The Marian Route represents one of the most attractive cultural destinations in Spain. It is part of the itineraries in Pilgrimage Tourism, besides being the leading Route in Religious Tourism. This circuit has 5 of the most important and recognized Marian sanctuaries in Europe and America, which annually receive 12 million people. Aragon has two of them: the Sanctuary of El Pilar in Zaragoza and the Sanctuary of Torreciudad in Huesca.
The Marian Route is defined as “an itinerary of cultural and religious interest that unites the Sanctuaries of Pilar, Torreciudad, Meritxell, Lourdes and Montserrat, an itinerary of faith guided by the spirituality and Marian devotion, possessing a great tourist, patrimonial, rural, gastronomic and natural wealth”.
Geographically, it runs through the communities of Aragon and Catalonia (Spain), the regions of Aquitaine and Midi Pyrenées (France) and the Principality of Andorra. The geographical location of Zaragoza makes it a privileged enclave and the epicenter of this itinerary, being 300 kilometers away from the main cities of Spain.
We help you to discover the Marian route in Aragon:
Sanctuary of El Pilar in Zaragoza
The first Marian sanctuary in the world, located in the center of the city, is a jewel of the Aragonese Baroque. Inside it keeps works and artistic elements of great value, including paintings by Goya, the Plateresque altarpiece or the spectacular Santa Capilla, which houses the venerated image of the Virgin of Pilar.
Cathedral of La Seo
Next to the Basilica del Pilar, is the other most important cathedral of the Aragonese capital. The Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza, known as La Seo, was recognized as the most beautiful cathedral in Spain. It is also part of the World Heritage declaration that UNESCO granted to the Mudejar of Aragon in 2001. In 2021 it has been chosen as the most beautiful cathedral in Spain by Lonely Planet’s Instagram followers.
Alma Mater Museum
Located in the Plaza de La Seo, the Alma Máter Museum shows the history of the Archdiocese of Zaragoza, whose origins date back to the first century (A.D.). The artistic value of this exhibition lies mainly in the building itself, as the former Archbishop’s Palace has been the residence of the kings of Aragon, so much of the history of our Community has been developed within its walls. On the other hand, the works that it houses in its interior of permanent collection of sacred art, as well as the activities that they organize, make it an essential cultural and patrimonial stop if you visit Zaragoza.
Currently the seat of the Aragonese Parliament, the Aljafería Palace (11th century) served as a recreational palace for the Muslim kings who ruled during the Taifa of Sarakusta. Also declared a World Heritage Site, the Mudejar art of Aragon, along with the Alhambra in Granada and the Mosque of Cordoba, is considered one of the pinnacles of Hispano-Muslim art.
In addition to being the northernmost Muslim palace in Europe, it has housed three palaces: the Taifal Palace of Al-Muqtadir, the Palace of Pedro IV and the Palace of the Catholic Monarchs. Among its various functions throughout history, from Islamic alcazar Hudí, through Mudejar medieval palace to prison during the Inquisition or military barracks.
Holy Week in Zaragoza
Spring begins and with it the Holy Week. This festival in Zaragoza has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco with more than 700 years of history. In the capital alone, a total of 16,000 brotherhoods belonging to 25 different brotherhoods congregate.
Sanctuary of Torreciudad
Close to the city of Barbastro, it is nowadays one of the most visited places in the Aragonese territory. Its privileged location at the top of the mountain makes it have a unique and wonderful natural environment, with great panoramic views over the Grado reservoir. Belonging to the Aragonese Ribagorza and very close to the regions of Somontano and Sobrarbe, this modern sanctuary is a meeting place and pilgrimage for thousands of groups and families.
Cathedral of Jaca
Considered one of the most important early Spanish Romanesque temples, this cathedral was built in the late 11th century and is closely linked to the kingdom of Aragon. In addition, the granting of privileges by King Sancho Ramírez allowed it to grow and develop as a commercial epicenter on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.
San Juan de la Peña Monastery
A mandatory stop if you visit Jaca is the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña. Half an hour from the city, nestled on the northern slope of the same name, it is considered the cradle of the Kingdom of Aragon, as well as a site frequented by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Source of mysteries and legends, this magical place will fascinate you with its combination of history, nature and culture.
Seated on a limestone promontory, is the Romanesque fortress of the eleventh century. Considered the best preserved Romanesque castle in the world, it is one of the gateways to the Pyrenees. Scenery of many feature films, the photography offered by this fortress is perfect for setting period films. This was the case of The Kingdom of Heaven, where actors such as Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson and Eva Green filmed it.
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park
Located in the central Pyrenees of Huesca in the Sobrarbe region and declared National Heritage by UNESCO, the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park is the set of four valleys: Ordesa, Añisclo, Escuaín and Pineta. The National Park is also doubly protected, as it is included in the UNESCO World Geopark of Sobrarbe-Pyrenees.
A Pyrenean jewel that treasures several three-thousanders such as Monte Perdido (3 355m) or Marboré. Besides standing out for its rich landscape, this natural site has a varied ecosystem composed of waterfalls, waterfalls of great beauty such as the Cola de Caballo or the Gradas de Soaso, and surrounding villages full of charm as Torla, Tella, Broto or Bielsa.