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TF Candelaria.png
Autonomous region: Canary Islands (Spain)
Province: Santa Cruz de Tenerife (province)
Island: Tenerife
Area: 49.52 km²
Population: 22,477 (2007)
Population density: 457.04/km²

Atlantic Ocean
5 m
western part
Location: 28°29′0″N 16°18′0″W / 28.483333°N 16.3°W / 28.483333; -16.3Coordinates: 28°29′0″N 16°18′0″W / 28.483333°N 16.3°W / 28.483333; -16.3
Municipal code: E-35011
Car designation: TF

Candelaria or "Villa Mariana de Candelaria" (in Spanish) is a municipality and city of the southeast part of the island of Tenerife in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Canary Islands, Spain. The city is also a suburban area of the Santa Cruz City area. Candelaria is located 20 km SSW of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (City). The town is noted by Catholics in Spain and Latin America as a place of veneration of the Virgin of Candelaria near the apparition. The place is visited mainly by Catholics canaries who come on pilgrimage. The Virgin of Candelaria is patron of the Canary Islands, (Spanish:"La Virgen de Candelaria"). The most prominent and famous is the Basilica of Candelaria, which include the sculpture of the Virgin Mary (Virgin of Candelaria) and the mural paintings of the temple. Also highlighted in the square, statues of the nine aboriginal kings of Tenerife. The sanctuary has the category of Cultural Interest.

The population is 22.477 (INE, 2007), its density is 457,04 /km² and the area is 48.52 km². El Rosario is linked with the old highway linking Abona and Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the TF1 Motorway which encircles the eastern and the southern portions of the island.

Its economy is based on commerce, tourism and some agriculture. The urban area and some farmland dominates the coastline area. There are farmlands in the valley areas and in the mountains with grasslands and some forests to the west.

In the times of the Guanches, the region was part of the menceyato, or kingdom, of Güímar. A cave is situated around Candelaria. The famous Festival de la Canción de Candelaria is a festivity which is one of the most important on the island. It celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2005.

For the Tinerfeños and the Canaries in general, Candelaria is like Fátima (Portugal) or Guadalupe (Mexico). But to the Canary style.


Etymology of the name

In pre-Hispanic epochs this zone pertenecia to Güímar's aboriginal Menceyato, for what it is accepted that the aboriginal name of the zone was simply "Güímar" as the whole menceyato. After the conquest, this zone happened to be call "Candelaria", in honor to the virgin patron of the city and of the archipelago, the Virgin of Candelaria.


A statue of the Guanche mencey Añaterve. Candelaria, Tenerife, at his side, there are eight more statues.

On 1390, the current Candelaria was a solitary and desert place that the shepherds were frequenting Guanches of Güimar's menceyato (Güímar's pre-Hispanic kingdom). One evening, two natives who were leading his cattle, saw as some goats they were refusing to happen on having come to the mouth of the ravine, there went forward one of them thinking that there were people who they wanted to steal and they found, on a rock, the Holy Image of the Virgin of Candelaria (declared principal patrón of the Canary Isles with posteriority).

The image was found in a beach near to Candelaria, initially the image was moved to Chinguaro's Cave, which was the palace of the King of Güímar.

But later same guanches moved her to Achbinico's Cave in Candelaria, and there it was venerated since then. At first aboriginal identified with the appearance of their goddess Chaxiraxi (the mother of the gods), but later the Christian conquerors explained that the image was the Virgin Mary. Later a hermitage was constructed and later the Basilica was constructed to Santa Maria.

Nowadays Candelaria is the principal catholic center of peregrination of Canaries and one of the principal ones of Spain.

The current image of the Virgin of Candelaria is to dress. The image always turns out to be covered by mantles and jeweler's shop, also she is curiously very venerated by the Hindu community of Canaries. As curiosity the Virgin is a black virgin. The image goes out in procession every February 2 (day of The Candelaria) and August 15 (day of the Patron of Canaries). The latter date is linked to a former aboriginal celebration (Beñesmen, the crop). It is believed that one appeared the Virgin Mary in these dates.

Nowadays the municipality is visited by thousands of persons, not only devout of the Virgin of Candelaria, but of tourists for performing great importance for the Canary culture.

Historical population

Year Population Density
1991 10,688 -
1996 12,392 -
2001 14,247 345.17/km²
2002 15,980 -
2003 17,938 362.77/km²
2004 19,197 389.23/km²
2005 20,628 416.56/km²
2007 22,477 457,04/km²

Sites of interest

Basílica of Candelaria (Tenerife)

The municipality has a beach located to the east and is famous for tourism. Candelaria's municipality receives the annual peregrination of Candelaria (in February 2 and in August 15, the latter is the most important), as well as to the pilgrims who visit the municipality in all other epochs of the year. The principal stops of his your visit are the Basilica of Candelaria and Achbinico's Cave.

Basilica of Candelaria

The current basilica dates back of 1959 and it was constructed on a former hermitage. His your discharge stands out toast belfry, to his your feet one finds the Plaza of the Patron of Canaries. Since the image of the Virgin was appearing in beach of Chimisay, around 1392, the first great Sanctuary to the Virgin of Candelaria was the constructed one in 1668. Later with the increase of the peregrinations of the devout ones, there was created the need to construct a bigger temple (the current basilica), which has capacity for 5.000 persons.

The basilica is in the south part of the city, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Close to the Plaza of the Patron of Canaries they find the statues of bronzes of 9 aboriginal kings. Next to the basilica and it is linked to the Dominican convent religious order in charge of the sanctuary. The basilic also has a large collection of wall paintings. The temple and Royal Basilica Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Candelaria, is considered the main temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Canary Islands[1].

Achbinico's Cave

Also so called Cave of San Blas, it was the first Christian temple of Canaries, in this place the original inhabitants of the Canary Isles produced worship to the Virgin of Candelaria. This cave is behind Candelaria's Basilica and is visited by pilgrims, which are in the habit of taking and leaving flushed candles and doing requests to the Virgin. Inside the cave there is a reply in bronze of the Virgin of Candelaria. Achbinico's cave has a great importance not alone religious, but also historical, since in her guanches were baptized.

Sisters cities


Candelaria has schools, lyceums, a few gymnasia, banks, churches, beaches and squares plazas.


External links

See also

Northwest: La Matanza de Acentejo North: El Rosario
West: Santa Úrsula and La Victoria de Acentejo Candelaria East: Atlantic Ocean
South: Arafo


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