is a windy city. In February, the temperature is occasionally below
0°C, with the mean temperature being 8°C. The weather is rarely
in Zaragoza (in February, the average precipitation is 20.3 mm). More
information at weather.com
Below, you can find information
about the city
of Zaragoza, and several links to external websites with further
interested in nature and winter sports will enjoy the Pyrenees, a
mountain chain acting as a natural border between Spain and France.
There are five winter resorts in the Aragonese Pyrenees, at dis tances
in the range 154 Km - 227 Km from Zaragoza (most of the distance is by
motorway). More information about the Pyrenees can be obtained
following these external links: .
The city of Zaragoza
(English Saragossa) is the capital of the Zaragoza province, in the
autonomous community (region) of Aragon, Northeastern Spain, lying on
the south bank of the river Ebro.
Toward the end of the 1st
century BC, the Celtiberian town of Salduba
at the site was taken by the Romans, who made it a colony under Emperor
Augustus with the name of Caesaraugusta (from which its Arabic name
Saraqustah and its present name were derived). The chief commercial and
military station in the Ebro valley, it was one of the first towns in
Spain to be Christianized, and it had a bishop by the middle of the 3rd
century AD. In 380 a church synod at Zaragoza condemned the
Priscillianist heresy of absolute renunciation of all sense pleasures.
After falling to the Germanic Suebi and then to the Visigoths in the
5th century, the town was taken by the Moors c. 714. In 778 it was
besieged by the Frankish king Charlemagne, who had to withdraw because
of a Saxon rebellion in his domain. After being captured by the
Almoravids in 1110, Zaragoza was taken by King Alfonso I of Aragon in
1118 and thereafter enjoyed three and a half centuries of prosperity as
capital of Aragon. In the Peninsular War it was famed for the heroic
resistance of its citizens under Gen. José de Palafox y Melzi
protracted siege (1808-09) by the French, who finally took the city.
Among the defenders was María Agustín, the "Maid of
exploits are described in Lord Byron's poem Childe Harold.
The seat of an archbishop,
Zaragoza has two cathedrals, the older of
which is the Catedral de La Seo (Latin sedes), or Catedral del
Salvador, chiefly a Gothic building (1119-1520) but showing some traces
of the earlier Romanesque church built on the site of the first mosque
erected in Spain. The Catedral Nuestra Señora del Pilar,
the Virgin of the Pillar who is patron of all Spain, commemorates the
traditional appearance on Jan. 2, AD 40, of the Virgin Mary standing on
a pillar erected in honour of Saint James the Great, whose shrine is at
Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral was begun in 1681 to a design by
Francisco Herrera the Younger (El Mozo) and contains some frescos by
Goya. The 14th-century Gothic churches of San Pablo and the Magdalena
and the Renaissance church of Santa Engracia are also notable.
Outstanding secular buildings include La Lonja, or The Exchange, in
Plateresque Gothic style; the Palace of the Counts of Luna (1537), in
which the Court of Justice sits; and the 17th-century Palace of the
Condes de Sástago y Argillo. The Aljafería Palace, to the
west of the
city, contains an oratory dome and tower that are among Spain's best
examples of Islamic civil architecture. The University of Zaragoza was
founded in 1474, the medical school being its most famous faculty, but
the buildings date from later periods.
Zaragoza is an industrial centre
and the site of the annual National
Trade Fair, which begins October 12. Its industries have expanded with
the supply of hydroelectric power from the dams in the Aragonese
Pyrenees and of oil from the pipeline from Rota (near Cádiz). It
also a busy railway junction and a trade centre for the agricultural
products of the surrounding fertile river basin watered by the Canal
Imperial and the Ebro, Huerva, and Gállego rivers. Pop. (est.)
to external sites about Zaragoza, Aragón and Spain
Cathedral : Facade of La Seo .
Aljafería Palace :
example of Islamic civil architecture.
Basílica del Pilar
: dedicated to
the Virgin of the Pillar.
Múdejar style :
detail of the cathedral of San Salvador.
University Assembly Hall :
Ebro river .
St. Paul Church