Borja, Zaragoza

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Borja
Municipality
Town Hall
Town Hall
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 (2009)
 • Total 5,030
 • Density 47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Demonym Borjanos
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 50540
Website Official website
Church of the Santa Clara convent.

Borja is a town in the province of Zaragoza, community of Aragon, north-eastern Spain.

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. The House of Borgia rose to power in Renaissance Italy after Rodrigo de Borgia became Pope Alexander VI in 1492.

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.

Main sights[edit]

  • Collegiate church of Santa Maria.
  • Church of San Miguel, in GothicMudéjar 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

Notable people[edit]

Fresco restoration[edit]

In 2012, octogenarian Cecilia Giménez partly restored a 19th-century mural painting depicting Christ. The results garnered worldwide attention.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spanish fresco restoration botched by amateur

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]