A Visit to Saragossa

Saragossa is the capital of Saragossa province in Aragon, Spain. It is one of the many cities on the banks of the Ebro river that runs through Spain. It is located at an approximate distance of 300 kilometers from major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao in the Basque country and Toulouse in France. Getting there is easy from any of these major cities by train, plane or bus.

Climate

You will like the weather in Saragossa because of its mildness, except in summer when the temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius and in winter when it hovers from 0 to 10 degrees Celsius. In winter there is also fog and frost and winds similar to the Mistral in France.

Many Options

Saragossa has much to offer the tourist; many historic monuments, festivals, sports, restaurants and skiing in the nearby Pyrenees mountains which have the best ski resorts in Spain.

The Festival of El Pilar

One of the most famous festivals is the “Fiestas del Pilar”, a nine day festival of music, marching bands, floats, bull-fights and the flower offering on October 12. It is all in celebration of Our Lady of the Pillar and also coincides with Columbus Day, when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. At this festival the best of Spanish culture is in evidence.

In Aragón and especially in Saragossa, young dancers perform their best dances such as the famous “jota aragonesa” in homage to the Patroness of the festival. It is also a celebration when the traditional dress is everywhere in evidence, offerings of flowers are placed in and around the Basilica and dazzling displays of color and light are everywhere.

The Basilica

Built in honor of Our Lady of the Pillar, the Basilica of the same name is one place that everyone should visit. The magnificence of the interior, with its ornate decorations made by hundreds of talented craftsmen throughout the ages since it was built in 1681, is one of the treasures of humanity.

It was built around the church that was constructed in the first century, carefully incorporating the pillar that gave its name to the church. The dome was decorated with biblical scenes by Goya, while famous sculptors created their masterpieces in honor of the Virgin Mary.

The Cathedral of La Seo

Another of the famous monuments is the Cathedral of La Seo. Finished in 1520, it was constructed on the site once occupied by a Moorish mosque. It is a magnificent monument filled with columns, friezes, multicolored walls, bas-reliefs and works by famous Spanish painters.

Museums

In Saragossa you can also visit the many museums that chart the course of Spanish history and culture. The Museum of Fine Arts has works by El Greco, Diego de Ribera and Goya as well as paintings by famous Aragonese painters.

In the Camon Aznar Museum you can also see some of the works of Rubens, Van Dyck Velázquez and Goya along with some of the paintings by Impressionists such as Renoir and Manet.

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