Plaza del Pilar
Plaza del Pilar, one of the largest pedestrian plazas in Spain, is surrounded by pretty cafés and historic buildings. Make this an excellent starting point for exploring Zaragoza’s attractions. The square frequently buzzes with performances, festivals and other lively events.
Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, on the north side, gives the square its name. This towering Baroque church dates back to 1681, although it was heavily renovated in the 18th century. Inside, find two stunning frescoes by Francisco Goya, as well as a small statue of the Virgen del Pilar, which attracts thousands of pilgrims each year. Take the elevator that runs to the top of one of the towers to see beautiful views over the city.
Look for Ayuntamiento (City Hall) near the basilica. The original Renaissance building was damaged during the Spanish Civil War, with the reconstruction you see today completed in the mid-20th century. Notice the sculptures on either side of the main entrance, representing San Valero and the Angel Custodio (Guardian Angel) of the city. These were designed by abstract sculptor Pablo Serrano.
Head to the opposite side of the square to see La Seo Cathedral, constructed between 1380 and 1550. An attractive blend of Gothic, Baroque and Mudéjar architectural styles, the cathedral was originally designed as a mosque. Look at the exceptional French and Flemish tapestries in the cathedral’s adjacent museum.
Watch for Fuente de la Hispanidad, a fountain set at the west end of the square. Erected in 1991, the fountain is designed to represent a map of Latin America. Look for a waterfall, which symbolizes the northern part of South America, as well as a hole in the upper left section said to represent the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America.
Plaza del Pilar is located near the River Ebro. Visit during the Fiesta de la Virgen del Pilar, which takes place in mid-October each year. This lively 9-day festival features street concerts, processions and folk dancing, with the Plaza del Pilar as its focal point.