Destination Spain takes you to Zaragoza

Come to Zaragoza, one of Spain's major cities. The capital of the Region of Aragon is located on the banks of the Ebro River, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. There are many reasons to come to this open, friendly city!

2,000 years of history. You will find an impressive monumental legacy in its streets, as Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians left their mark on this place: ruins of Roman civilisation such as the Theatre; the Aljafería Palace; Mudejar-style churches, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; Baroque jewels such as the basilica of Pilar; the work of the genius Francisco de Goya... And also, the site of the modern Expo 2008. If you are an art-lover, Zaragoza is your city. The best way to discover Zaragoza's monuments is to stroll through its streets. The city walls, churches, basilicas, palaces, stately houses and squares of the old quarter reflect the different civilizations that settled the city.

Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians left their cultural legacy behind, waiting to be admired to this day. There are certain monuments and places that are simply not to be missed. Leave your watch behind and grab your camera. You should plan your stay according to the time you have available. However, much time you have, take note of our proposal to make the most of a day in Zaragoza.

You can start the day in Plaza del Pilar Square, alongside the Ebro River. The city's three most emblematic buildings are located here: the Pilar Basilica, church and universal symbol of Zaragoza; La Lonja Palace, the region of Aragon's most important 16th century civil building, venue for many exhibitions throughout the year; and San Salvador Cathedral (the "Seo"), Aragon's most valuable and significant monument, where you will find medieval artistic styles reflected, along with Renaissance and Baroque elements. Be sure to look at the exterior wall of the Parroquieta Chapel, on one side of the Seo - it is the pinnacle of Zaragoza Mudejar architecture.

Before lunch, head for the Caesaraugusta Theatre Museum, just a few minutes walk away. See what the Roman city's most popular monument was like. There are many witnesses to Zaragoza's imperial past to be seen - the city walls, the Forum, the River Port and the Public Baths, with their respective museums.

To get your strength back, there is nothing better than trying the regional gastronomic delicacies at any of the many restaurants in the city. After lunch you can get underway again by visiting the Metropolitan Water Park, the city's main recreation area and green lung, and a veritable open-air museum. As part of the Expo 2008 legacy it is full of fun sporting and cultural activities: stroll along its avenues and enjoy the Water Gardens, the golf course, the River Beach, the Arbolé Theatre and more. One of the most important green spaces in the city is the José Antonio Labordeta Park, commonly known as the Parque Grande or Great Park, with wide landscaped avenues adorned with monuments such as the statue of Alfonso I the Warrior, or spaces like the Botanical Garden.

At mid-afternoon, Aljafería Palace awaits. Don't miss this Moorish gem, the most important 11th century civil construction in the Islamic West, with stunning areas such as the Santa Isabel and San Martín patios, or the polychromed coffering of the Throne Room. To finish off the day, we would suggest that you head back to the center of the city and visit the Patio de la Infanta, a 16th century architectural gem with various works by artist Francisco de Goya. If you are interested in art by this great painter, you can see more in the Ibercaja Camón Aznar Museum (MICAZ), housed in the Renaissance Palace of the Pardo, where the four large series of engravings by Goya are displayed in one of the rooms.

Zaragoza still has much more to see. This is why it is best to stay on for two or three days if possible. It is the best way to take a closer look at all this city has to offer.

Ask Destination Spain to organize for you a short break holiday in Zaragoza www.spain info/en