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4 diciembre 2022

Art, science and tradition: 10 museums in Zaragoza not to be missed

Zaragoza is a city to enjoy walking around, to discover it through its squares, corners and buildings. Even more so now that the good weather and spring have arrived. In many of these charming places you will find very interesting museums to learn about the history of the city, its artists or simply house artistic collections or elements that you can't even imagine. Will you join our tour of the 10 museums in Zaragoza that you can't miss?

1. IAACC Pablo Serrano

The most modern museum in the city is not a museum. It is the Instituto Aragonés de Arte y Cultura Contemporáneos Pablo Serrano (Aragonese Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture Pablo Serrano). It is the epicentre of contemporary culture, where you can enjoy art, but also dance, music, literature… It maintains its permanent exhibition dedicated to the work of the Aragonese sculptor Pablo Serrano and has collections of more than 5,000 museum pieces, with an outstanding presence of Aragonese artists, covering a chronological arc from the second half of the 20th century to the present day. The new permanent exhibition Aragon and the Arts 1940 – 1957 is scheduled to open at the end of June.

They have a small space dedicated to contemporary art works from the Circa XX Collection, in which works by Arroyo, Barceló, Saura, Picasso, Miró or Tàpies, and international artists such as Michaux, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Beuys, Bacon or Le Corbusier rotate.

The IAACC Pablo Serrano complements its offer with temporary exhibitions of the highest level. And in fine weather you can spend some quality time on its rooftop terrace, where you’ll find the best views of the city!

2. Museo Pablo Gargallo

El Profeta de Pablo Gargallo. (zaragoza.es)

This is perhaps the most visited museum by foreign visitors and the most representative of the city. A monographic centre dedicated to the work of the Aragonese sculptor born in Maella, Pablo Gargallo. When he was very young he went to Paris on a scholarship and it was there that he developed all his talent. In France he created a large part of his work, which is outstanding for its technique. Works such as Kiki de Montparnasse and The Prophet, located in the centre of the courtyard that houses the museum, the Palacio de Arguillo, are exhibited here. Outside, Pablo Gargallo’s equestrian statues, created for Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium in 1929, welcome visitors and blend in with the Plaza San Felipe, a marvel in the historic centre of the city!

3. Museos de la Ruta Romana

Zaragoza is the only Roman city that had the privilege of bearing the full name of the Emperor Caesar Augustus and received the status of an immune colony of Roman citizens. Its remains from the Imperial period are a treasure trove and are collected in a museum route that can be done on foot: Museum of the Forum, Museum of the River Port, Museum of the Public Baths, Museum of the Theatre (the best preserved). It is a historical but very educational route, perfect for the whole family. A journey through time to get to know the political centre and the most emblematic buildings.

4. Museo de Zaragoza

The Zaragoza Museum is the art centre par excellence in the Aragonese capital. It is a place to repeat because it covers Antiquity, Roman times, medieval Aragonese archaeology and a continuous space in which a selection of works from the early Gothic period, through the Renaissance to the late Baroque period are displayed. There are also four rooms dedicated to Goya, being the museum in Aragon where you can enjoy more graphic and pictorial works by the artist from Fuendetodos.

Modernity is also represented through the 19th and 20th centuries, with works by Ignacio Zuloaga, Mariano Benlliure, Gascón de Gotor, Felix Burriel, among others. The Renaissance architecture in the courtyard is worth seeing, with elements of heraldry. Don’t miss the magnificent staircase leading to the upper floor.

5. Museo Goya

Although most of the Aragonese painter’s pictorial work is in the Zaragoza Museum, this is a good place to understand Goya’s career. This space of the Ibercaja Foundation is located in a Renaissance house with a beautiful and well-preserved courtyard.

The centre exhibits 14 paintings, a drawing and the five large series that Goya engraved. The museum is a reference centre to learn about his entire history, from his youth in Zaragoza (1762-1774) to his stay in Bordeaux, where he died in 1828.

6. Alma Mater Museum

Opposite the Cathedral is the Diocesan Museum, known as the Alma Mater Museum, the old Diocesan Museum. The museum space is located in the primitive rooms of the Bishop’s Houses, buildings built along the length of the old wall.

The exhibition covers the collections of sacred art of the Archdiocese of Saragossa. Take the opportunity to have a drink in the cafeteria, located in the oldest part of the palace, which has seen centuries of history, from a Roman temple to the old Alhama mosque of the Muslim city.

7. Origami Museum (EMOZ)

Since 2013, Zaragoza has been home to the Origami Museum School of Zaragoza (EMOZ), the only museum in Europe dedicated to the art of origami and the most important in the world. If you like to admire this type of folding, origami, you only have to go to the Centro de Historias of the Aragonese capital. They have a permanent exhibition that traces the history of paper and artistic folding, from East to West. You can also learn about the different types of folding through impressive figures. There are always temporary exhibitions with works of great value created by the best folding artists in the world.

8. Tapestry Museum

Zaragoza is home to the most important tapestry collection in the world according to experts. The Museum of Tapestries of the Seo de Zaragoza exhibits the collection of the Metropolitan Chapter, which conserves 63 Flemish tapestries from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries that kings, bishops and archbishops donated to the Seo de Zaragoza. The exhibition is complemented by a series of important pieces of gold and silver work, sacred ornaments, paintings, sculptures and reliquaries, including the bust of the patron saint of Zaragoza, San Valero, the skull of San Dominguito del Val and the arms of several saints.

9. Museum of Fire and Firefighters

This is a different kind of museum for the whole family to enjoy. The Fire and Firefighters Museum allows you to learn about the advances in fire prevention and the history of the Zaragoza Fire Brigade. All this in a historic building, the former convent of the Mínimos de la Victoria, of the Order of San Francisco de Paula in Zaragoza. The museum is structured around its cloister and in the courtyard you can enjoy the historical vehicles of the fire brigade, the manual pumps and valuable pieces such as the steam pump which was an extraordinary advance in fire fighting.

10. Museum of Natural Sciences

The Museum of Natural Sciences makes the University of Zaragoza the first university to house a space of this size and scope. The permanent exhibition will take you on a journey through evolution from the origin of the universe to the appearance of Homo sapiens, which is the fusion of two collections: the Palaeontology collection of the University of Zaragoza and the “Longinos Navás” collection, deposited by the Society of Jesus in 1988. You can also enjoy a collection of minerals and fossils and temporary exhibitions and meetings related to the natural sciences and the scientific community. All in the fabulous setting of the Paraninfo.

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