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Calatayud municipality
Calatayud - city view
Calatayud - city view
coat of arms Map of Spain
Calatayud Coat of Arms
Calatayud (Spain)
Finland road sign 311 (1994-2020) .svg
Basic data
Autonomous Community : Aragon
Province : Zaragoza
Comarca : Comunidad de Calatayud
Coordinates 41 ° 21 ′  N , 1 ° 39 ′  W Coordinates: 41 ° 21 ′  N , 1 ° 39 ′  W
Height : 540  msnm
Area : 154.25 km²
Residents : 20,024 (Jan. 1, 2019)
Population density : 129.82 inh / km²
Postal code : 50300
Municipality number  ( INE ): 50067
Website : Calatayud

Calatayud is a city and a municipality ( municipio ) with a total of 20,024 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019) in the province of Saragossa in the autonomous region of Aragon in northeastern Spain . The historic old town was recognized as a cultural asset ( Bien de Interés Cultural ) in the Conjunto histórico-artístico category ; it is also a station on the Camino del Cid . Calatayud is one of the few urban centers in the generally sparsely populated Serranía Celtibérica .

Location and climate

The city of Calatayud is located in the valley of the Río Jalón a good 87 km (driving distance) southwest of the provincial capital Saragossa at an altitude of approx. 540  m . The towns of Sigüenza and Medinaceli, which are well worth seeing, are located approx. 85 km to the southwest. The climate is harsh in winter, but temperate to warm in summer; the sparse rain (approx. 380 mm / year) falls over the year.

Population development

year 1857 1900 1950 2000 2017
Residents 11,037 11,526 18,762 17,876 20.173

As a result of increasing drought, the mechanization of agriculture , the abandonment of numerous small farms and the resulting lower demand for labor in rural areas, the number of urban residents has increased significantly as a result of rural exodus.

Economy and Infrastructure

AVE train station

Calatayud is the center of an agricultural environment where, among other things, wine , olives and fruits are produced. The importance of the wine-growing region is outstanding (see below). The city itself is a regional center of trade, handicrafts and services and is also a tourist destination with important monuments.

Calatayud is located between Madrid and Saragossa on the N-II national road and is therefore very well connected to the center of the country ( Madrid ) as well as to the north-east ( Barcelona ) and north ( Basque Country ). The Spanish AVE high-speed train has stopped in Calatayud on the Madrid-Saragossa route since 2003 , albeit not on all connections.

Calatayud is the center of an approximately 5940 hectares comprising growing region in altitudes and 550 interlocutory 880  m . This includes large parts of the Comunidad de Calatayud as well as in the valley of the Ebro and the valleys of its tributaries Jalón, Jiloca, Manubles, Mesa, Piedra and Ribota. The vineyards are cultivated by approx. 2700 winemakers and there are numerous bodegas . Calatayud received the status of a DO in February 1990. The export share is approx. 70%. Fresh and fruity white wines , strong rosé wines based on the Garnacha grape variety and tasty, warm red wines are produced.


The first inhabitants of the area around today's Calatayud were Celtiberians from the Lusonen tribe , who worked with the Romans , which led to the settlement of colonies . Under Augustus the settlement received the rank of Municipium with the name Augusta Bilbilis . Public buildings such as temples and a forum were built under Tiberius . A mint was also created. Later the Roman city was almost completely abandoned. In the Visigothic period there were only smaller settlements in the area around the old Roman city.

In the 8th century, the Moors built their fortress Qal'at 'Ayyūb ("Castle of Ajub") near the Roman city of Bilbilis , named after a high-ranking nobleman. The castle still gives the city its name today. The associated place at the foot of the castle outside of the former Bilbilis is also a Moorish foundation, which should make the fertile soil of the area usable. He was initially part of the upper march of the emirate (until 929) or caliphate (from 929) of Córdoba .

The Tujibid family rose in Saragossa in the 10th century against the first caliph of Cordoba, Abd ar-Rahman III. who then besieged the city of Zaragoza and took Calatayud in 937. The Tujibids managed to establish their own Taifa kingdom in Saragossa (1017), in which Calatayud became one of the most important cities in the 11th century and was ruled first by the Tujibids and later (from 1039) by the Hudids .

In 1120 Calatayud was conquered by an Aragonese army under Alfonso I ( reconquista ) . As a result, the city received the Fuero de Calatayud (a kind of city constitution combined with other privileges), and the Comunidad de Calatayud , the forerunner of today's comarca, came into being. At that time Calatayud was the second largest city in Aragon after Zaragoza.

In 1348 the plague reached the Iberian Peninsula . With the onset of the plague, the anti-Jewish attitudes that already existed escalated; they escalated to the so-called plague pogroms against Spaniards of Jewish faith. Calatayud and Saragossa were the only cities in Spain without pogroms . In the " War of the Two Peter " Calatayud was besieged by Castilian troops and finally captured (1362). In 1461, the Cortes of Aragon swore in the city at the instigation of King John II to recognize his son Ferdinand , who later became the Catholic King , as heir to the throne and to follow him. A good 20 years later (1483) the abandonment of the last resistance fighters and the incorporation of Gran Canaria into the Spanish (Castilian) Empire was sealed in Calatayud .

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Jesuits , among them Baltasar Gracián , brought about a cultural boom in Calatayud. However, they were expelled from all over Spain in 1767.

During the Napoleonic Wars on the Iberian Peninsula , soldiers and volunteers from Calatayud took part in the second defense of Zaragoza against the Napoleonic siege under José de l'Hotellerie Fernández de Heredia , Baron von Warsage. When the Spanish provinces were redistributed under French influence in 1822, Calatyud became the capital of the Calatayud province , which, however , was dissolved after the return of Ferdinand VII to old structures after a territorial reorganization . When the provinces that are still valid today were created in 1833, the province of Calatayud was again not included.

After the takeover of the city of Calatayud by the coup military and the Guardia Civil during the Spanish Civil War , 400 republicans are known to have been murdered in the Bartolina gorge . Some studies even assume that up to 2000 people were killed. The murdered were buried in the Bartolina Gorge or in the Bartolina von Calatayud cemetery.

On April 9, 1978 , the first Cortes de Aragón of modern times after the end of the Franco dictatorship were constituted in the church of San Pedro de los Francos , in which the Cortes had recognized Ferdinand II in 1461 . Before the adoption of the Spanish constitution and the adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for Aragon, they elected a provisional government of Aragon. Calatayud also boasts of being the first democratic community after the end of the Franco era, as the first local elections were brought forward here.

Architectural monuments

Calatayud is particularly noticeable for its numerous towers in the Mudéjar style and many buildings worth seeing.

Ayub Castle

Qal'at 'Ayyūb

The eponymous fortress is considered to be the oldest still (partially) preserved Arab-Moorish castle on the Iberian Peninsula. The fortress was expanded from defensive positions built in the 8th century in the 9th century. The fortress complex consists of a total of five partial fortresses, among which the main castle, the Qal'at 'Ayyūb , with octagonal Mudejar towers protrudes on a hill above the city. It again consists of two parts, the lower north and the higher south part. In the latter there is also a cistern ( aljibe ) . The remaining fortress structures, connected to each other and to the main fortress by partly still existing walls, are the Castillo de Doña Martina , the Castillo de Torre Mocha , the Castillo del Reloj and the heavily destroyed Castillo de la Peña .

Architectural monuments in the old town

Facade of Santa María la Mayor
  • The Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor is in the center of town. It was built over a destroyed mosque and includes a cloister (claustro) from the 14th century and an octagonal tower and an apse , each from the 16th century; the facade is designed in the Plateresque style . Inside there are baroque chapels and ceiling domes designed with Mudejar shapes. Since 2001 it belongs - as others Mudejar churches in Aragon - to the World Heritage of UNESCO .
  • The Collegiate Church of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem (Real Colegiata del Santo Sepulcro) , built between 1605 and 1613, is the third church of the Order at this point; it is considered to be an imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, even if the facade flanked by two towers follows completely different architectural ideas. The largely destroyed cloister still contains parts of the previous building. The house of the order houses significant art treasures.
  • The Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña is dedicated to the city's patron saint. It is located within the part of the fortress of the same name and in its current form is neoclassical (19th century).
  • The church of San Juan el Real (originally dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Pilar ), built in the 17th century by the Jesuit order , was renamed after the order was expelled (1767). It is an important monument of the Spanish Baroque and contains some paintings ascribed to Goya in the pendentives of the dome .
  • The tower of the Church of San Andrés is another example of the Mudejar style. The three-aisled interior corresponds to a hall church and is somewhat similar to a mosque.

In addition to the large monuments, the districts of Morería and Judería are important as an old Moorish and Jewish quarter.


In the last decades of the 20th century, the problem of subsidence caused by leaching in the gypsum-like underground rock became more and more virulent. Numerous buildings in the old town, but also new houses, show cracks and have been abandoned by their residents. The problem is clearly visible in the “leaning tower” of the Church of San Pedro de los Francos , the roof of which was torn down in 1840 for fear of collapse.


In the middle of the 19th century, the legend of the “Dolores from Calatayud”, known throughout Spain, was born. It is based on the story of Dolores Peinador , a very beautiful woman who was sung about through popular songs ( coplas ) . Based on the songs, plays, operas (including by Tomás Bretón ), art songs and poems about the beautiful Dolores, her pretenders and the conflicts of her time were created.


Web links

Commons : Calatayud  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. Calatayud - Conjunto histórico
  3. Calatayud - climate tables
  4. Calatayud - population development
  5. Calatayud History
  6. Calatayud - Castillos
  7. Calatayud - Santa María la Mayor
  8. Calatayud - Real Colegiata del Santo Sepulcro
  9. Calatayud - Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña
  10. Calatayud - Church of San Juan el Real
  11. Calatayud - Church of San Andrés
  12. Calatayud - Sights