Zaragoza

Zaragoza was once a Roman town called Caesaraugusta. The Moors did not change the name, but pronounced and spelled it as Saraqusta, and afterwards the Romance and Spanish speakers transformed it into Zaragoza. To the west of the city, within the 90 km radius, lies the municipality of Illueca, with just over 3000 inhabitants. Illueca has a strong shoe making tradition - in the 17th century there were already three tanneries in the town. The modern shoe making industry was launched in the 1920s. By the 1940s numerous shoe making factories were flourishing, some of which still exist today.

Share
Córdoba

Córdoba (also referred to as Cordova in English) is a fabulously beautiful old town in Andalusia. It is famous for its Moorish architecture, as well as its fine leather industry.

Share
Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is not a shoe producing town. It is the resting place of Spain’s patron saint – Santiago, or St. James the Greater. As early as the 10th century, pilgrims from all corners of Europe were embarking on a faith journey to Compostela to ask the powerful saint to intercede on their behalf. Today pilgrims still walk the Camino de Santiago or the St.James' Way. In summer 2013 I decided to join them and walked a small portion of the way from Bamberg, Germany, wearing my "Pamplona" espadrilles made in La Rioja.

Share
La Rioja

La Rioja, the picturesque autonomous region in north-central Spain, is known throughout the world for its fine wine of the same name. That said, La Rioja is also a notable footwear producer. The Neosens brand from Quel is known for its extravagant Baroque-inspired designs. The Art brand, also from Quel, targets the metropolitan urban crowd with cheeky, street-art inspired footwear. The brand Gaimo from Arnedo opts for simplicity and subdued elegance, producing espadrille-inspired sandals with quality leather uppers.

Share