The church of La Concepción is possible the best example of Baroque style in the whole of the Canary Islands. The facade is made up of three adornments; the central one, further forward, is the doorway. The rich decoration it presents is the most complete example of Baroque stone work in the Canary Islands. It was done by La Orotava artist Patricio José García, who used symbols to express the close ties that exist between Canaries and America.
The origins of this church go back to 1516, when the original chapel was built. This was extended on several occasions. The chapel is where the fiestas in honour of the proclamation of Carlos V were held, on the 22nd of June, 1516. The terrible earthquakes of 1704 and 1705 however, caused by the Güimar volcano, left it in ruins around 1758.
The current works were started in 1768 and were completed in 1788. Financing was helped by generous donations from migrants, especially those who had gone to Cuba, known as "indianos". The church was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument on the 18th of June, 1948.
The three bell towers, 24 metres high, are set back behind the lateral planes of the facade. The solemn 16-sided base of the dome is outstanding - it gives the sensation of being octagonal as it has 8 windows - above which rises the dome, sealed with a neo-classical lamp.
Inside, the three broad naves are separated by powerful columns with Ionic bases, crowned with Corinthian capitals, each with different ornaments.
The chancel is presided over by a monumental tabernacle, one of the most important in the Canary Islands, a work of the Genoa School from 1823, in marble and jasper, from the workshop of Giuseppe Gaggini (1791 - 1867). The pulpit, made from the same materials, came out of the same workshop.
Of the six reredos in the church, the La Concepcion one deserves a special mention. It is the work of Francisco Acost Granadilla, at the head of the gospel nave. It belonged to the previous building as well. The figure of La Inmaculada Concepción is an Italian work, by Angelo Olivari (first half of the 19th century).
In the chapel at the end of the Epistle nave, the figure of El Señor Predicador (1667) was done by Blas García Pulido.
Other remarkable figures include:
San Juan Evangelista, María Magdalena and La Dolorosa by Luján Pérez-
San Pedro Apóstol, one of the masterpieces of La Orotava sculptor Fernando Estévez.
The best paintings are the following oils:
Entierro de Cristo and Ecce Homo, Manierist works from the 16th century, by Cristóbal Ramírez, that can be seen in the Sacristy.
La Inmaculada con San Ignacio de Loyola y San Francisco Javier, by Gaspar de Quevedo, next to the baptistery.
Desposorios de la Virgen con San José, by La Orotava painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana, at the foot of the epistle nave.
The Parish Museum has a complete collection of jewellery and precious metal work, which includes:
The Gothic-Manueline monstrance of the early 16th century.
The processional canopy for Corpus, by Damián de Castro
Monstrance made in Cordoba, also by Damián de Castro, around 1768, in rococo style, commissioned by the Bishop of the Canary Islands, Francisco Xavier Delgado Venegas.