History

Holy Christ history

It seems that all the referring documents to the Holy Christ`s arrival to Balaguer got lost, they were problably burned in the destruction of the "Castell Formós" (Beautiful Castle) in XV century. In 1585 we already found transcribed the legend of the Holy Christ of Balaguer but still it is a story told from one generation to the other:

The Holy Christ image was carved by Nicodemus, who was deeply touched by the death of Christ at the cross and he wanted to engrave that divine suffering on the wood. He sculptured little by little Christ`s body , but as he got to the face, Nicodemus found it very difficult to engrave all the pain and sorrow as he remembered it. After several attempts he felt very disappointed and tired and fell asleep. In his sleep he dreamed about the angels engraveing the face of the statue. When he woke up he found out that Christ`s face was just as he had imagined it.

Nicodemus took the image to his home in Jerusalem. When Mary and the apostles saw the image, were astonished ........ it was so perfect and beautiful ........ they knelt down and kissed it.

In one of the many persecutions that the Christians suffered, the statue was moved to Beirut, where it was worshiped in a basement, by a few Christians, that were running away from torment. One day, these Christians had to run away and left the statue inside a closet.

Many years went by and that house was bought by a Jewish man named Eleazar More.

One day, during a party in Eleazar`s house, the image was found, and Eleazar was accused of being a Christian by the other Jews. Eleazar tryed to convince his friends that he was not by slashing the image, and also stabbed a dagger in His chest. A stream of blood came out of the wound and everybody was astonished. Many Jews were converted to Christianism and for many years Nicodemo`s Holy Christ was worshiped in a Beirut synagogue, it was turned into a Christian temple.

When the Arabs invaded the city of Beirut, they threw the image to the Mediterranean Sea. The image crossed the sea untill arriving at the opening from Ebro River. It raised against current, got into Sagre River and to Balaguer.

The people of the place wanted to remove the image from the river but they couldn`t. They warned the Clarisas` nuns, and they lowered in procession. The mother abbess knelt down at the border of the river. A wave caused that the image approached to her arms. With great devotion and followed by all the Clarisas` nuns and the whole town of Balaguer, the abbess took the image uphill to the temple where still today It is venerated.


Presence in the Pla d'Almatà and transformation of the sanctuary

For very many time, the place where the sanctuary is, has been a whorshiping place. It is necessary to go back to the times in which the Arabs lived in Balaguer and had their city at the Pla de Almatá (Plains of Almatá) 

Most part of the present building is of those times (XII century). It was of a romantic style. The door and the rosette in the main façade, at the front, still remain, this building faced the Pla de Almatà. The great altar was located where at the moment is the door that gives next to the river. It had a ship and a cruvero of vault of average tube. The arms of the cruvero went from the launching slips of present presbytery to where nowadays it is the arch that maintains the choir.

In XVII century, because of the great increasing devotion by the miracles attributed to the image of the Holy Christ, the temple was extended and it was put under the invocation of the venerated image. The great altar was placed in the arm located to the north. The main entrance was opended towards the south, facing to the city, and received a façade totally flat and crowned by an arch with descending curvature to both sides.

By the end of XVIII century, a vault was built in the main ship and also a special place (like a dressing room) was built for the image of the Holy Christ. During the first decades of XX century to the present the facade and the entrance were constructed. The venerated image was burned on the 28th of July 1936. Only the right foot was saved from the flames

By order of the Pere Corberó i Trepat was carbed by the artists Joaquim Ros and Josep Espelta of Barcelona a new image. For the face of the same one, they used a mask that was conserved of the previous one. The new image, that has leaned the right foot of the old one, was blessed by the bishop Ramon Navarri Churches and got back to its place on March 16, 1947.

Being chaplain of the sanctuary Mn. Pere Ribes a renovation of the presbytery took place in 1972. In 1973 the painter Navarro Llucià, decorated the dressing room with paints.

 
A young Hotel

The hotel linked to the Sanctuary began its service in 1999, in a remodeling of the old hospitality services of the Sanctuary. In 2008, a profound remodeling and renovation of the facilities was carried out and modern amenities were available for guests.
The will of sobriety inherent in a hotel linked to the Sant Crist Sanctuary is not renneted with quality facilities and a pleasant experience, in which cleanliness, family service and exquisite are the motto of the establishment. Over time, it has provided meeting and study rooms and every day it seeks to improve attention in restaurant offers and stays.



Hotel Santuari

Pla del Reial s/n,

25600-Balaguer (Lleida)    

Tel. +34 973 449 617

rest_santuari@hotmail.com

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