Zaragoza as Don Quixote would have seen it


To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the second part of Don Quixote, Zaragoza Turismo is offering a new guided tour which will allow visitors to explore the city as Cervantes? famous character would have seen it. Even though Don Quixote is travelling to Zaragoza to take part in the famous jousts throughout almost the entire work, in the end, he never reached his destination. The fault lies in the publication of an apocryphal sequel to part one of Don Quixote by Avellaneda, who did take his protagonists to Zaragoza. So that he might deny him, Cervantes prevents Don Quixote for entering the Aragonese capital and has him instead set off for Catalonia, ending his adventures in Barcelona. That Avellaneda certainly did not do us any favours. But in the event that Don Quixote had visited our city as planned from part one, what city would he have found? What was Zaragoza like in the contemporary world of Don Quixote, the early 17th century? What were its streets and main buildings like, and the daily life of its residents? What were their problems, their concerns? What did they do for entertainment?

In the early 17th century, Zaragoza had around 25,000 inhabitants. The majority of them managed to overcome significant difficulties aggravated by droughts, bad harvests and numerous taxes. The widespread misery was apparent in the streets, which served as home for the abandoned children, mendicants and vagrants who roamed around begging.

In these unfavourable conditions, people sought refuge in religion and the number of monasteries, convents, churches and chapels grew steadily. The Brotherhood of San Jorge had preserved medieval chivalric customs, holding jousts and tournaments to commemorate its patron, St George. This made Zaragoza the ideal destination for the nostalgic nobleman. As Aurora Egido noted: ?It was not chance, but history, that put Don Quixote on the road to Zaragoza, the most suitable location in Spain for knightly exploits at the dawn of the 17th century.

2020 Calendar

Only for groups.

Price and Ticket Sales

General Admission: €5.50

  • Youth/Student  (with student or university I.D.): €4.00
  • Large Family  (with large family card): €4.00  
  • Handicapped: €2.50. Handicapped I.D. card or certificate required.
  • School Groups: €2.50
  • Free for adults over 65 (with I.D.), children under 8 and unemployed persons (available at Tourist Offices only). Up-to-date proof of unemployed status required.

Time and place of departure

From the Torreón de la Zuda Tourist Office


Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes

What the tour includes

A walk through the old quarter on which we will recall what Zaragoza was like in the early 17th century, the city which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza would have visited had a certain Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda not crossed their path.


Mercado Square, Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Courtyard of the Diocesan Museum, Seo Square, Courtyard of the Goya Museum and Courtyard of Sástago Palace.

And [Don Quixote] resolved to make another sally in three or four days from that time. Announcing his intention to the bachelor, he asked his advice as to the quarter in which he ought to commence his expedition, and the bachelor replied that in his opinion he ought to go to the kingdom of Aragon, and the city of Saragossa, where there were to be certain solemn joustings at the festival of St George, at which he might win renown above all the knights of Aragon, which would be winning it above all the knights of the world. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, part II, chapter IV, 1615.

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