Cultura

From the Stone Bridge to Tio Jorge Park

We must continue our visit by the left bank of the river Ebro, crossing it by the Puente de Piedra (a stone bridge built betwee1401 and 1440). This is one of the most important public works of the city, a flyover made in stone with five arches. The basins, on their north sides, have triangle-shape cutwaters covered in both sides at middle water-level, and prolonged until the slope of the bridge with a semi-cylindrical body. Down the river we find the semi-octagonal drum-shape cutwaters, beautified by a line of ashlars at mid water-level.

Now we go to el Arrabal -on the left bank of the Ebro- the oldest part of this area where industrialization started. Next to one of these industrial examples, the building for passengers at the Norte Railway Station, and very near the old carpenter´s workshop of Maquinista y Fundiciones del Ebro, is the Emerging Dragon (1993) made by Carlos Ochoa Fernández. A dragon goes out from the stagnant waters of a rectangular pond. It is a very original fountain, since the motif of the dragon is not very common in Zaragoza, and also original and far away from the seriousness of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. The sculptor presents an amusing dragon with bright colours and beard moved by the wind.

The route around the streets of the Arrabal ends at the Tío Jorge Park, one of the most important green areas of the city. It was opened in 1968, being Cesáreo Alierta Mayor of the city, and is devoted to the memory of Jorge Ibort y Casamayor, defender of the city in the Independence War against French troops. Inside this wooded area, a small lake decorated with the work Ducks Flying Landing on the Water (1979) by Manuel López García was built. But the most polemic work of the park is the Monument to the Tío Jorge (1968) by Ángel Orensanz, since iron tools for watering and land farming were used as decoration.

At the central axis of the ACTUR district, made also by Angel Orensanz, is Zaragoza´s Sphere or the World´s Sphere (2001), placed in front of the World Trade Center, opposite to Gran Casa shopping center. In 1970, the Ministry for Housing passed the plan to create an organism called Actuaciones Urbanísticas Urgentes (ACTUR) (Urgent Urban Actions), and the construction of a new district -Actur-Puente de Santiago, the urbanization Rey Fernando, Ranillas and Arrabal-Zalfonada. At the end of María Zambrano Avenue -one of the main roads of the city- is placed the Monument to the Jota (1993) by Miguel Cabré Cazcarra. This fountain-monument is composed of six figures: two of them form a dance couple and the other show a woman dancing a jota (Aragon folk dance) accompanied by a guitarists, and finally two children looking at them. The whole group is surrounded by a fountain.

To finish the visit to the left bank, we can enjoy the new art works built thanks to the Expo 2008. Walking down Pablo Ruiz Picasso Street, we arrive at the Expo site and more concretely to Luis Buñuel Water Park. There, we find works such as Wasteland on the Riverbank (2008) by Lara Almárcegui. Inside the Expo site, we can see the sculpture Appearing Rooms (2008) by Jeppe Heinn, placed between the Spanish Pavilion and the Ebro Gate. Our route follows the river bank and ends at Santiago Bridge where, before crossing one more time the river to enter into the old town, we must stop at the Valve with Pond (2008) by Miquel Navarro, placed next to the Chimney, at the start of Ranillas Avenue. Here ends this route by Zaragoza led by water and its strong evocative contents.