Calatayud is a city in the province of Zaragoza, in Aragon, Spain. It is located 85 km from Zaragoza and approximately 230km from Madrid. It is the fourth largest city of Aragon, after the provinincial capitals, Zaragoza, Teruel and Huesca. The population is around 18,000 and Calatayud is at an altitude of 530 metres on the river Jalon.
The city has a wide range of shops, bars, restuarants and accomodation. The mudejar towers of churches in the old city heart or casco are renowned. Dominating the skyline is a castle, parts of which date back to 850 AD. The Roman town, Bilbilis, lies four kilomteres from the modern town.
Mujedar church towers in calatayud, Aragon
Calatayud lies just off the main highway (A2-E90) between Madrid (2 hours) and Zaragoza (1 hour).
The nearest airports are Madrid (Barajas) and Zaragoza.
Calatyud is served by regular high speed trains (AVE) from Madrid and Zaragoza.
The city is quite small and it is possible to walk to all parts.
There is a city bus service operated by Aragon Tours, who also offer services to surrounding towns and villages.
RENFE AVE high speed trains on the Madrid-Huesca route stop at Calatayud. They also offer a local rail service to towns between Ariza and Zaragoza.
Fortress (Qal’at 'Ayyūb), Calatayud
Many of the old churches are in the mujedar style. This style was devloped by Muslim craftsmen who stayed in Aragaon after the reconquest.
- Church of Santa Maria, 15th century mujedar.
- Church of San Andres, 15th century mujedar.
- Church of San Pedro of the Franks, gothic and mujedar.
- Church-of Our Lady of the Rock, 16th century.
- Collegiate church of Santo Sepulcro, 17th century.
- Palacios of Sesé, Pujadas and Vezlope, renaissance style
- Palacio of Baron de Warsage, neoclassic.
- In the Arab Wall of the city, the Zaragoza gate.
- Castle of Ayud or Castillo Mayor. 9th-10th century.
- Old town hall. Plaza de Espana. The Old Consistorial House of Calatayud is a beautiful building of Renaissance style. It was modified in the 17th century, again in 1842.
- Old Roman city of Bilbilis lies 4 kilometers to the north west of the modern city. Much excavation has been down and it is possible to see the size of this settlement which was the birthplace of the Roman poet Martial.
There is a small market in Plaza Espana, several supermarkets and a range of other shops.
A wide range of restuarants are available. Amongst the most notable are:
- Hospedería El Pilar, Baltasar Gracián 15, ☎ 976 897020. Aragonese regional cuisine
- Hotel Monasterio Benedictino, Pza. San Benito, ☎ 976 891500. Spanish cuisine
- Mesón de la Dolores, Pza de los Mesones 4, ☎ 976 889055, . Aragonese cuisine
A wide range of pensions are available:
- Tourist Office, Plaza de Fuerte, ☎ 976 886322, .
- Monasterio de Piedra. A park in a hidden gorge with waterfalls, cascades, fish lakes and a top class hotel, wine museum and restaurant.
- Alhama de Aragon. A spa town with a hot lake, which is open for day visitors.
- Jaraba Gorge. 7 kilometres of the natural gorge of the river Mesa, with pleasant walking routes.