Calatayud

Calatayud

THE CITY

Wherever you go, you will see that shops form part of the life of Barcelona. And as you discover unforgettable corners of the city, you will be welcomed to the showcases of international firms, modern designer shops and classical, traditional establishments. The leading shopping area for tourists is the Barcelona Shopping Line (La Rambla, Barna Centre, Plaza Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and Diagonal as far as Mª Cristina), where there are prestigious international firms as well as surprising, modern shops offering the latest tendencies. And museums, architecture, design, art and culture. Everything you need to experience the Barcelona lifestyle.

And to take home the flavour of Barcelona, browse through the specialised shops offering Designation of Origin products. Discover the wines, cava and liqueurs of Catalonia, the oils, cured sausages, cheeses, honey and sweets… Barcelona offers you a complete range of gourmet and delicatessen shops where you will find the best of the city’s gastronomy.

ESSENTIALS

Calatayud, declared a Historical and Monumental City in 1967, and its Mudejar architecture, declared a World Heritage Site in 2001, offers agreeable walks full of beauty waiting to be discovered.

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria is the most important monument in Calatayud. Its vertiginous octagonal Mudejar tower, 68 metres in height, dominates the urban landscape. Built on the site of a mosque, it still conserves the Mudejar cloister, the only one remaining of what some have called the ‘city of Mudejar cloisters’, and the chapter house.

The Castillo Mayor, Great Castle, or Ayyub –which gives the name to the city-, is at the highest point and is the ideal spot to contemplate the walls and the city. It is also the best-preserved part of the old fortress, with its two towers and the path along the wall which joins them.

We can also enjoy the magnificent landscape from the Bilbilis archaeological site, with Calatayud to the right, the Great Castle presiding it, the Vicort mountains to the left and, behind them, the Armantes mountains, with the meandering River Jalon as it passes by the foot of the site.

To learn more about the city, cross the monumental area of Calatayud, the Jewish Quarter, the Islamic Fortified Complex and the Moorish Quarter. The complex created by the Company of Jesus is also outstanding, especially the Church of San Juan el Real, with its pendentives painted by Francisco de Goya.

GET MOVIN!

Today, Calatayud is a very well-connected city. Just 15 minutes from Zaragoza, 55 minutes from Madrid and two hours from Barcelona, the high-speed train allows fast, easy travel to the most relevant places in the area.

Calatayud has taxis and city buses, with multi-journey tickets, which communicate the different parts of the city. There is also a network of intercity buses which connect with local towns, Zaragoza, Madrid and Barcelona.

ALTERNATIVES

For ‘green’ visitors, Calatayud has two asphalted paths for walking within the city, parallel to the River Jalon and the surrounding fertile land. But there are also numerous rural footpaths, in the La Charluca area, a Special Protection Area for birds and a Site of Community Importance, with protected plant and animal species, and in areas such as Cifuentes, Valdeherrera, Valdearenas and Anchada, among others. The city is surrounded by two mountainous zones, the Armantes and the Vicort mountains, which form part of the Iberian System, some 5 kilometres, at most, from the city. Here, visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horse-riding, etc. The River Jalon offers fishing, canoeing and, a little further away, other water sports can be enjoyed on the Tranquera reservoir, and there is also rock climbing in the mountains. Other routes of interest can take you around the Bilbilis archaeological site or the belvederes of Calatayud.

Another way to get to know Calatayud is at its many fairs, such as GastroCalatayud Gastronomic Days, dedicated to gastronomy and the promotion of the local wines. September sees the garlic festival, a tradition going back over 70 years and the Trade Fair.

In Calatayud, you will also find fun until the small hours. There are several zones with pubs and there are many bars in the city centre where you can enjoy a day of tapas, music and fun.

FLAVOURS

Wherever there is history, there is also room for fine food and you cannot miss the traditional tapa route in Calatayud in the many bars of the city. There are excellent vegetables from the fertile plains and, among them, the borage, the chickpeas with conger and chickpeas a la bilbilitana are outstanding. Among the meat dishes, the lamb, or ternasco, roast or stewed, deserves special mention. For lovers of cured pork meat, don’t miss the fardeles made with pig liver, the güeñas, spiced pork offal sausage, the longaniza, a pork meat sausage, and the liver or onion blackpuddings. All of these dishes, accompanied by a good wine, are a delight to the senses. To enjoy them, the “Meson de La Dolores” is recommended, an excellent place to taste traditional dishes and also to see the Museum of La Dolores and the Interpretation Centre of Calatayud Designation of Origin wines. In the words of the copla, “If you go to Calatayud, ask for Dolores”, a character born in the 19th century and who has won widespread recognition.

DON’T MISS!

As well as the tapas routes, the shopping area in the city centre also contains many decoration and craft shops. As a souvenir, there is nothing sweeter than to call in on a pastry shop and try the ‘suela’ cakes and the ‘fruits of Aragon’, small pieces of candied fruit covered in chocolate, maraschino cherries and san roquicos (and almond and caramel sweet with chocolate).

For a special memory, don’t miss a visit to the Armantes mountains, from where you can contemplate a lunar landscape, with unending small hills and gullies, dominated by the light colours usually found in gypsum-based materials. The higher land is darker, with reddish colours produced by the clayey soils.

 

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