Zaragoza, Spain

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza by night. Photo Creative Commons License Paulo Brandão.

Zaragoza (also spelled Saragossa) is a historic city in northeastern Spain, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. It has been populated since Roman times, when it was known as Caesar Augusta. Today it has a population of over 750,000, including many students. Zaragoza is a popular pilgrimage destination thanks to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, said to have been founded by St. James the Apostle in 40 AD at the request of the Virgin Mary herself.

El Pilar Basilica
Better known simply as El Pilar, this is one of two major cathedrals in the heart of Zaragoza. It is an important pilgrimage site, thanks to an ancient pillar said to have been given by the Virgin Mary to Saint James on this very spot.