Canarian Folklore: Places Of Pilgrimage – The Cave Of Saint Blaise

This week, we made a visit to a very special place: the Cave of Saint Blaise, in the town of Candelaria. This cave was the original place where the Guanches worshipped Chaxiraxi, the mother goddess whose image came from the sea. When Chaxiraxi was syncretized with Our Lady of Candelaria after the Spanish invasion, the Basilica of Our Lady was built right beside the cave, as well as a small chapel to Saint Blaise.

Front of the Basilica of Our Lady Of Candelaria.

To the left of the Basilica, and along the shoreline, the access to the Cave of Saint Blaise. To the right, Saint Blaise’s chapel, and again to the right, with dark green balcony, The House Of The Captains, a historical building from the 17th century that shows the traditional colonial style of the islands.

The cave is shallow, but inside it was so delightful. To think that we were walking the same steps than our Ancestors, and sharing such a sacred devotional space with them, filled us with energy. This kind of bubble-shaped caves are caused by gigantic explosions of gas during volcanic eruptions – they are everywhere on our islands.

Evidence of devotion :).

The city of Candelaria, with the Basilica’s tower on the left. Gorgeous sky.

In the Basilica’s square there is a series of statues of Menceyes (Guanche kings). When we returned from the cave, the sun was too high already to get better pictures, but this is Tegueste, Mencey of the area where we live now.

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