WIT Press

A Comprehensive Structural Study Of The Basilica Of Pilar In Zaragoza (Spain)


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WIT Press


L. E. Romera, S. Hernández & J. M. Reinosa


The Basilica of Pilar, located in the city of Zaragoza, is one of the best known Spanish cathedrals. Several domes of this church contain frescoes authored by Francisco de Goya, and some of them have suffered damage in the past decades due to various pathologies, in particular the frescoes of dome Regina Martirum are being restored at the present time. A set of structural models was developed and validated with the aim of simulating the current structural state, their security level and the relationship between the structural behaviour and the damage observed. The numerical models have been formulated applying the FEM in linear and non-linear theory, considering the constructive process and the reinforcement works added to the structure along with their history. 1 The building and their history The Basilica of Pilar is one of the most important worship places in Spain. The actual temple is a large and complex brick masonry construction, with rectangular plan and measures about 100 m. long and 70 m. wide. Their construction was long in the time and difficult [1]. In the current site, more than a thousand years ago, a small Visighotic chapel had been built; later on became a Romanesque church with cloister that will suffer posteriorly a Gothic enlargement. Nevertheless, all the aforementioned constructions were of small size compared with the huge extension which took place in XVII century when the project of a baroque church was set up by the Spanish architect Ventura Rodríguez. The central dome rises by the middle of XIX century, and the towers of Ebro river facade are erected in 1940. Figure 1 presents a sketch describing the position of each building along the history, and Figure 2 shows plans and several views of the actual temple.