Zaragoza, with a population of more than 700,000 inhabitants, is the capital of the Aragon region, one of Spain’s seventeen autonomous communities. Over the course of time, especially in recent years, it has established itself as a premier venue for prestigious national and international events.
It enjoys a privileged strategic location which increases its importance in terms of logistics and communications. It forms a hub which is equidistant from Spain’s leading cities with Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao all within a range of about 300 kilometres. The introduction of the high speed train system in 2003 means that the Intermodal Train Station allied with the modern International Airport have further enhanced Zaragoza’s ability to connect efficiently with the principal destinations within Spain and beyond, into Europe.
The city dates back more than 2,000 years and thus enjoys a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Iberians, Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians have all left their mark as can be witnessed in every nook and cranny of the city’s fascinating Historical Quarter. There is no better place to wander and no better way of breaking up a visit than by stopping off to enjoy delicious tapas in some of the city’s charming bars, cafés and restaurants – a whole range of local specialties are available all made with top quality local produce.
The choice of Zaragoza as the venue for the International Expo of 2008 represented a major socio-economic boost for the city and radically changed its urban development planning. The banks of the river Ebro, towered over by the imposing Basilica of Pilar, were completely redeveloped thereby recovering an area in decline and converting it into something of magnificent natural beauty.
Contributions from renowned architects and engineers have given Zaragoza modern and avant-garde attractions such as the Third Millenium Bridge, the Bridge Pavilion, the Water Tower and the Convention Centre, all of which represent constructions at the cutting edge of design.
Even before the Expo, Zaragoza had clearly demonstrated on mutliple occasions its excellent capacity for hosting and managing major events to the highest levels of profesionalism.
Perhaps the building that best sums up the city’s capacity to combine possibilities for business, culture and leisure is the Convention Centre. Located in a privileged natural setting with high level state-of-the-art facilities, the Convention Centre has become, without doubt, the ideal venue for holding a wide variety of cultural and business events from exhibitions, meetings, conventions and congresses to musical and theatrical performances.
The people of Zaragoza are known for their friendly and generous character which creates a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere for the visitor. The hotel stock offers more than 10,000 beds and each property has been fully conscious of need to adapt levels of service and quality to match the expectations created by a major urban redevelopment that has made the city a more dynamic, sustainable and accessible destination.