Aragon, its lands, its inhabitants and its traditions are influenced by the lie of the land. This being the case, the region consists of various distinct areas which are strongly demarcated within the Community, from deserts to mountain ranges, including the Alpine peaks of the Pyrenees. Each corner of the region has its own distinct landscape, its own modus vivendi and its own culture.
Our Editorial team's advice
General informationGeneral information, Spain, Aragon, Area: The Autonomous Community of Aragon, of which Zaragoza is the capital, spans some 18,424 sq mi and has 1,325,272 inhabitants. Flight time The flight time from London Stansted to Zaragoza is around 2 hours 10 minutes, and is direct. Time differenceOne hour aheadLanguageSpanish is the official language but the Aragonese language is also spoken in some parts of the region, primarily in the east. Formalities NoneReligion97% of the population is Catholic. CurrencyEuroClimate and seasons The climate in Aragon is of the temperate continental type, though the diversity of the region's orography brings about various microclimates. HEALTH If you live outside of Spain, remember to pick up a European Health Insurance Card from your local Social Security centre so that your medical expenses can be reimbursed in the event an accident. TELEPHONEIf you want to call abroad you'll need to know the code for the country in question before dialling the desired number. If you are a foreigner and you want to make a national call you will also, in some cases, need to use the code. Depending on the model of your mobile phone, you may need to activate the roaming function on your phone to enable you to make and receive phone calls to and from abroad. It is important to check the applicable tariffs beforehand in order to avoid any nasty surprises when you get your bill when you get back home. The prefix for the Community of Aragon is 976. Public holidays Friday 1st January: New Year's Day Wednesday 6th January: Epiphany Friday 22nd January: San Vicente (in Huesca only) Friday 29th January: Santa Valeria (in Zaragoza only) Friday 5th March: Cincomarzada (in Zaragoza only) Thursday 1st April: Maundy Thursday Friday 2nd April: Good Friday April: Mesón de las Tortillas (in Teruel only) 17th April: Mesón de las Tortillas (in Teruel only) 1st May: Labour Day* 9th July: Vaquilla del Ángel (in Teruel only) 10th August: San Lorenzo (in Huesca only) 15th August: Assumption 11th October: Zaragoza Festival (in Zaragoza only) Tuesday 12th October: National holiday 1st November: All Saints' Day 6th December: Constitution Day 8th December: Immaculate Conception 25th December: Christmas Day Airport information Zaragoza airport is located just over 6 miles south-west of Zaragoza. Electricity220V. Electrical sockets are of the European variety. Security As is the case in all tourist areas, it is advisable to keep a close eye on your personal belongings (particularly money and any valuable items). Avoid leaving anything on display in the car. Getting around the area Aragon is particularly suitable for those who like to walk. Thanks to the diversity of its landscape, the areas surrounding Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza are suitable for various types of walking activities. In the Huesca area, you may be interested in taking the Albelda route, which will take you past various reservoirs and silos, the route that'll take you from Biescas to Nocito or even the De Fonz route which runs as far as Ojo de La Fuente. Closer to Teruel, meanwhile, the Saldón to Dornaque routes or the Mezquín paths are very well-known, whilst the Ambel-Fuente del Ojo-Ambel route near Zaragoza is probably one of the most beautiful walks in the area. CuisineThe Community of Aragon enjoys a rich culinary heritage, the result of the various cultures which have inhabited the region over the years. Its diverse orography means it can also produce a very wide range of products which are then used in both meat and vegetable-based dishes, as well as many desserts and high quality wines. Specialties of the region include rabbit with snails, 'coco en mel' (a coconut-based dish) and suckling lamb stew with eggs and asparagus, not forgetting the truly delicious 'totas del alma' or peaches in wine. ShoppingThe region is currently witnessing a major revival in its arts and craft industries. This being the case, you might like to purchase a few Teruel ceramics, some pottery, wax works or fabrics, which are the region's most traditional wares. Taxes and tipping A service charge is included in most hotels, restaurants and bars and when taking taxis. This will generally account for around 5-10% of the price. Historic dates 87 BC. Date of the Contrebia Belaisca bronze - the oldest legal dispute in Spain. From 25 BC to 14 BC. Romanisation of the Ebro Valley. Founding of Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza). 5th century - 472 The Ebro Valley is under Visigoth control. 8th century- 714 The Muslims conquer Zaragoza and dominate the entire Ebro Valley. - 778 Charlemagne, King of the Franks, attempts to occupy Zaragoza but is defeated in Roncesvalles. 9th century - Birth of the counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in the Pyrenees. 10th century - 956 The diocese of Roda de Isábena is established in Ribagorza. 11th century - 1035 Ramiro I becomes the first King of Aragon. San Juan de la Peña becomes the monastic centre of the kingdom of Aragon. - 1046-1082 The Aljafería Muslim Palace is built. - 1076 Construction work begins on the Roman Cathedral in Jaca, the capital of the kingdom. 12th century - 1118 Alfonso I "El Batallador" ("The Battler") expands the Aragonese territory and conquers Zaragoza. - 1137 Creation of the Aragonese Empire with the union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. - 1169 Alfonso II, the first king of the Aragonese Empire, conquers Teruel. 13th century- 1229 Jaime I conquers Mallorca for the Aragonese Empire. - 1238 Jaime I expands his kingdom and occupies the Levante. The Kingdom of Valencia is formed in 1240. - 1247 The Cortes de Aragon administrative council united in the city of Huesca draft the Laws of Aragon ('Fueros de Aragón'). - 1262 Birth of the Kingdom of Mallorca. - 1265 The role of 'Justicia de Aragón' (Supreme Magistrate of Aragon) is created during the meeting of the Cortes de Aragon in Ejea de los Caballeros. - 1283 Pedro III of Aragon authorises the General Lien, the first stage in the institutionalisation of the Cortes and the Supreme Magistrate of the Kingdom. The Aragonese Empire begins to expand out to the Mediterranean Sea- 1287 Alfonso III grants the Privilege of Union. 14th century- 1315-1317 Construction of the Mudejar-style San Martin Tower in Teruel. - 1362 The Council of the Kingdom of Aragon is created within the Cortes de Monzón to perform an administrative and fiscal role. - 1393 Pedro Martínez de Luna is elected Pope in Avignon as is known as Benedict XIII. - 1397 Annexation of Sicily by Martin I of Aragon. 15th century - 1412 The Compromise of Caspe peacefully resolves the problem of succession to the Aragonese Empire. - 1475 Appearance of the first known printed book in Zaragoza, bearing the name, place and year as well as the day and month when it was completed. - 1496 Political union of the Aragonese Empire with the kingdom of Castilla-Leon through the marriage of Fernando II, Prince of Aragon and King of Sicily, and Isabelle, infanta of Castile. 15th century- 1492 Incorporation of the Nazari kingdom of Granada into the Spanish Crown. Christopher Columbus discovers America. Expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish Crown16th century- 1518 Charles I, grandson of the Catholic Kings, King of Castilla-Leon and Emperor of Germany, swears his allegiance to the Fueros de Aragón (Laws of Aragon) in Zaragoza. - 1532 Pedro Cerbuna founds the University of Zaragoza. - 1541 Construction work begins on the La Lonja in Zaragoza. - 1547 The Cortes de Aragon create the role of 'Cronista del Reino' (Kingdom Chronicler). The following year, Jerónimo Zurita is appointed first official Chronicler of the Kingdom of Aragon. - 1553 Aragonese humanist and doctor of medicine Miguel Servet discovers pulmonary blood circulation. - 1590-1591 Antonio Pérez, former secretary to Felipe II, takes refuge in Aragon under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Magistrate of Aragon, Juan de Lanuza, who was later to be beheaded. 17th century- 1610 Expulsion of the Moors: between 1609 and 1614, the converted Muslim communities, primarily settled in Valencia and Aragon, left Spain. They mainly devoted themselves to agriculture and accounted for 20% of the population. Their expulsion resulted in a demographic and economic crisis within the kingdom. - 1647 San José de Calasanz opens the first free public school in Europe. - 1657 Gracián publishes the third part of his work 'El Criticón'.- 1681 Work begins on the current Pilar temple. 18th century- 1701 Felipe IV (V of Castile), the first Bourbon king, swears his allegiance to the Fueros de Aragón at La Seo in Zaragoza. - 1707 Royal Decree abolishing the Fueros. Aragon ceases to exist as a kingdom with its own governing and administrative bodies and is now equal to Castile in legislative terms. - 1711 Promulgation of the Royal Decrees of Nueva Planta putting into effect the Private Law of Aragon. - 1746 Birth of Francisco de Goya y Lucientes in Fuendetodos on 31st March. - 1757 The Count of Aranda resumes work on the Imperial Canal of Aragon, initially undertaken by King Charles I. - 1772 Ramón Pignatelli is appointed Protector of the Imperial Canal of Aragon. - 1776 Founding of the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País ('Royal Economic Society of Friends of the Country'), which promoted practical study in the fields of agriculture, industry, commerce, the arts and science and founded the country's first school of economy. - 1784 The waters of the Ebro are channelled through the Imperial Canal of Aragon to the city of Zaragoza. - 1797 Publication of the 'Diario de Zaragoza' ('Zaragoza Journal'), the first Aragonese newspaper. From 15th to 17th centuries19th century- 1808 General Palafox, having been appointed Marshal, convenes the Cortes de Aragon and declares war on Napoleon. First Siege of Zaragoza. - 1809 Second Siege of Zaragoza. - 1813 The first Spanish Constitution, drafted in 1812 by the Cortes de Cadix, is proclaimed in Zaragoza on 20th July. - 1823 After three years of liberal regime, the French army of the 'Cien Mil Hijos de San Luis' (a hundred thousand Frenchmen prepared to march in the name of Saint Louis) invades Aragon and the rest of Spain. Many Aragonese people are forced into exile. - 1833 Administrative reform: Aragon is divided into three provinces, namely Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza. - 1836 Beginning of the disentailment of the assets of the Church in Aragon. - 1854 Installation of the first telegraph connecting Zaragoza to Barcelona. Aragon's electrical network expands. - 1861 Inauguration of the Zaragoza-Barcelona railway. - 1864 Arrival of the Madrid-Zaragoza-Alicante railway, providing a connection to Barcelona, in Casetas. - 1872 The IWA Spanish Federation's Workers Congress takes place in April. - 1873 The Federal Republicans win the legislative elections. - 1883 The Liberal Democratic Republican Party, whose conference was held in Zaragoza, approves the first Autonomous Status bill. - 1886 Construction work begins on the Chamber of Trade in Zaragoza. - 1896 Installation of the first movie projector. Eduardo Gimeno shoots the first Spanish film. 20th century- 1900 Creation of the Minas y Ferrocarriles de Utrillas company in the province of Teruel for the purposes of exploiting the brown coal of Teruel and supplying Zaragoza's industries, particularly its sugar industries. - 1903 Joaquín Costa is elected Deputy of the Cortes. - 1906 Santiago Ramón y Cajal receives the Nobel Prize in Medicine. - 1908 Franco-Spanish exhibition held to commemorate the Sieges of Zaragoza. - 1913 First National Irrigation Congress held in Zaragoza. - 1915 Approval of the Upper Aragon Irrigation Law and work begins on the Monegros Canal. - 1923 The Aragonese Regionalist Union approves a 'Basic Draft for the Status of the Aragon Region'.- 1926 Royal Decree giving the go-ahead for the Syndical Hydrographic Confederation of the Ebro. - 1927 Founding of the General Military Academy, its headquarters located in Zaragoza, and appointment of General Francisco Franco as its first chief. Completion of 'Rincón de Goya', a rationalist-style work by Fernando García Mercadal, representing a major event in the history of contemporary Spanish architecture. - 1928 Inauguration of the Canfranc international railway. - 1930 Ramón J. Sender writes his first novel. - 1931 Following the local elections of 12th April, the monarchy collapses with the abdication of King Alfonso XIII. Two days later, the Second Republic is proclaimed in Huesca and Zaragoza. - 1932 Luis Buñuel, accompanied by Ramón Acín, shoots his film, 'Las Hurdes: tierra sin pan' (or in English, 'Land without bread'). - 1933 Victory of the Right in the general elections, the first truly democratic elections in which women were able to vote. Lorenzo Pardo drafts the 'Plan Nacional de Obras Hidráulicas' ('National Hydraulic Works Plan') which would primarily be used for works carried out after 1940. - 1934 A general strike begins on 5th April. This was proclaimed by the UGT and the CNT and would last 36 days. - 1936 The Popular Front wins the general elections, positions become tougher and social and political tension increases. Presentation of the preliminary draft of the Autonomous Status bill. The decrees declaring a state of war are issued on 19th July in the three capitals of the province. - 1938 Teruel becomes the main seat of the Civil War. The fall of the Bielsa Stock Exchange on 16th June marks the end of Civil War events in Aragon. - 1939 Creation of the National Institute of Colonisation to encourage the economic and social improvement of the nine irrigable areas in the Cinco Villas and Monesgros regions. - 1964 1st Development Plan in Zaragoza. - 1977 First democratic elections after Francoism. - 1978 Spanish Constitution approved by referendum and establishment of a pre-autonomic regime in Aragon. - 1979 General elections held in March and local elections held in April. - 1982 The Cortes Generales approve the Aragonese Autonomous Status bill which comes into force on 5th September. - 1983 First autonomous elections in the history of Aragon. Tips from the editorial staffIf you're a Goya fan, then a visit to Aragon is a must as it is home to various masterpieces from the artist's youth.
+The diversity of the landscape.
+The hospitality of the 'Mañicos' and of the Aragon people in general.
+The fertile land (of the Ebro Basin).
-The questionable state of some of the roads in Teruel.
-The climate, particularly the wind, might put a damper on your stay.
The Community of Aragon enjoys a rich culinary heritage, the result of the various cultures which have inhabited the region over the years. Its diverse orography means it can also produce a very wide range of products which are then used in both meat and vegetable-based dishes, as well as many desserts and high quality wines. Specialties of the region include rabbit with snails, 'coco en mel' (a coconut-based dish) and suckling lamb stew with eggs and asparagus, not forgetting the truly delicious 'totas del alma' or peaches in wine.
The region is currently witnessing a major revival in its arts and craft industries. This being the case, you might like to purchase a few Teruel ceramics, some pottery, wax works or fabrics, which are the region's most traditional wares.