Calatayud (Zaragoza)

  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Ayub islamic castle. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Islamic walls and towers of Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Islamic walls of Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Landscape in Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Islamic Mocha tower. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Recinto amurallado islámico de Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • The ruined islamic castles ofEl Reloj and Doña Martina. Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Mudejar bell tower and apse of Santa María church. Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Balconies. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • City council in España square. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Mudéjar church of San Andrés. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Stork. Mudejar tower of San Andrés. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • España square. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Gothic church of Los Francos. Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Alfonso I The Battler statue. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • La Dolores inn. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Interior of La Dolores Inn. Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Mudéjar bell tower of Santa María. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Los Francos church. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Iglesia mudéjar de San Andrés. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • San Miguel gate. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Roman chapiter in the city museum of Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Islamic castle of Ayub. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Terrer gate. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Terrer gate. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Islamic castle of Ayub. Calatayud, Zaragoza / ALC.

 

What you can see and do in Calatayud

Calatayud is a historical-artistic site. The first view of this for travellers is doubtlessly the Mudejar architecture, listed as World Heritage. The Mudejars were Muslims who stayed behind after the Christian conquest. As builders, they used economical materials, like plaster, bricks and ceramics, to create geometric, colourful and imaginative art.

In Calatayud, the Collegiate of Santa María La Mayor is a World Heritage site. It was built, as often occurred, over the old main mosque in the city and has three naves. The cloisters, apse and octagonal tower, 68m high, are in the original Mudejar style. In the same style, no so tall but equally of interest, is St Andrew’s Church: the two towers stand out above the old town’s roofs and create its skyline. Another interesting example of Mudejar art can be seen in the plasterwork in the church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña, built on the foundations of the castle of the same name.

The Calatayud old town is very interesting not only because of its interesting churches, like the 14th century Gothic church of San Pedro de los Francos, but because it still preserves part of that atmosphere of a town in the first half of the 20th century, which can be sensed in some shops, houses and signs. In a walk around the town, an attentive traveller will be surprised by the striking number of empty plots and demolished houses; this is because of the ‘mobile’ terrain the city is built on.

Finally, to breathe history, to feel like an Umayyad or Aragonese soldier, you only need to go up to the castle. It is one of the most important Islamic defensive systems in all Spain. Its chronology is very varied, from the 9th to the 15th century, but it is predominantly Arabic. Around the whole city you can find remains of walls and their towers, Islamic in origin (of Doña Martina, of La Peña and of the Clock). The best conserved of all and the most emblematic is the Main Castle or Ayub’s Castle, which dates back to the 10th-11th centuries. Over a thousand years are watching you. It is on the hill overlooking the city and, to reach it, you can go through the city and climb through the old Jewish or Muslim quarters.

Another of the city’s emblematic towers, Mocha Tower, is very near Ayub’s Castle. As an extra, the gypsum terrain in the landscape in the distance, creates an almost lunar appearance to the view, depending on the time and the season of the year.

You shouldn’t leave Calatayud without trying its stupendous chickpeas with conger or the fardels: they are typical dishes and unusual; well-cooked with good ingredients, they are well worth trying.  The meat dish par excellence is roast lamb, all washed down with wine with the Calatayud certificate of origin. Although the Calatayud wines have a reputation for being ‘hard’, they have changed greatly in recent years. It is worth inquiring in the wine-cellars, you may be surprised.

Travellers interested in the Roman age should make a car trip to the Roman town of Bilbilis, the birthplace of the great poet Martial, which is very near Calatayud. It’s an important archaeological site, but if you don’t have enough time, you can visit the city museum, where interesting objects from the site are on display.

Rev.: JGG 13.08.21

Useful information

  • Postal Address of the City Council: Plaza Joaquín Costa, 14 (50300)
  • Phone: 976 881 314 / 976 881 705
  • E-mail: calatayud@dpz.es
  • Web: www.calatayud.es
  • Population: 19.753
  • Altitude: 536 m.

Rev. (JGG) 7.1.16