Zaragoza Spain Mini Guide
Zaragoza is surrounded by some of Spain's biggest cities and within 200 kilometres of Barcelona
. Despite the fact that it is Spain’s 5th largest city, Zaragoza has remained mostly untouched by tourism.This magisterial city used to be the capital of the kingdom of Aragon which reigned in the Iberian Peninsula between the 11th century and the 18th century.
Now around 800,000 people live in Zaragoza which is the capital of the Zaragoza province in the centre of Spain. Zaragoza used to be part of the Kingdom of Aragon according to our Spain guide
Over the years Zaragoza suffered in various wars. In the 19th century Napoleon laid siege to Zaragoza and the city was bombed mercilessly during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Many buildings of cultural and historic significance are still standing in Zaragoza though.
There is the Cathedral de San Salvador, the Basilica of our Lady of the Pillar, and the old currency exchange building which is known as the Lonja. Probably the most jaw dropping of them is the old Moorish castle of Aljaferia with its imposing turrets and towers where the Aragonese government of Zaragoza is based. There are also a number of 16th century palaces and churches which are considered World Heritage Sites. The town has huge religious importance as Christianity in Spain is thought to have started there. Legend has it that a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared to one of Jesus' disciples in the 1st century.
Today Zaragoza is famed for its nightlife with the El Tubo tapas district and an area filled with nightclubs called El Casco Viejo, providing the perfect setting for an evening out. Expo 2008, an international exposition or world fair, was set up in Zaragoza on the banks of the river Ebro and was open to the public until September 2009.
There is hardly any rainfall in Zaragoza and, as the city is surrounded by mountains the temperatures soar up into the 40s (degrees Celsius) during the summer months.
Zaragoza has its own small commercial airport or it possible to rent a car in one of the cities that surround it and visit it by motorway. Zaragoza has a high speed rail connection which makes it possible to get to either Madrid or Barcelona in just over an hour. A network of buses with 28 regular lines runs in Zaragoza so public transport is an option once you have arrived in this busy city.