History of Zamora

Zamora Cathedral

As part of the "autonomous community" of Castilla y León, Zamora is linked to the old history of Spain and to the origin of the Castilian language which gave birth to Spanish language.

With over 20 Romanesque churches Zamora is one of the most important cities for Romanesque architecture and history in the world.

The history of Zamora takes us back to Roman times, when the piece of land known as “Semure” was attached to the Roman region of Hispania Tarraconensis.

During the centuries of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula the name of the city changed slightly and thanks to the Kingdom of Asturias Zamora turned into an strategic defensive position for the Christians in their fight to regain the country from the Moorish conquerors.

For years Zamora was a city changing hands from Christians to Moorish, many defensive buildings, walls and fortifications where built as the fights between the original inhabitants and the Arabs to control the city continued from the 8th century to the 11th century. The king Henry the 4th honoured the city with the title of "the most noble and most loyal".

During the Middle Ages Zamora was a city of battles and fights. Fights between peoples, and also between kings and heirs to control the crown of Castilla and the the city. Doña Urraca, daughter to Fernando 1st, was the ruler of Zamora before her brother Sancho took control of the city.

Outstanding figures of the history of Spain are linked to Zamora, like the famous hero El Cid Campeador who fought under the rule of the king Sancho. This king was in fact murdered in Zamora as result of treason from one of the city nobles; this historic fact is remembered in the Gate of Treason that can be visited in the city, have a look at our section what to see in Zamora for more information.

The 12th century was when Zamora was more powerful, gradually loosing relevance in Spain from that time.

The history of the city is visible from the first glance to Zamora, when you see its impressive stone walls, the river and Roman bridges, the defensive towers and the Romanesque churches.