Church of Virgen de la Luz of Cuenca!!

Well if you have been reading my blog, for which I thank you; you know my sentimental attachment to Cuenca and many family vacations. I ,also, have, several posts on the city and surrounding areas in Castilla La Mancha autonomous community. However, there was one older post crammed with several churches of great architectural and historical value that I have decided to spin off into individual posts giving them the credit they deserve in my blog. Hope you enjoy each of them as we did!

The Church of Virgen de la Luz in Cuenca is famous for housing the Black Virgin. The church was built in the 16C and finished in the 18C, It has a magnificent interior decoration, in the rococo style. Outside there are two covers, one of them plateresque corresponding to the old convent that existed in this place. The image of the patron saint is a Black Madonna, of great medieval tradition.

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Two hermitages were once located on the site located above the current church, one dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Puente or Our Lady of the Bridge ,the name by which the Virgen de la Luz or Our Lady of Light was known in the 16C, and to San Antonio Abad. The two hermitages were under the care of the Hospital de San Antonio, built in 1352, and located next to the hermitage of Our Lady. Due to the poor quality construction, both hermitages deteriorated little by little, until it was decided to replace them with the current church, thus grouping both spaces into a single larger temple.

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The Church of Virgen de la Luz has a single nave, which has a marked longitudinal axis cut by two transversal ones; these axes are made up of both the transept of the church and the intermediate side chapels. In its interior, among other artistic manifestations, the canvases that house the Capilla Mayor or Main Chapel stand out, as well as the fresco mural paintings, made around 1764. The main iconographic cycle throughout the church refers both to the Virgin Patron of Cuenca and to Saint Anthony Abad. You can appreciate the abundant rococo-style decoration, with profuse boxes with rockeries and latticed tribunes. In addition, it has a barrel vault with lunettes and transverse arches in the nave and an elliptical dome on a drum with windows and a lantern in the transept. Its exterior is plastered and painted in colour; its two portals stand out, corresponding to the two hermitages previously located in the same place. The left doorway ,the Gospel side, is in the Plateresque style and is currently unused; It is the old portal of the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Bridge and it is the only part of the old hermitages that was preserved when the current church was built. The right portal ,side of the Epistle, corresponds to the current entrance of the church and was modified in the middle of the 20C, due to the fact that its low height made it difficult to exit the processional steps.

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The nice historical anecdote ,we are told here is that as the Christian troops of King Alfonso VIII the Noble noticed, fixing their attention one night during the siege and surrounded the square, a strange and surprising flashing light with intense and brief bursts visible on the slope of the hill of the Majestad that together with that of San Cristóbal and del Socorro, surround the old basin, while they shimmered in the green and nearby waters of the Júcar river. The young Castilian monarch who wanted to investigate and inquire the truth of the surprising event and, when approaching the space where the constant light shone every night, the Virgin appeared to King Alfonso, giving him courage and encouragement to continue the siege that, according to the chronicles, ended on September 21, 1177, the feast of the evangelist Saint Matthew, with the taking of Cuenca by Christian troops. Voilà !

The Cuenca tourist office on the Church Virgen de la Luz :https://visitacuenca.es/es/content/descubre-el-legado-de-la-iglesia/iglesia-virgen-de-la-luz

The Castilla La Mancha regional tourist office on the Church Virgen de la Luzhttp://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/iglesia-de-la-virgen-de-la-luz-30464/descripcion/

The Parish Diocese of Cuenca on Our Lady of light, or Virgen de la Luzhttps://www.diocesisdecuenca.es/parroquia/parroquia-de-ntra-sra-de-la-luz/

There you go folks, a dandy nice Church Virgen de la Luz in wonderful Cuenca; we love it. There is so much to see in this Unesco World Heritage Site indeed. Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Church of Virgen de la Luz of Cuenca!!”

  1. Venga tío, bien dicho y gracias por relucir a mi querida Cuenca y sus lugares icónicos. Un saludo.

    Liked by 1 person

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