Vista de Calatayud desde la iglesia de La Peña, España, 2012-08-24, DD 01.JPG
Flag of Calatayud
Coat of arms of Calatayud
Coat of arms
Location in Aragon
Location in Aragon
Calatayud is located in Aragon
Location in Spain
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Calatayud is located in Spain
Calatayud (Spain)
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Coordinates: 41°21′0″N 1°38′0″W / 41.35000°N 1.63333°W / 41.35000; -1.63333Coordinates: 41°21′0″N 1°38′0″W / 41.35000°N 1.63333°W / 41.35000; -1.63333
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Aragon
Province Zaragoza
Comarca Comunidad de Calatayud
Judicial district Calatayud
 • Alcalde José Manuel Aranda (PP)
 • Total 154 km2 (59 sq mi)
530 m (1,740 ft)
 (2018) [1]
 • Total 20,035
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Bilbilitano, na
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Website Official website

Calatayud (Spanish pronunciation: [kalataˈʝuð]; 2014 pop. 20,658) is a municipality in the Province of Zaragoza, within Aragón, Spain, lying on the river Jalón, in the midst of the Sistema Ibérico mountain range. It is the second-largest town in the province after the capital, Zaragoza, and the largest town in Aragón other than the three provincial capitals. It is the seat of the comarca of Calatayud. Its population has been declining during the last decade due to migration.[2]

The town has the title Muy noble, leal, siempre augusta y fidelísima ciudad de Calatayud ("The very noble, loyal, always august and most faithful town of Calatayud").[3] The first democratic elections after General Franco's regime were called for 15 June 1977. In Calatayud they were held one day earlier than all the rest of Spain, in order to prepare for a visit there by King Juan Carlos I.

Highways and railways

The town is located by the Carretera Nacional N-II highway, the Autovía A-2 and the N-234, among other local roads.

The AVE Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line,[4] as well as the RENFE line from Madrid to Barcelona stop in Calatayud.


The city was founded on the site of a Celt-Iberian settlement[5] by the Romans with the name Augusta Bilbilis and was the birthplace of the poet Martial in 40 CE.[6] The site of the ruins of Augusta Bilbilis are approximately four kilometers to the north of the modern city of Calatayud.[7] The modern town was founded by the Moors around the Ayyub castle, circa 716 CE.[8]

The name Calatayud came from the Arabic قلعة أيوب Qal‘at ’Ayyūb, "Ayyub's castle". The ancient inhabitants of Bilbilis moved to the new site. Occupying a strategic placement between the central meseta of Spain and the Ebro valley the city retained its importance in succeeding centuries. By the eleventh century a substantial Jewish community was present, surviving the reconquista until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Judaica texts from this era refer to Calatayud as קלע איוב, קלעה איוב, or קלעיה איוב (Qal`a Ayuv, Qal` Ayuv, Qal`iya Ayuv)[9] The city was conquered from the Muslims by Alfonso I of Aragón in 1119. Many surviving examples of mudéjar church architecture show that the Moorish influence lived on.[10]

During the Peninsular Wars a notable siege of French-occupied Calatayud led to its capture by guerillas in 1811.[11] The city was the capital of its own province[12] in 1822–23, during the Trienio Liberal.

The Castle of Calatayud

The town suffers from sinkholes.

Main sights

One of the most notable Mudéjar towers of Aragón is the 15th-century bell tower of the collegiate church of Santa María, which was built on the site of a mosque.[13] The Muslim fortress is the biggest and oldest one on the Iberian peninsula. The church of "San Pedro" was founded by Ferdinand II of Aragón and it was there that the first cortes (parliament) of Aragon was held in 1411.[14]

Quarters and villages

  • Quarters: Huérmeda, Torres and Embid de la Ribera
  • Villages: Campiel, Carramolina, Marivella, Ribota, San Ramón and Terrer



Church of San Pedro de los Francos, Calatayud.

There is a popular Spanish song that says (translated) "If you go to Calatayud / ask for Dolores (a popular female name) / she is a very nice girl / fond of granting favours" that captures the (traditional) fame of girls in Calatayud. Given that reputation, traditionally boys went to the town in order to "ask for Dolores" to be "favoured" by local girls. Nowadays this tradition has dismissed although in festivities, boys from the surroundings, even from Zaragoza, visit the town with that aim.[citation needed]

Sister City

Calatayud has four sister cities.:[15]

See also


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  2. ^ "Instituto nacional de estadística. (National statistics institute)". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  3. ^ "goza-zaragoza-programa-fiestas-calatayud.pdf (application/pdf Object)" (PDF). Ayuntamiento de Calatayud. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  4. ^ "AVE". Ayuntamiento de Calatayud. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  5. ^ "Calatayud: Ciudad de Encuentros". Ayuntamiento de Calatayud (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  6. ^ "bjj.2007.14.2.259 (application/pdf Object)". doi:10.3366/bjj.2007.14.2.259. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Comunidad de Calatayud". CAI Tourism of Aragon. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  8. ^ Gutiérrez, Francisco; Cooper, Anthony H. (2002). "SpringerLink - Journal Article". Natural Hazards. 25 (3): 259–288. doi:10.1023/A:1014807901461. S2CID 128832226.
  9. ^ "Calatayud". Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  10. ^ "Mudéjar Calatayud (ARTEGUIAS)". Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  11. ^ various (1911). "4". "Bulgaria" to "Calgary". 4 (11 ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  12. ^ (in Spanish) División provisional del territorio español de 27 de Enero de 1822 Archived 2009-12-14 at the Wayback Machine, the text of the proposed 1822 territorial division of Spain, Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council). Accessed online 2010-01-03.
  13. ^ "126491e.pdf (application/pdf Object)" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  14. ^ "Church of San Pedro de los Francos of Calatayud". CAI Tourism of Aragon. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links