Category Archives: Emblematic buildings

Monastery of Veruela, Vera de Moncayo (Aragón)

 monasterio VERUELA aragon
mapa zaragoza spainFounded in 1145 by Don Pedro Atarés, Señor de Borja, the Monastery of Veruela (Royal Monastery of Santa María de Veruela – Monasterio de Veruela) was the very first cistercian Monastery established in La Corona de Aragón (Crown of Aragón). In fact, the cistercian monks moved here in 1171 and the consecration of the abbey was in 1248 by the bishop of Calahorra.

The emblematic Royal Monastery of Santa María de Veruela is located in an outstanding quiet valley at the foot of the spectacular Moncayo Mountain, very close to the Huecha River, and 1 km away from the lovely Vera de Moncayo village, in the western Zaragoza province.

facade of the monasteryVeruela’s Monastery was certainly built as many cistercian abbeys, a standard layout or a typical design of the cistencian order was repeated with its abbey church beside the cloister and the rooms spread around the cloister. Besides, a vegetable garden and gardens and other buildings such as the mill and the water tank ( aljibe) were separated from the main buildings.

monasterio de VERUELAThe medieval complex of the Monastery of Veruela was built between 12th and 14th centuries in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Moreover, the Renaissance palace of the abbot and other buildings were built in the 16th century, and a new Baroque monastery was also added next to the medieval cloister in the 17th century, as well as a fortified hexagonal wall, which has remaind intact since 16th century, had been erected around all the buildings and its grounds in the 16th century occupying an area of more than 50,000 square metres.

What to see in Veruela’s Monastery

A fortified tower built in the 13th century in Romanesque style gives visitors a cozy welcome before going into the walled Monastery.


If tourists decide to visit the monastery by themselves, they should not miss the chance to see the breathtaking Church of Santa María de Veruela, which impresses visitors with its measurements of more than 72 meters long by more than 22 meters wide and more than 18 meters high. Being the most remarkable building of the Monastery, the church has three naves and Latin cross plan in Romanesque and Gothic styles dating from the12th and 13th centuries. Its main facade from the12th century in Romanesque style with fine capitals on its portade (gate) shows us the beauty and simplicity of the cistercian architecture. Inside visitors can see: several Romanesque chapels from 12th century; the Virgin of Veruela, a statue of wood carving of Our Lady of Veruela from the 15th century; on the left there are the chapel dedicated to San Bernardo with the beautiful sepulcher of the abbot Lope Marco dating in the mid 16th century and a medieval spiral staircase that goes up to the San Martin’s bell tower dating from the 13th century; on the right, there are the Baroque gate of the sacristy from the 16th century; the magnificent monks door from 13th century that allows visitors to go into the cloister and admired the three sepulchers dating from 12th century on their left; and the converts door that goes into the cilla( storeroom) and the cloister.

VERUELA 25The spectacular medieval cloister from the 14th century in Gothic style is the heart of the monastery, from here visitors can easily go into the most important rooms of the medieval monastery even the church. In the 16th century, a Renaissance double cloister was added over the medieval cloister.

The new sacristy lies among the church, the cloister and the chapter room, here visitors can know more about the beautiful main altarpiece of the church and enjoy the interesting paintings, sculptures, remains of the main altarpiece among other things..

The remarkable chapter room is dated in the 13th century in Romanesque style, here visitors can admire the sepulcher of Lope Ximenez from 13th century and the abbot Sancho Marcilla from 14th century.

The monks room from 13th century in Romanesque style is also worth a visit, as well as the Refectory dating in the13th and 16th centuries in Romanesque and Gothic style that is used for exhibitions.

People should not leave the monastery without visiting: lavatorium, storeroom (cilla), kitchen, warming room, dormitory, new monastery, as well as the mill and the Wine Museum which is situated in the aljibe (water tank).

VERUELA 26This beautiful monastery is also renowned because the poet Gustavo Adolfo Béquec and his brother Valeriano stayed here between November 1863 and October 1864 so that Gustavo got over his serious disease. The poet wrote the famous “ Letters from my cell ” during his stay in the monastery.

If tourists are interested in knowing more about this historic monastery, they are allowed to wander around the monastery. Moreover they might come across interesting artwork. By the way, the cistercian monks left this abbey in 1835; after that, in the mid 19th century it become a hotel where a lot of tourists spent their summers. Besides, the Jesuit monks stayed in this monastery nearly one century; and finally, in 1998 the property of the monastery passed to La Diputación de Zaragoza ( Country Counsil ) which maintains it in excellent state of preservation.

VERUELA monks roomPeople enjoy visiting Verula’s Monastery and its outanding natural landscape, imagining themselves for some moments back in the medieval period, it can be a unique experience.

It is 75 km away from Zaragoza, 12 km from Tarazona and 15 km from Borja.

More places to visit in Aragon

What to see in Zaragoza city: With almost 700,000 inhabitants, Zaragoza (Saragossa) is one of the biggest cities of Spain. Its strategical location between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao, and its proximity to The Pyrenees and France, make Zaragoza one of the most important logistic points of Spain.

Tarazona: Tarazona is situated in the Queiles valley at the foot of the majestic Moncayo massif, in an outstanding natural landscape of exceptional beauty in the western Aragón.

Huesca and The Pyrenees.

Teruel: Located in the south of Aragón, Teruel city is an ideal city to live and enjoy its interesting museums, unique architecture, traditional festivals, delicious gastronomy, among other things.

Cadiz City: What to visit in Cadiz (Andalusia)


playa cadiz

mapa cadizSituated on a small peninsula in the Andalusia region, on the southwest Spanish coast, Cádiz is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and joined to the Iberian Peninsula (San Fernando town) by a long narrow isthmus. Its ideal geographical location, its mild, warm and sunny weather almost all year round, and its well preserved cultural and historical heritage make Cádiz an attractive tourist destination.

Cádiz is the oldest city in Spain, was founded 3,100 years ago by the Phoenicians (Fenicios) who named it Gadir and in the 3th century the Romans called it Gades, therefore, people who are born in Cádiz are called Gaditanos. Besides, when Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims inhabited here they left an unmistakable cultural imprint on Cádiz which was conquered by the King of Castilla Alfonso X El Sabio ( 1221-1284) in 1262.

paseo maritimo cadizNowadays, Cádiz and the Iberian Peninsula are linked by the isthmus, the Carranza Bridge, which was built between 1960 and 1970 of 1400 meters long, and the Puente de la Constitución de 1812 (Bridge of the Constitution of 1812) also called La Pepa Bridge that was built between 2007 and 2014. Being the longest bridge in Spain (1,655 meters in length over the sea), La Pepa Bridge was designed by the world renowned engineer Javier Manterola who was born in 1936 in Pamplona. It is said that the Drawbridge of the Constitution of 1812 is going to be the most emblematic construction of Cádiz. Both the Carranza and La Pepa bridges cross over the Bay of Cádiz from Puerto Real town to Cádiz.

Cádiz, with a population of about 135,000, has a lot of to offer in the way of architecture, culture, gastronomy, entertainment, carnivals, flamenco, beaches, nightlife among others without forgetting its important seaport.


What to visit in Cádiz city

Firstly, we suggest taking a leisurely walk through its historical walled town (casco antiguo), enjoying its narrow streets, alleys and typical squares sensing the friendly atmosphere of the neighborhoods which still retain a lot of its traditional charm. Moreover, local people really have a lot of fun and open mind.

The Cathedral Square, one the most popular places in Cádiz, is in the medieval Pópulo quarter, which is really the oldest part of the city, visitors will be able to find the most remarkable buildings of Cádiz, such as the imposing Cathedral also known as New Cathedral in Baroque and neoclassical style that was built between 18th and 19th centuries and designed by Vicente Acero. Here is the tomb the world renowned musician Manuel de Falla. Besides, if visitors go up the Poniente Tower they will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of the golden dome, the city and surroundings. It is worth a visit.

castillo cadizFollowing the walk from Cathedral Square people can go under the Arco de la Rosa (Rose Arch) from 13th century, it was a gateway to the walled town built by Alfonso X (1221-1284). This Pasaje de la Rosa ( Rose Passage) goes to San Martín Square, here are the Casa del Almirante with facade from 17th century in Baroque style, and the Church of the Carmen dating from 18th century in Baroque style inside a fine altarpiece from 18th century. If visitors take the Obispo Rances Street, they will arrive at The Fray Félix Square one of the most interesting spot.

Santa Cruz Church, (also known as the Old Cathedral) was finished its construction in the early 17th century by Cristobal de Rojas in Renaissance style. Being the first Cathedral of Cádiz until 1838, Santa Cruz Church was built on the site of a previous church destroyed in the late 16th century, which had been built on the site of a mosque. Inside Santa Cruz Church its main altarpiece, the Genoveses Chapel and the Urn and the Christ of Holy are worthy of mention. The Sagrario Tower and the Cathedral Museum next to Santa Cruz Church are also must see places.

Casa del Obispo ( Bishop’s Palace) between the New Cathedral and the Fray Felix Square ( Santa Cruz Church ) is the most important archaeological remains of the city ( Phoenicians, Romans and medievals) can still been seen in this palace.

Teatro Romano (the Roman Theater) was built in the late first century before of Christ being the largest Roman Theater in Spain. It was discovered in 1980 by chance. It is next to Santa Cruz Church too.

entrada a fortalezaOther interesting places in this quarter of Pópulo are: The Arco del Pópulo (Pópulo Arch) from 13th century was other gateway of the walled city built by Alfonso X (in Fabio Rufino Street). Arco de los Blancos (White Arch) of four Arches was part of a medieval castle and other gateway from 13th century. It is in San Juan de Dios Street next to the Roman Theater .

If tourists visit the Pópulo neighborhood they will be able to enjoy its shops, cafés, taverns, traditional dishes, delicious tapas and wines spending their free time sitting in its open air terraces because the weather in Cádiz is usually excellent.

By the way, the promenade goes around the old town so the Cathedral, Casa del Obispo, Santa Cruz Church, Roman Theater and other places can also be reached by Campo del Sur Avenue (Paseo Maritimo).

It is said that flamenco song was born of the people of Santa María neighborhood, so the music roots come alive in its streets. If people want to know more about flamenco, they will probably have a first contact with Flamenco in this neighborhood.

Puertas de Tierras one of the most emblematic monument of Cádiz separates the Old walled Town from the modern Cádiz city.

The Town Hall building, which was built in the early 19th century in neoclassical style, has a beautiful facade and is located in the lively San Juan de Dios Square one meeting point in the heart of Cádiz.

Museo del Vinos y Toros de Cádiz (Wines and Bulls Museum) is an exhibition about wines and bulls in where visitors can taste the delicious wine from Cádiz and know more about the traditional bullfights ( a spectacle in which a man fights and kill a bull).

mar cadizIn middle of the Spain Square people can find the magnificent Monument to the Constitution of 1812 which was raised in 1912, and other interesting buildings such as the Customs and the House of the Four Towers. Do not miss out on the port and pier on the Cádiz Bay nearby.

Oratorio de la Santa Cueva, which consists in two outstanding chapels, is considered to be a masterpiece of the neoclassical Gaditano, decorating with paintings by Francisco de Goya, Zacarias Gónzalez and others world renowned arts.

People interested in art should visit the Cádiz Museum where they not only will find paintings by Zurbarán, Murillo, Rubens, Alonso Cano among others but also archaeology, art and history. Is is in La Mina Square.

Alameda Apodaca is a popular area with plenty of trees, benches, fountains and gardens an ideal area to walk and rest, above all in summer. It is in the north of the city near the Candelaria Bastion from 17th century and the Cádiz Museum.

Genovés Park is the most beautiful and important green area in Cádiz, plenty of plants, trees, fountains, gardens benches is a real botanic park where people can enjoy walking along its avenues and squares. It is situated in the old town between Santa Catalina Castle and Candelaria Bastion and near the Caleta beach.

Grant Falla Theater was built between 1884 and 1905 on the site of the previous theater brunt in neomúdejar style. It is worth a visit and near Genovés Park.

comida cadizThe lively Viña quarter is certainly popular not only among Cádiz residents, but also with tourists elsewhere in Spain and other countries, with plenty of typical bars, cafés, restaurant where serve traditional dishes, tasty cook fish and delicious wine. The Santa María Square is a typical meeting point in the heart of this neighborhood which comes alive with citizens and tourists dancing and signing during the Carnivals.

San Sebatian Castle dates from 19th century is a fortress on a small islet in La Caleta washed by the sea. Inside there is the lighthouse set up in the early 20th century, it measures more than 40 meters in length.

The coastal Castillo de Santa Catalina was constructed in the 17th century is a fortress by La Caleta beach.

Other interesting place is the Hospital de Mujeres (Women Hospital) in gaditano Baroque style and its chapel where there is one noteworthy painting by El Greco. It is near Oratorio San Felipe.

Oratorio San Felipe Neri (Saint Felipe Neri Church) in Baroque style has a Baroque altarpiece dating in the mid 18th century with a beautiful painting by Murillo, next to this Church is the Museo de las Cortes de Cádiz (Cortes of Cádiz Museum ) about Cádiz Constitution.

The watch Tavira Tower from 18th century is one of the most visited places in Cádiz, it has the Camera Obscure that allow visitors to watch the city and the terrace from where people can also see a spectacular views of Cadiz. It is near the Oratorio

Plaza de Abastos (Abasto Square) is a traditional Gaditano market, although most tourists come here to taste its typical tapas and wine in the bars nearby and have a look around the Flowers Square the main shopping area.


Beaches in Cádiz city- Costa de la Luz (Coast of the Light)

Obviously Cádiz has many beautiful and sunny beaches most of them are formed by fine golden sand dunes its clear blue water attracts tourists and citizens who enjoy its excellent weather.

barcos y playaLa Caleta beach of fine and golden sand is the most popular beach in Cádiz because it has bars, restaurants, excellent facilities even flamenco club and is situated between San Sebastian and Santa Catalina Castles in the old historical town so it is often plenty of tourists and local people.

– Santa María del Mar beach of golden sand is the smallest beach of Cádiz. Situated next to La Victoria beach is often crowded.

– La Victoria beach stretches for more than 2,900 meters. It is by the promenade in the modern area of Cadiz. Having excellent facilities La Victoria is usually plenty of people of all ages.

– The Cortadura beach of fine golden sand dunes is located in the isthmus between Cádiz and San Fernando town. It is easy to get on foot and measures about 2,500 meters in length, secluded but plenty of free space.

– El Chato or Torregorda beach is located between the Cortadura and the Composto beaches it is similar to the Cortadura beach but more than 2,600 meters long.

Cádiz has more beaches, other interesting places, a lot of fun, tasty food. good wine, a very pleasant weather, lively nightlife, dancing and flamenco and so on.



More cities and towns to visit near Cadiz

Tarifa: The most southerly town of Spain.

Andalucia / Andalusia region: Read here all about this region, including cities as Grandada, Cordoba or Sevilla.

Murcia Cathedral / Catedral de Santa María de Murcia

Catedral murcia fachada

mapa murciaThe Murcia Cathedral (Catedral de Murcia), which has three naves, is really the most remarkable building in Murcia and the main attraction for tourists who do not miss out on the outstanding Cathedral if they have the opportunity to visit the Baroque Murcia city.

Located in the heart of Murcia near the Segura River, La Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María (Saint Church Cathedral of Saint Mary) popularly known as the Catedral de Murcia (Cathedral of Murcia) was built on the site of the demolished great Aljama Mosque of Murcia between 14th and 18th centuries in several architectural styles. In fact, the interior of the Cathedral is mainly Gothic, its beautiful main facade is Baroque, the bell Tower is Renaissance and Neoclassical, and the Junterones Chapel is Renaissance.


Visiting the Murcia Cathedral

Outside the Cathedral people can see:

The emblematic main facade of the Cathedral, which is considered to be a Baroque masterpiece, was constructed between 1735 and 1755 by the talented sculptor Jaime Bort in order to replace the first dilapidated Renaissance facade. Visitors should not leave the city without staring the main facade of the Cathedral of Murcia which is in the Cardenal Belluga Square.

If people walk leisurely around the Cathedral from Cardenal Belluga Square they will find on the right the Apóstoles Street where are the Apóstoles Gate and its facade, and the amazing Velez Chapel facade, then if they take the Oliver street they will get the Hernández Amores Square where they can enjoy the imposing Bell Tower and the Cruz Gate and its facade.

catedral murcia (year 1986)In the first years of the 16th century was begun the construction of the beautiful Bell Tower in renaissance style, and was finished its construction in the last years of the 18th century in Neoclassical style. It is about 96 meters in height and has 25 bells which date from 17th and 18th centuries.

If tourists have plenty of time they can go up to the Bell Tower from where visitors can see a wonderful view of the city and surroundings.

By the way, the previous medieval tower was demolished before building the current Renaissance tower and the Cruz Gate.


Inside the Cathedral visitors can enjoy its more than 22 chapels among other artworks.

The Vélez Chaple, which is itself a masterpiece, is richly decorated in Mudéjar, Gothic among other styles . Its construction was begun in the last years of the 15th century and was finished in the first years of the 16th century. Don’t forget to look at the impressive Dome of this chapel.

The wonderful Junterones Chaple was finished in the middle of the 16th century being regarded as one Renaissance masterpiece, and the main Chapel and its altarpiece in the central nave are must-see places too.

Also worthy of mention is the remarkable choir stalls in fine Plateresque style which was made in the middle of the 16th century. Moreover, the organ which is one of the largest and most important instruments in Spain dates from middle of the 19th century and was built by Merklin, it is in the Trascoro Chapel which dates from 17th century.

Other interesting chapel is the of Santo Cristo del Milagro which has a Neoclassical altarpiece, and all the other chapels are worth a visit.

People interested in sculptures and paintings between the 17th and 18th centuries might visit the Cathedral Museum which has an important collection of art. Moreover, the Museum has got back archaeological remains from Muslim (between 11th and 13th centuries) and other remains that were found while the Museum was being remodelled. The Museum is located in the cloister of the Cathedral.



If you decide to travel to Murcia coast to enjoy its beaches of white sand, you can plan a visit to Murcia city. You will not regret it.

Altamira Cave and museum / Cueva de Altamira (Cantabria)

altamira cave

The Altamira Cave (la Cueva de Altamira), located in Santillana del Mar (Cantabria region), was declared a World Heritage in 1985 by UNESCO. It is known as the Sixtina Chapel of the Paleolithic art. The cave was discovered in 1863, although its paintings which are dated 13,500 years ago, were not discovered until 1879 by Marcelino Sainz de Sautuola (1831-1888).


The National Museum and Research Center of Altamira

altamira paintingsNowadays, the Altamira Cave has been closed to public in order to preserve its paintings. However, people can visit the fascinating Altamira Museum (Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira) which offers a reproduction of how the Altamira Cave was about 14,000 years ago (Neocave), with visit guided, collections and pieces about art and culture in times of Altamira, so as exhibits and activities for children among other things.

If visitors want to stare the recreation of Altamira Cave, they can visit the Neocave that is a reconstruction of the original cave where they can see the Herd of bison, one of most expressive paintings of Altamira and enjoy its spectacular way inside the cave.

It takes about 30 minutes on foot from Santillana del Mar to Altamira Museum. The ticket to visit the Museum costs 3 euros. Tourists should book the tickets in advance to avoid the wait.


More places to visit near Altamira Cave and Museum (Cantabria)

Santillana del Mar: One of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

Cantabria: Check here all our posts about Cantabria region (España).

Lonja de la Seda / The Silk Market (Valencia)

lonja seda valencia
The Lonja de la seda (Silk Market) in Valencia, also known as Lonja de los Mercaderes or Casa de Contratacion is one of the most emblematic Gothic buildings in Spain.  In fact, the Lonja is the masterpiece of the renowned architect Pere Compte who began its construction in the last quarter of the 15th century in order to cover the necessities of the silk business in the region . Moreover, the Lonja of the Silk was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Evidently, it is a must-see place.


Visiting La Lonja de Valencia

The Architectural ensemble in the finest late Gothic style has an outstanding main large Sala de Contratacion (contract hall) of three naves with 24 spiral columns of 18 meters in height every one; The Tower with its impressive winding stone staircase of 110 steps, on the first floor of this tower there was a prison and under this prison there was a Chapel; The Consulado where is the Sala Dorada (The Golden Room / Cambra Daurada) or the main hall with its beautiful techumbre (ceiling) of golden paintings from 14th century and the orange garden among others. The main facade of this Gothic building with its exceptional decoration, its stunning doorway and some of the finest windows can be seen at the Market square.

Nowadays, the Lonja is still been used for commercial activities in agricultural products. Besides, the cultural activities and exhibitions takes place in this remarkable building which is the seat of Cultural Academy of Valencia. Do not miss out on the Lonja de la Seda.

Situated in the heart of the casco historico (historic neighborhood) of Valencia, at the Market square the Lonja has its impressive main facade. The ticket to visit La Lonja costs between 1 and 2 euros, although on Sunday, on Saturday and bank-holidays are free. The best way of visiting the historic neighborhood of Valencia is on foot.



Other interesting buildings in the historic neighborhood of Valencia

The Cathedral , which was began in 1268 and finished in the 18 th century is another emblematic place, is a must see place and visitors should not miss out.

The imposing Mercado Central (The Main Large Market / Mercat Central), which was built between 1914 and 1928, in modernism style, is one of the largest market in Europe measuring more than 8000 square meters and with more than 900 market stalls. It is located at the Market square . It is worth visiting.


More places to visit in Valencia

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias): The City of Arts and Sciences consists in a wide zone in the center of Valencia, near the sea and the Port of Valencia, in where are located a lot of cultural and leisure buildings.

The Turia garden (Jardín del Turia): The Turia Garden is a green park of more than 7,000 metres long being covered its more than 1,000,000 square metres with great variety of trees, plants ,flowers and fountains.

The best monuments in Spain: Read here our post with the most visited monuments, museums and buildings in Spain.

Catedral de León / Santa Maria de la Regla Cathedral (Leon city)

catedral de leon

With around 140,000 inhabitants, León city (Castile and Leon region) has a lot to offer its visitors, such as its Cathedral the most remarkable building of Leon, The Roman Walls, Basilica of San Isidoro, San Marcos monastery, the Old Town, and many more.


Leon Cathedral: Saint Mary Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María)

Saint Mary Cathedral, called the Pulchra Leonina, in León, was built on the site of a previous church between the 13th and 15th centuries in Gothic style, being really one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain and Europe it is considered to be a Gothic masterpiece. In fact, its more than 125 colorful stained glass windows and its three large stained glass rose windows are viewed as some of the finest stained glass windows in the world ( dating between 13th and 15th centuries). Either way, visitors will enjoy the colorful stained glass windows more if they stare at them inside the Cathedral when the sunlight shines through them. It is a must-see place.

The Cathedral of León has three facades, west, north and south; the west one is the most imposing facade with its three wonderful portals, two bell towers and one clock tower with its large stained glass rose window on the front of the facade. Moreover, inside the Leon Cathedral, which has three naves, interesting chapels, a stunning choir stalls from 15th century; a cloister (13th-15th centuries); a beautiful altarpiece from 15th century in the main chapel; the fine mausoleum of the king Ordoño II (13th-15th centuries), beautiful paintings, sculptures and artworks among others. Therefore, a must for tourists who arrive in León is to visit it. By the way, the local people must feel very proud to have this outstanding Cathedral.

On the other hand, if people are quite interested in religious art and culture, we suggest visiting the Diocesan Cathedral Museum, which is in itself worth a visit, has 17 rooms full of artworks, above all paintings and sculptures from the prehistory to the 20th century. Moreover, if tourists have plenty of time we recommend going upstairs to get the clerestory platform in order to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Cathedral, they will probability stay there for 30 minutes before going down the 64 stairs.

The ticket to visit the Cathedral costs between 2 and 5 euros and the Diocesan – Cathedral Museum costs about 5 euros. The Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum both of them are located in the Regla square.


More places to visit in Leon city

What to visit in Leon city: A brief guide with the more visited places in the city.

Castile and Leon: Read here the best places and cities to visit in this region, as Salamanca, Burgos, or Segovia.

Palau de la Música Catalana / The Catalonian Music Palace (Barcelona)

palau barcelona

The Palau de la Música Catalana (The Catalonian Music Palace, or The Palace of Catalan Music), known as the Palau,  is a hall concert, located in Barcelona city. This building is one of the most visited places in Barcelona by people who want to enjoy its Modernism architecture or listen to the choir of the Orfeó Catalá (Catalonian Choral Society) or concerts.

Located in the heart of Barcelona city near the Gothic Cathedral, and to 10 minutes on foot from the popular Catalonia square (plaza de Cataluña), this modernist building was declared a World Heritage site in 1997 by UNESCO.

History of the The Catalonian Music Palace

cristalera palauThe Palau de la Música Catalana was constructed between 1905 and 1909 by the Catalonian Modernist architect Lluís Domenech i Montaner (1850-1923), who made an agreement with the best artists, sculptors and painters such as the architect Jeroni Granell i Manresa (1867-1931) who made many of the colorful stained glass windows and dome of the palace; the world renowned Aragonese sculptor Pablo Gargallo (Maella -Zaragoza 1881- 1934) who sculpted the colossal figures of the proscenium; Lluís Bru i Salelles ( 1868-1952) and Mario Maragliano who worked in the fine mosaics, among other artists, so that all of them worked on the project of a building for the Catalonian Orfeó Headquarter (sede del Orfeó Catalá).

Having a seating capacity of more than 2.000, the Palau has a main outstanding Concert Hall (Sala de Conciertos) with a large organ over its stage; the Rehearsal Hall of the Orfeó Catalá which is below the main Concert Hall; the stunning Hall Lluís Millet among other things.

Nowadays, the Palau de la Música Catalá has a lot of performances during the year, so that all people can see the impressive Palau which is considered to be a Catalan Modernism masterpiece. However, if people do not have free time to attend any concert, they can take a guided visit in the morning, or perhaps take a stroll around its streets and seeing its wonderful facades (at number 7 San Pere Mes Alt street and 4 Amadeu Vives street). Moreover, there are a restaurant and cafés inside the Palau building.


Visiting the building

palau building barcelonaThe Palau builging is placed at 4 Palau de la Música street. You can go there by bus, lines 17, 19 and 45.

The ticket to visit the Palau can cost from 9 to 18 euros. The guided tour lasts one hour. There is a guided tour every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Being Barcelona the second largest city in Spain (the first is Madrid) has a lot of interesting places, buildings, activities, entertainments to offer visitors in the way of spending an unforgettable holiday. However, if people attend some of the concerts at the Palau, they will have an enjoyable experience. Do not leave Barcelona without visiting the Palau.



More places to visit in Barcelona city

– Las Ramblas Avenue: La Rambla Avenue goes from Catalonia Square to the seaport, and it has a lot of cafes, terraces, pubs and discotheques. In the end of the street, there is the Cristobal Colon monument.

– Columbus Monument: One of the most famous statues of Barcelona city. It was built in 1888 for a Universal Exposition and it represents a statue of Christopher Columbus above a pillar, pointing with his right hand to the sea.

The Holy Family (La Sagrada Familia): It is a must for tourists that arrive in Barcelona see its outstanding architecture, design and sculptures.

– La Barceloneta: In summer, you can sunbathe or swim in the beach of La Barceloneta, which is 5 minutes walking from Columbus Monument.

Read also our post with the most famous monuments in Spain.

La Seo del Salvador / Salvador Cathedral (Zaragoza)

la_seo plaza del pilar zaragoza

In December 2001, Salvador Cathedral (popularly, La Seo), in Zaragoza was declared a World of Heritage site by UNESCO as one of the most representative Mudéjar architecture of Aragón. Besides, this remarkable Cathedral has more than enough artworks to be a must-see place. Therefore, La Seo del Salvador welcomes visitors from all over of the world who want to explore its interesting Cathedral.

Salvador Cathedral in Saragossa (Catedral del Salvador de Zaragoza) commonly called La Seo, was built on the site of the great mosque aljama of Saraqusta (Saragossa) between 12th and 16th centuries. Being rebuilt, reformed, improved and widened during these centuries, the present Cathedral has Romanesque, Mudéjar, Gothic, Baroque architectural styles which can really be seen outside the Cathedral, although its most important treasures are inside La Seo del Salvador.


La Seo: History of its construction

la seoOn the 18th December 1118, Alfonso I of Aragón known as The Batallador (1073-1134 ) conquered Saragossa and the Mezquita Blanca ( White Mosque) of Saraqusta (Saragossa), which had been built in the 8th century by the Muslims, was converted into the first Cathedral in Saragossa. During the 12th century a new Romanesque building of three naves was constructed on part of the mosque, and the minaret of the mosque was converted into the bell tower of Salvador Cathedral. However, only two beautiful Romanesque apses remain as a symbol of that temple currently.

In 1318 the diocese of Saragossa became archdiocese and Don Pedro López de Luna who was the first archbishop of Saragossa ordered to built the new Mudéjar Cathedral on part of the old mosque and of the dark Romanesque building, In fact, some interesting remains of this building can be seen in La Seo, By the way, it is said that the minaret of the mosque is covered by the current baroque bell tower and the west facade of the Mudéjar building is behind of the present baroque facade.

Don Lope Fernandez de Luna archbishop of Saragossa, who was a significant benefactor of the Aragonese Mudéjar art, ordered to build the first dome of the Cathedral and the San Miguel Chapel also known as the Parroquieta in Mudéjar style. Situating next to La Seo and of its apses the Parroquieta was built between 1374 and 1381, and its outstanding north wall was decorated with rajolas (bricks), aljez (gypsum), colorful glassed ceramic tiles and colorful aliceres (tiny pieces of tiles) in its finer Mudéjar art . Inside the chapel is the beautiful tomb of Don Lope Fernandez de Luna, its unbelievable wooden techumbre (ceiling), its original arrimadero (ceramic tiles on its walls) and its crypt. It is worth a visit.

Don Pedro Martinez de Luna, Benedico XIII also known as el Papa Luna (Pope Benedict XIII) (1328- 1423) was other great benefactor of the Mudéjar art in the Cathedral and ordered Mahoma Rami, a renown architect and prestigious maestro, to built the second dome in La Seo because the first one had been knocked down. Unfortunately this second dome was also knocked down and the current dome was built in 16th century in Mudéjar style in a way very similar to the second one.

torre de la seoDon Alonso de Aragón, archbishop of Saragossa (1470-1520) ( son of king Fernando II of Aragón 1452-1516) was other great benefactor of the Cathedral, he added two naves to La Seo among other many things.

Don Hernando de Aragón archbishop of Saragossa (1498-1575) (son of Alonso de Aragón and grandson of King Fernando II) ,who was other significant benefactor of La Seo Cathedral, ordered to built the impressive San Bernardo chapel between 1550 and 1557 a masterpiece where are the tombs of Don Hernando and his mother. Do not leave La Seo without staring this chapel carefully.


Visiting La Seo Cathedral (Zaragoza)

Nowadays, inside La Seo visitors will be spellbound when they can see in the main nave the magnificent Gothic altarpiece, a masterpiece of alabaster that is considered to be the best of Europe. Its sculptural artwork was begun about 1434 and took about 50 years to made it. Visitors can not miss out on this chance.

Visitors should not leave La Seo without seeing the choir stalls, the organ, Saint Bruno and Virgen Blanca chapels among other things. On the other hand, La Seo has been witnessed of many important events in the life of Aragón. Besides, La Seo was the coronation Cathedral since 12th to 16th centuries, and has been the final resting place for many archbishops and special people for years.

muro de la seoTaking a stroll along Saint Bruno square bordering La Seo, walkers can enjoy the stunning Mudéjar wall and apses, besides, they can also see and discover the interesting Dean arch and other interesting buildings.

People interested in culture should visit the Tapestries museum (Museo de Tapices) which is considered to be unique in the world, the tapestries date between 14th and 17th centuries. In La Seo Square is also the Diocesano museum a interesting way to know the religious art. Both museums are worth a visit. Perhaps, people would like to visit the Foro museum in the same square, it is about history and Roman ancient time in Saragossa.

By the way, La Seo is located in the Cathedrals square or in La Seo Square (the Seo square and the Pilar square both of them are joined together, so it is also called the Cathedrals square) is the first Cathedral of Saragossa with five naves because the Pilar Cathedral of three naves is the second Cathedral of Saragossa.

To add, the tickets to visit La Seo are very cheap.



More touristic places to visit in Zaragoza

Pilar Square and Pilar Cathedral: The Pilar Cathedral (Basilica del Pilar) is the most famous icon of Zaragoza. This cathedral is placed in the centre of the city, near the Ebro river and in the same square than “La Seo” Cathedral.

La Aljafería (The Aljafería Palace): A must for all tourists that arrive in Saragossa is to visit the stunning Aljaferia Palace, which is really the most visited historic site in Saragossa. This medieval Islamic palace was built by Muslims on the banks of the river Ebro in the 11th century.

The Expo 2008 Zone In summer 2008, Saragossa received the international exposition Expo Zaragoza 2008, which was placed aside the shore of the Ebro River. Currently, the Expo Zone is open to all the visitors who want to see the area and enjoy its activities.

Parque Grande: It has more than 15 fountains, a botanic garden, balconies, many terraces, paths and statues, a swimming pool and many more activities to do.

Paseo Independencia (Independence Avenue): The main street of Zaragoza. Beginning at the end of Gran Via, the avenue runs from Plaza Paraiso all the way to Plaza España.

Read also Two-days tour in Zaragozathe most visited places in Zaragoza and the best destinations of Spain.