viernes, 5 de junio de 2015

Visit Zaragoza: At the bank of the river Ebro

Zaragoza, a city rich in culture

Introduction Talk of Zaragoza Zaragoza, capital of Aragon, involves not only refer to the fifth largest city in Spain (now exceeds 700,000), or a majestic basilica reflected in the placid waters of the Ebro, in whose womb the venerated hidden image of the Virgen del Pilar. Far from the coldness of the numbers or having been for centuries an important spiritual center, according to Christian tradition, was where there was the first Marian apparition in history, this bustling city is also a center of cultural and tourist attraction first magnitude.

And, although overshadowed by the undeniable beauty of the building mentioned, Zaragoza can boast of a vast architectural heritage, the product of over two millennia of history pregnant. Even today, walking the streets of the old town, the stones whisper the newcomer an exciting journey that begins in prehistory and in which Romans, Moors and Christians have slipped their mark.

This fascinating journey through the past starts Zaragoza hand of one of the people who occupied the Iberian Peninsula (the sedetanos), and has continued in the chronicles of Pliny, who in the first century BC he referred to this original settlement as Salduei or Saldaba. However, the real emergence of the city would come in the year 23 or 24 BC hand of Emperor Augustus, who entrusted her three best legions (Macedonian IV, VI Victrix and X Gemina) the founding of a new Roman province or conventus would be dubbed Caesaragusta. In 452 AD, and after decades of social and political turmoil, the place fell into the hands of the Swabians and, soon after, the Visigoths, those who annexed the kingdom of Toulouse in 466. 
Occupied by Muza ibn Nusayr in 714, was called by Muslims as Sarakusta Albaida (or what is the same: "White"). After becoming the capital of a Taifa kingdom in 1031, Alfonso I Fighting annexed the kingdom of Aragon in 1118, making it the capital of the same in 1136. After reaching an undeniable strength in the Middle Ages, which lasted early Modern Age, as evidenced by some Renaissance buildings impeccable billing, fell into decline. In 1706, Felipe V was included in the decree of New Plant and abolished their privileges, which recovered quickly in 1710. Consecrated as a symbol of resistance against the French during the Peninsular War-in 1808 and 1809 was the scene of heroic episodes - call Zaragoza was also host of the pictorial legacy of one of the Aragonese and most universal Spanish painters: Francisco de Goya. And in recent times, the International Exhibition of 2008, dedicated to water, certified the ability of the city to project beyond their own borders.

When aiming to climatic conditions, its location on the Ebro brings a semi-arid continental climate, marked by a rather low rate of rainfall (precipitation often concentrated in the spring). Their temperatures can reach extreme values: very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer. Also during the winter and the early stages of spring, the north wind often blows in the province.

Their attractiveness as a tourist center as well as its status as the fourth Spanish city making it relates to economic activity, explains why its transport infrastructure make it so easy to travel to Zaragoza. In fact, its strategic location halfway between Barcelona and Madrid (300 km separate you from both) motivates many bus lines connect Zaragoza with a large number of Spanish and European cities. They arrive at the Central Bus Station, located in the 80th Avenue Navarra.

However, if the traveler opts for a private vehicle, you have easy access to Zaragoza from Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Bilbao, Huesca, Teruel and Valencia by motorways. Also, tracing the call Mudéjar motorway (A-23), you reach the vicinity of France.

As for the train, Zaragoza has since 2003 with the high-speed line (AVE) Madrid-Zaragoza-Lleida, connecting the city with the capital of Spain in just an hour and a half. In 2008, it began operating the extension to Barcelona and also the first commuter service in the province was launched.

In any case, if you want to book flights to Zaragoza, do not forget that the city also has an airport. This was expanded with a new terminal in 2008, during the International Exhibition. Currently, four airlines (two national and two foreign), permanently connected to nine international destinations (London, Paris, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Milan, Bologna, Rome, Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest) and six national (Alicante, Palma operate Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife and Lanzarote). In summer, regular flights to Menorca, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Ibiza and Menorca are also operating.

Finally, when looking for hotels in Zaragoza, travelers will have no problem, since the city has an extensive range of hotels, guest houses, inns and suit all budgets apartments. Without going any further, it is possible to enjoy a night hotel from just over 20 euros, approximately.

For these facilities, together with its countless architectural treasures and attractive cuisine (with wines from the province to the head), Zaragoza becomes a must for anyone who wants to enjoy a very complete cultural and leisure destination with the stunning picture of the Ebro.
Attractions in Zaragoza: much more than the Virgin of Pilar
Sightseeing in Zaragoza Then the essential places to visit for those who come to Zaragoza are listed.

The Aljafería

This fortress, which now houses the Parliament of Aragon, is an important building of the eleventh century Muslim. Built as the residence of the emirs of Córdoba, was subsequently occupied by the Beni-Hud, Taifa kings of Zaragoza, who enlarged and embellished it with the collaboration of prestigious builders. Later, the palace was rebuilt by the Aragonese monarchs (in the fourteenth century) and the Catholic Monarchs (XV century), those who dated back to superb stay. Among the most striking, it should be noted, on the ground floor, a musallah or Islamic oratory and the gothic staircase leading to the throne room. This one, located on the first floor with a roof which exhibits a magnificent coffered ceiling. The building, which also functioned as a prison at the time of the Inquisition, also includes a beautiful patio, an attractive garden and an ancient mosque. In 2001, the Aljafería was included in the list of World Heritage.

      Antigua School of Medicine

This 1887 building is headed by Ricardo Magdalena. Do not miss your platerescos details.

      Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar

Considered the first Marian temple of Christianity, it was built in the seventeenth century on an old Gothic church (which itself had risen on a Romanesque church). According to legend, it was here that the Virgin appeared to the apostle Santiago. Although the basilica was originally designed by Herrera, the architect Ventura Rodríguez and the reformed adding eleven o'clock tiled domes, some of which were decorated by Goya. The basilica plan with three naves and a Plateresque choir stalls. Among the treasures which houses inside the main altar, with an alabaster altarpiece Gothic-Renaissance and signed by Damian Forment bill. And of course, do not miss the chapel of the Virgin, with Gothic carved wooden image of Our Lady of Pilar. In the Pilar Museum, they are preserved some of the clothes of this revered size.

 Cartuja de Aula Dei

Located 14 km from Zaragoza and founded in 1563 by Hernando de Aragon (grandson of the Catholic Monarchs and Archbishop of the city), it is designed by architect Martin Miteza. The place occupied by a closure order and decorated with frescoes by Francisco de Goya, was declared Monument of National Interest in 1983.

    House and Arch of the Dean

Situated next to the Cathedral, they are one of the quintessential symbols of Zaragoza. It dates back to 1293, when the building was constructed to house the residence of the dean or prior. Between 1585 and 1587, it was renovated in depth and has Mudejar and Plateresque elements. Already in 1951, a major reform culminating in 1958 was undertaken.

    Madeleine Church

It is the epitome of the Aragonese Mudejar in Zaragoza. The building has a single nave with chapels between buttresses, a vault of grow and polygonal head with arched windows. In any case, the most attractive feature of the building is its slender bell tower, dating from the fourteenth century.

   Church of San Pablo

Known popularly as the third Cathedral, it is a Gothic-Mudejar building built between the late thirteenth century and the first half of the XIV. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it was expanded to respond to population growth. This construction has an impressive octagonal belfry and altarpiece by Damian Forment. The church is a World Heritage Site since 2001.

      La Lonja

This Gothic-style building was erected plateresco in 1541 by Juan de Sariñena and decorated by Gil de Morlanes. His majesty admirably illustrates the importance acquired by the Aragonese trade in the sixteenth century.

      Lanuza market (or Central Market)

Built on a steel structure, it is a magnificent example of Art Nouveau architecture in Aragon. Designed in 1895 by Felix Navarro, it was inaugurated in 1903.

      Roman wall

Erected between the first and third centuries AD, I came to have an area of ​​3 km, but now only a few vestiges remain. In fact, only two sections remain standing 10 meters high, located respectively in the northeast and northwest of Zaragoza.

Museo Camon Aznar

This institution, which opens its doors in a building built in 1530 by order of trader Jerome sewn together a remarkable collection of art. The first floor is devoted to pictorial and sculptural works that came out between the XV and XVIII. The second revolves around the work of Goya, while the third houses various artistic expressions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The museum is in the street Espoz y Mina, 23.

      Museum Forum (Forum Coloniae)

The forum, located at number 2 of the Plaza de la Seo, was the main political and religious center of the city. On one side, a porticoed area with shops and taverns (tabernae) of two floors that still retain some of their foundations rose. A reconstruction shown to scale in this market at the museum during the reign of Augustus, a section of sewer -built in times of Tiberius and pipes of the time, recovered in the eighties of the last century. In addition, you can also see objects from everyday life, such as vases, spoons or clay toys.

      Museum of the Baths

Very close to the Plaza de San Pedro Nolasco (C / San Juan and San Pedro, 3-7), these Roman baths, which were in operation between centuries BC is located and IV A.D. The museum has changing rooms, niches for storing clothes, spaces for exercise facilities and swimming pools at various temperatures (with hot, warm and cold water). In the corresponding museum traces distinguish latrines and a stretch of pavement, both the first century BC, not to mention a pool of cold water (natatio), arcades and outdoor. They can also be considered goods used by customers of the toilets, such as slippers, pins, sponges and towels.

   Zaragoza Museum

Located at number 6 of the plaza of the sites, it preserves a remarkable collection of Roman coins and sculptures and mosaics from some patrician villas. Some of them, dated around the fourth century AD show Christian motifs.

    Palace Argillo

Built in the seventeenth century, this building only retains its original structure and its facade patio. Today, it houses the Pablo Gargallo Museum, where you can discover the unique heritage of the Aragonese sculptor (C / San Felipe, 3).

    Puerta del Carmen

Built in the eighteenth century by Augustine Sanz, he was for the second walled city of Zaragoza.

      Roman river port

Its remains can be seen in the number 8 Piazza San Bruno. The remains of a pier in the northern bank of the Ebro, intended to distribute products from Vareia (today Logroño) and Dertosa (Tortosa) still distinguish themselves. The center also has a model that recreates some stores Ecuador century AD, which served to bridge the geographical gap between the port and the forum. Visitors can also see amphorae used to transport goods as well as some blocks that still exhibit the quarry marks left by the founding legions of Caesaraugusta.

    La Seo del Salvador

The Zaragoza Cathedral has its genesis in the Visigoth era, but during the Muslim domination was converted into a mosque. After the reconquest, it was the subject of further reforms that gave accommodate various architectural styles, from Romanesque to churrigueresco. The building's interior has valuable pieces by artists such as Pere Joan, John of Swabia or Gil de Morlanes the Elder, who participated in the realization of the high altar. At the same time, do not miss the magnificent Moorish dome crowning the Parroquieta, the octagonal tower or the Renaissance tombs of Ferdinand of Aragon and his mother. For its part, the Tapestry Museum, which opens at the top of the Cathedral, home to a beautiful collection of Flemish and French between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries tapestries. In 2001, UNESCO joined the Cathedral to the list of World Heritage.

      Roman theater

Located at number 12 Calle San Jorge, he was discovered in the fall of 1972 during the demolition of a building. Built in the first third of the first century AD, coinciding with the mandate of Tiberius, the site was plundered in the second half of the third century in order to erect a new wall. During the Muslim occupation, the place was used for the creation of housing, while in the sixteenth century it became host some stately homes. Of its original structure, even the bleachers (cavea), the separation between them (praecintio) are distinguished, the orchestra -reservada the Romans dignitaries and magistrates and the stage or pulpitum. It is estimated that had a capacity for 6,000 spectators. Today, the theater is part of a museum was opened in 2003.

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