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
Region: Couva – Tabaquite – Talparo
Site Type: Cultural Heritage
Website Link: http://ourladyofmontserrat.org/
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
314 Mayo Road, Tortuga, Couva – Tabaquite – Talparo