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(thärägō`thä) or


(sâr'əgō`sə), city (1990 pop. 592,686), capital of Zaragoza prov. and leading city of Aragón, NE Spain, on the Ebro River. An important commercial and communications center, it is situated in a fertile, irrigated agricultural region. Among its manufactures are vehicles, wood products, machinery, foodstuffs, and paper. It is an archiepiscopal see and has a university (founded 1474). Of ancient origin, it was named Caesarea Augusta by Emperor Augustus. It fell to the Goths (5th cent.) and to the Moors (8th cent.), under whom it became (1017) the capital of an independent emirate. Charlemagne tried to take it but was defeated by the Moors (778). The CidCid
or Cid Campeador
[Span.,=lord conqueror], d. 1099, Spanish soldier and national hero, whose real name was Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar. Under Ferdinand I and Sancho II of Castile he distinguished himself while fighting against the Moors, but Alfonso VI
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 fought for a time in the service of the Moorish ruler of Zaragoza. The city was conquered (1118) by Alfonso I of Aragón, who made it the capital of his kingdom. The most notable event in the later history of Zaragoza was its heroic resistance, under the leadership of Palafox, against the French in the Peninsular War. The city resisted the first siege (1808), surrendering only after some 50,000 defenders had died in the second siege (1808–9). Zaragoza is a cultural center and is rich in works of art, many of which show Moorish influence. There are two cathedrals—La Seo (12th–16th cent.), formerly a mosque, and El Pilar (17th cent.), named after the sacred pillar near which the Virgin is said to have appeared in the vision of St. James the Greater. El Pilar contains frescoes by Velázquez and Goya. Also noteworthy are the Church of San Pablo, the Moorish castle of Aljafería (residence of the emirs and later the kings of Aragón), the lonja (exchange building), and a 15th-century stone bridge across the Ebro. The modern church of San Antonio de Padua contains the remains of Italian soldiers killed in the civil war (1936–39). The 2008 World Exposition was held at Zaragoza.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Saragossa), a city in northeastern Spain, capital of Aragon Region and of Zaragoza Province. Population, 488,500(1971).

Zaragoza is situated on the Ebro River and is surrounded by an irrigated agricultural region called the Aragonese Huerta. A major transportation hub, the city has machine-building (agricultural machinery, automobiles, airplanes) and food-processing (sugar, flour, canned fruit, wine, vegetable oil, milk) industries. Other industries include woodworking and the production of chemicals, textiles, cement, cork, paper, and leather goods. A pipeline, which also crosses the Pyrenees, runs from Zaragoza to Rota, near the city of Cádiz. The university in Zaragoza was founded in 1474. The city has a provincial museum of fine art, which includes prehistoric, ancient Roman, and Spanish collections. National trade fairs are held here every October.

Zaragoza was founded by the Romans in 27 B.C. on the site of the Iberian settlement Salduba. It was named Caesaraugusta and later called Sarakosta by the Arabs. The city was under Arabic rule from A.D. 714 to 1118 and was the capital of the emirate of Zaragoza in the 11th and early 12th centuries. Conquered by Alfonso I, Zaragoza became the capital of Aragon. In 1119 it became autonomous and enjoyed certain other privileges. In the 14th century, Zaragoza became one of the most economically developed cities of Aragon and was particularly known for textile production. A commodity exchange was functioning in the mid-16th century, much earlier than in other Spanish cities. There was also book printing. The general decline of Spain’s economy in the 17th and 18th centuries affected Zaragoza as well. During the Spanish Revolution of 1808–14 the city was twice besieged by French invaders (1808 and 1808–09). The fame won by the city through its heroic resistance found reflection in art and literature (Goya’s etching What Courage! and Pérez Galdós novel Saragossa).

The regular plan of the original ancient Roman colony has been preserved to some extent in the center of Zaragoza. The city’s medieval architecture has many Moorish features, including patterned brickwork, decorative domes, and facings of multicolored tiles. Architectural monuments include La Seo Cathedral (1119–1550), with a facade from the late 17th century in the Herreran style and a tower from 1685. There are 16th-century churches in the Mudejar style (for example, La Magdalena), a Gothic and plateresque exchange building (1551), and various plateresque palaces of the 16th century.


Gascón de Gotor, A. Zaragoza, vols. 1–2. Barcelona [1927–28].
Navarro Ferrer, A. M. Geografía urbana de Zaragoza. Zaragoza, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in NE Spain, on the River Ebro: Roman colony established 25 bc; under Moorish rule (714--1118); capital of Aragon (12th--15th centuries); twice besieged by the French during the Peninsular War and captured (1809); university (1474). Pop.: 626 081 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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VVAA, Speculum: Maria, espejo de la fe [exposicion], 10 de octubre 2013-12 de enero 2014 Museo Diocesano de Zaragoza, Zaragoza 2013, 162 pp.
Pedro Jose HERNANDEZ NAVASCUES (coord.) La Virgen y la Pasion, V Congreso Nacional de Cofradias de Semana Santa, Junta Coordinadora de Cofradias de Zaragoza, Zaragoza 2006, 415 pp.