We had previously walked into Zaragoza on the Camino Catalan so after Batea we took the bus. It’s our third visit to Zaragoza and we continue to be overwhelmed by the beauty of this ancient city.
There are Roman walls and an amphitheater, a significant Moorish Palace plus two medieval Cathedrals. The old town is entirely semi- pedestrianised with huge open spaces and no cars or pollution.
The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is the first church in history dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that soon after the death of Christ, Saint James (Santiago) was preaching in Spain without success. Whilst sitting disheartened on the banks of the Ebro, Mary appeared and instructed him to build a temple here in her honour. Over the years numerous churches have been built on this site including the present 17th century one. During the SpanishCivil War three bombs were dropped on the church but none of them exploded; a miracle?
30 April 2019
We did a day trip to Calatayud (1¼ hours each way by train) to see the World Heritage Mudejar Church of Santa María. Although the city was reconquered in 1119, the many surviving examples of Mudejar architecture shows the Moorish influence lived on.
Mudéjar is the term for Muslims who remained living in territories conquered by the Christians. Mudejar art, particularly in architecture, is the application to Christian buildings of Hispano-Muslim influences mainly the geometric use of brick and simple tiles during the 12th to 15th centuries. It is unique to Spain and Portugal, with many examples in the Aragon region.
01 May 2019
Huesca, on the edge of the outer mountain ranges of the Pyrenees, is an hour on a bus north of Zaragoza so we went for a night. The extensive old city is pedestrianised making it pleasant to wander around.