The ancient 12 gates of Zaragoza

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Posted April 24, 2015 by zaragozaturismo in History

Zaragoza had 12 gates in the past but today there is only one standing, the gate of Carmen. Through murals, monuments, street and places names we remember all of them. We open the doors to take a look to the history of this missing gates.

During Roman times there were four doors in the ends of the streets cardum and decumanus, one in each cardinal point. These same doors were also used during the Muslim period and the Middle Ages, although with the city expansion new ones were created.

Gate of the Angel. It was also called of the Bridge and Alcántara. It occupied the space of the Roman north gate. It was destroyed during The Sieges and finally demolished in 1867. It’s name comes from the guardian angel sculpture by Gil Morlanes that crowned it.

Gate of Valencia.

Gate of Valencia.

Gate of Valencia. Porta Romana or Bab al-Qibla in the Muslim era. Located west of the wall, today there is a mural in its memory in the district of La Magdalena.

Cinegia gate. It was in the present Square of Spain. It was the southern gate of the Roman wall. There now stands a mall with this name.

Gate of Toledo.

Gate of Toledo.

Gate of Toledo. Its origin is from the Roman period. In the Muslim period it was called Belkala gate or Bad Al-Yanud. It was formed by a masonry arch, supported by two crenellated towers that tore the walls and iron doors. In 1842 the state was ruin and collapsed. Today there is a reminder mural on the street Manifestation.

Gate of the Sun.

Gate of the Sun.

Gate of the Sun. Also known as The Portaza (the big door). It consisted of a single stone arch masonry. It had numerous bullet marks of the Independence war. It was demolished in 1868. Today a mural and a street name reminds us where it was.

Gate of the duke. Situated in the Plaza dSan Miguel, it was opened with the inauguration of the railway line Madrid-Zaragoza in May 1856 to commemorate the visit of General Espartero to the city. It was demolished in 1919.

Gate of the Duke.

Gate of the Duke.

Burnt gate. Built in the 17th century without notable artistic merit, this gateway was at the end of the street Heroism. The name comes because it stood besides coal factories that threw smoke that reached the door in windy days, blackening and making it look “scorched”.

Gate of Sancho. It had no artistic merit. It was way out to the orchards of the Almozara. A mural at Santa Lucia street as well as a memorial and an avenue name in the Almozara neighborhood remind us its presence.

Gate of Sancho.

Gate of Sancho.

Gate of San Ildefonso. When Alfonso I in 1118 entered the city it was only a shutter called of the water carriers. Later it was known as Tripería (of guts) because nearby was the old slaughterhouse. The construction of the collector of the Central Market in 1903 forced its demolition.

Portillo Gate. Known since 1137, it served as a communicating door with La Aljafería and it acked ornaments. From here, Agustina de Aragón fired the cannon against the French army at The Sieges. The artillery received in these attacks forced its demolition; although it was later rebuilt by the church del Portillo, it finally disappeared in 1896.

Santa Engracia gate. It had three different locations. The oldest was located between the Monastery of St. Jerome and the convent of Discalced Carmelites and was dismantled after the Independence war. The second, looking triumphal arch, was inaugurated in 1830 by Fernando VII in memory of the French Resistance attacks; although the works were stopped because of the urban expansion in 1835. The last was cast iron and had five archs separated by pillars, three central pedestrian and two side entrances for cars and horses. It was located in the present place of Aragón and was destroyed in 1902.

Gate of Carmen. The only one standing and symbol of The Sieges. Inaugurated in 1792, in neoclassical style, in its stones there are marked the traces of bullets from the Independence war.


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