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5 Cultural Treasures of Zaragoza : Sketching Your Journey

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Zaragoza view

Zaragoza, a city nestled in the northeast of Spain and the capital of Aragon, holds a rich tapestry of history and culture. Situated 200 meters above sea level on the banks of the Ebro River, Zaragoza boasts a population of approximately 660,000 people. Founded by the Romans in 24 BC and named the Colony of Emperor Augustus, the city has witnessed centuries of historical events, from its role in the Caliphate of Cordoba during the 8th century to its heroic defense against the French during the Spanish War of Independence in the early 19th century. Today, Zaragoza is a treasure of historical and cultural gems, making it an ideal destination for culture-loving travelers and sketching enthusiasts. Accessible by train from Barcelona, Madrid, or Valencia, it’s a city that beckons to those with an artistic soul.

Let’s discover 5 Cultural Treasures of Zaragoza.

Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar stands as one of Spain’s largest basilicas. Built in the baroque style, it has become one of Zaragoza’s most iconic landmarks. This revered temple, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, dates back to the early days of Christianity and is home to exquisite frescoes by renowned artists such as Goya and Francisco Bayeu. The 16th-century altarpiece by Damien Forment is a testament to the basilica’s historical significance.

Best of all, admission is free, making it an excellent spot for sketching enthusiasts. The plaza surrounding the basilica, known as Plaza del Pilar, offers a picturesque view that’s perfect for your artistic creations.

If you want to learn more about the Basilica suggest you to book a guided tour. If you are a small group it better to book private tour with local guide.

Plaza del Pilar

Plaza del Pilar, dating back to the 16th century, is at the heart of Zaragoza. As one of Spain’s largest squares, it’s a hub of activity, hosting a range of entertainment events for the city’s residents. This historic square is flanked by significant landmarks, including the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, City Hall, Cathedral of La Seo, Courthouse, and a monument dedicated to the famous artist Francisco Goya. It’s a vibrant space where the city’s festivals and celebrations come to life, offering a myriad of sketching opportunities for culture-loving travelers.

Aljafería Palace

A true architectural gem, the Aljafería Palace is a Moorish-style palace that was originally constructed in the 11th century for the Caliph of the Taifa of Zaragoza, Al-Muqtadir. This stunning palace has witnessed the influence of various rulers, including Christian monarchs like Pedro IV and Ferdinand. Despite facing hardships during the Napoleonic era, it stands strong today as the seat of the Parliament of Aragon. Its complex arches, reminiscent of lace, make it a must-visit for any artist or culture enthusiast. Capture the palace’s beauty in your sketches, and you won’t be disappointed.

Cathedral of the Savior

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral del Salvador de Zaragoza boasts a blend of architectural styles, from Mudejar to Renaissance and Baroque. It even incorporates elements from a Romanesque church built in the 12th century. The interior of the cathedral reveals its Gothic features and Flemish tapestries, providing an artistic treasure trove for history and art lovers alike. Find a quiet corner to sketch and immerse yourself in the cathedral’s profound history and stunning architecture.

Park Grande José Antonio Labordeta

Make a calm break between your cultural exploration in the Park Grande José Antonio Labordeta. This park, established between 1913 and 1927, was later named after the renowned singer-songwriter and politician José Antonio Labordeta. Located near the university, hospital, stadium, and chamber of commerce, the park offers a serene escape. Stroll through the rose garden, explore Goya’s corner, and admire the Princess Fountain. Whether you’re looking to relax or find inspiration for your sketches, this park provides a soothing atmosphere to complement your cultural journey through Zaragoza.

Zaragoza beckons with its cultural treasures and sketch-worthy beauty. From the majestic Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar to the historic charm of Plaza del Pilar, the ornate Aljafería Palace, the UNESCO-listed Cathedral del Salvador de Zaragoza, and the calm oasis of Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta, this city offers a rich tapestry of experiences for culture-loving travelers and sketching enthusiasts.

If you planning a trip from Zaragoza, I advice you to visit Barcelona after. This is an amazing city you must see. Read my post about landmarks of Barcelona to learn more.

Catalonia El Pilar
Hotel Sauce
Hotel Don Jaime 54

Recommended hotels in Zaragoza

Catalonia El Pilar
Hotel Sauce
Hotel Don Jaime 54

Recommended art supply stores in Zaragoza

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