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Top Rated Attractions in Zaragoza

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Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza

La Seo Cathedral, also known as el Catedral del Salvador, stands on what has been a religious site for thousands of years. There was a Roman temple here, believed to be devoted to Augustus. During the Moorish occupation this was where the main mosque stood. After the Reconquest the mosque was destroyed and a cathedral erected. It was originally Romanesque in style, although further additions were made in various architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and neoclassical. You'll be impressed by its interior that's full of natural light, by the outstanding 15th-century Gothic altarpiece and by St. Bernard's chapel, where Archbishop Hernando de Aragon body lies. There's a magnificent Mudejar wall outside as well.

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar

Spain's largest baroque church and an important pilgrimage site, it's most famous for housing a pillar, which according to legend, the Virgin used as a conduit between heaven and earth in order to appear in person before Saint James the apostle. Pilgrims head directly to touch the pillar in the holy chapel on their pilgrimage, an impressive 18th-century structure built Ventura Rodríguez. The alabaster reredos sculpted by Damián Forment on the the main altarpiece in the 16th Century are the church's greatest artistic treasure. It's also worth looking at the choir stalls carved in oak and boxwood and two frescoes painted by Goya during the 18th Century. You get some marvelous views of the river and the city from the top of the towers.

Plaza del Pilar

This square is also known as Cathedral Square and is one of the largest in Europe. The area was formerly divided by hedges and cypress trees, but is now a huge open space, floodlit at night. It is a pedestrian square and contains some of the most important buildings in the city: Basilica of El Pilar, the Cathedral of La Seo, City Hall, La Lonja (stock market). Here you can also find the Tourist Information Office, Hispanidad Fountain and a Goya monument. The River Ebro flows regally behind it.

Aljafería Palace

Originally built as a summer residence for the Muslim ruler of the area in the 11th Century, Abu Jafar al-Muqtadir. It later became the palace of the Kings of Aragon. Its interior contains several buildings from different historical periods. There's a beautiful little mosque by the entrance, Pedro IV's palace, the spectacular palace of the Catholic Monarchs and the Troubadour Tower. The finely carved ceiling in the throne room is a work of art that contains the symbols of Isabel and Fernando: the arrows and the yoke tied with the Gordian knot. The Aragonese parliament meets in this building to debate issues of regional importance.

Auditorio de Zaragoza

This ample, modern auditorium which has several halls is used not only as a place for concerts but also as a conference hall. It was inaugurated in 1994 and designed by the Zaragozan architect Jose Manuel Perez. For classical music and opera concerts the Mozart Hall is used, with a capacity for two thousand people. It is made of wood and has perfect acoustics. The main facade has a big portico and teenagers often skateboard around here.Guided tours available from November to April.

Museo de Zaragoza

This museum is the oldest in Aragon and one of the oldest in Spain (1848). Its collection, which became available after the appropriation of church property in 1935, are exhibited in a building designed as part of the celebrations of the Hispanic-French Exhibition of 1908. Both the Archeology and the Fine Arts sections, which are the most important, are housed in this building. The former includes remains and archaeological finds from the Prehistoric to the Islamic period. The latter is impressive because its collections of paintings and sculptures include works by important artists dating from the Gothic period right up to to the 20th century.

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