beaux-Arts building that was built for the Hispano-French Exposition in 1908. The museum survived the Spanish Civil War’s heavy bombardment.
It features Goya’s Corte paintings, including portraits of Carlos IV, Maria Luisa de Parma, and Fernando VII. It also displays a number of local digs and artifacts.
The museo has seven themed rooms that are split between two buildings. The first is dedicated to archeology, while the second is to fine arts. The other building displays temporary exhibitions.
The museo is open daily and is free to visitors. There is free parking and a children’s play area. The Museum of Fine Arts in Madrid is one of the oldest in the city.
This Neo-Renaissance building was originally built for the Spanish-French Exhibition in 1908. It was inspired by the Patio de la Infanta, which was originally the home of Renaissance merchant Gabriel Zaporta.
The museum is located in the Parque Jose Antonio Labordeta, near the Velilla de Ebro. The building also has an ethnology and ceramics display.
The Goya Museum houses a fine collection of works by the city’s most famous painter. There are several Goya portraits, as well as some of his most famous graphic works. Other notable works include Caprichos and La tauromaquia.
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FAQs about Zaragoza, Spain
What is special about Zaragoza?
It is known for its folklore and local cuisine. Other landmarks include the Basilica del Pilar and La Seo Cathedral, as well as the Aljaferia Palace. Along with La Seo, the Aljaferia and several other buildings make up the Mudejar Architecture of Aragon, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How old is the city of Zaragoza?
More than 2,000 years of history are part of the city’s rich heritage
You can still see the traces of Zaragoza’s past in the Roman ruins at the Teatro Romano and Aljaferia Palaces, as well as the Mudejar-style churches, the Teatro Romano and the Basilica de Nustra Senora del Pilar.