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Las Lajas Cathedral

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Andean, Colombia.

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In the remote mountains of southwestern Columbia, Las Lajas is one of the most enchantingly beautiful pilgrimage shrines in all the world. A scene of fairy tale splendor, the cathedral clings to the sides of a cliff above a swiftly running river in a mountain gorge. Two waterfalls surge from the jungle covered cliffs and plummet a hundred feet to the river below. Rains come and go and lingering mists hide the church with the deftness of a magician’s hands. In concert with the rumbling of flowing waters church bells echo across the mountain valleys.

According to local legends, in 1754 a woman named Maria Meneses used to walk from her home to the nearby town of Ipiales. One day a storm arose and Maria sought shelter in cave above the Guaitara River, where she began to pray. An image of Mary, as the Virgin of Santisima, appeared on a rock and over time this cave and image became the site of numerous miraculous healings. The cathedral of Las Lajas, a Gothic style structure built between 1915 and 1952, is much visited by pilgrims from throughout Colombia and Ecuador, especially on its primary holy day of September 16. The cathedral was designed so that the rock with the image of Mary is the high altar.

Las Lajas on Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

are there any pictures from inside and who ws the architect who created it?

are ther any pictures from inside the church and who was the architect who created it?


I have always wanted an outdoor wedding, however, my boyfriend is very catholic and truly wants to keep with tradition and have our wedding in a cathedral. When I came across Las Lajas, I fell completely in love with it, and it has become my new dream wedding location. We would love to know if anybody has any information regarding weddings at this cathedral. We have searched online and found close to no information. we would appreciate it.

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I am also looking for the way to apply wedding at the cathedral.

have you got any information about it'?

if you got, I will be so appreciated that you would tell me.


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