History of the Basilica of the Virgin of Pilar

The Basilica del Pilar is one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the Catholic world, which is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.

It is also an artistic center that brings together works of great value and different ages, especially frescoes painted by Goya.

The construction of the current Basilica del Pilar is intimately linked to the increase of Marian devotion throughout the seventeenth century. The former Gothic-Mudejar building was small compared to the growing number of faithful and it was necessary to build a new grandiose and monumental temple, more in accordance with the new triumphant spirit of the Church of the Counter-Reformation and with the newly acquired category of concathedral.

The current physiognomy of the Basilica del Pilar is the result of a long process of construction that begins with the project of Felipe Sánchez, native from Zaragoza, later revised by Herrera el Mozo, architect of King Carlos II. The intervention of the royal architect
Ventura Rodríguez from 1750 onwards was decisive: He renewed the interior decoration according to the new classicist currents of the time and designed the Santa Capilla and the Coreto, and remodeled the exterior layout with domes added to the central one – thought to be the only one at the time – and towers that would not be finished until the middle of our century.

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