Zaragoza's Plaza del Pilar

Want to spend a few days in a warm, authentic place while avoiding the crowds of tourists? Off to Zaragoza! ​

Today we're going to take a look at its central square, the Plaza del Pilar, where you can spend a good part of the day and evening feeling so at home. ​

The first thing to do to treat yourself to a few days of relaxation and exoticism is to go to our website to book your seats on one of our Renfe high-speed trains, which will take you to the Aragonese capital in just a few hours! 

Plaza del Pilar

A bit of history… ​

The Plaza del Pilar has almost always existed. Although before the 13th century it was used as a cemetery by the people of Zaragoza, in the 16th century it was the focal point of Aragon, where the people gathered to celebrate the various popular and often secular festivals of the time, until 1647, when the Church only allowed the procession of Santa Ana.

The square had to be renovated and enlarged in 1717, and its Baroque architectural features date from this period.

Its current appearance, however, is the result of the reconstruction carried out after the civil war, which damaged the entire town.Its current appearance, however, is the result of the reconstruction carried out after the civil war, which damaged the entire town.

What the Plaza del Pilar looks like today

The Plaza del Pilar is now a large rectangular space illuminated by metal towers that stand out like a modern element in the middle of this historic square, but whose primary function is to illuminate the square and make it stand out at dusk. 

Sights to see in the square?

  • Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar It is the largest Baroque temple in Spain. This is obviously the origin of the square's name. The Basilica is considered to be the first Christian place of worship dedicated to Mary, who is said to have appeared to the apostle James here. 
  • Cathedral of the Saviour of Zaragoza. Right next to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar is the Cathedral of the Saviour of Zaragoza, known as La Seo, or "the archiepiscopal see" in Aragonese. Its distinctive feature is its tower, elements of which bear witness to the presence of the minaret of the Great Mosque of Saraqusta. The cathedral has been transformed and blends several styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque... a cultural jewel! 
  • La Lonja. Built in the Renaissance style between 1541 and 1551, it is now the City Hall's exhibition room.
  • In the square, you will certainly admire many things, including the façade of the City Hall, the Goya Monument and the Fountain of Hispanidad.

Travel to Zaragoza by train

Can't wait to hop on a train to Zaragoza? Now you can do just that on AVE France, our international high-speed trains between France and Spain. The most comfortable, fastest and sustainable way to travel is by train! You can also take advantage of our discounts and get the best price. 

Did you like our suggestions? Well, there is a lot more where that came from! Discover more original tips about what to do in Zaragoza with Renfe.