Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza

Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza (must see)

The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, a magnificent masterpiece of Baroque architecture, reigns as Zaragoza's most iconic landmark, drawing countless visitors to its hallowed precincts. This awe-inspiring basilica, steeped in history and devotion, bears the hallmarks of the 17th and 18th centuries and holds the prestigious distinction of being a National Monument.

Nestled gracefully along the banks of the Ebro River, the basilica's most striking views are from the opposite riverbank. To approach this sacred sanctuary, one crosses to the Plaza del Pilar on the other side, a vast town square encircled by stately historical edifices.

The basilica's monumental exterior, an architectural marvel, greets all who approach. Yet, it is upon entering the majestic interior that the full splendor and significance of this sacred site are revealed, accompanied by a cherished object of veneration.

For centuries, devout pilgrims have embarked on spiritual journeys to this sacred space to pay homage to the venerated image of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Column, a precious jasper pillar associated with a miraculous Marian apparition. Legend tells of Saint James the Apostle's arrival in Caesaraugusta, where he experienced a divine vision of the Virgin Mary. In this apparition, he received a divine command to erect a church on this very spot. Responding to this heavenly call, Saint James constructed a modest chapel dedicated to Saint Mary, making it the earliest Marian shrine in the history of Christianity.

As the ages unfolded, several more churches were raised on this sacred ground. Yet, the present-day basilica remains steadfastly devoted to the Virgen del Pilar, Our Lady of Pilar. The focal point of devotion within the basilica is a statue of the Virgin Mary sheltered behind a magnificent mantelpiece. Each year, on the 2nd of January, the statue is lovingly presented to the faithful, commemorating the momentous date of the Virgin's apparition.

A second holy relic of profound importance, the Sacred Column, also known as "El Pilar," now graces the basilica with its ornate silver embellishments. The basilica's interior is resplendent with a rich tapestry of religious artworks and opulent Baroque monuments. Notable treasures include the exquisite alabaster high altarpiece and the captivating frescoes by the renowned artist Francisco Goya.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Zaragoza. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar on Map

Sight Name: Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
Sight Location: Zaragoza, Spain (See walking tours in Zaragoza)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Zaragoza, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Zaragoza

Create Your Own Walk in Zaragoza

Creating your own self-guided walk in Zaragoza is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Zaragoza Introduction Walking Tour

Zaragoza Introduction Walking Tour

Although somewhat lesser-known a city (compared to Barcelona or Madrid), the capital of the Aragon region, Zaragoza, bears witness to a rich tapestry of historical influences which makes it an authentic Spanish treasure. Nestled along the serene banks of the Ebro River, it has been an essential crossroads of cultures since time immemorial.

The origins of this Spanish city go back to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles