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You will remember in August I posted about our Silver Wedding Anniversary, which we spent in Ronda with Daniel and Nikki.  Well, we were very fortunate that their gift to us for our anniversary was a long weekend away in  the Spanish city of Zaragoza – flights, hotel PLUS spending money! 

Situated in the northeast of the country on the river Ebro, Zaragoza was once an important Roman colony, a thriving Muslim city and a cornerstone of the Catholic Spanish empire.   This ancient city has the fortune of being located between Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.   It is Spain’s fifth largest city and is the capital of the immense autonomous region of Aragon.

Deriving its name from the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus,  Zaragoza has a real Roman theme to it, with an 80 metre section of  the old city walls still surviving, as well as a forum, theatre and baths.   We lost no time in getting to know this charming city which, despite having a population of over 700,000,  feels surpringly small and easy to get around.

We visited the beautiful Baroque Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar and took the scenic elevator inside the highest tower for magnificent views over the River Ebro and the city.

The Palacio de la Aljafería (pictured above) pre-dates the Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada, and is the home of the regional parliament of Aragon.  The Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, including the Basilica, La Seo Cathedral and the  Aljafería Palace have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Zaragoza is a city that may not figure on the typical tourist trail around Spain but, nevertheless, may just be one of its best kept secrets! 

We REALLY enjoyed our Anniversary gift – thanks Daniel and Nikki 🙂