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Mountain church 'world's most beautiful'


The Las Lajas Sanctuary, a church located at an altitude of 2,900 meters in the Colombian Andes, has become a major draw for tourists, with some calling the neo-Gothic basilica the world's most beautiful church.

More than 750,000 people visit the church annually, with about 120,000 pilgrims arriving during Holy Week at the church, which was built between 1916 and 1949.

The church, located on the edge of the Guaitara River canyon and less than 10 kilometres from the border with Ecuador, is dedicated Our Lady of the Rosary of Las Lajas.

Thousands of pilgrims arrive at the church every day, fulfilling vows made to the virgin.

The pilgrims are joined by scores of tourists eager to view the monumental architecture of the church, which is between the cities of Ipiales and Potosi in the southwestern province of Narino.

On January 13, the Trade, Industry and Tourism Ministry added the Las Lajas Sanctuary to the list of attractions on the Corredor Turistico del Sur, one of 12 tourist routes designed by the government to boost visitor numbers in the region.