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Principal » The University » General Information » Symbols » Our Lady of La Bordadita
Our Lady of “La Bordadita” (The Embroidered Lady of The Rosary)

“La Bordadita”  or The Embroidered Lady of The Rosary, is the patron virgin of the University of El Rosario and presides over the Chapel named after her. The Chapel is at the left side of the Claustro. 

The image of unique beauty, wears a robe embroidered with diamonds and gold, sewn by Queen Margaret of Austria. There is evidence of this fact, by the testimony of General Pedro Alcántara Herrán, in Volume III of the Illustrated Newspaper, p. 383: 

“The church is a simple construction and had a main altar where the Patron Lady of the Colegio was venerated. The image’s robe was embroidered by the very hands of Dona Margaret of Austria and is commonly known as “La Bordadita.”

The Chapel of Our Embroidered Lady of the Rosary “La Bordadita” 

It is a building of great historical value which has been the core and the heart of the University. It was built following the tradition of the XVI century, when churches, chapels and sanctuaries were raised in Spanish America in devotion to Virgin Mary, as a result of the Counterreformation where Marian devotion stressed the difference between Catholics and Protestants.  

The first version of the church must have been a simple oratory, built in 1553. In 1584 it was open to public devotion and dedicated to Saint Thomas. The chapel is part of the original architecture of the Claustro and was built at the foundation of the University in the XVII century to honor Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. It was inaugurated in the 18th of December of the year 1653.  

Later in 1793, in an action motivated by what could be called the First Congress of El Rosario Ex alumni, the remains of the Founder Archbishop that rested in the Prime Cathedral of Bogotá were moved to the Bordadita Chapel.  

A “spanish-californian style” tower was added to the chapel in the 1950s, when artist Luis A. Acuña rebuilt the Claustro after the changes introduced in the XIX century. In the inside of the Claustro, German Téllez removed most of the decoration that Acuña had added to the Chapel’s nave, but did not affect the façade of the Claustro.  

At present, the Chapel houses sacred treasures of art and history, and is considered part of the cultural heritage of Colombia.  


The Facade  

This stone treasure, heritage of the XVII century faces Carrera 6th. The entrance arch opens over a flat faced tiled wall built in 1953 and it is framed by Corinthian columns. 

The round head frontispiece was completed in 1654 and it shows five stucco earthenware sculptures: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary holding Baby Jesus between Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Sienna, and at the sides, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Brother Cristóbal de Torres kneeling down.  

The Archivolt has the Hail Mary prayer written in Latin (1883) and two stone sculptures representing Saint Pius V and Saint Bonaventure at each side. They are a creation of Artist Luis Alberto Acuña (1958). The entrance door is the original one (XVII century), and is ornamented with Renaissance bronze studs and a splendid door lock.  


The Choir  

The original structure was recovered after its restoration. 


The Nave  

It is a vaulted, flat sloped nave and its huge walls made from masonry blocks, are about two meters thick. The present coffered ceiling is a creation of Artist Acuña (1953).  


The Altar  

This new altar was designed by architect Germán Téllez. It is a plain monolith of bush hammered Stone, built in 1971 to celebrate mass facing the people. It holds the Calatrava Coat of Arms as the unique ornament decoration, as designed by artist Luis Acevedo.  


The Altarpiece  

The Bordadita’s altarpiece has been changed several times. The original one created by Masústegui’s disappeared during the civil war and a new neoclassic altarpiece made out of wood imitating marble was ordered by Monseñor Carrasquilla, which was later replaced by the present altarpiece.  

The current altarpiece was designed by artist Acuña, and is inspired in the colonial baroque style. It has two bodies, a pedestal and three panels. It is crowned by the University’s coat of arms held by angels, and the upper body shows an old Quitenian crucifix from the XVIII century, which creates a harmonious composition along with the paintings of Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint John the Apostle.

At the center, there is an image of Our Lady of “La Bordadita” in a beautiful Florentine frame, which was described by Ibañez as “… over a pedestal where angel faces stand out, the body has the pyramidal shape adopted by Middle Ages artists, covered with a dress and a robe trimmed with detailed ornaments.”

An oversized crown is placed on the virgin’s head, as she holds the child in her left arm. The baby is also crowned. Our Lady´s right hand holds a scepter and a holy rosary. At the bottom of the frame there is an embroidered piece made by the Queen…” (Chronicles, Volume I, Page 199, Bogotá, 1951).

The image of Our Lady also holds the “Boyacá Cross” granted by the National Government to the University in 1953.

Under the frame there is the coat of arms of Archbishop Brother Cristóbal de Torres. In the vaulted niches of the lateral panels the images of Saint Thomas and Saint Bonaventure can be seen. The Tabernacle is embedded in the central panel.  


The Sacristy

The sacristy was rebuilt in 1785 by Rector Alarcón y Castro after an earthquake. It was restored again in 1972.

Bogotá Colombia - Calle 12C  No. 6-25. Línea InfoRosario:4225321 - 018000 511888
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