(b. 1717, Ciempozuelos, d. 1785, Madrid)

General view

Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Zaragoza

The present spacious church in Baroque style was begun in 1681 by Charles II, King of Spain and completed in 1686. The early constructions were supervised by Felipe Sanchez and were later modified by Francisco Herrera the Younger. In 1750 Ventura Rodríguez undertook the difficult task of converting the pilgrimage church, since the earlier plans by other architects had not satisfied the demands of the municipality. The sacred pillar on which the Virgin appeared to the apostle James could not be modified and a solution also had to be found which accommodate the requirements of the many pilgrims to the site.

Rodríguez altered the space immediately surrounding the place of worship to the west of the central nave and designed a domed ellipsis with, in each of the four axes, an apse opened by Corinthian orders on three sides, and closing off the fourth western wall to serve as the altar wall.