Santa María de Guadalupe Monastery
Guadalupe means “hidden river” and the name applies to the Virgin, the river, and a town of the same name. The legend dates back to the 8th century when a sheppard named Gil Cordero saw an apparition of the Virgin who led him to a spot where her image had been buried at the edge of the river. It had been buried there for over five centuries after clerics fleeing the Moorish invasion submerged it in the river to prevent it falling into enemy hands. A hermitage was built on the spot and a small community began to form around it. The first mention of the name came from 1340 when Alfonso XI granted the community a township and in 1347 uttered the phrase “the town located in Santa María de Guadalupe.” Today, the town has 2,500 inhabitants and daily life revolves the monastery.