Zaragoza’s astonishing architecture

Capital of the Aragon region, Zaragoza’s rich history means traces of outstanding architectural monuments can be found all around. Explore the melting pot of styles intertwined amongst winding cobbled streets and ancient squares - here’s our guide to the most astonishing architecture in Zaragoza. 

1. Palacio de la Aljaferia – Calle de los Diputados

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Built in the 11th century, this palace is one of the top sights in Zaragoza and potentially the most impressive piece of architecture in the city. A strong example of Hispano-Muslim art, the building is now used as the headquarters for the regional parliament. Featuring chiselled floral motifs, Arabic inscriptions from the Quran, Mudejar coffered ceilings and simple cupolas, the interiors of the palace are a real sight for sore eyes. Wander through patios, porches and lounges to see for yourself why this is one of Zaragoza’s most astonishing architecture. 

2. Pabellon de Aragon – Avenida de Jose Atares

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Designed to look like a typical Aragonese wicker basket, the Pabellon de Aragon was built in 2008 to host the Expo of Zaragoza. The structure designed by Daniel Olano aims to replicate the rolling landscapes of the region and consists of interlocking panels of glass and micro-concrete white fiberglass. Suspended by three pillars, the building has no purpose nowadays but its lower level is regularly used by teenagers as a makeshift skate park. Sitting at 25 metres high, the structure gets more transparent as it gains height making it one of the best looking buildings in the city.

3. Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar – Plaza del Pilar

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For the most spectacular views of the city head to the top of one of Zaragoza’s best buildings, Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar. The structure is believed to have been built on the site where the Virgin Mary was spotted on top of a marble pillar and has become a site of great religious importance to the region. The architectural site consists of a chapel built around the pillar, followed by a series of grandiose churches which make way for the basilica itself.  Originally designed in 1681, the building is regularly visited as part of a religious pilgrimage or for its impressive artistic centre. 

4. Museo de Zaragoza – 6 Plaza ls Sitios

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Housed in a grand neo-Renaissance building, the Zaragoza city museum was built for the Hispano-French Exposition of 1908. Featuring collections on archaeology, fine arts, ethology and ceramics, the museum is one of the oldest museums in Aragon. Split into two sections dedicated to Archaeology and Fine Arts from pre-history to the Moorish period, the museum has been open since 1848 but has moved locations several times. 

5. La Seo del Salvador – Plaza de la Seo

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Commonly known as La Seo, the Roman Catholic cathedral is part of the World Heritage Site Mudjar Architecture of Aragon and embodies a large part of the region’s history. Built in a variety of architectural styles, the main door cathedral features elements of the Gothic Mudejar, Baroque and Renaissance era. Inside, visit the 18th century cathedral treasures including tapestries, a Gothic altarpiece, choir stalls and organ. Real highlights also include Saint Bruno and Virgin Blanca chapels so be sure to take a look when visiting the best building in Zaragoza. 

6. Casa Solans – Av. de Cataluna 60

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Standing in the city since 1918, you can’t miss the elaborate villa built by the industrial flour magnet, Juan Solans when visiting Zaragoza. Located right next to his former factory, La Nueva Harinera, the property is nicknamed the House of Tiles for its polychrome decoration featuring the signs of the zodiac. Designed in the architectural style of Art Nouveau, the burnt orange-coloured house was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in 2002. Consisting of three floors and a small basement, take a tour of this masterpiece and marvel at one of the city’s most outstanding buildings.


Planning a trip to Zaragoza soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of the best buildings in Zaragoza using the hashtag #ryanairstories for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media channels.


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- Lucy Norris