A Grateful Return to Zaragoza, Spain
Zaragoza, Spain is located in the region of Aragon and it is definitely worth a two or three day visit. Zaragoza is located in-between Madrid and Barcelona; which makes it a convenient point to stop and see more of this beautiful country.
I first visited Zaragoza in 2011, but I was craving to learn more about the city and the region the minute I left. Thankfully, I was able to return to Zaragoza to learn more and share my new experience.
I arrived in Zaragoza via train from Barcelona, which is about a 1:45 minute train ride. The AVE train is the most beautiful and technically advanced train in Europe. The ride was worth every euro. Upon my arrival, I quickly checked into my hostel, locked up my bags, and headed out to explore the city.
This post will provide you with some things to experience during your visit to Zaragoza. Please provide feedback below so others can learn for your experience too.
Plaza Cesar Augusto
The Plaza Cesar Augusto is located on the Northwest corner of the old town in front of Puente de Santiago. The plaza has a statue of the former Roman Emperor Cesar Augusto (hence the name) and an old Roman wall that leads up to the Plaza Del Pilar. I tried to learn more about the plaza, but all I could find is that the old wall was constructed during Roman occupation of Spain.
Plaza Del Pilar
The Plaza del Pilar is one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Spain. It is decorated with churches, fountains, statues, and restaurants.
I took several early sunrise shots during my visit; which I feel turned out well.
Basilica del Pilar
Tradition has it that soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Saint James was soon preaching the gospel in Spain.(1) However, Saint James felt he was doing a poor job in his mission, so he said a prayer near the banks Ebro River and the “mother of God” appeared to him and told him to build the church.(2) The date that this supposed encounter accrued was September 2nd 40 AD.
Four years after James’ vision of Mary, he built a small chapel on the site of the current cathedral. It is the first church ever built in dedication to the Virgin Mary. The chapel was later destroyed and and several other churches were built over the centuries.
The current church which is built in the baroque style and was commissioned by King Charles II. The church’s construction lasted five years from 1681-1686. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), three bombs were dropped on the church and none of them exploded.(3)
The basilica is beautiful and the statues and crosses inside the structure are inspiring. Sadly, no photos are allowed inside the church. There is also no entrance fee.
Puente Del Pilar
During my early morning photo walk, I made my way out of the basilica and walked along the banks of the Ebro River. A few feet from the basilica is Puente del Pilar. The bridge is a sound piece of architecture and the views are breathtaking.
My three days in Zaragoza were fun and relaxing. After four months traveling through the balkans and Italy, I was able to recharge and taste the wines and cuisine of Spain once again.
I’ve included some helpful travel tips below along with more photos.
Where to Stay
Alberque Zaragoza Hoste is a nice and centrally located place to stay. I reserved a private room well in advance and the cost per night was around €27.00 (breakfast included).
Address: c/Predicadores 70/Zaragoza, Spain
Phone: 34 976282043
email & website: firstname.lastname@example.org/www.zaragozahostel.com
Where to Eat
Bodegas Almau, is an amazing place to eat and drink. Hang out with the locals and share your travel stories. Everyone I met here was friendly and willing to share their love of the city. I had an amazing time here and I am sure you will too.
Address: C/Estebanes, 10(El Tubo)
More Things To Experience in Zaragoza
- Catedral de San Salvador (La Seo)
- Museo del teatro de Ceasaraugusto/Cesar Agustus Theater Museum
- Museo de Zaragoza
- Patio de la Infanta
- La Alfarería
Statues of Plaza Del Pilar
Zaragoza will be a day stop during my April 2015 tour of Spain. More details coming soon.
For more on Zaragoza, visit La Aljaferia Palace.
1-3 taken from wikipedia.com and Zaragoza Turismo brochure and map.
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