ZARAGOZA (/ˌzærəˈɡoʊzə/ , /ˌsærəˈɡoʊsə/ or
/ˌθærəˈɡoʊθə/ , Spanish: ), also called SARAGOSSA
(/ˌsærəˈɡɒsə/ ) in English , is the capital city of the
Zaragoza province and of the autonomous community of
It lies by the
Ebro river and its tributaries, the Huerva and the
Gállego , roughly in the center of both
Aragon and the
On 1 September 2010 the population of the city of
701,090, within its administrative limits on a land area of 1,062.64
square kilometres (410.29 square miles), ranking fifth in Spain. It is
the 32nd most populous municipality in the
European Union . The
population of the metropolitan area was estimated in 2006 at 783,763
inhabitants. The municipality is home to more than 50 percent of the
Aragonese population. The city lies at an elevation of 199 metres (653
feet) above sea level .
Expo 2008 in the summer of 2008, a world\'s fair on
water and sustainable development. It was also a candidate for the
European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture in 2012.
The city is famous for its folklore, local gastronomy, and landmarks
such as the Basílica del Pilar ,
La Seo Cathedral and the Aljafería
Palace . Together with La Seo and the Aljafería, several other
buildings form part of the Mudéjar Architecture of
Aragon which is a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site . The
Fiestas del Pilar are among the most
celebrated festivals in Spain.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Roman Caesaraugusta
Taifa of Zaragoza
* 2.3 Aragonese era
* 2.4 Modern history
* 3 Demographics
* 3.1 Immigration
* 4 Climate
* 5 Economy
* 6 Culture
* 6.1 Festivals
* 7 Education
* 8 Transportation
* 8.1 Roads
* 8.2 Buses
* 8.3 Bicycle
* 8.4 Tram
* 8.5 Railway
* 8.6 Airport
* 9 Sports
* 9.1 Football
* 9.2 Basketball
* 9.3 Futsal
* 9.4 Other Sports
* 10 Main sights
* 10.1 Other sights
Twin towns and sister cities
Twin towns and sister cities
* 12 Notable people
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 15 Bibliography
* 16 External links
The city was called by the ancient Romans Caesaraugusta, from which
the present name derives. The Iberian town that predated the Roman
city was called Salduie.
Timeline of Zaragoza
Sedetani , a tribe of ancient
Iberians , populated a village
called Salduie (Salduba in Roman sources). Later on,
a city called Caesaraugusta at the same location to settle army
veterans from the
Cantabrian wars . The foundation date of
Caesaraugusta has not been set with exact precision, though it is
known to lie between 25 BC and 12 BC. The city did not suffer any
decline during the last centuries of the Roman empire and was captured
peacefully by the
Goths in the fifth century AD. Aljafería
Palace , built in the 11th century.
TAIFA OF ZARAGOZA
Taifa of Zaragoza
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From 1018 to 1118,
Zaragoza was one of the taifa kingdoms,
independent Muslim states which emerged in the eleventh century
following the destruction of the
Caliphate of Córdoba
Caliphate of Córdoba . During the
first three decades of this period, 1018–1038, the city was ruled by
Banu Tujibi . In 1038 they were replaced by the
Banu Hud , who had
to deal with a complicated alliance with
El Cid of
Valencia and his
Castilian masters against the
Almoravids , who managed to bring the
Taifas Emirates under their control. After the death of
El Cid his
kingdom was overrun by the Almoravids, who, by 1100, had managed to
Barbastro , which brought
Aragon into direct
contact with them. The
Banu Hud stubbornly resisted the
ruled until they were eventually defeated by them in May 1110. La
On 18 December 1118, the Aragonese led by Alfonso I conquered the
city from the
Almoravids , and made it the capital of the Kingdom of
Aragon . After Alfonso's death without heirs in 1134,
swiftly occupied by
Alfonso VII of León and Castile
Alfonso VII of León and Castile . The city
control was held by
García Ramírez , king of Navarra, until 1136
when it was given to Ramiro II the Monk in the treaty signed at the
betrothal of Ramiro's daughter Petronila and Alfonso's son Sancho. The
wedding never happened, as Petronila ended up marrying Ramon Berenguer
IV, Count of
Barcelona . The marriage union was the origin of the
Crown of Aragón . Assault of the French army at Santa Engracia
Monastery on 8 February 1809 during the
Peninsular War . Oil on
Zaragoza was the scene of two controversial martyrdoms
related with the
Spanish Inquisition : those of Saint Dominguito del
Val , a choirboy in the basilica, and
Pedro de Arbués , head official
of the inquisition. While the reality of the existence of Saint
Dominguito del Val is questioned, his "murder" at the hands of
"jealous Jews" was used as an excuse to murder or convert the Jewish
population of Zaragoza.
Zaragoza suffered two famous sieges during the
Peninsular War against
the Napoleonic army: a first from June to August 1808; and a second
from December 1808 to February 1809, surrendering only after some
50,000 defenders had died.
Despite a decline in the outlying rural economy,
continued to grow. The
General Military Academy , a higher training
center of the
Spanish Army , was re-established on September 27, 1940
by Minister of the Army
José Enrique Varela Iglesias . During the
second half of the 20th century, Zaragoza's population boomed as a
number of factories opened in the region.
In 1979, the
Hotel Corona de Aragón fire killed at least 80. The
armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization ETA from northern
Spain has been blamed, but officially the fire is still regarded as
accidental. ETA carried out the
1987 Zaragoza Barracks bombing in the
city which killed eleven people, including a number of children,
leading to 250,000 people taking part in demonstrations in the city.
Population, in thousands, can be seen here:
Historical population of
* Historical Series of population: National Statistics Institute of
* Dates 2006 City council of Zaragoza.
FOREIGN ETHNICITIES IN ZARAGOZA IN 2013
In 2013 there were 107 864 foreign citizens in Zaragoza, which
represents 15% of the total population. From 2004 to 2013 immigration
rose from 43 355 to 107 864 inhabitants. The district with the biggest
amount of immigrants was the district of Delicias, with 25 428
immigrant inhabitants, which represents 23% of the population of the
district. The Old Town of
Zaragoza registered 11 881 immigrants, which
represents 25% of the population of the district.
Zaragoza climate chart (Airport)
Zaragoza has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification
BSk), as it lies in a wide basin entirely surrounded by mountains
which block off moist air from the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The
average annual precipitation is a scanty 322 millimetres (12.7 in)
with abundant sunny days, and the most rainy seasons are spring
(April–May) and autumn (September–November), with a relative
drought in summer (July–August) and winter (December–March).
Temperatures are hot in summer reaching up to 44.5 °C (112.1 °F),
and in winter are cool, either because of the fog (about twenty days
from November to January) or a cold and dry wind blowing from the
Cierzo (related to other northerly winds such as the
Mistral in the SE of
France ) on clear days.
Frost is common and there
is sporadic snowfall . The
Cierzo can cause a 'wind chill factor' as
low as −10 °C (14 °F) during cold spells.
CLIMATE DATA FOR ZARAGOZA AIRPORT, ALTITUDE 263M (1981-2010)
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 1 MM)
AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
Agencia Estatal de Meteorología
Torre del Agua at the
Expo 2008 site.
In addition to the advantageous geographic situation, an
was opened in 1982 in
Figueruelas , a small village nearby. The
progressive decline of the agrarian economy turned
Opel into one of
the main pillars of the regional economy, along with Balay , which
manufactures household appliances; CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de
Ferrocarriles S.A.), which builds railway engines for both the
national and international markets; SAICA and Torraspapel in the
stationery sector; and various other local companies, such as Pikolin
Lacasa , and
Imaginarium SA .
The city's economy benefited from projects like the
Expo 2008 , the
official World's Fair, whose theme was water and sustainable
development , held between 14 June and 14 September 2008, Plataforma
Zaragoza (PLAZA), and the Parque Tecnológico de
Reciclado (PTR). Furthermore, since December 2003, it has been a city
through which the
AVE high-speed rail travels. Currently, Zaragoza
Airport is a major cargo hub in the
Iberian Peninsula , behind only
Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
Zaragoza is home to a
Spanish Air Force base, which was shared with
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force until 1994. In English, the base was known as
Zaragoza Air Base . The
Spanish Air Force maintained an F/A-18 Hornet
wing at the base. No American flying wings (with the exception of a
few KC-135's) were permanently based there, but it served as a
training base for American fighter squadrons across Europe. It is also
the main headquarters for the Spanish Land Army, hosting the Academia
General Militar , a number of brigades at San Gregorio, and other
Zaragoza (1647) by
Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo .
Christianity took root in
Zaragoza at an early date. According to
legend, St. Mary appeared miraculously to
Saint James the Great in
Zaragoza in the first century, standing on a pillar. This apparition
is commemorated by a famous Catholic basilica called Nuestra Señora
del Pilar ("Our Lady of the Pillar").
Fiestas del Pilar last for nine days, with its main day on
12 October. Since this date coincided in 1492 with the first sighting
by Christopher Columbus of the Americas, that day is also celebrated
as El Día de la Hispanidad (
Columbus Day ) by Spanish-speaking people
There are many activities during the festival, from the massively
attended Pregon (opening speech) to the final fireworks display over
the Ebro; they also include marching bands, dances such as "Jota
aragonesa" (the most popular dance of folklore music genre), a
procession of gigantes y cabezudos , concerts, exhibitions, vaquillas,
bullfights, fairground amusements, and fireworks. Some of the most
important events are the Ofrenda de Flores, or Flower Offering to St.
Mary of the Pillar, on 12 October, when an enormous surface resembling
a cloak for St. Mary is covered with flowers, and the Ofrenda de
Frutos on 13 October, when all the autonomous communities of Spain
offer their typical regional dishes to St. Mary and donate them to
University of Zaragoza
University of Zaragoza is based in the city. As one of the oldest
Spain and a major research and development centre,
this public university awards all the highest academic degrees in
dozens of fields.
Zaragoza is also home to the MIT-Zaragoza
International Logistics Program, a unique partnership between MIT, the
Aragon and the University of Zaragoza.
There is also a private university, Universidad San Jorge , which is
Villanueva de Gállego .
There is a French international primary and secondary school, Lycée
Français Molière de Saragosse .
Zaragoza's Third Millennium Bridge spans the
Ebro and is the
world's largest concrete tied-arch bridge , with six traffic lanes,
two bike lanes, and two glass-enclosed walkways for pedestrians.
Zaragoza tram in Paseo de la Independencia
The city is connected by motorway with the main cities in central and
northern Spain, including
Valencia , and
all of which are located about 300 kilometres (200 miles) from
The city has a network of buses which is controlled by the Urban
Zaragoza (AUZSA). The network consists of 31 regular lines
(two of them circle lines), two scheduled routes, six shuttle buses
(one free), and seven night buses operating on Fridays, Saturdays and
Zaragoza also has an interurban bus network
operated by Transport Consortium
Zaragoza Area (CTAZ) that operates 17
Zaragoza's bicycle lanes facilitate non-motorized travel and help
cyclists to avoid running into pedestrians and motor vehicles. The
city council also has a public bicycle-hire scheme; the 'bizi
zaragoza' - which consists in the payment of an annual charge.
The first line of the
Zaragoza tram (Valdespartera-Parque Goya) is
Zaragoza is a part of the Spanish high-speed railway operated by
AVE , which connects
Barcelona via high-speed rail
Madrid can be reached in 75 minutes, and
Barcelona in approximately
90 minutes. The central station is "Intermodal
Station", which serves both railway lines and coaches. In addition to
long-distance railway lines and the high-speed trains,
Zaragoza has a
network of commuter trains operated by
RENFE called cercanías .
Zaragoza Airport is located in the Garrapinillos neighborhood, 10
kilometers from the city center.
It is a major commercial airport, its freight traffic surpassing that
Barcelona El Prat in 2012, and serves as the home of the Spanish
Air Force 's 15th Group. It was also used by
NASA as a contingency
landing site for the
Space Shuttle in the case of a Transoceanic Abort
The 1995 Cup Winners\' Cup in display in the club's trophy
Nani Roma Baja España 2009 Torre del Agua in
the Luis Buñuel Metropolitan Water Park, at the
Expo 2008 site.
Zaragoza's main football team,
Real Zaragoza , plays in the Liga
Adelante . Founded on 18 March 1932, its home games are played at La
Romareda , which seats 34,596 spectators. The club has spent the
majority of its history in
La Liga . One of the most remarkable events
in the team's recent history is the winning of the former UEFA Cup
Winners\' Cup in 1995. The team has also won the Spanish National Cup
Copa del Rey " six times: 1965, 1966, 1986, 1994, 2001 and 2004 and
an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1964) . A government survey in 2007 found
that 2.7% of the Spanish population support the club, making them the
seventh-most supported in the country.
Zaragoza's second football team is CD
Ebro . Founded in 1942, it
Segunda División B – Group 2, holding home games at Campo
Municipal de Fútbol La Almozara , which has a capacity of 1,000
CD Transportes Alcaine , known as
CD Prainsa Zaragoza for sponsorship
reasons, is a Spanish women's football team from
Zaragoza playing in
Primera División Femenina .
The main basketball team,
Cai Zaragoza , is in the
Liga ACB and in
the Eurocup . They play at the
Pabellón Principe Felipe with a
capacity of 10,744.
Club Deportivo Basket Zaragoza , a.k.a.
Mann Filter Zaragoza for
sponsorship reasons, is the Spanish women's basketball club from
Zaragoza that plays in the Primera Division .
The main futsal team, is Dlink
Zaragoza , plays in the LNFS Primera
División . They play at the Pabellón Siglo XXI with a capacity of
Zaragoza's handball team,
BM Aragón , plays in the
Liga ASOBAL .
Spanish Baja or Baja
Aragon is a Rally raid event held in the
Aragon in northern Spain. This event was launched in 1983,
and chose the desert of Monegros because of the scenery and
availability of service infrastructure in Zaragoza.
Zaragoza was strongly associated with
Jaca in its failed bid for the
2014 Winter Olympics
2014 Winter Olympics .
There are three Rugby Union teams playing in the regional league:
* Ibero Club de Rugby
Fénix Club de Rugby
* Club Deportivo Universitario de Rugby
A permanent feature built for
Expo 2008 is the pump-powered
artificial whitewater course "El Canal de Aguas Bravas."
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar , Puente de Piedra
The Roman walls. Pavilion of
Aragon in the Expo 2008.
Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta Santa María Magdalena
Near the basilica on the banks of the
Ebro are located the city hall,
the Lonja (old currency exchange), La Seo (literally "the See " in the
Aragonese language) or Cathedral of San Salvador , a church built over
the main mosque (partially preserved in the 11th-century north wall of
the Parroquieta), with Romanesque apses from the 12th century; inside,
the imposing hallenkirche from the 15th to 16th centuries, the Baroque
tower, and finally, with its famous Museum of Tapestries near the
Roman ruins of forum and port city wall .
Some distance from the centre of the old city is the Moorish castle
Aljafería , the most important Moorish buildings in
Spain and the setting for
Giuseppe Verdi 's opera Il
trovatore (The Troubadour). The Aragonese parliament currently sits in
The churches of San Pablo , Santa María Magdalena and San Gil Abad
were built in the 14th century, but the towers may be old minarets
dating from the 11th century; San Miguel (14th century); Santiago (San
Ildefonso) and the Fecetas monastery are Baroque with Mudéjar
ceilings of the 17th century. All the churches are Mudéjar monuments
that comprise a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site .
Other important sights are the stately houses and palaces in the
city, mainly of the 16th century: palaces of the count of Morata or
Luna (Audiencia), Deán, Torrero (colegio de Arquitectos), Don Lope or
Real Maestranza, count of Sástago, count of Argillo (today the Pablo
Gargallo museum), archbishop, etc.
On 14 June 2008, the site of
Expo 2008 opened its doors to the
public. The exhibition ran until 14 September.
Labordeta Grand Park
* Puente de Piedra
* San Ildefonso church
* Santa Engracia Monastery
* Museum of Fine Arts
Zaragoza , with paintings by early Aragonese
artists, 15th century, and by El Greco, Ribera and Goya, and the
Camón Aznar Museum, with paintings ranging from Rubens, Rembrandt,
Van Dyck, Velazquez and Goya to Renoir, Manet and Sorolla.
TWIN TOWNS AND SISTER CITIES
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in
Zaragoza is twinned with:
* Pau ,
France , 1960
Móstoles , Spain, 2005
France , 1977
Skopje , Macedonia , 2008
Portugal , 2005
Malta , 2008
Mexico , 2009
Brazil , 2012
* Córdoba ,
Argentina , 2008
La Plata ,
Argentina , 1990
La Paz ,
Bolivia , 2008
* León ,
Nicaragua , 2002
* Ponce ,
Puerto Rico ,
United States , 1993
Colombia , 2010
Mexico , 2005
Honduras , 2012
Guatemala , 1976
Zamboanga City ,
Philippines , 2008
China , 2008
* Yulin ,
China , 2008
Palestinian Authority , 2003
Zaragoza has special bilateral collaboration agreements with:
Bosnia and Herzegowina , 2001
Albania , 2002
Romania , 2004
France , 2008
Italy , 2008
* Zarate ,
Argentina , 1990
Mexico , 2010
* Yulin ,
China , 2004
* Sebastián Pozas (1876–1946), military officer
Abraham Abulafia (1240-1291), founder of the school of "Prophetic
* Crown of
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zaragoza
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Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, S.A. (SEGITTUR). Retrieved
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* ^ AUZSA web page
* ^ CTAZ web page
* ^ J. L. Gaona (September 13, 2012). "El aeropuerto de Zaragoza
supera al de
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* ^ Museums in Zaragoza
* ^ Museum of Fine Arts Zaragoza
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Zaragoza Internacional: Hermanamientos con Zaragoza" (official
website) (in Spanish). Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
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Skopje Sister Cities".
© 2006-2009 City of Skopje. Retrieved 2009-07-14. External link in
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* ^ "Acordos de Geminação" (in Portuguese). © 2009 Câmara
Coimbra – Praça 8 de Maio – 3000-300 Coimbra.
Retrieved 2009-06-25. External link in publisher= (help )
* ^ "
Bethlehem Municipality". www.bethlehem-city.org. Archived from
the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
* ^ "Twinning with Palestine". © 1998-2008 The Britain –
Palestine Twinning Network. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
* ^ The City of
Bethlehem has signed a twinning agreements with the
following cities Archived December 28, 2007, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "
Zaragoza Internacional: Firma de Protocolos de Colaboración"
(official website) (in Spanish). Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza. Retrieved
* ^ "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality
of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. Archived from the original (PDF) on
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* ^ Twinning Cities: International Relations.
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See also: Bibliography of the history of
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ZARAGOZA, SPAIN .
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for ZARAGOZA .
* Council of Zaragoza