The Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge) that crosses
the Duero takes you into the city with a strong medieval imprint,
known as the City of Romanesque. Its buildings effortlessly take
you back to the Middle Ages. Zamora is known as "the Well
Protected", because of its triple defensive ring, and preserves
the first of these walls almost entirely. Among the stretches
of wall, three gates - the Portillo de la Traición, the
Puerta de Doña Urraca and the Puerta del Obispo - are relevant.
Dominating the whole layout are the Castle and the Cathedral.
Surrounded by the Castle Park is this fortress of Arab origin which still preserves its Keep, gate and the moat. Beside it stands the tower and dome of the Cathedral of Zamora. The gadroon dome and roof with flakes of stone were built in the 12th century, in Byzantine style; while the Romanesque tower that accompanies them dates from the 13th. Inside the church, the wrought iron screens and pulpits, the bas-reliefs of the choir stalls and the Neoclassical cloister, which houses the Cathedral Museum, are the outstanding characteristics.
On your way to the Plaza Mayor you can admire a fine set of Romanesque churches, like those of San Ildefonso, La Magdalena or San Cipriano. Vaults with Gothic arches, apses and doorways decorated with plant motifs and the oldest reliefs in the city are some of the jewels that you will encounter in this lovely walk among the monuments.
In civil architecture, we should point out some emblematic buildings of Renaissance design: the Hospital de la Encarnación, seat of the Provincial Council; the Old City Hall, ordered to be built by the Catholic Monarchs; the Palace of the Momos, nowadays the seat of the Provincial Courts; and the Cordón Palace, which houses the Museum of Zamora. Another jewel of Renaissance architecture is the Palace of the Counts of Alba de Aliste that dates from the 15h century, and nowadays used as a Parador de Turismo. However, if what you want to do is to follow the customs of this place you should go to the area around Calle Herreros, which you will be served wine from the Toro Denomination of Origin (chato) accompanied by a slice of bacon or fried pork (a tapa).
Easter is the best time for coming to Zamora is during the Easter celebrations, a Festival of International Tourist Interest; or in summer, when visitors can walk around the city guided by the medieval legends of the Romancero, which are staged in the most charming corners of the city.
Oficina de Turismo: Calle Santa Clara, 20
49014 Zamora (Zamora)
Tel. +34 980531845
Source: Web server of Instituto de Turismo de España, TURESPAÑA.