Zaragoza is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Aragon and the province of Zaragoza. It is located in the centre of a large valley on the banks of the rivers Ebro, Huerva and Gállego. Its strategic geographical location, around 300km (200mi) from Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Toulouse, makes the city a very important logistical and communications hub. It is the fifth largest city in Spain, in terms of population.
The modern name comes from the Roman place name Caesaraugusta, after Caesar Augustus. The city is also mentioned by the name of “Salduvia” by Pliny the Elder. The city’s economyis augmented greatly by the presence of the Opel car factory, owned by General Motors. Among the main tourist attractions there is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilllar (Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora de El Pilar), which is the country’s largest baroque temple, the recently renovated La Seo Cathedral (Catedral del Salvador), which houses the museum of art and history, and the Aljafería Palace, an Arabic building, which was the palace of king Al-Muqtadir in the 11th century and was also used by certain monarchs, like Peter IV and Ferdinand II of Aragon. It was then used as the seat of the Inquisition and now houses the Aragon courts.
Accommodation in Zaragoza’s student residences
All the student residences in the city are assigned to the University of Zaragoza and are generally located within the city centre. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Zaragoza
There are excellent motorway links between Zaragoza and places like Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao and Valencia. There is also a high speed (AVE) train line Madrid-Zaragoza-Lérida, with a journey time of around 90 minutes to get to Madrid. Since 2007 the city’s new train station, Zaragoza-Delicias, also houses the central bus station of Zaragoza. There are plans in place to build the first metro line, however, official approval has still not been established. There is also a tourist boat ride service, which runs along the river between the harbour and the Expo zone.