Nuestra Señora de la Valvanera Chapel is located in the municipality of Coamo. The structure, which dates to the 15th century, was built as a promise to the Virgin of Valvanera, to whom the city had prayed for intercession to alleviate a deadly cholera epidemic the town suffered in 1683.
Two years later, one of the residents of Coamo, Mateo García, began the process of building a chapel in the region after the epidemic subsided. It consisted of a small sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary associated with the Valvanera part of Spain since the Middle Ages.
The structure was built of masonry and is rectangular in shape with a single nave divided into two sections: the principal nave and the apse. The choir area is of more recent construction, but the wood balustrade is original, as are the wooden doors on the main and side entrances.
In 1894, a repair project on the old chapel was begun in which part of the original foundation and walls were used. The façade was completely transformed. During this renovation, two windows were added in the apse area and the roof was replaced with a new one of reinforced concrete. Despite these repairs, the basic form of the structure remained unaltered.
In 1929, the Nuestra Señora de Valvanera School was built around the chapel so that the chapel’s façade opened onto the interior patio of the school. The old chapel has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of Properties, National Register of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 17, 2014.
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