Culture in Zaragoza's Aljafería


This remarkable palace is in itself a testimony to the varied past, rich culture and history that this city has experienced. It was first built in 1045 as a home and meeting place for Abu Jafar Moctadir, the then Muslim King of "Saraqusta" (Zaragoza). Then, in 1118, Alfonso I, known as "the Battler", took over the city, fell in love with the palace and made it his own. The Muslims had been defeated and now the Christians had control of the Palace and of the city. When the renowned Catholic Monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, took power, they too made the Aljaferia one of their homes, only after some changes of course.  It was in this very palace that they would have a visit with the one and only Christopher Columbus (known as Cristobal Colón in Spanish), who was there to see about funding for a very important voyage. Eventually, after some long and drawn out negotiations, they would agree to give him his funding and the rest is history!  It was also here that they would hold the courts of their all-too-infamous Spanish Inquisition. These days, the Aljaferia is inhabited by the Parliament of the Autonomous Community of Aragon, and is open for visitation by the public.