Christianity and The Church of Ermita Espinar
If you visit Puerto Rico you simply have to try and spend at least some time in the city of Aguada. Reported to be the place where Christopher Columbus landed when he discovered this great island, this city is filled with fascinating attractions. One of Aguada’s more notable attractions is the Ermita Espinar Ruins. The history behind this small attraction is quite interesting and really gives you an idea of the trials and tribulations that early settlers must have faced.
According to the history books, the Ermita Espinar Ruins in Puerto Rico were built in 1525 at the request of Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción. The building was originally a sort of church and the structure was created with the aim of converting the local Taíno Indian’s to Christianity. Unfortunately the venture did not last since, just four years later, Caribe Indians took it upon themselves to not only destroy the chapel, but also the kill many of the Franciscan priests serving there. Thus many people lost their lives during the destruction of this religious edifice.
Today visitors may find it strange to see a church standing on the site where they should see these ruins. Considering that they are visiting to see the ruins, their confusion is warranted. However, if you venture inside the church, you will find that the alter inside the church is built around the original ruins. This noteworthy tribute to the older structure makes for interesting décor and allows you to see the ruins without being bothered by the weather.
It is interesting to note that it is this chapel which serves as proof that Aguada is the second oldest European-style settlement on the island. The landing of Christopher Columbus is celebrated in Aguada each year on the 19th of November. If you wish to visit this interesting religious attraction, you will find it by taking route 442 to Barrio Espinar. The ruins are open from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 17:00 with a short lunch break between 12:00 and 13:00. You can check with your tour guide if you need more information.