It is best to start your acquaintance with Zaragoza from Plaza Cesar Augusto, where the remains of the ancient fortress wall have been preserved. This square adjoins another one, the most famous in the city, Plaza Pilar (Plaza del Pilar), it houses the main temple of Zaragoza – the Basilica of Nuestra Senora del Pilar (Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar). The basilica is decorated with 11 domes, and its walls were painted by Francisco Goya himself, one of the most famous Spanish artists and a legend of Zaragoza.
According to cachedhealth.com, the Gothic Cathedral of San Salvador, or simply Catedral de la Seo, is a Renaissance monument built on the site of a former mosque in the 14th century. It is one of the main religious buildings in the city and one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Many styles were mixed in the architecture of the cathedral: Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, and Baroque. Of particular note is the northwestern facade, which was built by the Mudéjars (Moors who remained to live in Spain under Christian rule): it is lined with bricks, multi-colored tiles and is very elegant. The Cathedral houses the Tapestry Museum (Museo de Tapices).
Not far from the Plaza San Pedro Nolasco (Plaza San Pedro Nolasco) you can see the ruins of the Roman theater (Teatro Romano), a lot in Zaragoza left from the time of Arab domination. The Moors stopped ruling here as early as the 12th century, but until the 15th century the Arab community in Zaragoza was very influential, and its masons were true masters of their craft, so Moorish architecture was preserved here better than any other. One of the masterpieces of the Moorish style is the Aljaferia Palace, originally it was the residence of the Arab rulers, but after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, the palace was “adapted” for the Catholic kings – a special throne room was created inside.
In the Old Town (“Casco Viejo”), pay attention to La Lonja – in the past the building of the exchange of the 16th century was built, and today it is the main exhibition center.
On the side of the northern facade of the Cathedral of Zaragoza, in Piazza San Bruno), at the former pier on the Ebro, there is the Museum of the River Port, which is located directly in the ruins of the river port of the Roman era. On the other side of the cathedral are other ruins – this time, the Roman public baths. There is a small Museum of Roman Baths, you can visit both museums on one ticket.
Anyone can visit Zaragoza in absentia: www.zaragoza.es interactive 3-D tour of the city will definitely inspire you to visit the capital of Aragon in person.
Zaragoza has a well-developed network of tourist information offices (look for the red and white Oficina de Turismo signs). They will help you find your way home, reserve a hotel room or a table in a restaurant, and organize a sightseeing tour.
The main city holiday with performances, installations, animation and concerts is the El Pilar Festival, which takes place annually during the week of October 12th. This is also the best time to watch bullfighting in Zaragoza.
Easter week in Zaragoza is a colorful theatrical procession in the city center, which includes several hundred worshiping women dressed in black robes and men in hooded robes playing drums.
Weather in Zaragoza
The climate in Zaragoza is continental Mediterranean with hot summers and moderately cold winters. As a rule, only Cierso, a northwestern cold dry wind, worries the locals. Most of the precipitation (and there is very little of it) occurs in the spring months. In July and August, the air warms up to +40 °C, and in winter it is stable in the range between 0 and 10 °C.
It is best to go to Zaragoza in the spring – from April to mid-June. July days are exhausting with heat for both tourists and locals, although in the evenings the streets are crowded: most go to the city to have dinner or meet friends over a glass of wine or beer. In August, the city practically freezes – many go on vacation to the coast or to the mountains – and most of the restaurants, cafes and bars are closed.