Borja, Zaragoza

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Borja in 2004
Borja in 2004
Flag of Borja
Coat of arms of Borja
Coat of arms
Borja is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 41°50′N 1°32′W / 41.833°N 1.533°W / 41.833; -1.533
Country Spain
Autonomous community Aragon
Province Zaragoza
Comarca Campo de Borja
 • Alcalde Miguel Arilla Andía (PAR)
 • Total 107 km2 (41 sq mi)
Elevation 448 m (1,470 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 4,931
 • Density 46/km2 (120/sq mi)
Demonym(s) 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, northeastern Spain. As of 2014, its population was 4,931.


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.


The town's origins date back to the 5th century BC, because this is when a Celtiberian settlement known as Bursau or Bursao had 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.[citation needed]

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, which rose to prominence during the Italian Renaissance, originated in Borja and their name was a variant of the town's name. However, since at the time when they lived in Borja they were not yet especially prominent, their earlier history remains largely unknown.

Borja existed 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 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]

In 2012, octogenarian amateur painter Cecilia Giménez botched a partial restoration of an unremarkable Ecce Homo fresco (c. 1930) depicting Christ by Elías García Martínez. The spectacularly bad results garnered worldwide attention,[1] and has been called one of "the worst art restoration projects of all time"[2]

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns[edit]



External links[edit]

  • Media related to Borja at Wikimedia Commons