Zesty Zaragoza: La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar…

Taking some titular inspiration from a previously-written post, I’ve decided to start a regular [hopefully] post series dedicated to my adopted hometown: “Zesty Zaragoza”!!…The idea is to highlight a monument/area within ZGZ, just to show how special the city is!!…

In light of the Fiestas del Pilar that just ended here (there WILL be a post on this, I promise!!), I dedicate the first post in the series to the Basílica erected to honor the Virgen of the same name…



According to legend, St. James came to Spain shortly after the Resurrection to preach the Gospel, but eventually became frustrated and disappointed with the failure of his mission…One day–2 January 40 AD, to be exact–while he was praying on the banks of the River Ebro, Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to him on top of a pillar surrounded by angels, assuring him that the people would be converted, and their faith would be as strong as the pillar on which she stood…She then gave him a wooden figurine of herself, a column of jasper, and instructed him to build a chapel in her honor on that spot…

And so, that is why the church is known as “Our Lady of the Pillar”!!…Though it has been damaged, rebuilt, and modified through the centuries, the sanctuary’s current design exemplifies the sweeping dramaticism of the Baroque…

Fun fact: At least 2 of the frescoes along the ceiling were made my ZGZ Province’s most famous native son, Goya!!…




Have you ever been to La Basílica del Pilar???…

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12 thoughts on “Zesty Zaragoza: La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar…

  1. Today a bunch of my students were talking about how they went to the fiesta in Zaragoza and visited the church! It definitely looks beautiful – and now I’m glad I know the story behind it!!

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