Zaragoza

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Zaragoza is the historic capital of Aragon, located in central Spain west of Barcelona and northeast of Madrid is one the largest cities in Spain, province in the autonomous community of Aragon,Together with the provinces of Huesca and Teruel, it formed the old kingdom of Aragon. It extends north and south of the middle course of the Ebro River; it reaches the foot of the Pyrenees to the north. The city lies at an altitude of 199 metres above sea level, and constitutes a crossroads between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Toulouse (France).

The population of the city of Zaragoza in 1 January 2010 was mostly 700 000, ranking fifth in Spain. The municipality is home to more than 50 percent of the Aragonese population.

Culture

 The old historic centre or “Casco Viejo” is where you’ll find most of Zaragoza’s historical monuments. The different styles of buildings, palaces and churches all reflect the diversity of Zaragoza’s past history.
One of the main places to worship the Christian Virgin Mary is in the Gothic cathedral of La Seo or the Basilica of El Pilar.

The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, The feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, celebrating the first apparition of Mary to Hispanic people, is on October 12. This coincides with the Día de la Raza and the date of Columbus' discovery of the New World. Every Latin-American nation has donated national vestments for the fifteenth century statue of the Virgin, which is housed in the chapel. Pope John Paul II praised El Pilar as Mother of the Hispanic Peoples during both his visits to the Basilica.

Education

The University of Zaragoza is headquartered in the city. As one of the oldest universities of Spain and a major research and development center, this public university awards all the highest academic degrees in dozens of fields.

Gastronomy

Some of the best known regional specialities are: Bacalao al Ajoarriero, cod-fish with garlic and eggs, Huevos al Salmorejo, eggs with a sauce of asparagus, Longaniza de Fuentes", a highly appreciated kind of sausage, Ternasco Asado, roasted veal, Pollo a la Chilindrón, chicken in a sauce of cured ham, tomatoes, onions and paprika, Cordero a la Pastora, "Lamb Sheppard's style", Lomo de Cerdo a la Zaragozana, cutlett, and Recao, made of beans, potatoes and rice.

Sport

Zaragoza's football team, Real Zaragoza, plays in the Primera División. One of the most remarkable events in the team's recent history is the winning of the former UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1995. The team has also won the Spanish National Cup "Copa del Rey" six times: 1965, 1966, 1986, 1994, 2001 and 2004 and a Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1964).

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