Zaragoza, host city for the International Exposition, is the administrative and financial capital of the autonomous community of Aragon and Spain's fifth most populous city. Zaragoza was elected the host city of Expo 2008 on December 16, 2004 by the BIE, beating Thessaloniki (Greece) and Trieste (Italy).
The exhibition’s most emblematic buildings were the Water Tower, a 80-metre-high transparent building designed by Enrique de Teresa to evoke a drop of water, Zaha Hadid's Bridge Pavilion, and the river aquarium. The exposition site also hosted several events, including a daily parade by Cirque du Soleil called The Awakening of the Serpent.
Aside from the countries, non-government organizations and private companies took part in Expo 2008, always with the idea of water and sustainable development. Prior to the event, the Expo 2008 host committee estimated that the expo event could generate 135 million euros in receipts for admission to the exhibition centre.