The shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was the most important Marian shrine in the medieval kingdom of Castile. It is revered in the monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, in today's Cáceres province of the Extremadura autonomous community of Spain.
The shrine housed a statue reputed to have been carved by Luke the Evangelist and given to Saint Leander, archbishop of Seville, by Pope Gregory I. When Seville was taken by the Moors, a group of priests fled northward and buried the statue in the hills near the Guadalupe River in Extremadura.
At the beginning of the 14th century, a shepherd claimed that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and ordered him to ask priests to dig at the site of the apparition. Excavating priests rediscovered the hidden statue and built a small shrine around it which evolved into the great Guadalupe monastery.
Pilgrims began arriving in 1326, and in 1340, King Alfonso XI took a personal interest in the shrine's development, attributing his victory over the Moors at the Battle of Rio Salado to the Virgin's intercession. Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with Santiago de Compostela and Nuestra Señora del Pilar became rallying points for the Christian Spaniards in their reconquista of Iberia.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of three black madonnas in Spain.
The statue was canonically coronated in 1928 with a crown designed and made by Felix Granda.