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Sanctuary of the Holy Christ

Sanctuary of the Holy Christ · Hotel Santuari · Balaguer

Sanctuary of the Holy Christ

It is located on a plain above the meander of the Segre that dominates the city of Balaguer, and from there radiates its influence in the counties of western Catalonia and the lands of the Aragón Strip. The delicate carving of the Saint Christ is surrounded by an imposing architectural ensemble formed by its church, the convent of the Clarisses, and the rectory and sanctuary houses. The first documented church in this place is Santa Maria d'Almatà, which was built on the mosque Aljama and which had parish attributes from the definitive conquest by the Christians -in the year 1105- until the year 1351, when it became the conventual church of the monastery of Clarisses.

In this church of Santa Maria was kept a very revered image of the Saint Christ, which already had its tradition written in 1585. The image was moved to the high altar after the important reforms carried out in the temple in the first decades of the s. XVII, and from that moment the temple began to have the Holy Christ as its main dedication.

The image of the Saint Christ that is worshiped today is a delicate copy of the image that was destroyed in 1936, at the beginning of the Civil War. It is the work of the sculptor Joaquim Ros, and preserves the foot of the original burned image. The beautiful tradition says that the image of the Saint Christ of Balaguer was the first to be made in the world. The author was Nicodemus, who still had the image of Christ in him. The image began a long journey from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean, until it climbed the Segre until it stopped in front of the convent of the Clarisses d´Almatà.

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