Sunday, 11 September 2016

Ensayo fotográfico de una visita al Santuario del Saliente / Photo essay of a visit to the Sanctuary of Saliente

Un Ensayo fotográfico de una visita al Santuario ...

Autor: Jan Morant.
Albox, Santuario del Saliente
A religious pilgrimage from the town of Albox to the Monastery of Saliente takes place on 7 September every year. During this pilgrimage, of the night and early morning of the 8th September, many come from all over Spain, to walk, mainly via the Rambla (dried up river bed), 18 kilometres between the town and the monastery. The considerable presence of young people gives the event a festive, religious air.
We visited Saliente monastery on morning of the 8th. Cloudless blue skies awaited us on arrival and temperatures were well up into the 30's. All temporary car parks were full, so we were forced to drive to the furthest parking area and walk back. Not such an arduous task on such a lovely day! We arrived at the monastery to find a religious service had commenced so we walked around the cloisters nearby. I have always been drawn to a little room, where people leave personal items. These range from
Albox, Santuario del Saliente

wedding dresses to crash helmets/crutches and photographs! On walking further round the cloisters, we found ladies making up floral arrangements. These are donated by pilgrims and other people visiting Saliente monastery and are placed around the foot of the altar.

Once the service had finished, we walked around the church admiring the architecture, paintings and flowers of course. We were invited to light five electric candles at the huge cost of €1. I consider the lighting of candles to be my good luck charm, so am never loathe to hand over my euro! We were allowed to climb the staircase to view the Virgin in her glass case. Most, including me, touched the casing and made a wish.
Off to the side and below the altar to the right, is an antechamber which is only opened once a year on the 8th September. I believe this to be a 'penance' room. Years ago, I remember the seating being not quite so opulent as it is now. The ceiling is painted blue with little white stars.
There are also fabulous BnB facilities lying within and below the monastery which I can highly recommend. Several years ago, I visited with my uncle and was privileged to meet with the Spanish architect who oversaw the reform of the monastery. We were given a lengthy guided tour which we thoroughly enjoyed then treated to lunch in the beautiful restaurant lying just behind the monastery. Views from here are amazing! If you've never visited before, suggest you add this venue to your bucket list!  Opening Times

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