LAS FIESTAS DEL PILAR
TO ENJOY ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PARTIES OF SPAIN:
LAS FIESTAS DEL PILAR!!
It’s a big party on the streets, with thousends of visitors, activities all day long, music on the streets, and we can drink and dance until late in the night before coming back to Valencia.
But My ErasmusValencia will do much more than taking you to the party, we will also show you the city, you will know all its nice corners and know all its history (it was a very important city since Roman times)
We will take a coach from Valencia and visit the most important and symbolic places with a local guide who will tell us the secrets of the city and its monuments. We will also have some time to wander around the streets, try the delicious cuisine (you have to try the lamb or the chicken!) and to buy some souvenirs.
The history of Zaragoza dates back over 2,000 years and still has many traces of the past. Inhabited since the bronze age, it has Iberian origins dating from the third century and throughout the centuries it has been home to Romans, Muslims, and almost all civilisations that have occupied the Iberian Peninsula.
It was the capital during the Aragon reign (which upon joining the Kingdom of Castille gave rise to the current Spain) and the headquarters where they crowned all of the kings of Aragón for hundreds of years.
Today Zaragoza is the fifth most populated city in Spain and it joins modernity, tradition and history with elegance and pride. It is situated along the river Ebro, the largest river in Spain whos beauty reflects the beauty of the two cathedrals (the Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza, and the Seo o Catedral del Salvador de Zaragoza) and the city. It’s group of Moorish monuments consists of the Patrimonio de la Humanidad, the impressive basilica of Pilar home to one of our most famous and well known painters: Goya and the Plaza de la Hispanidad is a place immortalized through pictures. It will be a very special day!
A professional guide will give us a complete tour of the city, will tell us all of its history and will show us the main monuments.
You will be impressed by the Basílica del Pilar nestled in the gigantic and wonderul square with the same name. It’s enormous and elegant but at the same time light and delicate. Its eleven domes and four bell towers make it seem even larger. It’s Baroque style and the Marian shrine (dedicated to the virgin Mary) is the oldest in Spain and possibly in the world. Inside you can see paintings from none other than Goya, as many from his early days as his more mature work. The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Pilar, who is the patron of Spain. In fact, the 12th October is the día de la Hispanidad (Columbus day in America) and we dedicate this same day to the Virgin of Pilar. Make a note of this day in your diary because there are celebrations throughout Spain and no classes! The tradition is that the Virgin (when she was still alive) was presented to the apostle James who was preaching in these lands. The Virgin, next to a column (a pillar) asked him to build a church in the same place.
The first dates of this church are from the fourth century. Today it is home to this pillar and near it you will find a statue of the Virgin and which is shockingly only 38cm! It’s cloak covers almost the whole pillar. It’s tradition in Spain for parents to bring their children to Zaragoza, to the basilica, to walk below the cape of the Virgin to protect them. This basilica is a symbol of Spain. Almost all Spanish people have been the children that visit Zaragoza and walk under the cloak of the Virgin. And it’s free entry! Although you will see many tourists taking photos with their phones, you’re technically not allowed to photograph the inside of the basilica, which supposedly protects the Goya paintings from the damage of camera flashes. In times of mass, the basilica asks for respect for worship and silence.