Well, I hope to finally get back to usual now. I hoped to prepare enough posts before I went on the annual hols to make my absence seamless or unnoticed but I was a few posts short and the palm posts came to an end while I was looking at them for real in Gran Canaria.
So (and I promise not to include too many holiday photos) a nice religious post for Sunday (would have been earlier but there was washing to do!)
In the picturesque town of Teror in the northeast mountains of Gran Canaria is the Basilica Nuestra Senora del Pino. The Virgen del Pino, of which there is a statue in the Basilica, dates back to September 8 1492. A vision of the virgin Mary appeared either to some shepherds or to Juan Frias, the first Bishop of Gran Canaria (or maybe one of the shepherds went on to become the Bishop – I am not up on matters ecclesiastical) according to what story you read. The tree was obviously revered and when it was finally felled after a storm the Basilica was built in its place. In the Basilica there is a highly decorated statue of the virgin, in the way that the Roman Catholic church are prone to do (they like ‘bling’ more than protestants) although apparently it is less ornate than it was prior to 1975 when it was robbed. The statue itself is of note apparently because her face has two expressions: sad on one side and happy on the other, though I did not get close enough to see this.
The Virgen del Pino became the patroness of Gran Canaria. Work on the basilica started in 1767 but it has been restored several times and I am sure I read somewhere that only the clock tower remains of the original building but I won’t put money on that.
It forms the focus of the town and a beautiful street of typical Canarian buildings runs up hill from it and maybe that will form the basis of a post in a few days since it is one of the highlights of the island.
The Basilica seems to exhibit a range of architectural styles and features some interesting ‘heads’.
I am pretty sure these are grotesques rather than gargoyles since the latter strictly ‘spout’ water and I am pretty sure these don’t. The fact that one has the addition of a bird’s nest suggests they are ‘dry’.