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Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin

Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin: Foto 1
Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin
  • Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin: Foto 1
  • Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin: Foto 2
  • Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin: Foto 3
  • Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin: Foto 4

The Toro Mountain, 357 metres high, is the highest point of the island of Menorca. Situated in the geographical centre of the island, in the municipality of Es Mercadal, it is the site of the Sanctuary of the Toro Virgin, considered to be the spiritual centre of the Island, an intrinsic part of the Menorcan people's history. The unmistakable profile of the Toro Mountain can be seen from almost all the municipalities of Menorca and from its summit, an exceptional panoramic view of the island can be enjoyed, particularly the north coast.

It is a compulsory visit for all tourists who come to the island, and is accessed via a road of just under three kilometres, that ascends from the town of Es Mercadal. It has numerous attractions: the beauty of the whole architectural group, the extraordinary views, the restaurant, the artisan and souvenir shop...

The origin of the sanctuary is situated in the XIII century. According to popular tradition, the statue of the Virgin was found in the mountain by a group of religious merchants who reached the summit accompanied by a bull that opened the way for them. But the toponym Toro really originates from the pre-Roman root "tor" the same as the Catalan word "turó" meaning hill.

The present church, where the statue of the Virgin carved in wood is, was built as from 1670 on the previous gothic church. Together with the church, forming one of the interior patio walls of the Sanctuary, is a defence tower built in 1558 on an ancient watchtower. In the patio there is a well and a monument dedicated to the Menorcans who emigrated to Florida in the XVIII century, guided by Father Pere Camps Gener, who was born in Es Mercadal, and outside the walls there are other commemorative monuments.

At present the sanctuary is administered by a community of Franciscans of Pity and is a hostal for days of reflection and prayer for different groups from Menorca.

Més informació: 971375060

 
Last update: 18/07/2004

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