Top 10 sculptures of Zaragoza

estatua de Zaragoza

The 10 most emblematic sculptures of Zaragoza.

In previous articles, I provided recommendations for amazing places to explore in Zaragoza and delightful bars to savor tapas. However, in this particular article, I present a curated top 10 list of the sculptures that personally captivate me the most in Zaragoza.

You see, Zaragoza, like any remarkable city, boasts a multitude of sculptural masterpieces that have seamlessly become an integral part of its landscape. Some of these sculptures portray historical figures in a figurative manner, while others symbolize concepts deeply associated with the essence of the city. Each of them possesses its own distinctive allure, manifesting in unique and captivating ways.

10 The lions of Zaragoza

Location: Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge)

Year: 1990

Author: Francisco Rallo Lahoz

History and symbolism: The lion is a symbol of power, courage, and resilience. Additionally, the lion is a symbol of Zaragoza. Consequently, it appears on the city’s flag and on the Stone Bridge itself.

leones y el puente de piedra

9 San Valero

Location: In front of the Zaragoza Town Hall

Year: 1965

Author: Pablo Serrano Aguilar

History and symbolism: San Valero is the patron saint of Zaragoza. He was the bishop of the city in the 4th century. He escaped martyrdom because, being a stutterer, he couldn’t bear witness to his faith, with his deacon San Vicente being the one martyred instead. This statue is the most renowned figurative representation of San Valero.

San Valero

8 Monumento to Agustina de Aragón

Location: Plaza del Portillo

Year: 1908

Author: Ángel Azpeita Burgos

History and symbolism: Agustina was a courageous heroine during the siege of Zaragoza by Napoleon’s armies in their attempt to conquer the city. According to legend, as the French forces were poised to enter the city after the last male defenders fell at the Portillo gate, Agustina swiftly seized a cannon and defiantly fired upon the enemy. Her actions extended the heroic resistance of the city, becoming a symbol of bravery and determination. The monument stands as a tribute to her valiant spirit and serves as a reminder of Zaragoza’s indomitable will in the face of adversity.

Monumento a Agustina de Aragón en Zaragoza

7 The Shepherd of the Eagle

Year: Cast in 2001, inaugurated in 2003

Author: Pablo Gargallo

History and symbolism: This sculpture is a replica of the original artwork by Pablo Gargallo from 1928, which was installed in Plaza Cataluña in Barcelona. It belongs to the Novecentista style and has a classical appearance.

El Pastor y el Águila

6 Monument to Justiciazgo

Location: Plaza de Aragón

Year: 1904

Author: Francisco Vidal y Castro

History and symbolism: The “justicia” in the Kingdom of Aragón served as a sort of judge, responsible for limiting the power of the king when the monarch’s decisions contradicted the laws of the kingdom. The last “justicia” represented in this artwork was Juan Lanuza V. He was executed by Felipe II, the most powerful man of his time, after the events of the Alteraciones de Aragón (Unrest of Aragón).

Juan de Lanuza V

5 The Soul of the Ebro

Location: Plaza de la Expo 2008

Year: 2008

Author: Jaume Plensa

History and symbolism: It was placed on the occasion of the celebration of Expo 2008 in Zaragoza. It cost 1,160,000 euros. The sculpture symbolizes the soul as “the hollow part of certain things.” It also refers to the concept of collectivity through the letters, which contribute meaning when they come together.

Jaume Plensa

4 Boy Sitting and Gazzing at the New Tower

Location: Plaza de San Felipe

Year: 1991

Author: Santiago Gimeno Llop

History and symbolism: This sculpture pays homage to the New Tower. The tower was built in Mudéjar style in 1504, standing over 80 meters tall and slightly twisted. Unfortunately, it was demolished in 1892. The young boy in the sculpture gazes with admiration towards the spot where the tower once stood.

Muchacho sentado mirando a la Torre Nueva

3 Monument to Goya

Location: Plaza del Pilar

Year: 1960

Authors: José Beltrán Navarro and Federico Marés

History and symbolism: This sculpture pays tribute to Francisco de Goya, a celebrated painter and the most internationally renowned artist from Aragon. Despite being born in Fuendetodos, he spent a significant portion of his early life in Zaragoza. In the artwork, Goya is portrayed painting “majos” and “majas,” a playful reference to his notable period of depicting everyday life and customs. The sculpture stands as a lasting homage to the artistic legacy of this influential figure.

Goya en Zaragoza

2 Estatue of Augustus

Location: Avenida de César Augusto, facing the city walls

Year: 1938

Author: Art-Lagana Foundation

History and symbolism: This sculpture, a gift from Mussolini to Zaragoza, portrays the first Roman emperor in history, Octavian Caesar Augustus. In 14 B.C., this emperor established a colony on the banks of the Ebro River, officially named “Colonia inmune de Caesaraugusta”. Over time, the city’s name evolved with the pronunciation of its inhabitants, eventually becoming Zaragoza. The sculpture stands as a poignant reminder of the historical ties between Rome and the vibrant city of Zaragoza, celebrating its ancient past and rich heritage.

Estatua de Augusto

1 Monument to Alfonso the Battler

Location: José Antonio Labordeta Park

Year: 1918

Author: José Bueno Gimeno

History and symbolism: This sculpture depicts the Aragonese king Alfonso I. He conquered Zaragoza in 1118. The statue was sculpted to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the city’s reconquest. The artist, José Bueno, used Pradilla’s painting of this king as a model to create this majestic sculpture.

Monumento a Alfonso I