Excursión en Guadalupe




Dear colleagues,

I hope your Summer is going well. Turns out that I was lucky to visit Spain during this particular year; the weather is ~20 degrees cooler than what it is usually expected to be — meaning that it is not too hot for adventure! As such, I have had the pleasure of exploring cities outside of my homestay for academic research purposes. This time on my agenda: explore the religious capital of Cáceres, Guadalupe.

Guadalupe is an extremely small city that hosts one of the first monasteries in Spain for Our lady of Guadalupe — one of the most prominent figures in Roman Catholicism. Though, the Lady of Guadalupe of Spain should not be confused with the Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico, which is the Madonna that is known throughout the United States. Rather, both Lady’s have a different “image” story and have different appearances.

The most apparent difference between the two is that Our Lady of Guadalupe of Spain has different colored clothing and her first rediscovered statue is made out of cedar. So, due to the aging of the wood (and due to it being buried underground for some time), the image of the Virgin of Spain has black skin. Whereas the Virgin of Mexico has more of a Native American resemblance due to the nature of her image story.

All in all, it is amazing how the two Virgins are connected. It was actually before a monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Spain where the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel, authorized Columbus’ expedition of the New World — thus beginning the spread of Catholicism in the present day America.

The entrance of the Monastery of Guadalupe. As expected, the architecture has somewhat of a medieval structure, and the masonry is simply beautiful.
The inner garden of the monastery. The inner patio also has medieval architecture. For those who are history buffs, the monastery also offers a tour of all of the collections that the monastery has collected over the years. Most notably, there are old music journals, which were made out of leather by hand. You might even meet some monks willing to let you partake in mass!
Just an example of some the art collected over the years. The inner sanctum of the monastery has art etched into the walls and ceiling, but we were not allowed to take pictures once we left the garden.

My journey thus far has provided me great insight on my family’s Roman Catholic heritage. At the same time, it is curious to see how two countries on different sides of the world can be so interconnected.

What’s next on the agenda?

Next week, I plan to continue my excursión to Trujillo — another small castle town with a plethora of history just waiting for me to learn.