Basilica of Santa Maria del Pilar

Basilica of Santa Maria del Pilar
Basilica of Santa Maria del Pilar

There are many times in which in one way or another we have already named the Basilica del Pilar in Zaragoza for being the continent of great works of art such as the frescoes made by Goya, despite the building Baroque is also an architectural gem worthy of study in its own right. According to Christian tradition, the basilica is the first temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary,it was she herself who appeared to the apostle Santiago in the year 40 to give him the pillar of his first church, although technically it was It is a jasper column and not a quadrangular section pillar, hence precisely the invocation of the temple as Santa María del Pilar. However, there are no reliable documents in this regard and in this context the first documentation that exists of the basilica or rather of a temple dedicated to Santa María in that same place, was a Mozarabic church from the 9th century.

However, in the 12th century when Zaragoza passed into Christian hands, the temple was in a sorry state, so Bishop Pedro de Librana decided to build a Romanesque-style church in the same place that would not be completed until well into the 13th century. Precisely part of this primitive Romanesque temple is the oldest Chapel preserved in the current basilica, known as the Pilar Chapel and attributed to Diego de Espés.


With the arrival of Gothic aesthetics, the Romanesque templeIt seemed old-fashioned and remodeling works were carried out on it, including the splendid choir or the well-known main altarpiece carved by Damián Forment.

It was already at the end of the 16th century, specifically in the year 1670, when Juan José de Austria promoted the construction of a completely new temple, eliminating much of the previous fabric. The works began in the year eighty-one by master architects as remarkable as Felipe Busiñac or Felipe Sánchez to be later relieved by Francisco Herrera el Mozo. Later the works were finished off by Ventura Rodríguez.

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