Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roman Zaragoza

zaragoza roman walls
zaragoza's roman walls

zaragoza roman theatre

zaragoza roman theatre

zaragoza roman theatre
zaragoza's roman amphitheatre
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Zaragoza, for us, was its rich Roman past. After we arrived in the city and ducked into the city's two main churches, we grabbed some tourist brochures and made a plan of action to see all of the Roman sites in Zaragoza.

The great thing about travelling in Spain is that, even though during siesta (late afternoon) everything shuts down, this means that everything is open later into the evening. Including the museums. This worked out great for us, since we didn't arrive in Zaragoza until 3 pm and had only a few hours to see the city before nightfall.

The city's 'Roman Route' includes remains of ancient walls, a forum, a Roman port museum, baths, and a spectacular amphitheatre. We made it to the Roman wall, amphitheatre, and baths before closing time. And they were spectacular! Travelling throughout western Europe makes it very apparently just how pervasive the Roman Empire was. But who knew that Zaragoza was a Roman city? Augustus built a city here and named it Caesaraugusta sometime around 25 and 12 BCE. Seriously, very cool.

I was disappointed we ran out of time and didn't get to the forum (isn't the museum built above it so cool?) but I'm using it as my excuse to go back to Zaragoza someday soon. That and all of the other amazing sites we missed: the 2008 Zaragoza World Fair site, the Aljaferia Moorish castle, La Lonja, the Ibercaja Camón Aznar Museum, the Primo de Rivera Park...

15 hours in this city was (not surprisingly) not enough.

- Jess

admission to all Roman sites: €7 per person (but you can see the amphitheatre from the street for free, too)
there is also a Renaissance route, Goya route, and Mudejar route (next time!)

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