Basilica del Pilar

Basilica del Pilar presents interior of the Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar in Recoleta, chapels, old altars and objects of art in the church’s museum in cloisters.

Page 2

 Altars and Chapels

Altar of the Virgen del Carmen
The central part of the altar holds the sculpture of the Mother of God in Carmelite vestments holding “El Niño” (Jesus). The figures are carved from wood then painted with a layer of gold and polychrome. The work dated to the 2nd half of 18th century is attributed to the Portuguese sculptor Pedro Carmona (similarly as other 5 altars in the church). Recently chapel received two wooden sculptures presenting St. Teresa (1996) and Mother Teresa from Calcutta (2005, canonized the same year).

Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures - Altar of the Virgen del Carmen


Basilica del Pilar: Altar of the Virgen del Carmen

The chapel also holds the bodily remains of Virreina Señora Rafaela de Vera Mujica – the only female viceroy of former Latino-American Spanish colonies. She was one of the most respected personalities of her times and deeply devoted to the Virgen del Carmen. The chapel was recently restored to its original shapes and colors by her descendants. On the left side (in front of the church) there is also a bust of Señora Rafaela.

Altar of Santa Ana y Virgen Niña
The altar holds the figure of St. Anne with a little girl – a symbol of innocency. She is holding the scroll with the inscription – “Love for God above all things”(Amar a Dios sobre todas las cosas).

Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures - Altar of Santa Ana y Virgen Niña
Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures - Altar of Santa Ana y Virgen Niña

Altar of Santa Ana y Virgen Niña

On her sides St. Anne is accompanied by her parents – Joachim and Anna. The 18th century altar is attributed to Pedro Carmona. The chapel holds also the sculptures of St. Matthew with an Angel (18th century Portugal) and St. John Evangelist (18th century Spain) – both carved in wood and finished with polychrome and gold.

Altar of Lord of Patience and Humility (Señor de la Paciencia y la Humildad)
The altar is a work of an unknown artist, most likely from 18th century Andalusia (Spain). It is richly decorated with leaves and flowers (in contrast to the other 5 altars in the church).

Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures - (Señor de la Paciencia y la Humildad)


Altar of Lord of Patience and Humility

The central sculpture presents Jesus Christ in thorny crown sitting on the rock and waiting for His crucifixion – as a symbol of patience and humility (hence the name of the chapel). Originally the altar was holding the sculpture of St. John the Baptist, but when it disappeared during tumultuous years of the past century (not miraculously at all), it was replaced by the current sculpture of the Lord (part of the original decoration of the church, previously hold in the present-day chapel of the Virgen de Lujan).

On the sides you will find the wooden statues of San Pasqual Bailón in Franciscan vestments (part of the original decoration of the church) and San José-Maria Escrivá (funder of the Opus Dei).

Altar of the Lonely Virgin (Virgen de la Soledad)

Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures - Altar of Lonely Virgin (Virgen de la Soledad)


The main figure in the altar presents the Mother of God – here in pain, lonely, depicting moments shortly after Jesus’ Crucifixion. The sculpture carved in wood is from 18th century Spain.

Altar of the Lonely Virgin (Virgen de la Soledad)

The upper part of the altar holds the symbol of the Holy Spirit flanked by Cherubim. On the sides there are wooden polychrome gilded figures of San Andrew (San Andrés) – 18th century Peru and Apostle James (Santiago el Menor) - 18th century Portugal.

Altar of the Sacred Heart (Sagrado Corazón)

Free Church Our Lady of the Pillar pictures -  Altar of the Sacred Heart (Sagrado Corazón)


Visibly this is the newest altar in the Basilica. Dated from the early 20th century it differentiates from all other altars by more contemporary style. It was made in Buenos Aires by local masters.

Altar of the Sacred Heart (Sagrado Corazón)

On the left side there is a sculpture of Santa Teresa, while on the right the one portraying Prophet Elias.


Altar of the Virgin of Lujan (Virgen de Luján)

Free Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Pilar pictures- Altar of the Virgin of Lujan (Virgen de Luján)


The altar representing 18th century Portuguese style (work of Pedro Carmona) initially was holding the Lord of Patience. Today it holds the figure of the Virgen de Luján (an exact copy of the original kept in the Sanctuary of Lujan).

Altar of the Virgin of Lujan (Virgen de Luján)

On the sides there are figures of two saints. On the right there is a wooden carving of San Benito de Palermo (18th century Peru), called also Black Saint (“El Santo Negro”). He is shown in a Franciscan garment holding a basket with El Niño. On the left there is a sculpture of Santa Lucia.

Altar de San Jose (St. Joseph).
The central sculpture was donated by the church of San Carlos from the Valley Calchaquíes, (work of Tomas Cabrera - Salta 1782). On both sides there are gilded sculptures carved from wood: San Pablo (St. Paul) – one of the oldest in the church, and San Luis de Tolosa (St. Louis) – bishop from Toulouse (France).

Chapel of the Relicts 
The chapel was offered to the Buenos Aires’ church of Our Lady of the Pillar by the Spanish king Carlos III in 18th century. It holds the urns with relics of Saints - Urban, Victor and John the Apostle.

In front there is a life-size sculpture of Jesus of the Garden of Olives (called also “Cristo Peregrino”). This vibrant sculpture of Jesus dressed in the red rove it is a work of Spanish artist from 19th century.

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

full size: 4.54MB 5.15MB

Chapel of the Relics 

Along the nave in the niches on the walls there are four life-size sculptures, correspondingly:

  • San Francisco Solano holding the cross (18th century Peru);
  • San Francisco de Paula – founder of the Order de “Los Minimos”;
  • San Roque with the dog (Buenos Aires);
  • San Antonio de Padua holding a child (18th century)

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

full size: 3.79MB 3.51MB 3.49MB 3.88MB

 Basilica del Pilar: Museum
In 1997 the church opened its cloisters holding several objects of art – paintings, carvings, furniture, silverware, books, vestments etc…

Among numerous objects of art from 14th to 20th century you will find the following on the pictures below:

  • Gregorian Chant – a beautifully ornamented manuscript of old Gregorian musical compositions,
  • 19th century French Clock;
  • Parts of the Altar’s ornamentation:
  • - A golden-painted wood from 18th century Spain). It shows the symbol of the Augustine Order (center) and the Royal Crown (upper part);
    - A golden-painted wood with polychrome representing the Eternal Father and His “creation” from 18th century, Spain;
    - Eternal Father keeping the “World” in His left hand and blessing us with His right one (from 18th century Peru)
  • St. John the Evangelist – oil on canvas from 18th century Spain
  • Carved wood Bench from 18th century Peru
  • Fragment of decoration from the choir. The skull and music symbolically represents the “fragility” and brevity of the “earthly phase” of the life. Such symbols were used to help spiritual growth and humility of monks (18th century Buenos Aires).

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

full size: 4.01MB 5.03MB 3.34MB

The museum of religious art in church's cloisters....

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

full size: 4.49MB 3.37MB 2.54MB

Museum - fragments of the ornamentation from altars

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

Church Our Lady of Pillar Pictures

full size: 3.86MB 4.22MB 4.12MB

These are only few examples of what is "hidden" in the old galleries of the church Nuestra Senora del Pilar (Recoleta)....

Please keep in mind that not everything can be shown of the pages of this site.

So if you have the chance to visit Buenos Aires, the church of Our Lady of the Pillar (together with the nearby cemetery) should be on your list of places to visit.

I know that your list is already long (well, Buenos Aires is definitely a great tourist’s destination).

If you came for a short stay, you may be forced to make “difficult decisions”. But that is why the Amazing World in Free Stock Pictures and Photos in its section dedicated to Argentina and particularly Buenos Aires gives you a chance to be ready to face this challenge and make wise decisions.

Please make virtual tours on our pages, so when you will land in the Capital Federal of Argentina, you will know what you want, where to go, what to see…..

Bonne chance! Buena suerte!




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Restart to visit by selecting --> Church of Our Lady of Pillar  (page 1)

If you are already here, then the Recoleta Cemetery is the place not to miss - please start the tour of this City of the Dead by selecting:

--> History of Recoleta Cemetery   (pages 1 through 4)

Not sure yet where to go and what to see in Argentina? You may find help selecting: 

--> Tourist Destinations in Argentina

--> Buenos Aires Walking Tours

--> Argentina Travel Tips



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