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The Virgen de la Peña

The grotto of the Virgen de la Peña, the patron saint of Mijas is located on the Paseo del Compas close to the town hall and the public car park of Mijas.

Virgen de la Peña - Mijas

The shrine of Our Lady the Virgin of the Rock was excavated in the rocks by a Carmelite monk in the second half of the seventeenth century. The legend says that the virgin appeared between the walls of the old castle in 1586 were it remained hidden during the 8 centuries of the muslim domination of the Spain.

After the conquest by the Catholic Kings of the last strongholds of Granada, the capital of the Nazari Kingdom legends and stories about appearances of the virgin multiplied in all areas of Andalusia in southern Spain.

According to the legend Juan and Asunción, two young shepherds who were taking care of their herd, saw a white dove on the tower of the Castillo which transfigured into the virgin and notified the hiding place to the local authorities of Mijas. This discovery was made just before the Corpus Cristi festivity.

Such occurrences and stories represented a return to Christianity of the areas conquered by the Muslims. Mijas was totally depopulated of Muslims, because they never surrendered and were turned into slaves and expelled from their homes. These visions meant the religious consecration of the victor.

Patron saint of Mijas

The official festivity of the patron saint of Mijas is celebrated on September 8th. Every year 9 days before the date of the appearance the image of the Virgen de la Peña is carried in procession from the grotto to the parochial temple.

On September 8th, after the traditional floral offering in the Church of the Immaculate Conception a procession in which religious brotherhoods, authorities and a large public crowd take part takes the image of the virgin back to its sanctuary.

Today the sanctuary, a peaceful place and a popular venue for weddings, is visited by tourists from all over the world.

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