In Zamora, the Old Town is primarily interesting. It is surrounded by ancient fortifications, and the Roman bridge Puente de Piedra leads into it. Three main entrances to the city have been preserved along the fortress wall: the gates of Doña Uraca (“Northern Gate”), Puerta Traision (“Gate of Betrayal” – King Sancho II was killed here by conspirators in the early 11th century) and Olivares, through which the road to the cathedral opens.
According to Clothesbliss, the mid-12th century cathedral is located on a hill and is considered a symbol of the city. The cathedral is decorated with four towers in the Byzantine style and windows in the form of arches, carved compositions of the 16th century, an altar of the 15th century and a chapel with the figure of Christ of the 16th century by Gaspard Becerra have been preserved inside. The cathedral houses a museum where you can see objects of religious art, including a collection of old tapestries. Around it is a park in which a medieval castle has been preserved. It was built from the 10th to the 12th century, and today only ruins remain of it.
Almost all the Romanesque churches that Zamora is famous for are located on Calle de los Francos, which stretches from Plaza Mayor to the Cathedral. In addition to churches, here you can see the city hall, the Museum of Archeology (there are archaeological finds from these places from prehistoric times to the 20th century) and the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as a pretty stone bridge over the Duero River, built in the 12th century.
Pay attention to the buildings in the Renaissance style: the hospital where the local government sits today, City Hall, Momos palaces (15th century) and Kordon (16th century).
The locals are very devout, so they celebrate every religious holiday on a grand scale. Especially magnificent celebrations are arranged on the eve of Easter – a large-scale and spectacular procession passes through the city, in which almost the entire population of the city participates.
Many Romanesque churches have been preserved not only in Zamora itself, but also in the surrounding cities, for example, the 12th century Santa Maria Church in Benavente (70 km from Zamora) or an example of Visigothic architecture with Celtic elements – the Church of San Pedro de la Nebe 7 century in El Campillo (23 km from Zamora).
30 km east of Zamora is the city of Toro, one of the famous wine-producing centers of Spain. Romanesque religious architecture has also been preserved there, and it is also worth coming here to the vineyards (you can participate in the grape harvest), visit the bodegas and taste all the wine.
Along the banks of the Duero River, at the junction of the borders of Portugal and the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca, there is the Los Arribes del Duero nature reserve. There are very picturesque landscapes here: sheer walls of the canyon, waterfalls, oak forests, olive and orange groves and vineyards. More than 200 species of birds live here, including rare ones, such as black stork, golden eagle and hawk; along the river you can walk along the paved paths; you can go to the observation decks or to the pier: water excursions depart from here, which can be ordered at the park’s tourist office.
Near the border with Portugal, in the northwestern part of the province of Zamora, the reserved mountains of the Sierra de la Culebra (Sierra de la Culebra) stretch. They are known for being home to Sierra-Cabrera Lake, the largest glacial lake in Spain, and home to Iberian wolves. Here, in the mountains at an altitude of 960 m above sea level, there is a small village of Puebla de Sanabria, where a 15th-century castle and other buildings from the Middle Ages have been preserved.
How to get to Zamora
The most convenient way to get to Zamora is from Madrid. Trains run 7 times a day from Chamartin station, the first departs at 7:15, the last at 19:40. Travel time is about 1.5 hours, the fare is from 15 EUR one way. The prices on the page are for August 2021.
You can get from Bilbao to Zamora by bus, it leaves once a day at 8:15, takes 5 hours 45 minutes and costs from 45 EUR one way.
From the Portuguese city of Porto, despite the relatively short distance, the journey is long and inconvenient. The bus leaves once a day at 12:30 and goes with two transfers for almost 22 hours. The fare is from 80 EUR one way.
Weather in Zamora
Summer in Zamora is hot and sunny, the air temperature in July and August rises to +30 °С during the day, at night it is much cooler – about +15… +17 °С. Winter is cloudy and cool – about +5… +7 ° С, the coldest month is January (about +4 ° С), and at night it gets cold down to -1 ° С.
It is rainy in the off-season in Zamora, the most precipitation falls in November and April, sometimes the rains drag on until May.