La Seo y el Mudéjar

Be and Life

During the 13th century, the city of Zaragoza was a centre of development and the starting point for spread of Mudéjar architecture. Since 2001, the Aljafería Palace, The Cathedral of El Salvador (La Seo) and the church of San Pablo have UNESCO World Heritage Site status for their influence on the Aragonese Mudéjar style.

The Aragonese Mudéjar style has unique features which differentiate it from the Mudéjar style in other Spanish regions. In particular, it makes use of octogonal rooms with thick walls, glazed tiles, wooden ceilings and much more complex exterior decoration.

One of the best examples of Aragonese Mudéjar can be found in the Cathedral of El Salvador, known as "La Seo", which was the first Christian cathedral in Zaragoza. It was built on top grand mosque od Saraqusta.

Throughout the centuries that followed, this cathedral underwent numerous renovations and expansions which can be seen in the range of artistic styles on display. These range from the 12 th -century Romanesque style of the apses to the 14 th -century Aragonese Mudéjar on the wall of the Parroquieta de San Miguel. The baroque tower, designed by Giovanni Battista Contini, was completed in 1704 with a spire.

Inside La Seo, particular highlights include the choir stalls and the grand 15 th -century polychrome alabaster altarpiece, created by This altarpiece is considered to be a European late-Gothic masterpiece. From the Renaissance period, other notable features include the retrochoir with its shrines and the Capilla de San Bernardo, sculpted in alabaster, depicting the Archangels and San Pedro Arbués.

The cathedral is also home to the museum of Flemish tapestry, with examples from the 14th to the 18th century. It’s considered to be one of the top three collections in the world.

The most recent work done to La Seo lasted 18 years, from 1980 to 1998, and resulted in a radical change. Visitors prior to the restoration remembered it as a gloomy place that frightened children. Now it’s known for its brightness and splendour. It’s an incredible change for anyone who saw the cathedral both before and after.

If you’d like to know more about La Seo, there’s the Paseo Mudéjar tour.

Also, on the first Saturday of each month, Zaragoza Turismo organises an interesting guided tour around two of the lesser-known Mudéjar jewels of the city: La Parroquieta de San Miguel and the Monasterio de Canonesas del Santo Sepulcro.

ZGZ. We can help you?