Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain – 1st Marian sanctuary in the world. See Statue, Image and Mass times

Basílica del Pilar, Zaragoza, Španija

Website of the Sanctuary

+34 976 29 95 64

Every day from 6.45 am to 8.30 pm (Summer 9.30 pm)

Coming to Zaragoza and having the best stay:

[su_row]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

Hotels:

[/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

Getting around

Insurance: Travel Insurance for Spain, Europe
Flights: Flights to Zaragoza
Things to do: Sightseeing in central Spain
Forum: FAQ about Zaragoza: 250+ topics
Gifts: Images and statues of Our Lady of Pillar
Cars: Rent a car in Zaragoza
Rail Europe: Train to Zaragoza
Books: Spain travel guides
[/su_column]
[/su_row]

Our Lady of the Pillar

The devotion to the Our Lady of the Pillar is so deeply-rooted among the Spaniards and for so long that the Holy See allowed the establishment of the “Oficio del Pilar”. In this oficio the apparition of the Virgin of the Pillar is recorded as an “antique and devoted belief”.

According to an old tradition, the arrival of Virgin Mary in mortal flesh to Zaragoza is the origin of the Sanctuary and its devotion.

Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar - Con Camarin de la Virgen, Horario y Misas en el Pilar

 

See more Catholic shrines and Basilicas in Spain.

See more European Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages

See top 15 Catholic shrines around the world

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain - 1st Marian sanctuary in the world

As per this tradition, the Apostle James was in Cesaraugusta (currently Saragossa) preaching the Gospel. Faced with people´s disbelieves, Saint James got discouraged. In such a difficult times, he saw Virgin Mary who came to comfort him and to renew his spirit.

The Holy Virgin gave James the Pillar, a veined marble column in which her image stands today, as a symbol of the strength that his faith should have. Virgin Mary asked James to build a temple using the column she brought as foundation, becoming the first Marian temple in the Christianity.

Placing of Babies Under the Virgin´s Cloak

  • Monday Through Friday:
    1.30pm to 2pm
    6.30pm to 7pm
  • Saturday:
    12.30pm to 2pm
    4pm to 5pm
  • Sundays & Holidays
    4pm to 6pm
    In case there were any worshiping event inside the Holy Chapel, the placing of the babies under the Virgin´s Cloak will be interrupted

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain - 1st Marian sanctuary in the world

The Image of Virgin of Our Lady of the Pillar and her Cloaks

The image of Our Lady of the Pilar on a column is a golden wood carving from the 14th century. It is 14 inches tall and it represents Mary as queen and mother.

It was restored in 1990 by the Spanish Historic Patrimony Institute. The image is set on top of a column covered in silver of veined marble (67 inches tall a diameter of 9.5 inches). The “pillarists” (faithful to this image) claim that the pillar has never changed its location since the date that the tradition sets the arrival of Virgin Mary.

The Cloaks that the image wears each day are something that characterized the Our Lady of the Pilar. The cloaks collect the emotions and feelings of the people, their hopes and worries, as well as their gratitude.

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain - 1st Marian sanctuary in the world

The objective of those cloaks is to improve the look of the image. The colors used have a meaning: white, for Christmas, Easter and other important days; green, regular days; purple, advent and Lent; blue for Virgin related days; red, for holydays dedicated to the saint Martyrs.

There are three days on each month that the Virgin does not wear cloak: the 2nd (commemorating the day that Mary arrived to Zaragoza, January 2, 40 a.C.), 12th (in memory of her holyday, October 12) and the 20th (in memory of the Canonical Coronation of the Virgin, May 20 1905)

Origins of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Pilar

According to an ancient tradition, on the night of January 2nd in the year 40 AC “the Virgin Mary arrived in Mortal flesh to Zaragoza in order to comfort Apostle James, as he was preaching the gospel near river Ebro. She gave him a column as proof of her arrival.

The first chapel was erected leaning on this pillar, becoming the first Marian temple in the world.

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain - 1st Marian sanctuary in the world

After several consecutive constructions and refurbishes (first chapel, roman temple, gothic-mudejar temple, baroque construction), the building finally gets to the design that can be seen nowadays. It is a baroque conception, following the artistic model of Saint Peter in Rome.

Our Lady of the Pillar Museum and the Flower Offering

Opening hours:

  • from monday to friday, 10am to 2pm & 4pm to 8pm.
  • Saturday, from 10am to 2pm.
  • The days before Saturdays or holaidays and the holidays days, closed.

Entrance fee: 2 €

The museum inside the basilica keeps an excellent representation of the religious art.

There you can find magnificent pieces donated to the Virgin by the kings, members of the noble society, religious fraternities… here, you will also find a selection of the best cloaks that the image of the virgin wears every day and the chalices given by Popes Pius X and John XXIII.

Our Lady of the Pillar mass times

Weekdays – Morning:

  • 7am & 8am at the Holy Chapel
  • 9am Conventual Mass at the Holy Chape
  • 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm & 2pm at the Holy Chapel

Week days Afternoon and evening:

  • 4pm (only during winter) at the Holy Chapel
  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm at the Holy Chapel
  • 9pm. (only during Summer) at the Holy Chapel

The day before Sundays or Holidays

  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm at the Main Altar

Sundays & Holidays – Mornings:

  • 7am Infants Mass at the Holy Chapel
  • 8am & 9am at the Holy Chapel
  • 10am Conventual Mass at the Main Altar
  • 11am, 12noon, 1pm & 2pmat thel Main Altar

Sundays & Holidays Afternoon and evening:

  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm at the Main Altar

La Basi­lica of Our Lady of the Pillar and the Holy Chapel

The large dimensions of the current baroque temple resemble the great byzantine constructions. This gives the basilica a great majesty and monumentality, making this masterpiece a jewel of the Aragonese baroque.

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar is National Monument since 1904. It posses the title of Minor Basilica (there are only four major or papal basilicas and the four of them are in Rome) and the title of Cathedral.

The exterior design was started by the master from Zaragoza Felipe Sanchez.

The project was later taken by the architect of King Carlos II, Felipe Herrera el Mozo who designed the plan and built the main façade. At the end, it would be master Ventura Rodriguez who gave the basilica the look that it has today by reshaping the plan and adding towers and domes.

The basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands on the river bank of river Ebro. It is one of the most important sanctuaries in the Catholic world. Each year Millions of pilgrims and other people arrive there every year. It is the first Marian sanctuary in the world.

This huge urban shrine located in the downtown area of Zaragoza. It is a mandatory stop for anyone that visits the city. The towers and domes that shape the exterior view of the basilica are recognized from anywhere.

The sanctuary as we know it today is the result of centuries of history, overlapping constructions and renovations. However, in order to understand the present you must know the past.

View hotel deals in Zaragoza



Booking.com

Placing of Babies Under the Virgin´s Cloak

  • Monday Through Friday:
    1.30pm to 2pm
    6.30pm to 7pm
  • Saturday:
    12.30pm to 2pm
    4pm to 5pm
  • Sundays & Holidays
    4pm to 6pm
    In case there were any worshiping event inside the Holy Chapel, the placing of the babies under the Virgin´s Cloak will be interrupted

The Basilica Our Lady of the Pilar is located in the center of the city of Zaragoza (Spain), on the banks of the river Ebro. Zaragoza is a privileged enclave, located 300 km. away from cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The excellent communications by rail (high speed train-Ave), road and air, facilitate their communication with Spain and with the world.

By plane
Zaragoza Airport is situated 9 km from thw city and has become a strategicall center in passenger traffic for the entire Ebro Valley corridor. Currently, the destinations linked with Zaragoza are:

National:
– (Air Nostrum)
– Alicante (Ryanair)
– Lanzarote (Air Europa)
– Madrid (Air Nostrum)
– Palma de Mallorca (Air Europa)
– Tenerife (Air Europa)
International:
– Brussels (Ryanair)
– Franckfurt (Air Nostrum)
– London (Ryanair)
– Milan (Ryanair)
– Paris (Air Nostrum)
– Rome (Ryanair)
More informations on: www.aena.es; Tel .: 902 404 704

Our Lady of the Pillar mass schedule

Weekdays – Morning:

  • 7am & 8am at the Holy Chapel
  • 9am Conventual Mass at the Holy Chape
  • 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm & 2pm at the Holy Chapel

Week days Afternoon and evening:

  • 4pm (only during winter) at the Holy Chapel
  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm at the Holy Chapel
  • 9pm. (only during Summer) at the Holy Chapel

The day before Sundays or Holidays

  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm at the Main Altar

Sundays & Holidays – Mornings:

  • 7am Infants Mass at the Holy Chapel
  • 8am & 9am at the Holy Chapel
  • 10am Conventual Mass at the Main Altar
  • 11am, 12noon, 1pm & 2pmat thel Main Altar

Sundays & Holidays Afternoon and evening:

  • 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm at the Main Altar

Origins of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Pilar

According to an ancient tradition, on the night of January 2nd in the year 40 AC “the Virgin Mary arrived in Mortal flesh to Zaragoza in order to comfort Apostle James, as he was preaching the gospel near river Ebro. She gave him a column as proof of her arrival.

The first chapel was erected leaning on this pillar, becoming the first Marian temple in the world.

After several consecutive constructions and refurbishes (first chapel, roman temple, gothic-mudejar temple, baroque construction), the building finally gets to the design that can be seen nowadays. It is a baroque conception, following the artistic model of Saint Peter in Rome.

La Basi­lica of Our Lady of the Pilar and the Holy Chapel

The large dimensions of the current baroque temple resemble the great byzantine constructions. This gives the basilica a great majesty and monumentality, making this masterpiece a jewel of the Aragonese baroque. The basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar is National Monument since 1904. It posses the title of Minor Basilica (there are only four major or papal basilicas and the four of them are in Rome) and the title of Cathedral. The exterior design was started by the master from Zaragoza Felipe Sanchez. The project was later taken by the architect of King Carlos II, Felipe Herrera el Mozo who designed the plan and built the main façade. At the end, it would be master Ventura Rodriguez who gave the basilica the look that it has today by reshaping the plan and adding towers and domes.

The interior, solemn and of great beauty, has very important pieces of art, such as the plateresque style altar piece of Damiant forment, the Main Choir (set composed by the organ, the ashlar and railing. It is one of the most beautiful ones in Spain), or the beautiful dome paintings of the genius painter Francisco de Goya. The Goya paintings that can be seen in the domes are a very valuable representation dedicated to the religious devotion. “La adoración del nombre de Dios” (The worship of God´s name) is a fresco of Italian influence and soft modeling. “Regina Martyrum” is however a innovating and imaginative painting, very expressive and one of the most important pieces of Goya. This fresco confirmed him as a great painter. Oddly, he got hard reviews right after finishing it.

Another place worth mentioning inside the basilica is the “Humilladero” (Kneeling point). Located behind the Holy Chapel, it is a hole that leaves a piece of column uncovered. The faithful kneel there to kiss it. This very same gesture was made by Pope John Paul II on October 10th 1984.
The Holy Chapel represents the heart of the sanctuary. It is a small temple inside the big temple, a sacred area that houses inside the most valued treasure: the image of Our Lady of the Pilar. The design belongs to Ventura Rodriguez, who through a baroque with Italian influence conception created an area where the Virgin is the center of the chapel. Inside the Holy Chapel, you can find the “Camarin” of the Virgin. Inside this “camarin” is the image of the Virgin over the Holy Column. The set is finish with great pictures of the painter Antonio Gonzalez.

Posted in Europe and Spain