Nestled between Madrid and Barcelona, skipping a visit to Zaragoza en route means missing out on ones of Spain’s most artistic and underrated cities. I’m glad I got to jump off and explore on an AVE train journey from Tarragona to Madrid, feeling like I’d stumbled upon a Spanish secret.
The capital of mighty Aragon, Zaragoza is the gritty and urban mixed with the ancient and decadent, held together by a historical thread of architecture and art, and a heritage showcasing a continuous turnover of design and expression.
– UNESCO World Heritage Zaragoza
Native to Aragon, Mudejar art blends Islamic and Christian elements from a time during the 12th and 17th centuries when both faiths coexisted. A core part of Zaragoza’s architectural heritage, the sheer amount of Mudejar art earned it a UNESCO World Heritage title, with the Ajafería Palace being the most symbolic.
This 11th century medieval Islamic palace remains one of the most beautiful and important of all the sights in the city as well as the seat of the regional parliament.