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Zaragoza: intertwining of history, architecture and unique flavors of the territory

Aug 23, 2023 | Spain

A trip to the fascinating Spanish city that combines tradition and modernity, age-old cultures and culinary delights

Zaragoza, with more than 2,000 years of history, stands as a city full of charm and tradition. The famous Basilica del Pilar, its Roman roots and the warm welcome of the local people make it a must-see Spanish destination. Located on the banks of the Ebro River, Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon and an ideal crossroads for exploring Spain.

Four cultures have crossed paths in Zaragoza and it presents a unique monumental heritage. Its multicultural roots and fusion of architectural styles make it a unique destination. To explore it is to walk through the eras and peoples that have shaped it.

Zaragoza’s unique heritage lies in the intersection of history and innovation. Roman, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influences mingle in a fascinating architectural mosaic. Each street reveals a fragment of these past cultures.

The typical dishes of Zaragoza

Typical Aragonese cuisine is an ode to local products, embracing beef and lamb, fresh vegetables, eggs, delicious cheeses, and river fish. This wealth of ingredients reflects the geographic diversity of the region.

Agribusiness production includes vegetables such as asparagus, onions, thistle and the amazing borage, often used in Aragonese cuisine. The different areas of Aragon also offer a wealth of river fish such as trout and eel.

Chicken chilindrón

Traditional dishes include lamb or chicken, such as the famous chilindrón chicken with onion, tomato, and peppers.

Ternasco al Horno con Patatas

The ultimate expression of Aragonese tradition: Ternasco lamb, locally raised and selected from specific breeds, baked with potatoes, asparagus and artichokes. A unique taste experience.

Migas Aragonesas

Ancient roots and Arab influences come together in this dish. Simple bread crumbs are combined with fried eggs and grapes and sometimes with lamb or pork.

Borrajhas con Patatas

Borage, abundant in the region, finds its way into this recipe. It is a simple but flavorful combination of borage and potatoes and a tribute to the surrounding nature.

Bacalao Ajoarriero

This dish fascinates with its variations throughout Spain. Cod, cooked in a pan with garlic and tomato, offers a unique discovery with each taste.

Sweets of Zaragoza

Zaragoza’s confectionery art is a plunge into history with its Arab influences. Among the delicacies, nougat and Crespillo, delicate pancakes with tender borage, stand out. The culinary experience is enhanced with Guirlaclies, almond cakes. These delicacies reveal the marriage of Arab roots and local tradition.

What to see in Zaragoza

Patio de la Infanta and El Tubo

This charming courtyard, rich in history and culture, is a must-see attraction for travelers who are passionate about art and architecture. With its Moorish decorations and cozy atmosphere, the Patio de la Infanta transports you back in time.

El Tubo is a lively neighborhood renowned for its cozy, bustling streets full of bars and restaurants serving local delicacies.

La Seo del Salvador and Our Lady of Pilar

The magnificent La Seo Cathedral in Zaragoza is a unique architectural jewel, erected on the foundations of the ancient mosque of the Muslim era. This extraordinary building embodies an incredible fusion of styles, ranging from Romanesque to Baroque and Mudejar. Access to the cathedral offers an opportunity not only to immerse yourself in its magnificence, but also to explore the Tapestry Museum, which houses a collection of Flemish and French pieces.

The Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar is a majestic church overlooking Zaragoza with its towers and a monumental dome surrounded by ten smaller domes. Multicolored tiles, in the Arabesque style, create a unique ornamentation. A chapel was originally erected around the marble pillar where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to Santiago in the first century AD. Over the centuries, architectural expansion created today’s magnificent complex. Inside are the pillar, kissed by popes, mothers and onlookers, and Damián Forment’s alabaster masterpiece, a 16th-century altarpiece.

Palacio de la Aljaferia and Monasterio de Piedra

The Aljafería stands as the most splendid Islamic palace in Spain outside of Andalusia. This fairy-tale building, built in the 11th century as the sumptuous home of the region’s Islamic governors, is a jewel that reveals the artistry and grandeur of the period. Its interior enchants with horseshoe arches, inner courtyards, patios and prayer niches, decorated in the Mudejar style, featuring Arabic flourishes and inscriptions.

In the heart of Aragon lies the Monasterio de Piedra, a centuries-old Cistercian monastery nestled in an enchanting natural park enriched by breathtaking waterfalls and mysterious caves. Cola de Caballo is the most iconic and holds a vast natural cavern adorned with stalactites.

Zaragoza: a fascinating blend of history, architecture and food

Zaragoza is a Spanish jewel with roots dating back thousands of years, capable of captivating and engaging visitors with its rich history and vibrant culture. Its Basilica del Pilar and La Seo Cathedral represent outstanding architectural works, while the Monasterio de Piedra offers a deep connection with nature.

Typical Aragonese dishes are a treat for the palate, reflecting the essence of the region and its geographical variety. El Tubo captures with its lively soul and the welcoming atmosphere of this city. Zaragoza is a fascinating city where history, architecture and food, shaped by cultures that have intertwined over the centuries, come together to create something unique.

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