Thumb 800px escudo de zamora.svg Zamora

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Francisco Guarido Viñuela


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Zamora is the city with the most Romanesque churches in Europe, here is why it is called “the Museum of Romanesque art”. The Romans named the settlement Occelum Durii or Ocellodurum and incorporated it into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. It was later known as "Semurah" or "Azemur" during the Moorish period and became a strategic front post and scene of military battles between Muslims and Christians, hence its heavy fortifications. It was switched between the two rules several times from the early 8th century to the late 10th century.

King Ferdinand I of León had divided his kingdoms between his three sons leaving Zamora to his daughter Doña Urraca who allied with Leonese nobles. After infighting between the brothers, the winner Sancho II of Castille besieged the city but was murdered by a nobleman in front of the city gates.

The strategic importance of the city remained in the next decades in the context of wars between the Kingdom of León and the Almoravids. Consequentially, Zamora is left today with a vast heritage of churches and buildings from this period.

However, after the 1150s it gradually lost political and economic significance, suffering emigration to South America and elsewhere. In the 15th century it was held for a short time by the Portuguese supporters of Princess Juana, claimant to the Castilian throne, but was finally surrendered to Ferdinand II (the Catholic) in 1475. Henry IV of Castile even described Zamora as a most noble and most loyal city.

During the Spanish Civil War that lasted between 1936 and 1939, Zamora was held by the nationalists which meant repressions and suffering for the leftists and liberals.

Zamora is an inalienable part of the Spanish heritage and the Castilian language from which today’s Spanish originates.

Zamora is a Spanish city located in the Autonomous community of Castile and Leon, bordering Portugal. The city is also well connected by highway and train with the Spanish capital Madrid.

It has a total area of 149.28 square kilometres and a population of around 61 827 people.

Although the city relies strongly on tourism, its economy suffers from depopulation and emigration. Despite that the city is the regional centre for agricultural trade, local commerce, and administration. Unemployment and lack of economic activity remain a serious concern.


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Zamora has an artistic heritage, mainly Romanesque churches and medieval walls. The Duero River crosses the city from east to west, and its gastronomy and ethnographic traditions make tourism a fundamental engine of the economy. Landmarks not to be missed include the 14th-century bridge across the Duero, the citadel of Zamora, dating from the 8th century, and the Romanesque cathedral.



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