|Pilar Basilica and the Ebro River at the blue hour|
|The city sprawls out to the north|
|Sewer beneath the forum|
|Stairs from the river port|
|The recreated porticoed bath|
|A Roman theater, surrounded by modern apartment blocks|
|Entrance gate to the Aljafería palace-castle|
It was during the Taifa of Zaragoza that the city’s most dazzling example of Islamic art was constructed—the Aljafería. Named for the Moorish ruler Abu Jaffar al-Muqtadir, this palatial fortress is unique in that it is a rare example from the taifa period of Muslim Spain, as most art and architecture comes down to us either from the Caliphate of Córdoba or the subsequent Almoravid/Almohad dynasties.
|Restored main courtyard of the Aljafería|
|Wall of Zaragoza Cathedral|
|Bell tower of the Church of San Gil Abad|
|Pilar Basilica, seen from the plaza|
Mary, under her title as Our Lady of the Pillar, functions as one of the patron saints of Spain, but because her feast day—October 12th—coincided with the discovery of the Americas by Columbus & co. in 1492, this date serves as a huge celebration for all Spanish-speaking countries around the world: in Spain, it’s the Fiesta Nacional (“National Holiday”), and in Latin America it’s often called Día de la Raza (“Day of the Race”).
|Inside the Pilar Basilica|