Religious architecture

El Salvador Main Church

Founded around the year 1500, El Salvador Main Church is a result of several reforms and extensions that ended up conforming its present basilical distribution, with three naves, separated from each other by archery of half point, of smooth shaft and covered with Mudejar style roofs that give the building an arabesque air.  The building has three facades, the main one, to the South, is elaborated in La Gomera stonework and has two lateral pedestals that support two Corinthian columns with a triangular pediment on top of them. From the corners of those columns come pilasters of Doric order with vases on their side and the image of El Salvador in the center. In its interior, modified in successive reforms, the decorations of the vaults of the headboard, painted by Ubaldo Bordanova Moreno between 1895 and 1897, and the greater altarpiece, inspired in the model of triumphal arch of the Renaissance cover, with canvas Central of the Seville Antonio Maria de Esquivel and table of the altar and Eucharistic tabernacle.

Plaza de España, nº3 

San Francisco Church
After the conquest of La Palma, the Franciscan friars, who had collaborated with Alonso Fernández de Lugo in the process of evangelization and incorporation of the island to the Crown, initially settled near the ravine of Las Nieves. Shortly after, in 1508, a new convent was founded in this place thanks to the lot’s donation made by Martin Camacho and Magdalena Infanta. Over the main facade, there is a mixtilinear baroque top from the eighteenth century, lies the royal coast of arm, which reflects the protection of the monarchy over the building. 

Plaza de San Francisco, nº3 



Chapel of the Venerable Third Order

Under the convent bell tower and next to the lobby, the brothers of the Secular Franciscan Order began to build their own chapel after the foundation of the brotherhood in 1633. However, it was in 1737 when the enclosure acquired its present dimensions as a result of the extension works. The presbytery contains the main altarpiece, with three stories and two main sides, supported by rusticated pillars. Built in 1734, a few years after its construction, Juan Manuel de Silva was commissioned with the gold painting and polychrome. He was also in charge of painting the works of art of the second part of the altar:  The embrace of Christ and San Francisco in the central street and St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Santa Casilda on the sides, three fundamental icons to the Franciscan monks devotion. The main image of the central niche is devoted to Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, made by the local artist Nicolás de las Casas Lorenzo; on both sides of the chapel there are a couple of sculptures -‘montañesina’ school styled- San Francisco de Asís and San Francisco Solano, missionnaire of the American order known as "the playwright of the New World."

Convento de San Francisco, plaza de San Francisco, n. 3


Santo Domingo Church

Santo Domingo Church is, together with El Rosario niche, the entrance chapel, the chapter house and the bell tower, one of the five architectonic pieces that remains almost intact of what then was San Miguel de las Victorias Convent. The building has a red stonework facade, crowned with the Orden de Predicadores coat of arms, round arch and gothic capitals that develop an iconographic programme about the victory of the Dominicans over heresy. Founded by the Orden de Predicadores in 1530, its interior gathers one of the most important artistic treasures of painting, painted altarpieces and sculptures in La Palma. The main altarpiece, El Rosario reredos, the pulpit, the chapter house ceiling as well as the images of San Francisco de Asís and San Miguel de Arcángel are great examples of Baroque. Both the boards that form the antique reredos, painted by Pierre Pourbus el Viejo, together with the Last Supper painting by Ambrosius Francken are great examples of Flemish Renaissance. Fernando Estévez is the author of the images of the Nazareno, La Magna and the Virgen del Rosario, all belonging to the Canarian classicism. The painting of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and the Cuban image of Santa Catalina de Siena are part of the American Baroque. Finally the painting of Virgen de la Merced with San Ramón Nonato and Santa María Carvellón as well as the images of Santo Tomás de Aquino and Santa Rita de Casia were made in local workshops.

Plaza de Santo Domingo, n. 3 

San Sebastián chapel
In the so-called royal road of la Banda, that goes from Santa Cruz de La Palma to Tazacorte harbour through the summit , is the San Sebastián chapel, since the year 1535. Travellers arriving to the city would commend themselves to San Sebastián before entering the capital. The neighbours takes the chapel’s name, with a main street homonymous, two parallel streets  (Fernández Ferraz and Huertas), plus other cross-wide (Cabrera Pinto, Francisco Abreu, San Miguel, Drago, El Dornajo and Cajita Blanca). The old pilaster reredos from Santa Catalina de Alejandría hermitage, made around 1778,  dominates the main chapel. This piece preserves the images of: a Roman martyr, brought from the Netherlands, the Inmaculada Concepción, made in local ateliers, San Francisco de Asís- ‘montañesina’s school- , and in the upper niche we find the image of the laying out of the chasuble of San Jerónimo, made by Antonio de Orbarán born in Puebla de los Ángeles. It is worth mentioning its outstanding interior with mural painting in the ceiling and arch of the main chapel, by Ubaldo Bordanova in 1899. 

Calle San Sebastián, 12-a 

San Telmo Hermitage

Built over La Luz cliff, visible from Santa Cruz de La Palma harbour, as a defensive watchtower is the chapel consecrated to the Dominican San Pedro González Telmo and Nuestra Señora de La Luz. Both this figures has played an essential role in the religious and devotional history of this quarter, originally, occupied by fishermen, pilots of the boats to America and ship operators. Following the model of La Palma’s hermitage, it has two accesses: a side one, to the South and a different one in the front of the choir, whose facade is fixed through the door finished with half-point stonework, and balcony balusters that discover the ring the bell and the belfry. Among the decorative elements of the exterior, it is convenient to name the different sgraffitoes that simulate fake architectures such as anchors and other marine elements. Inside, the main altarpiece, exemplary of the baroque,has two bodies and three streets, with a shell-shaped finish, and the singular boats in the form of a ship on which the Dominican saint processes his feast.

Calle Virgen de la Luz, n. 38 

Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Hermitage

Located at the top of the northern ridge of the Las Nieves ravine, the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación is the first religious building on the eastern side of the island. After the conquest and the first settlers established in the surroundings of this ravine, a primitive temple was built, which then functioned as an improvised parish, until the center of the city was moved to the side of the ravine of Los Dolores. Among the oldest preserved architectural elements, it is worth mentioning the Gothic arch, made in red limestone by Hernando Luján, which separates the main chapel from the nave of the temple, it has capitals decorated with leaves of candles; A bat carved on the side of the gospel warns the faithful of the need to be vigilant in the presence of the Devil. The most notable of its sculptural patrimony are the Flemish group of the Virgin of the Incarnation and the Archangel St. Gabriel, who presides over the main niche of the altarpiece dated 1522-1532, the image of St. Lazarus, protector of the sick of leprosy Housed in the Caves of Carias, the candlestick of Saint Lucia, attributable to Bernardo Manuel de Silva, who still has his collection of silver exiles, the Crucified classicist Father Manuel Diaz and, due to its rarity, since it is the only Which exists in the Canaries,  the Franciscan martyr San Pedro Bautista, dated 1705-1712. Coming from the Convent of St. Catherine of Siena is the processional organ, preserved under the choir, probably Sevillian work of the first third of the seventeenth century.

Plaza de La Encarnación, s/n 

Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves Royal Sanctuary

Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves Royal Sanctuary was founded the image of the was transferred from the cave of the ravine, where it was placed in the evangelizing stage of the island by the first conquerors. The image is made of polychrome terracotta and was sculpted by Lorenzo Mercadante of Brittany, an artist from northern Europe established in Seville between 1454 and 1467. The sanctuary, converted into the main Marian cult center of La Palma, follows the constructive model of the other hermitages in the island : the main chapel is taller than the nave from the works made in 1876, which changed the ceiling of its roof by a half barrel vault, decorated in 1894 with a program on the Assumption of the Virgin executed by the Madridian Ubaldo Bordanova Moreno; The main chapel and the nave are separated by a toral arch, made in 1740; The nave counts on ochavado pulpit and baptistry from 1672, after the parochial foundation; On the side of the Epistle, towards the square, has a classicist portico and the main door, facing south, has an exterior balcony communicated with the choir, from which the bells of the bell tower; On the east-south corners, there is a recently restored tea-time sundial, dated between 1733 and 1740. Inside, the sanctuary preserves the original paved fence in 1703, made of clay tile and rectangular divisions With moldings of tea that mark the ancient graves of burial. The main chapel is presided over by a retable with a Portuguese bill, with three niches and a semicircular finish, by Marcos Hernández and Bernardo Manuel de Silva. In the main is the titular image, sobrevestida, jeweled and crowned. The treasure of the sanctuary is also composed of several Flemish images (St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of the Angels and the Calvary) and baroque (Virgin of the Good Voyage, Child Jesus of the Baptistery, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph) Of an ample collection of paintings: true effigies of Our Lady of the Snows, the series of the Life of the Virgin, the Immaculate, San José and San Joaquin attached to Juan de Miranda or series of exvotos; The sacristy, the museum of sacred art and the dressing room preserve other pieces that include sculpture, painting, goldsmiths, porcelain and marbles, jewelery and textiles of the ecclesiastical garments and the image.

Plaza de Las Nieves, s/n