Local traditions take the history of this basilica to the dawn of Christianity in Spain attributing to an apparition to Saint James the Great, the apostle who had brought Christianity to the country. This is the only known apparition of Mary to have occurred before her Assumption.
Many of the kings of Spain, many other foreign rulers and saints have paid their devotion before this statue of Mary. Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade are among the most outstanding ones. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is one of two minor basilicas in the city of Zaragoza, and is co-cathedral of the city alongside the nearby La Seo Cathedral. The architecture is of Baroque style, and the present building was predominantly built between 1681 and 1872