The Shrine of Our Lady of Lapa is now a national pilgrimage site and one of the most important sanctuaries of the Iberian Peninsula.
The “lapa” is a granite stone, formes a cave, that being protected, has served as a refuge to Our Lady which names the sanctuary. The image is thought to have been brought by religious fleeing the Moorish general Al Mansor, who is thought to have martyred many Christians. Here hidden in the tenth century, only to be found centuries later by Joana, a mute pastor that after finding it recovered the talking!
The imposing building of the Jesuits ‘ College – dating back to the sixteenth century – the houses, the roads, all in granite, create a unique atmosphere. Visit the sanctuary of the thirteenth century: the cave has a very debut stone where as legend says, all go, except those who have grave sin, and also a replica of a giant lizard hanging from the ceiling. Inside the church you also find a permanent crib that is worth appreciating.