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One of Spain’s religious centers, Zaragoza is home to the country’s first Marian sanctuary, a cathedral dedicated to the venerated Our Lady of Pilar, whose apparition appeared to St. James in the first century. The city has two cathedrals, the other, the Seo, is a huge Gothic church incorporating several decorative styles. Its high altar, treasury and tapestry collection, displayed in a separate building, are its main attractions. Relics of its Roman and later Moorish occupations are few, but in the latter case memorable. The Aljaferia palace was built by the ruling Moorish dynasty in the 11th century, and later used by the Catholic ...

One of Spain’s religious centers, Zaragoza is home to the country’s first Marian sanctuary, a cathedral dedicated to the venerated Our Lady of Pilar, whose apparition appeared to St. James in the first century. The city has two cathedrals, the other, the Seo, is a huge Gothic church incorporating several decorative styles. Its high altar, treasury and tapestry collection, displayed in a separate building, are its main attractions. Relics of its Roman and later Moorish occupations are few, but in the latter case memorable. The Aljaferia palace was built by the ruling Moorish dynasty in the 11th century, and later used by the Catholic monarchs. Richly decorated by skilled craftsmen, the palace and especially the tiny mosque inside it, is one of the few examples in northern Spain of the apex of Islamic art. Queen Isabela of Portugal, who would later be sainted, was born here. The artist Francisco Goya was a native of a town outside of Zaragoza, and his paintings are shown in the city museum, along with archaeological relics. Fans of Art Nouveau will find several good examples here, the best of which is Casa Juncosa.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Situated on the Ebro river in North Eastern Spain
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime except mid summer; in the winter and spring for skiing