Las Lajas: A striking Neo-Gothic church deep in the Andes

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST 9 Photos
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Set deep in the Andes mountain range in Colombia is a spectacular church called Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas. (AFP)

Set deep in the Andes mountain range in Colombia is a spectacular church called Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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The basilica is located at Ipiales, 1070 km south of Bogota, on the border with Ecuador. A pilgrim wets her hair with holy water at the sanctuary. (AFP)

The basilica is located at Ipiales, 1070 km south of Bogota, on the border with Ecuador. A pilgrim wets her hair with holy water at the sanctuary. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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Another view of the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Ipiales on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

Another view of the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Ipiales on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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The shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas since 1754. (AFP)

The shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas since 1754. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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Pilgrims visit the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Colombia on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

Pilgrims visit the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Colombia on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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A shot of the interior of the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Colombia on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

A shot of the interior of the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas in Colombia on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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The inspiration for the church came from an interesting story involving Amerindian (Indigenous peoples of the Americas) Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa. (AFP)

The inspiration for the church came from an interesting story involving Amerindian (Indigenous peoples of the Americas) Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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The two were caught in a strong storm and took refuge between the gigantic Lajas (a kind of rock) when the daughter miraculously exclaimed “the Mestiza is calling me” and pointed to the lightning-illuminated silhouette over the laja. (AFP)

The two were caught in a strong storm and took refuge between the gigantic Lajas (a kind of rock) when the daughter miraculously exclaimed “the Mestiza is calling me” and pointed to the lightning-illuminated silhouette over the laja. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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The Mestiza (a person of combined European and Amerindian descent in Spanish) was soon viewed as an apparition of the Virgin Mary, making this a popular pilgrimage site. (AFP)

The Mestiza (a person of combined European and Amerindian descent in Spanish) was soon viewed as an apparition of the Virgin Mary, making this a popular pilgrimage site. (AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 28, 2015 06:57 PM IST
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