Entering Colombia, our last state, before returning to our native land, we decided to embark on the second architectural marvel in Colombia, the Las Lajas Sanctuary. Surprisingly, when we arrived, we realized that this church was among the most attractive in the world for 2 reasons: the place where it was built and the legend behind it.
The Temple of God is located in the depths of the canyon of the Guaitara River, which makes the beauty around the temple and the temple itself even more picturesque. Legend has it that during a severe storm, a mother and her deaf daughter found refuge in a cave. It was there that the child spoke to his mother for the first time in a strange word, saying that the Virgin Mary had appeared to her. The girl's mother told the story of a local priest, and together they decided to build a temple on this particular cave. Construction began and interrupted numerous times until, at the beginning of 1900, finally with funds raised by residents living around, construction resumed and was completed in 1949.
The name Las Lajas comes from the stones on which the basilica was built. The peasants used these stones to make their houses. They represent the eastern wall of the sanctuary.
Before entering the church, we decided to look at this dizzying construction from all possible points of observation. We climbed the stairs near the waterfall, from where we could see the church with the river passing under it and watch all the tourists take selfies and those who benefited from the help of selfie sticks as well (something very notorious not only in Europe but also in South America). We will not deny that they cheered us up. The smiles generated by the advent of the selfie stick have always amazed us.
After we saw and viewed the church from above, we descended the thin paths that pass beneath the church, near the river bed. We found a comfortable little beach, devoid of the presence of tourists, and enjoyed the view and tranquility from that other point of view.
It was not until we looked at the unique cathedral from all possible places that we also went to the cathedral itself and the stone bridge in the role of a playground that leads to the church.
We appreciated the magnificent architectural marvel and set off again, after convincingly refusing the restaurants offering us "grilled guinea pigs". Admittedly, we almost got used to the phrase: "We have to try something new!" But after asking about the price (40 pesos - BGN 000 for a whole pig), we gave up completely, at least for now and decided that he could wait. What we couldn't wait for was our impatience to embark on this new, final country for our adventure.