La Laguna Cathedral Re-Opens

Mon, February 3rd, 2014 - By Colin

Every street in La Laguna is bursting with religious and architectural history, that’s partly why it’s a UNESCO  World Heritage site but now its centerpiece has been restored and re-opened. Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios has been closed for 12 years with stuttering work projects and a major fire in January 2006 anchoring it in the past. The 15 million euro renovation has given Tenerife a new religious heart and a major tourist attraction.


La Laguna Cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios


Before filing in through the huge wooden side doors I gazed up at the new bronze topped main dome ringed with stained glass windows. It was only the second day of opening, a normally sedate Sunday but La Laguna was buzzing with people, many of them streaming in like the light that filtered down into the body of the main church building.


La Laguna Cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios


It all started in 1515 with the building of the Church Of Our Lady of the Remedies on the site, a full cathedral based on the Pamplona building was always intended but it took from 1904 to 1913 for one to be built and in use. The huge neo classical building was difficult and expensive to maintain and was closed well short of its centenary.


La Laguna Cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios


Thankfully after the fire a new determination was led by architect Jose Miguel Marquez and the hushed murmurings of awe around me showed what a good job had been done. The vaulted ceiling is a series of over 20 domes built on four pillars each and fitted together like an elaborate jigsaw. From above they look like brewing coppers and the tower of the nearby Church of the Concepcion offers great views for a few euros. The interior houses wondrous works of religious art and stunning ornate altars and statues in a series of alcoves, many dating back to the original church. The marble pulpit was sculpted in Genova (Genoa) in 1762 and now stands proud in the main aisle.


La Laguna Cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios


The giant organ is covered in polished wood with a circular area for the choir to take their place. The acoustics for a full house service must be amazing, they will get tested as the cathedral is very much a living part of La Laguna with weekly services and will be open to the public to visit. Judging by the flowing queues the cathedral will boost the coffers of La Laguna, among the visitors on my trip were many clergy, nuns, and priests talking in an array of languages.


La Laguna Cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios


There is still work to do, humidity has caused flaking of the stonework but apparently that had to wait until the building was open to the air. The popular duck pond outside in the Plaza de los Remedios was dismantled just before re-opening amid much protest and we are promised an aquatic feature in its place.

With easy access from Santa Cruz by tram and only an hours journey from southern resorts like El Medano and Los Cristianos, the cathedral is bound to become a magnet for culture vultures and those wanting to understand the religious roots of the Canarian way of life.

Posted : Monday, February 3rd, 2014 at 12:19 pm
Category : days out
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One Response to “La Laguna Cathedral Re-Opens”

  1. […] in by some young tykes, at least I have seen the ducks new home across the city. I popped into the cathedral, it was as stunning as when I visited a few weeks after its resurection, if you get a chance, feast […]

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