A fire reported Wednesday has left the shrine to the Virgin of da Barca, Muxia, La Coruna almost completely destroyed, which has burned the roof and the interior and damaged stones with which it was built. The flames began, according to early indications, due to a lightning strike on a transformer next to the church, which caught fire and the fire passed through the wires to the sacristy.
The 112 (911) received notice at 8:30 am this Christmas day. The fire brigade said there was fire in the sanctuary, an emblematic place of worship and pilgrimage in the Costa da Morte.
The area firefighters and effective voluntary groups in the area, worked until 1pm to extinguish the flames, which were fanned by strong winds blowing in Muxia, and to the recover some figures and religious objects inside the church, which were damaged. "There would have been no human way to stop the fire. It was physically impossible," said the mayor of Muxia, Felix Porto to Cadena SER. Councilman making a statement about the "unrecoverable" the shrine.
Firefighters explained that the shrine has been "almost completely" burned and now the main risk is the collapse of part of the structure. They stone walls and dome remains standing, but its structure is badly damaged and in danger of collapse.
The church's interior is completely burned and the central altarpiece has disappeared from the effect of fire. The side altars have been burned, though not in their entirety, and the only things saved from the flames were the pews or confessional areas of lesser cultural value.
The wind blowing in the area caused the fire would spread quickly and left the church almost completely engulfed in flames. The site has been handed to Heritage Technicians to assess the damage and the Judicial Police, in order to investigate the origin of the fire.
The shrine to the Virgin of da Barca is influenced by Baroque classicism. The first surviving written document from it is dated from the year 1544. The chapel was rebuilt several times, until the early eighteenth century, in 1719 to the present. Its austerity and simplicity is broken by the rich ornamentation of its altarpieces. The altarpiece, 1717, is the work of artist Miguel de Compostela Romay, Baroque and is dedicated to the Virgen de la Barca.