Later on, a Guanche convert made the Achbinico grotto its sanctuary, until 1526 when Don Pedro Fernandez de Lugo ordered a proper sanctuary for its worship to be built. The original Basilica was built in 1526, but was destroyed by fire and replaced in the 19th century. In 1826 the Black Madonna returned back to sea when a tidal wave swept her from the church. The present statue is a copy by Fernando EstÚvez.


Candelaria is located 15 km from Santa Cruz de Tenerife and is a suburban area of the city. The town is significant for Catholics in Spain and Latin America as the place of the apparition of The Virgin of Candelaria. The Virgin of Candelaria is the patron saint of the Canary Islands.

By the basilica there are nine bronze statutes mounted on volcanic plinths. They're representing the Guanche leaders (menceyes) at the time of the Spanish Conquest.
The Virgin of Candelaria is also known as Our Lady of Candelaria and La Morenita (Black Madonna). Catholic pilgrims - and tourists - celebrate The Black Madonna of Candelaria with an annual festival. The festival includes a traditional romería, a re-enactment of the native Guanches discovering the statue of the Black Madonna.

The statue of the Virgin of Candelaria was discovered on a beach by two Guanche goatherds in 1392. The legend goes that when one of the shepherds tried to throw a stone at the statue, his arm became paralyzed. The other shepherd tried to stab the statue with a knife but ended up stabbing himself. But when touching the statue their mobility returned and wounds were healed. Convinced this was a supernatural force, the chief of Guimar brought the statue to his cave in the village.

Watch our video visiting Candelaria »
Teneriffa - La Gomera