The Basilica of Higüey is one of the most visited sanctuaries in Latin America and contains the image of La Altagracia, who was the first evangelizer of America and the New World.
The Basilica of Higüey, whose official name is the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia, is a Catholic sanctuary in Salvaleón de Higüey, Dominican Republic.
It is the cathedral of the diocese of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey and one of the busiest sanctuaries in the Caribbean. At first it was thought that the invocation came from the Spanish town of Garrovillas de Alconétar (Cáceres), although it was later found that it came from of Siruela, Badajoz, Extremadura, with the visit of the bishop of Higüey to said locality.
Both towns have the Virgin of Altagracia as patron saint and paths hermitages dedicated to her. Another piece of information that points to the region of Extremadura is that Nicolás de Ovando was born in Brozas (10 kilometers away from Garrovillas) and also held the position of commander of Lares (11 kilometers away from Siruela) before arriving in La Española as governor of the Indies. in 1502.
The work of the basilica of Higüey or of Our Lady of Altagracia, was built by the French architects André-Jacques Dunoyer de Segonzac, Pierre Dupré and Pierre Domino, who were chosen through an international competition announced in 1947, but carried out in 1949, in which the proposal of the aforementioned architects was chosen.
The basilica was built in the center of the city, with a structure in the form of a Latin cross, the main door is made of bronze with a 24-carat gold plating, it also has a bell tower with 45 bronze bells.
From Rome, the basilica was blessed by Pope John Paul II himself and on October 12, 1992, on his second visit to the country, John Paul II crowned the image of La Altagracia with a silver-gilt diadem.
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