Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia

What are you looking at through your office windows this Monday morning? Metallic skyscrapers? The apartments of city-dwellers? Well feast your eyes on this architectural marvel nestled in the canyon of the Guaitara River; we’re sure it will impress more than whatever’s out there.


Las Lajas Sanctuary is an architectural marvel, not only because of its beautiful Gothic Revivalist style, but because of the fact that it was built in a precarious gorge…and on the side of a mountain… over 100 years ago. Such a feat would be difficult to accomplish now, let alone a century ago. But it was accomplished, marvellously so; and we’re all the luckier for it.

The story goes that in 1754, a woman and her deaf and mute child were caught in a raging storm. The pair decided to seek shelter from the weather in the gorge, upon which they felt a force calling out to them; and so appeared the Virgin Mary on the rocks above and the daughter was instantly cured of her deafness and spoke her first words.

Regardless of whether you’re making a pilgrimage or simply travelling through to near-by neighbouring Ecuador, Las Lajas is a sight that will astound. The beautiful white stones and intricate spires contrast magnificently with the surrounding mountain-scape and the verdant Colombian hills.

See, we told you it was better than that office view…