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Church of Sant Andreu d'Arinsal
Arinsal and surrounding
Architecture,  Temples, Churches
Temples, Churches

It is unlikely that traveling through the cities of Andorra and visiting local shrines is an exciting activity as almost all the temples of the principality date back to the 12th century and look the same. Sometimes you can even physically experience deja vu. However, all of the information above is not about the Church of Sant Andreu d'Arinsal. It has both the original structure, which has been perfectly preserved to this day and the striking interior.

The Catholic shrine was built in the 17th century in the historic center of Arinsal. The simple rectangular stone building appeared right on top of the cliff, and much of its basic structure was related to its location. For example, the forced chamfer of corners made to fit the building to the rock without disrupting the town's street plan, or the quadrangular bell tower, which adjoined the main facade of the temple on one side, and the neighboring residential building on the other. It also had a lot of details, like a small comfortable step making it possible to get around the temple. In general, builders definitely put life into this monastery, paying attention to the needs of parishioners. Besides, all semicircular arches, including the passage under the bell tower, were covered with gutters and the roof – with a slate slab. The main facade of the temple complex was exposed to the south and had a simple wooden door, crowned with a circular cinder hole, the so-called oculus. There was also an inscription above the door, 1964, indicating the end of the church restoration. Another date, 1884, was located on a wooden beam above the aisle under the bell tower. However, no one still knows its meaning.

The interior of the temple is no less interesting than its exterior. Before the 2004 restoration, there was no plaster on the walls, so it was possible to see the original masonry. Today, the interior includes a wooden choir, an altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the 17th century, and a small door leading to the bell tower. But the main relics of the church are a valuable icon of Our Lady of the 18th century and a small Baroque carved figurine of Sant Andreu of the 17th-18th centuries.

Address: Church of Sant Andreu d'Arinsal

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Praskovia Ko

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