The first time we saw the Shrine at Torreciudad in Spain, the visual impression was breathtaking. What a setting and how blue the water! Yet each time we visit, and this year was our 7th, the effect is the same – it never fails to impress.
Torreciudad is a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Aragon in the north of Spain. Devotion to Our Lady of Torreciudad dates back to the eleventh century. The new Shrine, built under the guidance of the founder of Opus Dei, Saint Josemaria Escriva, was opened in 1975. He said that what he hoped for from the shrine were "spiritual fruits: graces that the Lord will wish to grant to all who come to honour his Blessed Mother at her shrine. These are the miracles I desire: conversions, and peace for many souls." With this in mind, he asked for confessional chapels to be built and for everything to be done to enable people to pray at the Shrine in peace.
We stay at a village near the shrine made up of a few streets of Spanish villas. The idea was conceived by a Spanish gentleman whose idea was to enable large Spanish Catholic families to have a relatively inexpensive holiday. Now an international fortnight means that all nationalities can experience this place. Here families can go to daily Mass at the shrine before exploring the region or simply enjoying the sunshine. It is very pleasurable being with like minded families and very reassuring for children of all ages.
So after a boat trip from Portsmouth to Bilbao and an overnight in the city of Pamplona we arrived at El Tozal and made ourselves at home for 16 days