This pano fulfills an entry into my most wanted pano-list. It shows the niche of the Virgin of the Assumption inside the Santa Maria Basilica (WWP1204 Sanctuary
) on one side and the view from the niche to the inside of the basilica on the other side.
The Virgen de la Asuncion is the patron Saint of Elche. Tradition says that the image of the Virgin was found by the coastguard Francisco Canto inside a mysterious ark floating at the local beach of Tamarit on the 29th of December 1370. The ark had the inscription "soc per a Elig": "I am for Elche".
The ark contained not only the image of the Holy Virgin but also the manuscripts, known as "consueta", detailing the liturgical ceremonies to be held in order to commemorate the death, assumption and crowning of the Holy Virgin. These manuscripts are the base of the so called "Mystery of Elche." This is a medieval sacred musical drama that is played every 14th and 15th of August and that has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
It is worth mentioning that the current sculpture of the Virgin is a copy of the original one that disappeared during the Basilica fire in 1936.
Special thanks to the Basilica sacristan, Manuel Fernandez, for his cooperation and to Miguel for helping me around while shooting this pano.