The work of both the Catholic Church and the Franciscans who settled in Los Realejos in 1610 fostered the extraordinary devotion for the Cross as a symbol of the evangelising process they carried out. This fact may provide an explanation for the presence of nearly 300 crosses spread throughout the municipality, apart from the Stations of the Cross and Calvaries.
The best examples of the latter can be found in the calvary belonging to the church of Saint James the Apostle, which was built next to the hermitage of Saint Benedict, and in the classic-style calvary belonging to the church of Our Lady of Conception, which is located in the neighbourhood of San Vicente and is the best preserved example of these buildings in the Canary Islands. Other remarkable calvaries are those located in the neighbourhoods of Cruz Santa and Icod El Alto.
However, it’s the chapels of the cross that help visitors understand the town’s devotion for the Cross. The most prominent examples of these chapels, given their size and architecture, are those of Cruz Verde in Realejo Bajo and Cruz del Lomo in Cruz Santa, besides many others dotted around Los Realejos.
Did you know…?
Nowadays, around three hundred crosses can be found dotted around Los Realejos in chapels, private homes, on street corners, cliffs and paths along the coast or in the mountains, public highways, royal through fares, lookout spots, or even nailed to the ground. These crosses are a symbol of identity for the town.