12 Months, 12 Stamps - Zaragoza
In July, the 12 MONTHS, 12 STAMPS, 12 PROVINCES series features the province of Zaragoza. The province is located at a natural crossroads, occupying the central strip of Aragon in the north east of the Iberian Peninsula.
The villages proudly display the vestiges of the cultures that have distinguished its history and unique way of life. Iberians, Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians have marked the development of this region.
Two Cistercian monasteries stand out among its artistic heritage: Monasterio de Veruela, where one of the rosettes crowning the pointed arcades that extend over the central cloister is included; and the Monasterio de Piedra, which holds eight centuries of history and features the main characteristics of Cistercian architecture. The 12th century keep has been included because it is the symbol of the monastery.
We highlight the inclusion of the Basílica del Pilar featuring one of its towers, which elegantly looks over the city of Zaragoza. In recent years, one of the towers has become one of the city's best viewpoints.
The Moncayo Natural Park is located in the west of Zaragoza and forms a natural border with the neighbouring Soria. It includes the highest point of the Iberian System and the Moncayo or San Miguel peak, also in this Aragon province, rises up to 2,315 metres. The imposing mountain, which was sacred for the Celtiberians and the mythological cradle for the Romans, majestically occupies the centre of the stamp.
The Nature Reserve of the Gallocanta Lake covers 1,925 hectares of the lake and 4,550 hectares of protected peripheral area. The lake is regarded as a home for countless birds during the migration passages. It has been estimated that over 40,000 cranes arrive at this wetland in large flocks between October and March. Their arrival at sunset and departure at sunrise is a great visual and sound spectacle.
The crest of the Casa de Ganaderos, whose foundation dates back to the peak of the King of Aragon’s reign in Medieval times, on 18 May 1218. Since it was founded, it has controlled the issues that most affect farmers in Zaragoza, jurisprudence and pastures. It has changed names, adapting to the times and changing according to the different economic situations. Casa de Ganaderos has been a local board, association, union and cooperative according to the period and changing economic and political context. Until the modern day. It has been recognised as an institution for eight centuries and has formed part of Spanish history. Its daily activity has helped and continues to help shape ovine culture and make it one of the keys of Aragonese culture.
One of its most famous festivals features a fragment of the fabric of the Cipotegato of Tarazona costume, a legendary hooded character dressed as a harlequin with yellow, green and red. It is held on 27 August every year and its journey through the city starts at midday, when the large crowd starts throwing tomatoes at it.
We cannot forget the ‘adoquines’, hard-boiled sweets of varying size, which can reach up to 5kg. There are four traditional flavours: orange, strawberry, lemon and aniseed. The packaging stands out due to its colouring. The sides pay tribute to the cachirulo, the typical handkerchief of the Fiestas del Pilar (a fragment of this is also included on the stamp), but also with the colours indicating the flavour inside the sweets. In the centre of the page appears an image of Our Lady of the Pillar, dressed in a colour that matches the sides. But the best aspect is that, when you open it, you will find the letter of the three Aragonese jotas inside.
It would be incomplete without Francisco de Goya, the best representative of this province, and a segment of the 1958 stamp is included as a philatelic tribute.
The red stripe along the bottom represents one of the colours of the provincial flag.