Zamora in Castilla y León is one of the most beautiful cities in the region and is known as the ciudad del rómanico because of its many Romanesque churches.
Strategically situated on the top of a hill overlooking the river Duero, Zamora has excellent road links and has, for centuries, been the crossroads of the region. The Roman road, Vía de la Plata, ran through the province and archaeologists believe the location of the mansion Ocellum Duri to be in the area where the city stands today. Zamora was the stage for the raids of the famous guerilla Viriato, the hero from Zamora whose image can be found in the plaza which bears his name. The Visigoths and Muslims have also occupied the city at times and it was well-fortified in the Middle Ages with a city wall. Remains of the wall surround what were once three enclosures, with most of the remains around the first enclosure that contains the wonderful doors of the Puerta de Olivares, famous as the scene of Bellido Dolfus' betrayal of King Sancho as the king was slain here at the gate. The first door, built in the 13th century in Romanesque style is one of the most photographic places in the city. The cathedral with its dome base, characteristic of Spanish medieval art, is situated here, along with the Palacio Episcopal. Gain a magnificent view of Zamora from the turrets of the castle and look out across the fine religious and civil architecture of the city, including several wondeful palacios and theHospital de la Encarnación. The Iglesia de San Ildefonso is the most important church after the cathedral but the churches of San Isidoro, San Pedro, Magdalena and San Juan de Puerta are all worth a look, to name just a few of these beautiful buildings.
Understand the history that surrounds you in Zamora with a trip around some of its best museums such as the Ethnographic Museum of Castilla y León, the Museum of Zamorathat takes you on a journey through the history of the province, a Cathedral Museum showcasing great quality jewellery, paintings and sculptures including the Altar of Holy Thursday Monument and a collection of 15th and 16th century Flemish tapestries, and the Museum of Baltasar Lobo, a wonderful arts museum inside the recently restored castle. Zamora also has many festivals to enjoy and one of the most popular fiestas in Zamora is Semana Santa (Holy Week), a religious Easter festival which, due to its beauty and cultural interest on a worldwide level, has been declared a "Fiesta de Interés Internacional". The oldest streets remain in silence with hundreds of 'brothers' walking in procession, a stunning Procesión del Silencio that you will never forget. If you're visiting in the summer, don't miss the fiesta San Pedro which takes place at the end of June and is a huge celebration with ceramics markets, concerts, street theatre, flamenco dancing and more! The city acts as a springboard to explore the rest of the province, with several natural areas such as the Lagunas de Villafáfila, the Parque Natural del Lago de Sanabria and the Arribes del Duero, and the entire area of the Sierra de la Culebra, all well worth a trip out of the city.
There are 2 shopping malls in Zamora as well as the mercadillo street market and many local shops where you can buy some local produce. Zamora's gastronomy has some very traditional elements using produce grown in the surrounding area. Fish such as trout and cod are popular, and also frogs-legs which is a very typical dish of the province. Rich pasture land provides succulent beef and lamb and local farmers produce goodsausages and cheeses such as Zamorano, made from raw sheep's milk, that are offically accredited. You will also find Toro wines, almost black in colour, and wines from Arribes del Duero, as well as good quality bread and pulses including habones (large white beans) and garbanzos (chickpeas). Zamora also has many types of confectionary for those with a sweet tooth.
Region: Castilla y León
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