If you’re looking for a spiritual journey, look no further than Spain. This beautiful country is home to some of the most popular Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world.
From Santiago de Compostela to Montserrat, to Cordoba, Spain is filled with incredible places to explore, experience, and reflect.
Whether you’re a devout Catholic or just a curious traveler, these pilgrimage sites are definitely worth a visit. So, pack your bags and get ready for a journey of faith, culture, and history.
What Are The Most Popular Catholic Pilgrimage Sites in Spain?
Discover the spiritual beauty and history of Spain on a pilgrimage to its most popular Catholic sites and let your journey bring you closer to your faith:
1. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is one of the most popular Spain pilgrimage sites (if not the most popular catholic pilgrimage in Spain) and is host to millions of pilgrims from around the world each year.
This beautiful cathedral is located in Galicia and is the final destination of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. It is an iconic symbol of the Catholic faith and is said to contain the tomb of St. James the Apostle.
The cathedral is home to many spectacular works of art, including the renowned Portico de la Gloria, and its ancient stone walls are filled with stories and tales of faith.
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2. Valencia Cathedral in Valencia
Valencia Cathedral (Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia) is a stunning example of Spanish Gothic architecture and one of the most popular Catholic pilgrimage sites in Spain. Located in the city of Valencia, the cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is home to many works of religious art.
It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and home to the Holy Chalice which is believed to be the Holy Grail that Jesus used during the Last Supper with His disciples.
3. Burgos Cathedral in Burgos
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos, commonly known as Burgos Cathedral, is an iconic symbol of faith and a powerful reminder of the Catholic faith located in Burgos, Spain.
Built in the 12th century, the cathedral is an awe-inspiring example of Gothic architecture and is home to many works of religious art. Inside the cathedral, visitors can marvel at the intricate stone carvings, the magnificent stained-glass windows, and the grand altar.
The Cathedral was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in October 1984.
We were able to visit this beautiful cathedral when I was still pregnant with our firstborn, but I want to visit once again, so, I can pay more attention to the details and read more about its history before going back.
4. Oviedo Cathedral in Asturias
The Cathedral of Oviedo (also known as Cathedral of San Salvador) in Asturias, Spain is a pilgrimage site for Catholics all over Spain, it is home to one of Catholicism’s most treasured relics – The Holy Shroud Of Oviedo, also known as Sudarium Of Oviedo. This sacred cloth has been acknowledged by numerous religious authorities and pilgrims alike as the cloth used to cover the head of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
The cathedral is also one of the main stopovers for pilgrims who are doing the famous Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). There’s a saying that goes:
“Who goes to Santiago but not to Salvador, visits the servant but not the Lord.”
If you are planning on doing the Camino de Santiago in the near or distant future, you should be aware that skipping the Cathedral of Oviedo is not advisable.
5. Seville Cathedral in Seville
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, commonly known as The Seville Cathedral, is one of the most popular catholic sites in Spain and is famous for its impressive architecture and rich history. This magnificent cathedral was built in the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and is home to several beautiful works of art, including the renowned Giralda bell tower and the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
6. Torreciudad Sanctuary in Huesca
The Sanctuary of Torreciudad is a Marian site built by Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, and also known as the Shrine for families.
The site is also home to a museum that houses works of art, artifacts, and documents related to the life and teachings of Saint Josemaria Escriva.
My family always does a quick visit to the Sanctuary of Torreciudad everytime we go to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. We were blessed to be able to dedicate JP and J (separate visits) to Our Lady of Torreciudad during our visits. We got certificates that I kept until now.
Definitely ask one of the priests or personnel for assistance if you want to dedicate your kid/s during your visit. We didn’t know about this on our first visit, but a priest approached us and explained the tradition of families coming to dedicate their child/children to Our Lady of Torreciudad.
So, we decided to do it for JP., and the next time we visited, we asked a priest if we could do the same for J, and he assisted us. We were even featured on their official site about the dedication of J to Our Lady of Torreciudad.
7. Avila Cathedral in Avila
Avila Cathedral (Cathedral of the Saviour) is an awe-inspiring example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture located in the city of Avila, Spain. Built in the 12th century, the cathedral is a powerful symbol of faith and devotion and is one of the most popular Catholic pilgrimage sites in Spain.
It is home to many works of religious art, including a magnificent altar and stunning stained-glass windows. The cathedral is a must-see for anyone visiting Avila.
8. Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona is one of the most iconic religious sites in Spain, as well as in Europe. This stunning basilica was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi and is a masterpiece of modernist architecture.
It is a symbol of the Catholic faith and is a popular destination for both pilgrims and tourists alike. The basilica is still under construction and is expected to be completed in 2026.
We were so blessed to have one of our prenup shots in 2016 with Sagrada Familia as the backdrop.
9. Segovia Cathedral in Segovia
The Cathedral of Segovia is an iconic Catholic church located in the city of Segovia, Spain. Built in the 16th century, the cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture in Spain.
The cathedral is home to many works of religious art, including a magnificent altar, gorgeous stained-glass windows, and beautiful stone carvings. The cathedral is a popular destination for religious pilgrims and tourists alike and is a must-see when visiting Segovia.
I was able to visit the Cathedral when I was still working as a househelp in 2009 or 2010. My employers brought me on their vacation in Madrid and one of the side trips was visiting Segovia. But unfortunately, I lost all the photos I had from the trip when my laptop was broken. 🙁
10. Sanctuary of Covadonga in Asturias
The Sanctuary of Covadonga is a sacred place of pilgrimage in Asturias, Spain. The Santa Cueva is where the Virgin of Covadonga can be found.
The sanctuary is also home to the beautiful Basilica of Covadonga which was completed in 1901.
11. Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Guadalupe in Caceres
The Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic monastery located in Caceres, Spain, and has been considered one of the most important monasteries in Spain for more than four centuries.
The monastery is a stunning example of religious architecture and also has a museum and library, which houses a vast collection of books and artifacts related to the history of the monastery.
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
12. Santa Maria de Montserrat Monastery in Catalonia
Santa Maria de Montserrat Monastery is a Benedictine monastery located in Catalonia, Spain. The abbey is a popular site of pilgrimage and devotion and has been visited by millions of Catholic faithful over the centuries.
It is home to a beautiful basilica and some other religious structures, such as a chapel, a library, and a museum.
Inside, visitors can admire the exquisite architecture and stunning works of art, including a magnificent statue of the Virgin of Monserrat. And outside, everyone can be in awe of the amazing rock formations!
13. Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba in Cordoba
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, also known as the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, is the cathedral of the Diocese of Cordoba in Andalusia.
It’s also known as the Great Mosque of Cordoba or Mezquita because it was originally built as an Islamic mosque in 785 when Cordoba was considered a Muslim capital. It was then converted into a cathedral in 1236 when Cordoba was captured by the Christian forces during the Reconquista.
14. Monastery of El Escorial in Madrid
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, commonly known as Monastery of El Escorial, is an awe-inspiring example of Renaissance architecture (the biggest in the world) located in Madrid, Spain.
The monastery was built in the 15th century, commissioned by King Philip II, and designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo.
It is home to a magnificent basilica, a royal palace, and a library, where visitors can admire exquisite works of art and architecture. It was also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in November 1984.
15. Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza
The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain is said to be the very first church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to ancient tradition, The Apostle James was preaching to what is now Spain and was discouraged because of the failure of his mission. But the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him as he was praying and instructed him to build a church in her honor. The apparition is also considered the first Marian apparition in history.
The Cathedral-Basilica is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, built in the 16th century. It is one of the most important Marian shrines in Spain and is a popular destination for pilgrims from all over the world.
The main attraction of the cathedral is an image of the Virgin Mary which is believed to have miraculous powers and is said to be the source of countless miracles. Every year, the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar is celebrated in the cathedral with much pomp and religious fervor.
I’m blessed to have visited the Basilica-Cathedral several times already. Once when I was still single, and twice or thrice after I got married. We always make a stopover everytime my husband has to go to Asturias for work. We want to bring my mom here in the future (when she’ll finally be granted a visa to visit us) because Our Lady of the Pillar is the patroness of our hometown Pilar, Bohol in the Philippines.
Most Popular Catholic Pilgrimage Sites in Spain FAQs
What is the biggest Catholic Church in Spain?
The biggest Catholic Church in Spain is the Sagrada Familia Basilica and it’s also considered the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world.
Is Spain Catholic or Protestant?
The majority of the Spanish people have been Catholic since the very beginning, though more and more are no longer practicing Catholics.
Final Thoughts: Most Popular Catholic Pilgrimage Sites in Spain
The most popular Spain pilgrimage sites are a testament to the country’s deep-rooted religious history and culture.
From the majestic Santiago de Compostela to the awe-inspiring Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, these places of worship are not only beautiful and inspiring but also serve as a reminder of the power of faith and the importance of spirituality in our lives.
Are you planning Catholic pilgrimages to Spain very soon? Which Catholic sites in Spain would you be visiting? Or have you been to any of the Catholic holy sites in Spain listed above? Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts in the comment section below!
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