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Goya’s Murals and Mudejar art exemplify the beauty of Aragon.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

The Third of May 1808 (1814) By Francisco Goya, Oil on Canvas, Museo del Prodo, Madrid, Spain.

Enveloped by a verdant woodland, the monastery occupies a mountaintop location. Founded at the end of the 17th century, a Gothic hermitage is all that endures of the very first settlement. The remainder of the complex is Baroque in style. Between the monastery and Zaragoza is the Cartuja de Aula Del, home to Goya murals. In 1774, Goya painted fourteen scenes of the Virgin Mary for a Spanish church used by sequestered Carthusian monks. Until recently, only three women, one a Spanish princess, had seen the paintings. In November 1998, Queen Sofia led a contingent of fifty women on an unprecedented visit to see the murals. Guided tours are available by prior appointment only. Goya served his apprenticeship and painted his first works in Zaragoza. His paintings are exhibited in the Basilica of Nuestra Senora del Pilar and the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts.

Many of the cities, towns and villages of Aragon lay claim to the most characteristic forms of Mudejar art. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, extensive Mudejar communities existed and bequeathed a legacy of bricklaying and decorative arts. The brick bell-towers, often festooned with glazed ceramic tiles, are peculiar to the region. The monastery has fifteen single and three double rooms and is open year round.

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