Borja, Zaragoza

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Borja
Municipality
Borja in 2004
Borja in 2004
Flag of Borja
Flag
Coat of arms of Borja
Coat of arms
Borja is located in Spain
Borja
Borja
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 41°49′N 1°32′W / 41.817°N 1.533°W / 41.817; -1.533
Country Spain
Autonomous community Aragon
Province Zaragoza
Comarca Campo de Borja
Government
 • Alcalde Miguel Arilla Andía (PAR)
Area
 • Total 107 km2 (41 sq mi)
Elevation 448 m (1,470 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 4,931
 • Density 46/km2 (120/sq mi)
Demonym Borjanos
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 50540
Website Official website
Church of Santa Clara convent
The Mudéjar towers of the Collegiate of Santa María

Borja is a town and municipality in the province of Zaragoza, community of Aragon, north-eastern Spain. As of 2014, its population was of 4,931.

Geography[edit]

The municipality borders with Ablitas (in Navarre) Agón, Ainzón, Alberite de San Juan, Albeta, Ambel, Bulbuente, El Buste, Fréscano, Magallón, Maleján, Mallén, Tabuenca, Tarazona, and Vera de Moncayo. It is the administrative seat of the comarca of Campo de Borja.

History[edit]

The town's origins date back to the 5th century BC, when a Celtiberian settlement, known as Bursau or Bursao, existed near the current ruins of the castle. After the Roman conquest (1st century BC) also the slopes of the hill were populated, though the town started to expand significantly only after the Muslim conquest in the 8th century AD.

In the 12th century it was conquered by the Christians from the north, and in the 15th/16th centuries it was converted into a military fortress against the Castillan invasions, but at the same time received much of its historical architectural heritage, with numerous churches and palaces. It received the title of "city" by King Alfonso V of Aragon in 1438. During the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, the Jews, forming an important part of the Borjan community, were expelled.

Borja lived through a period of recession and plagues in the 17th and 18th centuries. It recovered economically starting from the 19th century, when a railway connecting the city to Cortes de Navarra was inaugurated. In the 20th century agriculture, traditionally the mainstay of Borja's economy, started to lose its importance, and, without a consistent industrial base, the city lost economical and political importance in the area: much of the population therefore emigrated to other more developed areas. The industrial sector is intended to be boosted by businesses being attracted to the ongoing development "Polígono Industrial Barbalanca", the Barbalanca Industrial Estate.

Demographics[edit]

Main sights[edit]

  • Collegiate church of Santa Maria.
  • Church of San Miguel, in Gothic– style, with a Romanesque apse.
  • Baroque convent of Santa Clara
  • Hermitage of San Jorge, in Gothic-Mudéjar style
  • Town Hall, built in 1532
  • 18th-century small temple
  • Newly renovated, 20th-century fresco depicting a "Hedgehog-like" figure of Jesus

Fresco restoration[edit]

The fresco Ecce Homo by Elías García Martínez before and after the 2012 restoration

In 2012, octogenarian Cecilia Giménez partly restored the fresco Ecce Homo (c. 1930) depicting Christ by Elías García Martínez. The results garnered worldwide attention.[1]

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Town hall 
Plaza del Mercado ("Market Square") 
Casa de la Estanca 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Borja at Wikimedia Commons