Las Lajas Sanctuary – What You Don’t Know!


Photos of Santuario de Las Lajas or the Las Lajas Sanctuary make their way around social media routinely. We ourselves have run posts on the majestic and precariously perched building without entertaining its magnificence properly. The reaction from people is always the same, awestruck by its sheer beauty. At first glance, there is something old world about its design, including resonance windows, arches, spires and antennas. It’s an engineering marvel. The building is nestled on the side of a ravine, built partly over a river. To top it off, it is located in a remote part of the Columbian Andes Mountain range. How can it get more fantastic than that?

The picture above shows the gorge without a building hanging off the cliff. You can see why a bridge would have been urgently needed. But as we investigate the building’s history, you will find this is the beginning of a much deeper mystery, one that has mainstream scientists baffled by its existence. Each aspect of this building could easily have its own article, so here we will briefly touch on each aspect for you. Whatever part you find most fascinating, you can carry the torch of investigation further if you wish.

We will start will the legend and the popular explanations.

The Origin Story

According to popular belief, in the mid-1700s, local indigenous woman María Mueses de Quiñones was passing through the river canyon with her deaf-mute daughter Rosa.

While resting by a cave near the Guaitara river, Rosa spoke for the first time, telling her to “look at that mestiza.” Rosa was shocked, but saw nothing. Later, passing by the same cave, Rosa spoke again: “Mommy, the mestiza is calling me!”

On another occasion, when Rosa had gone missing, María found her at the same cave. She was on her knees, playing with the child Christ at the Virgin Mary’s feet.

At first, nobody believed María’s tales of these encounters. But then one day, tragedy struck. Her daughter Rosa suddenly died.

María carried the body to the cave where she again found Mary. Laying Rosa’s body down at her feet, María prayed for her to revive her daughter. Because María’s faith was so strong, Mary answered her prayers.

In the wake of such a miracle, the townspeople finally believed María. They made a pilgrimage to the cave, where they were surprised to see upon the rock wall an image of the Virgin Mary holding the child Christ, with Saint Dominic and Saint Francis beside her.

The first shrine, a wood and straw hut, was soon built around the image. Over the years, larger temples have been built over the same spot, until the current church and bridge were built during the first half of the 1900s.

Ever since the first viewing of the image on the rocks, some people have claimed that the water at the site has healing properties. Catholic pilgrims from many countries visit this place to catch a glimpse of the image and to pray.


Many different versions of this story exists with small variations, such as the following:

While resting by a cave near the Guaitara river, Rosa spoke for the first time, telling her to “look at that mestiza.” Rosa was shocked, but saw nothing. Later, passing by the same cave, Rosa spoke again: “Mommy, the mestiza is calling me!”

María was sceptical, but when her daughter pointed to the rock face, she saw a glowing figure of the Virgin Mary on the rock. According to the legend, the image spoke to her, saying “Build a temple here in my honour.”

María reported the vision to the local priest and the bishop, who did not believe her. However, a few days later, Rosa fell ill, and when María prayed to the Virgin Mary for help, Rosa was miraculously cured. This convinced the priest and bishop, who went to see the image themselves and declared it a miracle.

Construction of the church began in 1754, and it took almost a century to complete. The legend of the apparition of the Virgin Mary has made the church a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike.

After some inquiry, it appears there was an indigenous woman named Maria from Potos, Columbia. Maria took a job across the river in a town called Ipiales, a walk two and a half hours away. She regularly made the journey with her young daughter, aged around 2-3 years old.

One day in 1754, after an hour or so of walking, she would have arrived at the Las Lajas area. The name Las Lajas means “flat smooth stones”, and these stones have always been fabled to have healing powers. It is likely that Maria would have naturally visited this area as it would have been a logical halfway point. It was also a popular place to pick flowers and wash in the river.

Although the accompanying story is interesting, you get the first glimpse of why the building was created in the first place. To give people shelter to admire and ponder how a rock has been able to generate a perfectly visible image of a woman holding a child, flanked by two men in robes! And more importantly, what this image could possibly mean.

This is truly the most amazing part of the mystery, as we will discover in more depth as we go.


But first, let’s return to the architecture. This building is beautiful from any angle, but its construction is not well documented compared to others of its grandeur. There’s a lack of in-depth imagery that you would usually expect from a structure of this scale. On our hunt for photos, we came across what appears to be the three preceding structures. (Although we are always sceptical of such images for obvious reasons).

The following images are supposedly of the three main stages of construction that we find photographic reference to:

The first building appears to have been commissioned by a priest by the name of Eusebio Mejía y Navarro to cover the rock. It was said to be built from 1769 to 1776.

The second, more impressive, structure replaced the two columns with brick arches that are still present today. Although, the whiteout part in the image, on the lower part of the front of the building, raises an eyebrow. This second building incorporated a dome on top. The consensus for its build date was 1802, although no plans or logistic arrangements can be found as of yet.

Las lajas sanctuary

This third image displays the building itself, and is interesting for many reasons. It seems to show a building within a building.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia

This beautiful structure is located in a very inaccessible ravine. Sources are varied on the dates of construction of the temple. Some say that it was built between 1769 and 1776 by priest Eusebio Mejía y Navarro. The second structure used brick and had a dome on top built in 1802 and then completed in 1830.

The final construction happened from 1916 to 1949. The job was given to Ecuatorian engineer J. Gualberto Pérez and Colombian architect Lucindo Espinosa.

But if you Google, it says built from 1916 and that’s it. Only when you do a bit of digging you find it was the fourth time working on it. Why are they trying to cover-up the past? You decide..

Las lajas sanctuary

The Mainstream Architectural Narrative

In 1916, construction began on the current neo-Gothic basilica, which was completed in 1949.

Las Lajas Sanctuary is a large, extraordinary structure with impressive dimensions. The current neo-Gothic basilica, which was built in the early 20th century, measures approximately 100 meters (328 feet) in length, 50 meters (164 feet) in width, and 100 meters (328 feet) in height at its tallest point, which is the central tower that supports the dome.

The basilica has a Latin cross floor plan, with the nave measuring approximately 18 meters (59 feet) in width and 42 meters (138 feet) in length. The nave is flanked by two side aisles, each measuring approximately 5 meters (16 feet) in width.

Las lajas sanctuary

The basilica also features four smaller towers, each with its own spire which stand at the corners of the nave and transept. These towers measure approximately 60 meters (197 feet) in height. The dome at the centre of the basilica measures approximately 26 meters (85 feet) in diameter. It is supported by the central tower, which rises to a height of approximately 100 meters (328 feet).

Las lajas sanctuary

The Interior

Since the interior speaks for itself, we will present a simple series of photos to display the intricacies of the interior:

Old World Architecture

In the case of the Cathedral of La Plata, the arches are a fundamental aspect of its design, both aesthetically and structurally. The cathedral’s central nave is supported by a series of 37 arches, each with a span of 16 meters (52 feet). These arches help to distribute the weight of the structure evenly, reducing the risk of structural failure in the event of an earthquake.

Additionally, the building’s foundation was designed to withstand seismic activity, and the materials used in construction, such as the granite blocks, are known for their durability and ability to withstand earthquakes. All of these factors contributed to the cathedral’s ability to withstand major earthquakes in the past.

The Las Lajas has a beauty that is well beyond the impressive facade. Like with all old world buildings, it’s all about the function and its benefits to mankind. The area of Las Lajas is within the Provincial de El Oro earthquake zone — an area of high seismic activity. At the writing of this article, the latest number of activity in the last 365 days has been 95 significant earthquakes.

Two factors come into play here. First, the location that Las Lajas is built on is unique due to its geological setting. From a brief web review, this location is one the least active spots along this particular earthquake zone. Secondly, more important factor jumped out at us, one that ties into and explains a lot of the other buildings. 

Las lajas sanctuary

Architectural Arches

Architectural arches are curved structures made from brick that make the building resistant to external forces like earthquakes. The arches act as shock absorbers and dispense seismic energy.

Essentially, humanity’s understanding of how to build an earthquake-proof cathedral on the side of a cliff was clearly available to the 10,000 local inhabitants of a Columbian mountain town in the 1800s.

Let’s ponder for a moment the architecture for that time period in context to its location. The grey granite blocks were around 1 ft x 1 ft x 3 ft, resulting in a volume of three cubic feet per block. Assuming the density of 168 lbs per cubic foot for grey granite, the weight of each block would be approximately 504 pounds, or 228.6 kg. The nearest source of grey granite is around 25km away in Carchi, Colombia, which means the logistics to embark on such project are considerable. Though there is a river network linking the two locations, stand back and consider the magnitude of this feat. Imagine the logistics of transporting over 100,000 blocks weighing 200kg each, 25km up and down the mountains. You either start to gain a concept of the ingenuity of the past builders or think that perhaps there may be another explanation altogether.

These are great examples of the bridge arches in the image above. If we zoom in, we see our beloved red bricks have been used in the construction of these great arches.

The Vaults, River House, and Pier

The Las Lajas Sanctuary features a total of 47 perfectly made arches and vaults. The building’s design includes 26 vaults, 16 arches, and five half-arches. The three large pointed arches are the main ones that support the sanctuary’s central nave, which is the main area where the congregation gathers for worship. The others make up the lower floors that lead to the river. It’s difficult to find images of the river house, but based on what we know about other buildings it clearly looks like a lift and pump house. The use of red brick is again visible in the photo above.

Beyond the Veil

Our Lady of the Rosary

The image of Our Lady of Las Lajas was said to have appeared to Maria in the cave. “Modern scientists” have inspected the image and confirmed that it is indeed naturally forming.

Now, because it is said that this image has spontaneously come into being on the face of a rock, one is forgiven for immediately thinking of forgery or planted imagery. However, the image has been drilled by a German scientist that took samples to a depth of three feet into the rock surface. When these samples were analyzed, it was discovered that the image is still present at even this depth. Kind of like a stick of seaside rock.

So let’s take a long look at the image again, and let’s see if we can understand how this could have formed naturally.

We can probably agree that the mind needs to make some serious allowances to take this as naturally forming through sediment and other forces.

It is important to note that the crowns are a later addition to the image. The crown is strongly associated with the pope, inspiring the image to resemble Mary and Jesus. Some would classify this as vandalism. But if we were to play a game of say what you see…

In effect, we are looking at a woman wrapped in a shawl of stars, cradling a small child, and flanked by two male figures. As we would expect, there are many explanation for whom these figures represent. The most popular assumption being St. Dominic and St. Francis.

So again, in what realm could this possibly naturally form?? We could maybe justify a face or a silhouette of a person, but four distinct figures? We find this a little too much for the imagination. So what are the other options? Was the figure somehow projected onto the rock, like a rock tattoo? Or is this the work of a far more mystical force?

This is currently as close as the modern traveller can get to the image of Our Lady. We really need to take some time to focus and understand what is being told and shown here. What symbolism can be found woven into the image?

Now we understand why so much effort has gone into building a structure to house such an important piece of art.

The Miracles of the Flat Smooth Stones

The Miracle Wall, shown in the photo above, is a place of gratitude. People have placed memorials at the wall, thanking Our Lady of Las Lajas for the miracles they have received.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Las Lajas translates to “flat smooth stones”.

The smooth stones at Las Lajas are considered to be sacred by the local people. These stones are located in the river that flows alongside the sanctuary and are believed to have healing powers. Pilgrims often come to the sanctuary to submerge themselves in the river, touching or collecting the smooth stones as a way of seeking spiritual and physical healing. The stones are believed to be imbued with the energy of the Virgin Mary, who is said to have appeared at the site in the 18th century. The tradition of collecting and venerating the smooth stones is an important religious and cultural practice of the region.

This area has always been known for its healing properties. The restorative effects of these flat smooth stones were known even in the days of the past. Now there are many modern reports of people regaining their abilities and discarding their aids. It is said that there are many wheelchairs and walking aids going rusty around the site of Las Lajas.

The Las Lajas Angels

As with any grand building of the old world, you expect angels and gargoyles. But to find a band of musical angels on a bridge, 3,200 meters above sea level in the Columbian Andes? It would be a shock to the unprepared explorer, as these are definitely not indigenous instruments. Are they trying to purvey a message? Could sound be the key element to the miracles of Las Lajas?

The next two angels are of St. Micheal and St. Raphael, pictured below. On the left, Saint Michael the Archangel is the leader of the army of God, the Protector. Saint Raphael the Archangel, on the right, is specifically associated with healing and considered to be the patron saint of healing.

In Conclusion

Now, we’re not sure what the following video represents, but this is the structure at the end of the bridge. We couldn’t help but notice the antiquitech antenna directly above the door way.

We are clearly looking at a building from the old world, and although we have a great back story and lots of fantastic explanations, we suspect the truth to be even more extraordinary than the story. We did some additional research on the building phases, and although there are a few different images of the the building in its different stages of construction, we found the next picture most interesting.

Las lajas sanctuary

It is our suspicion that this photo is from the major effort to install glass in many of the resonating windows, as well as to remove any functional tech before the end of the airship era. This photo of the building can’t help but fuel that theory. Again, if we play say what you see, then this is an old building being refitted, not built.

For us, this clearly is a building of resonance and healing, and one guarding what could possibly the greatest work of art know to the realm. A work of art drafted straight from above. We feel this building, and Our Lady of the Rosary, have far more to teach us about their true origins.

Las lajas sanctuary

From a resonance point of view, the building has perfect geometry and we suspect is in a high frequency B3 area, which could explain it’s use for healing. We present these images of a digital model so we can assess the number of spires and antennas and their layout.

Notes on Our Lady — Gaia

We see the age old references here! A divine female figure standing on a crescent moon. The crescent moon has always been a symbol of fertility and the divine feminine, and standing on and above it could possibly indicate her rightful place in the heavens.

Next, the shawl of stars could be a representation of how the stars are worn by Gaia, the personification of Earth. The Mother Goddess of the Earth, the one who pulls her cloak of stars across her body each night.

Also, could the fact that she is casually supporting a small boy child in her arms be a reference to Mother Earth nurturing her son, Man? Possibly the reverence she deserves for bridging the spirit and physical realms, her tireless endeavour.

The facial construct is important to note. The detail in the nose structure of Our Lady is different to the men in worship. Her nose is direct to forehead without a dip, as you may have noticed in other Tartarian depictions.

Finally, we note that both woman and child figures are offering a rosary and a cord to the men below them. Feel free to add some possible meaning to this in the comments below.

We found this stunning building and its mystical story very intriguing to research. We will be thrilled to see what the community finds that we may have missed. It seemed as though every angle we looked at there was a new intriguing story to follow.

We hope you enjoyed this fascinating journey as much as we did, fellow truthseeker!

Las Lajas Sanctuary
— What You Don’t Know!

Article written by TARTARIA BRITANNICA

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