Fortaleza del Pilar (Spanish: Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza) is a 17th century military defence fortress built by the Spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City on Mindanao Island in the Philippines. In defense against pirates and raiders of the sultans of Mindanao and Jolo and upon the requests of the Jesuit missionaries and Bishop Fray Pedro of Cebu, the Spanish governor Juan Cerezo Salamanca approved the building of a stone fort in the year 1635. The fort was originally called "Real Fuerza de San José".
Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the Spanish period, the Fort Pilar serves as a present day open-air shrine. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the fort is named after and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It image is embossed at the altar (which was then an entrance of the fort). Fort Pilar also houses a National Museum branch inside the fort. One can appreciate the glorious past of Zamboanga as a Spanish City in the Orient Skies here in the museum. It also has record of inhabitants and antique items of the early time. It also exhibits paintings, natural marine life and cultural memorabilia.
Fort Pilar is now an outdoor Roman Catholic Marian shrine and a museum. It is the major landmark of Zamboanga City and a symbol of the city's cultural heritage
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