The city of Zaragoza has over two thousand years of history. The oldest part of the town dates from the seventh century b.c. The city was founded on the ibero settlement of Salduie, between 24 and 12 b.c. It was named by the Romans as Caesaraugusta in honor of Caesar Augustus and the Roman wall records this period. Following a decline in the third and fourth centuries AD, the city continued to maintain its influence during the Visigothic era as an important episcopal center. With the arrival of Islam, a new period of splendor arrived, embodied in the Taif Saraqusta, an independent kingdom which in the second half of the eleventh century led Andalusian civilization to one of its highest levels in philosophy and architecture. From the era of the Muslim the Alfajería Palace has survived to our times.
With the conquest of the city by Alfonso I the Battler in 1118, Zaragoza became the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon, and was also the location where the kings of the Crown of Aragon were crowned. Successive transformations in the Middle Ages and the Modern Age had an unfortunate end on the Sites in Zaragoza in 1808, with the virtual destruction of the city and the demographic catastrophe that followed.
The Mudejar style has left great works in Zaragoza, such as the Church of St. Paul, made a World Heritage Site in 2001.
From the second half of the nineteenth century to today, Zaragoza continued to boom, and is now the fifth largest city in Spain in terms of population.
Zaragoza is a city that has fallen under the influence of almost all the civilizations that have dominated the Iberian Peninsula. Many relics and monuments remain, despite the destruction of architectural heritage sites during the War of Independence.
One of its most famous monuments is the Cathedral-Basilica of El Pilar, considered the first Marian church of Christendom. But apart from this magnificent baroque building, Zaragoza boasts La Seo, also called Cathedral of Salvador, which was declared a World Heritage Site for its Mudejar apse and dome.
One of the most important international events held in Zaragoza has been the International Exhibition of Water, held from June 14 to September 14 of last year 2008. The Expo 2008 theme was “Water and Sustainable Development”, one of the great debates of humanity in the twenty-first century.