Renaissance Route

Renaissance Route


In the 16th century the appearance of the city was completely transformed. Numerous palatial homes reflect the financial prosperity of the Kingdom of Aragon and its capital. Visiting these buildings is the most compelling part of the Renaissance Route.


The sixteenth century saw the city of Zaragoza given a facelift, with the construction of numerous palatial homes that reflect the financial prosperity of the Kingdom of Aragon. They are placed in the area around the La Seo Cathedral, within the old city walls. The high nobility chose to settle in Calle del Coso, the most prominent and spacious street in the city.

These palaces are based on a model that would be consolidated as the century wore on, although there was an evolution of its formal elements. They have four floors: a basement, the ground floor, the first floor and the loft. The basement is dug into the ground itself and is used as a store room, wine cellar and stable; the lighting and ventilation are provided by the openings cut into the lower part of the façade.

Indoors, the ground floor features the hallway and courtyard or `luna` around which the rooms are arranged. The courtyard is split into two floors, the bottom with banded imposts, while the upper is open with semicircular arches; this is one of the areas where most emphasis is placed on decoration, which is sometimes played out in a complex iconographic programme, as in the case of the Palacio de Gabriel Zaporta.

This lower part houses the summer rooms, kitchens and service rooms. The staircase leading to the `noble` floor, where the main lounges or `studies` were located, rises up from the courtyard. The loft includes a `mirador` or an arched gallery, normally semi-circular. The interior layout of the palace is reflected in the façade, which reproduces the floor-based plan.


Monuments included in the visit:

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