The Basilica of Cartago and the Black Madonna

monument
The Basilica of Cartago and the Black Madonna

The monumental Our Lady of the Angels is the most sacred building in Costa Rica. Every year, pilgrims flock to celebrate the Negrita, avenerated statue of the Virgin Mary.

At the heart of Cartago, the former Costa Rican capital founded in the mid-16th century but ravaged by several volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, stands the magisterial Catholic basilica of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles. This was built around 1639 in honour of the Black Madonna, or Negrita. The statue, exhibited in the interior of the building, watches over the whole country, of which she became the patron saint—it is even said that she has performed miracles. In thanks, a pilgrimage takes place on 2 August, involving nearly a million believers who travel the 20 kilometres between San José and the Cartago Basilica on foot.

The figure of Our Lady of the Angels is imposing and somewhat eclectic, because the architecture was redesigned overtime, after damage caused by the irascible Irazu volcano, which is nearby. Spanish colonial style with Byzantine influences now dominates, with, of course, domes and white columns.

Basilica Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles
Avenida 1 del Comercio
Provincia de Cartago
Cartago

+506 2551 0465

www.santuarionacional.org