La Laguna Cathedral

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Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna
Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Spanish)
Location San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife
Country Spain
Denomination Roman Catholic
Architecture
Style Neoclassical, Neogothic, Renaissance
Groundbreaking 1904
Completed 1915

The Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna or Catedral de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Santa Iglesia Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Laguna in Spanish) is a Catholic cathedral in Tenerife, Spain. Begun in 1904 and completed in 1915, it is dedicated to the Virgin of Los Remedios (patron of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna). This is one of the most important churches of the Canary Islands.[1]

The Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna is located in the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain). In the cathedral lie the remains of Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, conqueror of the island and founder of the city. The cathedral is located in the historic center of the city of La Laguna and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO. The cathedral contains elements of several architectural styles: Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic and Renaissance. The most representative elements of the Cathedral of La Laguna are its Neoclassical facade, which is inspired by the Cathedral of Pamplona, and the dome, which stands out prominently in the city landscape.

History[edit]

Primitive temples[edit]

In 1511 a hermitage was built on the site of the current building (Plaza de Fray Albino). There are indications that there was a Guanche necropolis. This primitive chapel was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her Expectation Childbirth whose feast is celebrated every December 18.[2]

The chapel was replaced in 1515 with a major construction dedicated to the Virgin of Los Remedios in the Mudejar style, to which a tower was added in 1618. It was on April 21, 1515, when the site rose to the level of parish with the name "Santa Maria de los Remedios".[3] The feast day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8.

That same year, the Portuguese mason Miguel Alonso built the main chapel, the main arch, the altar, the stands, the tabernacle, the door of the sacristy and start bows church body, all of stone, with expression measures of length, breadth and height that the new building should have, and the point where it was connected to the old chapel.

On April 7, 1534, Saint José de Anchieta was baptized in the church. He was born in the city of La Laguna, became a missionary and later became the founder of the city of Sao Paulo and one of the founders of Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil.[4]

In 1752 a new cruise was made and the main chapel vestries widened and spacious dressing rooms for the image of the patron saint, the Virgen de los Remedios. Don Domingo de la Guerra, who directed the play and was later Marqués de San Andrés, extended both staking the main chapel, because he was hoping that one day the temple would become the Cathedral of Tenerife.[5]

Cathedral[edit]

Interior of the cathedral

Since 1515, when the old chapel was converted into a parish, there were attempts to have it be designated a cathedral, collegiate or auxiliary cathedral dependent on the Cathedral of Santa Ana of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with some of the members of the Canary Cathedral Chapter residing in the Church of Los Remedios. These initial applications were not successful.[6]

In 1783, at the height of the Enlightenment, and the city of La Laguna was the center of this movement in the Canary Islands, a request was made for designation as a diocese to be located in the Church of Los Remedios[7] but the request was received with great suspicion by members of the Cathedral Chapter and the Bishop of Gran Canaria and the establishment of an ecclesiastical institution on this island was again rejected.[8]

Finally, on February 1, 1818, a papal bull approved the division of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Canarias in two dioceses.[9] The temple became a cathedral in 1819 by bull of Pope Pius VII, when the new diocese of La Laguna was created.[10]

At the time the building was constructed and dedicated as a cathedral, the capital of the island was the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna; this is the reason that the cathedral was built there and not in the current capital of the island (Santa Cruz de Tenerife). The diocesan headquarters still remains in San Cristóbal de La Laguna. On October 5, 1983, the Cathedral of La Laguna was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in Spain.

The cathedral is also a parish and a Marian shrine, as the Virgin of Los Remedios is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. There is some expectation that this church will be declared a minor basilica by the Holy See in the near future.

Restoration 2002 - 2014[edit]

The cathedral was closed to worship in 2002 to perform a meticulous restoration, agreeing to reopen a few years later. However, due to bureaucratic disagreements, the cathedral remained closed for more than a decade. During the pre-restoration study it had been discovered that the main dome and vaults were so damaged that the only plausible solution was the demolition of these elements and their subsequent reconstruction. The new vaults and domes were built with a new material, polypropylene fibers, making the cathedral the first in the world to use this material. Finally, the doors were reopened on January 25, 2014, to be reopened to worship on January 31 of that year.

To mark the centenary and the reopening of the cathedral, was held a Jubilee Year[11] from the April 27, 2014, until April 12, 2015, both dates coincide with the Divine Mercy Sunday. That Jubilee was decreed by a special mandate of Pope Francis, with the chance of winning the faithful a plenary indulgence.[12]

During the remodeling, to which the Cathedral Square was also subjected in 2014, archaeological remains were discovered underground. Some rubble appeared that it has been presumed might belong to the ancient Church of Los Remedios or to structures from the first European settlement in the city.[13]

Architecture[edit]

Dome of the cathedral

The Neoclassical front dates back to 1820; the current structure of the cathedral was constructed between 1904 and 1915 and is of Neo-Gothic style. The cathedral has three wide aisles and an ambulatory (unique in the Canary Islands) that surrounds the chancel, or altar. These elements give the interior of the cathedral a typical medieval European feel in contrast to the colonial style of the exterior.

The cathedral's large dome is topped by a large concrete cross. It is 41.5 m (136 ft) in height, which makes it the highest point in the historic town. The vaults are topped by small lanterns that let in natural light. The dome are covered with copper plates, imitating the cathedrals of central and northern Europe.

Artworks[edit]

Inside there is a pulpit of Carraran Italian marble carved by Pasquale Bocciardo, which departs from the set of Mazuelos's Altarpiece. In addition, there are valuable works by Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana, Luján Perez and Fernando Estévez.

Also inside the cathedral is the image of Christ of Los Remedios, which is considered the twin of Cristo de La Laguna. This image is located on the marble tabernacle of the main altar. The image dates from the sixteenth century and is anonymous. The temple also houses a large canvas with the theme The Souls of Purgatory by the painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana, and a painting of the Last Supper, the work of Juan de Miranda.

The Altarpiece of the Virgen de los Remedios is in a chapel in the transept of the cathedral and is the largest altarpiece in the Canary Islands. A great Baroque altarpiece from the first half of the eighteenth century, it has a splendid set of seven panels attributed to Hendrick Van Balen. The image of the Virgen de los Remedios is located in the central niche and is adorned in rich robes and dresses. It is located in a spectacular canopy over a silver throne, with a sunburst of the same framing material and a golden crescent moon at her feet.

The cathedral has nine chapels, each containing an altar and religious images. Inside the cathedral the relics of the martyrs are preserved: San Aurelio de Córdoba, San Faustino, San Venusto and San Amado Nusco, plus a piece of the mantle of San Fernando and a bone of James the Less. But the most important relics of the cathedral are the two saints of the Canary Islands, Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur and José de Anchieta.

Chapter house and Icons museum[edit]

The Chapter house is home to the Cathedral Chapter, ie, the Chapter of Canons, which constitute the corporation of priests responsible for meeting the cult of the Cathedral and its religious and cultural activities. The building is a popular Canarian house of the eighteenth century, attached to the building of the cathedral.

It houses the Icons museum, which contains the largest collection of Byzantine icons of Spain,[14] with 160 original pieces that mostly are about 300 years old. These artworks are owned by the Diocese of Tenerife and come mainly from countries like Russia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy and Greece.[15] These pieces came to Tenerife through private donations to the bishopric and through merchants who arrived in the Canary Islands.

The La Laguna Cathedral is one of the few Catholic cathedrals in the world with a museum dedicated to Orthodox art.[16]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Historia de la Diócesis Nivariense – in Spanish
  2. ^ Datos historicos del templo catedral de Tenerife
  3. ^ Datos historicos del templo catedral de Tenerife
  4. ^ La Catedral custodia una reliquia de Anchieta
  5. ^ Datos historicos del templo catedral de Tenerife
  6. ^ Programa de la Semana Santa de La Laguna 2014
  7. ^ Programa de la Semana Santa de La Laguna 2014
  8. ^ La Diócesis de San Cristóbal de La Laguna en los inicios del siglo XIX: el Obispo Folgueras Sión, el Cabildo Catedral y la jurisdicción eclesiástica
  9. ^ La Diócesis de San Cristóbal de La Laguna en los inicios del siglo XIX: el Obispo Folgueras Sión, el Cabildo Catedral y la jurisdicción eclesiástica
  10. ^ La Diócesis de San Cristóbal de La Laguna en los inicios del siglo XIX: el Obispo Folgueras Sión, el Cabildo Catedral y la jurisdicción eclesiástica
  11. ^ Año jubilar con ocasión del Centenario de la Catedral de la Laguna y su reapertura al culto
  12. ^ Año jubilar con ocasión del Centenario de la Catedral de la Laguna y su reapertura al culto
  13. ^ El Ayuntamiento contrata un estudio de la plaza de la Catedral con georradares
  14. ^ La mayor colección española de iconos bizantinos se exhibe en La Laguna
  15. ^ La mayor colección española de iconos bizantinos se exhibe en La Laguna
  16. ^ La mayor colección española de iconos bizantinos se exhibe en La Laguna

Coordinates: 28°29′20″N 16°18′59″W / 28.48889°N 16.31639°W / 28.48889; -16.31639