Our Lady of Montserrat


This site is on the Heritage Asset Register which is the official list of Trinidad and Tobago’s historic sites that are worthy of notation and preservation. The register is authorized by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago’s Council and is by no means exhaustive. The sites on the Heritage Asset Register are not owned by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. The Trust welcomes any historical information and oral histories the public wishes to share with us concerning this site via the feedback form.

Our Lady of Montserrat

“Our Lady of Montserrat” Roman Catholic Church is located high on a ridge of the Central Range in the village of Tortuga, facing westward towards the Gulf of Paria. It is a wooden church, which was built by its first priest and architect, Fr. Marie Jules Dupoux, and blessed on December 24, 1878. The church was named after the Montserrat Hills on which it stands, a name given by the Spanish settlers who named the area after the Montserrat Mountains of Catalonia, in the region of Barcelona, Spain. Almost 125 years old and arguably the oldest church in Trinidad and Tobago, the church of Our Lady of Montserrat is also well known as a Shrine to Our Lady. A special festival is held every year on the Sunday nearest the 8TH September and is attended by hundreds of patrons from all over Trinidad

Tis first parish priest and architect of the church at Mayo Road, Tortuga, Fr. Marie Jules Dupoux of Avignon, France, designed and built the church and it was commissioned on 24th December, 1878. This church is well known in Trinidad and Tobago for its interesting architecture, the panoramic and breath-taking view of the Gulf of Paria and most of all for the wooden figure of the Black Virgin, built by a Spanish saint maker following the Spanish Colonial Folk Art style. No one knows when the statue was brought to Tortuga and it is assumed that Capuchin missionaries brought it to the parish. The church is also sometimes called the Church of Many Statues because it has statues of some 19 saints donated over the years by wealthy cocoa plantation owners. Beautiful stained glass windows, bought in France over 100 years ago adorn the three altars of the church. Also of great historical interest are the hand-painted “Stations of the Cross”, mounted in beautiful frames made of oak.

A restoration project was started in May 2001 and is now complete and the church re-occupied on Sunday 8th September, 2002, the festival day.

Other Known Name: Tortuga, Tortuga R.C. Church

Address: 314 Mayo Road

Town/City: Tortuga

Region: Couva – Tabaquite – Talparo

Site Type: Cultural Heritage

Website Link: http://ourladyofmontserrat.org/

Ownership: Private

Public Accessibility: Limited Access

Listing Status: Stage 2 – Identification & Inclusion of Heritage Site on Inventory of Properties

Cultural Community: French

Site Features: Places of Worship

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314 Mayo Road, Tortuga, Couva – Tabaquite – Talparo

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