Candelaria is an important pilgrim town for its shrine to Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria.
Candelaria is an important pilgrim site and many of its visitors come to the Basilica to the shrine of the Black Madonna, the Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, who is the patron saint of the Canary Islands. Every year on the 15th August there is the Fiesta of Candelaria and this is one of the most important fiestas on Tenerife. Thousands of visitors arrive for the celebrations.
A statue of the virgin was found by Guanche goatherds and originally taken to the palace of the Guanche king and venerated as the Guanche goddess Chaxiraxi (mother of the gods). When the conquistadors arrived they decided it was a statue of the Virgin Mary and constructed a hermitage which was later replaced by the Basilica.
The town itself is pleasant and the main square has plenty of bars and nice shops. Enter the bank at no. 9 (Banco Espanol) because it has the lovely wooden balconies and patio typical of Canarian architecture.
Along the coast there are statues of Guanche chiefs along the sea wall. The Guanche were the native people of the islands before the Spanish Conquest in the 15th century.
photo kindly supplied by the Turismo de Tenerife