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article imageSpanish sanctuary from 1544 destroyed by lightning strike (video)

By Anne Sewell     Dec 26, 2013 in World
The A Virxe de Barca sanctuary in Muxía, Galicia, which dates back to 1544, was struck by lightning on Christmas Day. The strike hit a nearby electrical transformer, spread to the building and completely gutted the historic interior.
Local emergency services received a call at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning reporting that the building was engulfed in flames.
Firefighters and volunteers tried their best to battle the blaze, but were unsuccessful.
The mayor of Muxía, in the A Coruña province of Galicia said, “There was no way to stop it.” He added that the sanctuary was “completely destroyed.”
The inner sanctum of the building is completely charred and reportedly the central altarpiece has disappeared completely from the flames. The side altars in the temple are partially burned and only minor aspects, like the confessionals, have survived the fire.
Firefighters believe the fire started when lightning struck an electrical transformer next to the building. Apparently the fire passed through into the sacristy, the roof of which has now collapsed. Reportedly the central dome is still standing, but firefighters who fought the blaze believe it could also fall.
According to Cadena Ser (Spanish language), the first written references to the Sanctuary of A Barca date from 1544, although its antiquity goes back to the eleventh or twelfth centuries, according to municipal records.
According to parish archives, the chapel was rebuilt several times, but the current building was reconstructed in 1719. The rectory and belfry were built independently, the first in 1828 and the second in 1834.
La Vanguardia (in Spanish) reports that the interior of the building was baroque with much influence from the previous century and with rich ornamentation on the altars.
The sanctuary is the main landmark of the cultural and historical richness of Muxía and a great loss to the area.
Views of the Sanctuary of A Virxe de Barca  Muxía  Galicia  Spain - destroyed by fire on December 2...
Views of the Sanctuary of A Virxe de Barca, Muxía, Galicia, Spain - destroyed by fire on December 25, 2013.
Mario Sánchez
Views from the A Virxe de Barca sanctuary in Muxía  Galicia  Spain.
Views from the A Virxe de Barca sanctuary in Muxía, Galicia, Spain.
Mario Sánchez
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