Church of San Lazaro

Ermita de San Lázaro
Front View
Ermita de San Lázaro
Lateral View

This primitive temple has historical references that go back to the early years of the sixteenth century. Its religious and cultural importance is linked to the spatial context, as a reference centre of an essentially agricultural area in the area of San Lázaro. Between 1505 and 1510, the residents of San Lázaro built a rustic chapel to the saint on the so-called old road of the town.

But later, in 1535, it was moved to the site where it is located today. The founder of this new hermitage was Don Pedro de Vergara, who appears in the documentary sources as a repopulator, mayor and alderman in the times of the first Adelantado. His devotion to Saint Lazarus is explained by the confession he made in his will, of suffering “from the disease they usually call bubas” (syphilis).

In the middle of the 17th century it became necessary to build a new chapel due to the poor state of the previous one, which was paid for by a descendant of Vergara; but even then it had a rather precarious existence and would be rebuilt in 1861.

Today we can say that the building is in keeping with traditional Canarian architecture. It is a single-nave, rectangular-shaped building measuring 15 x 15 metres, with a main chapel separated from the main nave by a lowered toral arch held up by fluted wooden pilasters. The nave is covered with a simple wooden coffered ceiling lined with whitewashed brick.

On the outside, the roof is made of Arabic tiles with a gabled roof and a façade occupied by a semicircular stone doorway with side benches. At the apex of the façade there is a simple stone bell tower made up of two semicircular arches arranged perpendicularly. In the 1980s, a square-based chapel with a hipped roof and a rectangular module built to connect the church with a former girls’ school were added to the original design, so that today the worship space has been enlarged. However, these recent additions distort the original morphology of the church.

The Church of San Lázaro, its associated movable property and its surroundings have been declared a Property of Cultural Interest, with the category of monument, since 25 October 2005.

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