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The Dark Lady of Guadalupe (Vila do Bispo)

A cache by Team Caracache Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 07/20/2007
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, Vila do Bispo

Short Description


This is an easy off-set cache designed to introduce to those who do not know of it, the story of the Black Madonna. The description below refers to the legend which began in 14th century Spain in the province of Cáceres. This cache is based on one of the shrines that were founded in that period throughout Europe, which has recently been restored and opened to the public.

The Chapel opening hours are:

2nd May - 30th September 1030-1300; and 1400-1830:

1st October - 30th April 0930-1300 and 1400-1700.

It is officially closed on every Monday, and on National Holidays: May 1st; December 25th and January 1st.
It is not necessary to go during opening hours to find the cache, but it is worth a visit to the chapel.
NOTE: There is now a charge to enter the chapel and grounds, which some have found very interesting, but it is NOT necessary to enter to solve the clue.

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Extremadura)

This article is about the Spanish statue.

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Extremadura)


Our Lady of Guadalupe (Extremadura)

The shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was the most important Marian Shrine in the medieval kingdom of Castile . It is revered in the Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, in today's Cáceres Province of the Extremadura autonomous community of Spain.

The shrine housed a statue reputed to have been carved by Luke the Evangelist and given to Saint Leander, archbishop of Seville by Pope Gregory I. When Seville was taken by the Moors , a group of priests fled northward and buried the statue in the hills near the Guadalupe River in Extremadura.

At the beginning of the 14th Century, a shepherd claimed that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and ordered him to ask priests to dig at the site of the apparition. Excavating priests rediscovered the hidden statue and built a small shrine around it which evolved into the great Guadalupe Monastery .

Pilgrims began arriving in 1326, and in 1340, King Alphonso XI took a personal interest in the shrine's development, attributing his victory over the Moors at the Battle of Rio Salado to the Virgin's intercession. Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with Santiago de Compostela and Nuestra Señhora del Pilar became rallying points for the Christian Spaniards in their Reconquista of Iberia.

In 1386, the shrine was commended to the Hieronymites, who turned the popular devotion to the figure into a genuine cult. Copies of the statue were venerated in satellite chapels probably including this one in Vila do Bispo, Algarve.

A theory that the name of the Mexican Lady of Guadalupe derives from the Extremadura figure is based on similarities between the apparition stories and the provenance of many Conquistadors, including Hernàn Cortes, from the Extremadura region.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of three Black Madonnas in Spain.


Long Description


The given coordinates will take you to the Chapel. There is a small charge to enter the Chapel and grounds. Please do not climb into the grounds if the gate is closed. I have had complaints from the caretaker that some damage was done to the fence, and although there is no proof that it was Geocachers, he seemed to infer that it was.


This cache is designed to introduce you to the beautifully restored and unique 13th Century chapel devoted to the Black Madonna, who was known by other names throughout Europe. The cache formerly required you to enter the grounds and the chapel, but since they have started charging admission even to set foot inside the grounds, I have decided to leave that as an option, though very worthwhile.

  The cache can be found by visiting the entrance gate, and reading the notice board.
On the board it states in English  "The Hermitage is devoted to the cult of the ......"  and in Portuguese "Ermida dedicado ao culto da ........"

If the name of the cult has 15 letters then the cache is at N37º 05.041 and W008º 51.978
If the name of the cult has 17 letters then the cache is at N37º 05.051 and W008º 51.988
If the name of the cult has 19 letters then the cache is at N37º 05.061 and W008º 51.998

REMEMBER: The final cache is OUTSIDE the grounds of the chapel.

Take the time,if you are interested, after finding the cache to examine the chapel in more detail. There is a very unusual boss in the vaulting, and the peculiar assymetry of the building is interesting - no door nor window is in the exact centre of a wall - even opposite pillars are different widths as are the distances of the pillars from the walls behind the altar. The popular myth giving the reason for this is that 'Only God is Perfect' so these discrepancies were built in to represent human imperfection.


May you be Blessed by Our Lady.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Bhgfvqr gur srapr, naq haqre n cvrpr bs vg.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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