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Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - stvincentferrer - 12-06-2009

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Lajas_Cathedral

Las Lajas Sanctuary (in Spanish Santuario de Las Lajas) is a basilica church located in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, municipality of Ipiales and built inside the canyon of the Guaitara River.

The cathedral is of Gothic revival architecture and was built from January 1, 1916 to August 20, 1949, with donations from local churchgoers, replacing an old nineteenth-century chapel. The name Laja comes from the name of a type of flat sedimentary rock similar to floor tiles found in the Andes Mountains. There was a claim that in one such stone, an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen[citation needed].

The story of the cathedral's creation is that in 1754 an Amerindian named Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. They found refuge between the gigantic Lajas, and to Maria Mueces's surprise, Rosa exclaimed "the mestiza is calling me..." and pointed to the lightning-illuminated painting over the laja. The oldest account was recorded in the accounts of Fray Juan de Santa Gertrudis's voyage through the southern region of the New Kingdom of Granada between 1756 and 1762.[citation needed]

In 1951 the Roman Catholic Church authorized the Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas virgin, and it declared the sanctuary a minor basilica in 1954.

[Image: las_lajas_cathedral.jpg]

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Church history from Viva Travel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tandra2008/2801776372/

One day in 1750 (more or less), María Mueses de Quiñónez was walking from Potosí to Ipiales. Upon her back she carried her young, deaf-mute daughter Rosa. They decided to rest at Pastarán cave on the banks of the Río Guáitra. When doña María awoke from a nap, she discovered her daughter had wandered off. Upon finding her, Rosa said, “Mamacita, the Mestiza called to me!” She pointed to an image of a woman holding a child and two men.

Thus begins the story of Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Lajas.A small adobe chapel was built to protect the image of the Virgin in the shallow cave, forming the “altar screen” of the temple. Over the centuries it expanded to the impressive neo-Gothic structure that now spans the Guáitra River. Many Colombians and Ecuadorians make the pilgrimage to this site, beseeching the Virgin Mary for her intercession. The cliff walls are covered with thousands of plaques thanking her for miracles. (The Vatican only recognizes one.)

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Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - Hohepa - 12-06-2009

A great example of the creative aptitude of  God inspired people.


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - Unum Sint - 12-06-2009

Perfect example of what Tradition can build.


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - RalphKramden - 12-06-2009

(12-06-2009, 08:58 PM)stvincentferrer Wrote: [Image: las_lajas_cathedral.jpg]
:o WOW! Why havn't I ever seen this before? That's got to be one of the cooleset things I've every seen, thanks for posting this!


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - stvincentferrer - 12-07-2009

(12-06-2009, 10:54 PM)RalphKramden Wrote:
(12-06-2009, 08:58 PM)stvincentferrer Wrote:
:o WOW! Why havn't I ever seen this before? That's got to be one of the cooleset things I've every seen, thanks for posting this!

I asked the same question. It may be in the top ten of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. Surprised it's not more well known.


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - Stephanos - 12-07-2009

Indeed, a truly awesome piece of art.  Too bad Christendom is so disintegrated that no really great cathedrals are built any more.

The coolest churches are ones like this that seem to defy the elements of nature by towering up so high (or deep).


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - Nic - 12-07-2009

Thank you very much for posting this.  What a truly beautiful cathedral, perhaps my favorite one as of yet.  The beauty of the landscape and just the way it was built over that river is simply breathtaking.  What a sight!


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - DJR - 12-07-2009

I've known about this church for many years.  Although the article calls it a cathedral, I don't believe it is a cathedral.  It's out in the middle of nowhere, at the site of the appearance of a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin in the wall of a cave.

It's a basilica, but I doubt it's the cathedral church of that particular diocese.


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - moneil - 12-07-2009

(12-07-2009, 08:42 PM)DJR Wrote: I've known about this church for many years.  Although the article calls it a cathedral, I don't believe it is a cathedral.  It's out in the middle of nowhere, at the site of the appearance of a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin in the wall of a cave.

It's a basilica, but I doubt it's the cathedral church of that particular diocese.

This is correct, it classified as a Minor Basilica and Shrine, not a cathedral: http://www.gcatholic.com/churches/data/basCO.htm (#10 on the list).  The cathedral of the Diocese of Ipiales is St. Peter, Martyr, pictured here. http://www.diocesisdeipiales.org/parroquias/photo65.htm

I had known of the Shrine of Las Lajas when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia (1973-1976), but unfortunately I never made the opportunity to go visit it.  If I ever have the opportunity to travel to Colombia again I certainly will.


Re: Beautiful Cathedral - Las Lajas Cathedral - nsper7 - 12-07-2009

Wow. Beautiful and amazing.