The Ermita de Espinar church in Barrio Espinar, Aguada, it’s a beautiful Catholic church which was originally built in the 17th century, and contains inside the ruins of the original stone church built by the Spaniard settlers on 1600. Early in the 1500s, the King of Spain provided funds for the construction of a monastery and small chapel to be built for the small settlement of Spaniards, and for the conversion of the native people living in the region. According to church documents, the Franciscan Friars lived and preached here starting in 1525, and the small chapel was in use by the community until 1529. The sad history is that the Caribe indians attacked and set fire to the church and community in 1529, and 5 Friars died.
The church was rebuilt in stone in 1600. It was in use until 1867, when it was abandoned after being ruined by a hurricane and other incidents.
In 1967, the community wanted their church reopened, so they began the construction of a new church that enclosed the ruins. They reopened in 1973 as the Parroquia Santuario Protomártires de la Immaculada Concepción. The Fransiscan Friars are once again holding services in this special place.
The new church is really a shell, and they are still in the process of making it into a beautiful and more usable place. It contains the ruins of the original stone walls, and many beautiful religious statues. They have even refurbished the original brick floor. The roots, trees and holes where the original beams were; are all visible in the ruined walls. It’s really something to see.
Address: Carretera 115 Interseccion 442 Bo. Espinar Aguada, PR
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/iu5tyrx1X4p
Hours: Open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm with a short lunch break between noon and 1pm.
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