The church of La Concepcion in La Orotava

A historic monument in northern Tenerife

The church of La Concepción is possibly the finest example of Baroque architecture in the entire Canary Islands. Its façade is comprised of three facings, where the central wall stands slightly further out and houses the main door. Its rich decoration includes the most comprehensive display of Baroque stone masonry in the archipelago and was crafted by the La Orotava artist Patricio José García, who sought to express the close link between the Canary Islands and America using symbols.

The origin of this church dates back to 1516 when a chapel was built that has since been extended several times, where the proclamation ceremony for Charles V was held on 22 June 1516. Unfortunately, the terrible earthquakes that shook the Island in 1704 and 1705, caused by the Güímar volcano, left it in a state of disrepair.
The building we see today was began in 1768 and ended in 1788. The church received significant financial support from a number of emigrants, especially those residing in Cuba, who were known as Indianos. The church was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument on 18 June 1948.
The two bell towers rising 24 m (78 feet) are set back on either side of the façade. Standing out over the top is the solemn lantern tower comprised of 16 faces, which appears to be octagonal because of its eight windows. Over it rises the dome, topped by a Neoclassical cupola.
Inside, its three vast naves are lined with powerful Ionic-based columns crowned by Corinthian capitals, each with different adornments.
Presiding over the main chapel is a monumental tabernacle, one of the most important in the Canary Islands, a Genoese piece from 1823 made of marble and jasper from the workshop of Giuseppe Gaggini (1791-1867).
The pulpit was made of those same materials in the same workshop.
Of the six altarpieces housed in the church, special mention should be made of the La Concepción piece by Francisco Acosta Granadilla at the top of the Evangelio nave, which was also produced in the same atelier.
The statue of La Inmaculada Concepción is an Italian piece by Angelo Olivari (from the first half of the 19th century).
In the chapel that tops the epistle nave, the most important figure of the altarpiece shows the Señor Predicador (Lord Preacher) and is the work of Blas García Pulido from 1667.
Other noteworthy figures include: San Juan Evangelista, María Magdalena, La Dolorosa by Luján Pérez, and San Pedro Apóstol, one of the prize pieces by Fernando Estévez from La Orotava.
In terms of paintings, its most significant heritage are the oil paintings: Entierro de Cristo and Ecce Homo, two 16th century mannerist works by Cristóbal Ramírez displayed in the sacristy; and La Inmaculada con San Ignacio de Loyola and San Francisco Javier, by Gaspar de Quevedo, beside the baptismal font.
Another key painting is Desposorios de la Virgen con San José, by the Orotavan painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana, at the end of the epistle nave.
The Parish Museum contains a very extensive array of precious metal craftsmanship, including: Las Andas de Baldaquino para el Corpus, by Damián de Castro, the Gothic-Manueline style monstrance from the 16th century, which was made in Córdoba, and another rococo-style monstrance by Damián de Castro from around 1768, which was commissioned by the bishop of the Canary Islands Francisco Xavier Delgado Venegas.

The church of La Concepcion in La Orotava
Plaza Casañas s/n, 38300 La Orotava