Shrine of La Mare de Déu del Toro – Es Mercadal, Spain - Atlas Obscura

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Shrine of La Mare de Déu del Toro

Es Mercadal, Spain

The highest point of this Balearic island is home to a historic monastery. 

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At the summit of the El Toro, the highest point on Menorca, is the Mare de Déu del Toro, a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary since the late 13th century. Augustinian friars occupied the sanctuary in 1595, and the governor ordered the construction of a square tower, which remains today.

To the Minorcans, the sanctuary is a spiritual gathering point. The Dissolution Act of 1835 forced the Augustinian Friars out. In 1936 the site was sacked, although the image of the Virgin Mary was hidden and saved. The site underwent extensive restoration after the end of the Spanish Civil War. A wooden figure of the patron saint of the Minorcans, Toro Virgin is on display. The sanctuary is currently inhabited and maintained by an order of Franciscan nuns.

Know Before You Go

Note that the road to the shrine is quite steep.

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March 6, 2023

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