The capital of the Region of Aragon is located on the banks of the Ebro River, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. Zaragoza lies 200 metres above sea level, occupying the alluvial terraces of this great peninsular river and part of the lower valleys of its tributaries, the Rivers Gállego and Huerva. The climate is Mediterranean-Continental and rather arid.
Zaragoza is an open, cosmopolitan and friendly city, still in expansion (it is now spreading out on both sides of the Ebro river). With a population of more than 700,000 inhabitants (one of the most densely populated cities in Spain), Zaragoza offers the advantages of a medium-size city and the facilities of a big capital. Thanks to its solid industrial background, buoyant commercial aspect and a first-class hotel infrastructure, Zaragoza has become an ideal center for conferences, trade fairs and congresses. This is also aided by its strategic position at the center of the main provincial capitals.
During 2008 Zaragoza was the venue of the International Exhibition EXPO 2008 “Water and Sustainable Development”. This event contributed to the modernization of the city, with a significant improvement on conventions and tourist infrastructures.
The best way to discover Zaragoza’s monuments is to stroll through its streets. You will feel all the wealth of its 2,000 years of history. The city walls, churches, basilicas, palaces, stately houses and squares of the old quarter reflect the different civilizations that settled the city. Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians left their cultural legacy behind, waiting to be admired to this day. There are certain monuments and places that are simply not to be missed.
See what the Roman city’s most popular monument was like. There are many witnesses to Zaragoza’s imperial past to be seen, e.g. the City Walls, the Forum, the River Port and the Public Baths, with their respective museums. The most outstanding religious monument in Zaragoza is without any doubt the Basilica of the Pilar, “El Pilar”. Built on the site of a primitive Mozarabic church, it is endowed with different styles in construction and ornamentation. Of particular note are the choir (with its exquisite choirstalls), the impressive Renaissance altarpiece in alabaster by Damien Forment, the Holy Chapel where the image of the Virgin is venerated, and the cupolas painted by Goya.
Do not forget to visit the Moslem Palace of the Aljaferia, palace of Joy. Now it houses the Parliament of Aragon but in the past, since the 11th century, it was the palace of the Moslem monarchs of Zaragoza. It also acted as inspiration for Verdi in his operetta Il Trovatore.
Know more about this beautiful and welcoming city through this video: