Gruta Lapa Velha

Gruta da Aparição

Useful Information

(-17.979754, -46.908081)
Open: All year Mon-Sat, Hol 8-18, Sun 8-16.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Gruta Lapa Velha, R. A Belo, 271 Salatiel Valeriano Correia Street - Old Center, Vazante, MG 38780-000.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1865 Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant woman at the entrance of the cave.


According to catholic tradition the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant woman at the entrance of Gruta Lapa Velha (Old Cave) in 1865. At that time the locals collected water for themselves and the animals in the cave and the area was visited by many people. After the vision word spread fast and people from the surroundings started to come to Vazante to pray before the rocky image that was found inside the cave. During the years the number of pilgrims and visitors grew continually. Becaus of the apparition of Mary the cave is also called Gruta da Aparição.

Today there is a great festival coordinated by the parish priest of the parish church which is called the Feast in Praise of God for Our Lady of Lapa, or simply Festa da Lapa. The main festive event in the city of Vazante takes place annually on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of May. The event is preceded by urban and rural fairs. The festival attracts a around 25,000 people every year, and even more during the procession with the image of the patron saint.