17 Jan 2011
Just as any self-respecting architect before embarking on a trip, I am doing some research. I am leaving for my trip to Spain in 18 days and in an effort to maximize my experience, I am studying up on where I am going. I will fly into Madrid but most of my time will be spent in Zaragoza, the remote town of Teruel, and the coastal city of Valencia. Since I went to the trouble to create a graphic locating these cities already, I might as well use it again.
I spent a little more than a week in Spain during college but most of that time was in Barcelona. At the time, I knew little about Spain other than where it was on the map and that the architect Antonio Gaudi did a bunch of notable projects there and was that city’s favorite son. I couldn’t tell you much of what I did while I was there but I spent a lot of time walking the streets studying the 19th century extension designed by progressive urban planner Ildefons Cerdà i Sunyer. But that was 20 years ago and I am ready to experience Spain in an entirely new light.
Since my trip essentially starts in Zaragosa, that’s where my research will start. With a population of just over 700,000 people, Zaragosa is the 5th largest city in Spain. The city is famous for its folklore, a renowned local gastronomy, and three remarkable landmarks; which I will undoubtedly spend time exploring in the 2 days I will spend there.
The Basílica del Pilar – a Roman Catholic Church first consecrated sometime around the 1st or 2nd century AD, and has gone through several architectural styles and expansions over the next 1,500 years.The La Seo Cathedral - another Roman Catholic Church in close proximity to The Basílica del Pilar. The La Seo Cathedral is a mixture of styles, from the Romanesque apse (12th century) to the Baroque tower and Neo-Classical main door (18th century), passing through Mudéjar and Gothic. The Aljafería Palace – a fortified palace built during the second half of the 11th century that was the residence of the Banu Hud Arab dynasty
There are some other sites that I am going to try and find time to explore. Of course – whatever I do (if it’s any good and not going to result in evidence to be used against me at a later date) you can be sure that I’ll take some pictures and throw it up on here for you to see. I came across some nice images on the internet during my research but if you know of anything in Zaragosa that is a must-see, please let me know.
It’s to bad that I don’t know anyone there who can navigate what to see and what to avoid – I’m sure the handlers for this event will be a fountain of knowledge and insight and *looking over shoulder and whispering*… rumor has it that some like to party. That’s a good thing because I am going to miss the Super Bowl that will be in Dallas … you know, like WHERE I LIVE!! You can bet that there is going to be crazy tourists, super models, world class athletes and hookers on every corner – and they are are going to be down for whatever and ready to go. I’m going to have to make up for this so my travel mates had better start building up their tolerance for drinking and not sleeping. (Although, I’m pretty sure that the architects in the group will already have their drinking tolerance well established but this is “picture taking drinking tolerance” an entirely new and much higher level.)
photos as labeled are from Juanedc‘s photostream on Flickr (used under creative commons license)
photo’s as labeled are from marcp_dmoz‘s photostream on Flickr (used under creative commons license)