Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Basilica, Costa Rica

Come to the splendid and renowned pilgrimage site Nuestra Senora de los Ángeles Basilica, in Costa Rica

Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Basilica, Costa Rica
Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Basilica, Costa Rica
© Pontfire

The Santuario Nacional Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Nuestra Senora de los Ángeles Basilica), located in Cartago, is one of the most important churches in Costa Rica. This incredible shrine is devoted to the Virgen de los Ángeles, commonly known as la Negrita, patroness saint of the country.

Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Basilica
Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Basilica
© Pontfire

Legend has it that a peasant named Juana Pereira found the virgin on a rock, in the same place where the first basilica in her honor was built later. The first construction was in charge of the Catalan architect Lluis Llach Llagostera in 1912, but a devastating earthquake destroyed it in 1926. Nevertheless, in 1929 it was rebuilt with the same structure that it presents nowadays. Its Byzantine architectural style stands out in its monumental façade, which will impress you at first sight, as well as in the octagonal cupola that tops it. Moreover, its large nave has the form of a double cross and is protected by beautiful enormous columns.

On the sidelines of the basilica, you will have the chance to admire several altars devoted to various saints, such as San Antonio de Padua, San Cayetano or San Vicente de Paul. However, the most relevant attraction is undoubtedly the sculpture of la Negrita. The statue of the virgin is a piece of only 20 cm in black. In the altar, you will have the opportunity to contemplate this so admired statue by Costa Rican people, which rests on its shrine surrounded by gold inlays and precious stones.

The most significant festivity of Cartago is hold every year on August 2 and its pilgrimage is the most popular and numerous in the country. Thousands of pilgrims come to this celebration from all over Costa Rica, going from San José to Cartago (approximately 24 km), asking for miracles or favors to their patroness saint. Many of these pilgrims come into the basilica on their knees and carrying crosses on their shoulders. Then they walk towards the altar and honor the virgin with a present. Afterwards, the virgin is taken out in a procession to the Cartago cathedral, where she will rest until early September; this tour is known as the “Pass of the Virgen de los Ángeles”. This pilgrimage is a show that you should not miss if you travel to the country during these dates.

Finally, there is a spring that rises right next to the basilica whose waters are considered as miraculous, and plenty of pilgrims collect it for curative and supernatural purposes.

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Avenida 1 del Comercio, Cartago, Cartago province, Costa Rica.


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