Zaragoza is a famous cultural city that has more than 1000 years of amazing history. The exact date of foundation is uncertain; the city is believed to appear in the period of 19th-15th centuries B.C.
The city of beautiful architecture and breathtaking scenery was long ago a Roman colony and the name of the city was Cesar Augusta in honor of the Roman emperor August.
All together Zaragoza bears traces of many cultures and invaders such as Romans, Arabs, Jews and Christians. That’s why it is often called – “the city of four cultures.” In 714, the Moors captured the city and gave it a new name – Sarakusta. They built many imposing buildings like a brilliant Aljafería Palace, 11th century. Beautiful towers and domes of the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin of Pilar, the patron saint of Spain, reflected in the waters of the river Ebro, which flows through the city.
In the 12th century, the city was captured by the Christians. And today the presence of 3 worlds’ most important religions is presented in a special style called “mudehar”, which combines luxurious Arabic style with delicate European.
Nuestra Señora del Pilar
The old town and most interesting part of the city is located between the park and the palace of the Aljafería Bruel. The heart of the place is Zaragoza’s cathedral Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The legend says that the church was built on the very spot where Apostle James witnessed visitation of the Blessed Virgin. The existing building appeared later, in 1515 facade of the cathedral was decorated in Baroque style. The interiors of the temple are decorated with extreme luxurious: bronze, different varieties of marble and jasper, which is a rather rare combination in Spain. Great retablo was completed in 1509 by a prominent sculptor Damiano Formenti. The arches of the cathedral were painted by a young Francisco Goya. The cathedral is kept in a so-called Holy column – a relic associated with the phenomenon of the Blessed Virgin in Zaragoza. If you take to the right you will get to a nice street, filled with Zaragoza restaurants that serve the best Spanish cuisine in Spain.
Another outstanding landmark of Zaragoza is the Cathedral of San Salvador, often referred to as La Seo. It was rebuilt in 1541 – 1551 years from the mosque that existed during the Moorish occupation. This mosque, in turn, was an early Christian church. Cathedral of San Salvador is a Spanish example of late Gothic style. Among its numerous treasures one should pay attention to the great retablo, made of alabaster.
Torreon del Court
The ensemble of the Plaza del Pilar includes incredible Torreon del Court – the former residence of the Moorish rulers of Zaragoza, built in 918, which since then has come down to our days with great loss but is still one of the most photographed spot in the city, inside the building is pretty simple, today it hosts art exhibitions.