One of the landmarks most beloved by the La Palma faithful is the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves, because it is home to the venerated Virgin of the Snows. Located between the neighbourhoods of La Dehesa and Belhoco, five kilometres (three miles) from city centre, it was built at the beginning of the 15th century and totally rebuilt in the 17th. The Virgin, the patronness of La Palma and the Canary Islands' oldest religious icon, was transferred here from the ravine in which the original Spanish conquerers had placed it in the mid-15th century. This sanctuary is of the same style as most others on the island, with prominent features including its elevated high chapel, its half barrel vault; some 16th-century Flemish images (Spain ruled Flanders at that time); and a magnificent collection of 17th-century Andalusian works.
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