This whitewashed colonial church, built by Franciscans in 1732, sits alongside the city’s famous Recoleta Cemetery. Buenos Aires’ elite often stage weddings here, and tourists come to see the church’s six baroque altars, including one overlaid with Incan ornamentation and engraved silver from Peru.
Most travelers visit the basilica before or after a visit to the neighboring cemetery, where Argentine icon Evita Perón is interred. The historic cloisters within the church now house a small museum, where a collection of paintings, writings, artifacts, and religious vestments are displayed. There’s also an exhibit on the history and development of the Recoleta neighborhood. Guided tours of the church and museum are offered on select Sunday afternoons in both Spanish and English.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar is a must for spiritual travelers or anyone touring the neighboring cemetery.
- There is no admission fee to enter the church but the museum charges a small fee.
- The church is an active place of worship, so remember to dress respectfully.
- Plan to visit the church before or after a tour of the Recoleta Cemetery.
How to Get There
The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar is in Recoleta, overlooking Plaza Francia and next door to the Recoleta Cemetery. The nearest stations are Retiro and Callao, several blocks away.
When to Get There
The church is open daily throughout the year, with Mass held three times daily (more on Sunday). Come on weekends for the large arts and crafts fair staged in Plaza Francia in front of the cathedral.
Our Lady of the Pillar
Funds to build this baroque church were provided by a local immigrant, originally from Zaragoza, Spain. He made a sizable donation with the condition that the church be named after Our Lady of the Pillar, an apparition of the Virgin Mary that appeared to St. James the Greater on the banks of the Ebro River, near present-day Zaragoza.