Skip to main content

The most outstanding feature of this former conventual complex is the Santuario del Cristo, the residence of Franciscan friars, the headquarters of the Esclavitud Confraternity and the Artillery Barracks outbuildings. It was originally the Franciscan convent San Miguel de Las Victorias, founded by the Adelantado once the conquest was over. Building works started in 1506, and seem to have ended in 1560, but there is not much information about its construction. Both the church and the convent underwent different refurbishing works and alterations some due to major natural disasters like the 1713 floods or the fire in 1810.

Access to the building is through a masonry portico with three semi-circular arches facing Plaza del Cristo. This is followed by a small square of sorts delimited in the north by the semi-detached buildings of the Esclavitud Confraternity and the Franciscan residence. These have no great architectural interest except for a wooden balcony on the façade facing Plaza del Cristo (featuring a simple decoration and a parapet made of wood and lattice), that was probably added after the fire in 1810; the south façade features openings symmetrically arranged with woodwork or grille parapets.

The Sanctuary was built after the fire mentioned above and it followed the typical ideas of traditional Canarian architecture, despite the stylistic preferences of the time. The main façade has two well-differentiated elements: on the one hand, the masonry section that supports the bell gable, which is structured in two sections divided by a narrow cornice. Three semi-circular arches to house the bells feature Baroque ornamental volutes and vases. The second element is the section of masonry with the entrance which is framed by a semi-circular arch in red stone placed on pilasters plus a thin moulding running under the eaves. 

It has a rectangular floor plan with a small compartment that functions as a hall. Its only nave is divided in three sections by the transverse arch before the chancel and by the semi-circular arch supporting the organ loft. The height of the nave and the austere coffered ceiling are examples of Neoclassical influences in a generally Baroque pattern. On the walls four masonry niches display a classicist decoration while the rear wall is made up of splendid altarpiece mostly covered in embossed silver that houses the image of Jesus Christ.  On the frontal, which includes the arms of the Marquee of Villanueva del Prado, stands the tabernacle in the shape of a shrine flanked by classical columns. Above this there is a great niche whose background is decorated with wooden reliefs covered in gold leaf and outlined by an original screen of candelabra that culminate in a sculpture of Saint Michael.

On 10 February 2003 the process to designate the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna a Cultural Heritage Asset, under the Monument category was started. It included all its related objects and surrounding area.  In particular, the process to have the sculpture of the Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna designated Cultural Heritage Asset, under the Cultural Property category, on 5 June 2001.