Located just shy of 50 miles (75 kilometers) outside of Buenos Aires, the town of Lujan is famous for its Neogothic cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Lujan, the patron saint of Argentina. The twin towers of the basilica stand 348 feet (106 meters) tall above the otherwise flat area, a landmark that can be spotted from significant distances in any direction.
According to local legend, a friend of a Portuguese landowner in the modern day province of Santiago del Estero was transporting two statues of the Virgin Mary along a commercial route in 1630. As his horses approached the banks of the Rio Lujan, they stopped and refused to move until one of the statues was removed and left at the site. That site is now the town of Lujan.
Each October, Argentine Catholics make a pilgrimage on foot to the Lujan Basilica, as it’s considered the most important Catholic Church in the country. A statue of the Virgin Mary still sits behind the main alter. The building itself, built between 1887 and 1935 from a rose-colored stone, is particularly stunning at sunset.
Don’t leave without visiting the basilica crypt, where Virgin Mary statues from around the world are displayed.