My first trip outside the boundaries of Navarra was to Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon.
It was a day trip that Sandra, my German friend, and I took on the Saturday of Las Fallas in Valencia. We didn’t feel like partying the weekend away like the Colombians so we decided to do something more relaxed. I also welcomed the fact that this was my first weekend, since arriving in Pamplona, to be sober. I think I owe myself this.
During the planning period of going to Zaragoza I asked my flatmates, who are local Spanish people, to know what are the must-sees. They told me it was the Basílica del Pilar and the La Seo. They also told me that both could be reached just by walking as they are very near to one another.
I love the architecture of the Basílica del Pilar. Outside it looks like a palace doubling as a church.
Inside it was grandiose comprised of several casillas. These are what the domes look like from the inside.
Now, this would probably be one of those times when I hated siesta. After we toured the Basílica del Pilar, we had lunch and planned to tour the rest of the sights near it. I was interested to see the interiors of the La Seo but guess what, time for siesta they have to close! I was still able to peek inside before they closed it. The ceilings were marvelous. Too bad I don’t have pictures to show.
Right before it closed though, out came people dressed to the nines. It was lovely seeing the ladies with their hats. I wondered if it was a wedding they have attended. I didn’t see the bride.
The La Seo by the way started out as a mosque which explains the Mudéjar style of this part of the church. It was an architectural style that resulted from the harmonious living relationship of Muslim and Christian cultures before the former got expelled.
When I first saw the wall I got excited. I knew this has Islamic influence written all over it! My fascination with this type of architecture started when I saw a documentary on the Muslim heritage of Spain.
Can’t wait to visit Andalucía – the heart of Moorish architecture in Spain. In the meantime I got a good head start with its sister form – the Mudéjar.
The flowers in the city center by the way are just great for picture taking so that just had to be done. And with us on it too! Another excuse for this shot is so we can sit for a while.
Zaragoza also has its own Plaza de Toros. The facade with its arches painted red is similar to Córdoba’s Mezquita, which is another example of Moorish architecture. Haha I got back on the same topic. But really they fashioned it after the Mezquita hmmm… Looks better than Pamplona’s too.
Pictured here is a fortified Islamic Palace – La Aljafería. We spent close to 40 minutes sitting in one of its benches to relieve us from all that walking we did. We didn’t go inside anymore but apparently it has more Mudéjar structures in it.
After we did this round of old architecture we went to the site of the Zaragoza Exposition that was held in 2008. They built here edifices of modern architecture.
Puente del Tercer Milenio
Torre del Agua
El Alma del Ebro
The Aragon Pavillion above would’ve been nicer to capture at night time but we couldn’t stay cos our bus going back to Pamplona leaves at 7:15pm. I enjoyed the architectural finds of Zaragoza. I will just have to endure the ache in my legs for a few days. 🙂