The story of Our Lady of the Candelaria begins on the island of Tenerife.
Even before the conquest of the Canary Islands by the Spaniards, the Guanches found a statue of a beautiful woman on the ocean. She became their sanctuary. The Spanish conquistadors, having broken the resistance of the Guanches, decided that the statue of Our Lady, although black, was the shrine of the Guanches.
In the town of Candelaria, the Spaniards built a chapel for the statue, which stood there for many years - until a storm swept the chapel into the sea along with the statue. Since by that time pilgrimages had become a tradition, they made a copy of the statue and built a temple for it. Along the promenade next to the temple, there are 9 bronze statues of Guanche leaders who ruled Tenerife before the Spanish conquest.