Visited June 16, 2011. Zaragoza is located in the Aragón region.
- La Basílica del Pilar/Santo Templo Metropolítano de la Santa del Pilar
Zaragoza (or Zaratruzca) is located along the River Ebro in the Aragón region of Spain. The nearby region of Rioja is known for its vineyards of national grapes that are used in red wine production. In the past, Zaragoza was the capital of the Aragón kingdom but also loyal to the royal Hapsburg family. However, it fell under French control in 1808. The atrocities of the Napoleonic French army were depicted in the works of Spanish painter, Francisco de Goya: The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Both of these works depicted innocent people being murdered by soldiers.
The city is famous for its folklore, cuisine, and landmarks, specifically the Basílica del Pilar that was founded by St. James, the apostle. There is a tradition of changing the color of the dress worn by the statue of Our Lady of the Pilar. This city was one of the many victims of the Spanish Civil War. However, the cathedral was amazingly left intact– an unexploded bomb was lodged at the top of the basilica and was removed 4-5 years ago without consequence. Thus, people say that the cathedral is protected by the Virgin Mary.
Las Fiestas del Pilar on October 12th lasts for 9 days with processions, fireworks, concerts, bull fights and festivals; and the Flower Offering (Ofrenda de Flores) to the Virgin in the form of an enormous wreath.
The magnificence of the size and beauty of the Basílica is truly an inspiring sight.
Unfortunately, since we were only in Zaragoza for a couple of hours, we were not able to explore the rest of the city. We could only see the Bridge of Piedra (Puente de Piedra) from a distance and unable to walk across it. This place is certainly worth revisiting to see the historical sites.
Wikipedia. (2011, August 12). Zaragoza. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zaragoza&oldid=444403634