Hermitage of El Rocío

The Hermitage of El Rocío is one of the greatest Marian pilgrim centres around the world.

It is located in the small village of El Rocío, in Almonte, Huelva. It is surrounded by the National Park of Doñana, a fascinating natural environment.

Plan your cultural visit to the Hermitage of El Rocío

Along the lines of other caliphates, Abd al-Rahman III ordered the construction of a palatial city. It was aimed to become the seat of the caliphate. The power was then shared between the Medina in Córdoba and Medina Azahara.

The construction work run by Maslama ben Abdallah began in 936. Nine years later, the move was made from the caliphal alcázar. Many buildings such as the mosque and the mint were finished around 948.

Al-Hakam II continued extending the city. He ordered some constructions such as the Yafar House.

The life of this new capital was actually pretty short. When al Hakam II died, Almanzor, the hajib of the Caliphate Hisham II, got all the power. He built Medina Alzahira, his own palatial city, on the opposite site. In addition, the caliph without any power was confined in Medina Azahara.

The city was abandoned with the breakup of the Caliphate. The war situation meant the end of the city. Moreover, during next decades it suffered from numerous attacks and sacking.

The Muslim city was totally forgotten until the 20th century. First excavations that still go on today began in 1911.

Hermitage of El Rocío
Facade of the Hermitage

The Hermitage of El Rocío has a Latin cross floor plan, three naves, a triforium and a major chapel.

The outside facade is made up of a segmental arch, that is arranged like a huge niche. It is framed by four adjoining pilasters. 

It is roofed by a shell crowned by a bell gable. And this one is crowned by a great wrought iron cross.

Hermitage of El Rocío
Interior of the hermitage.

The protagonist of the Hermitage is the Virgin of El Rocío. The sculpture date back to the 14th century.  

However, it does not look like as at the beginning. It was restored in a Gothic style and later again with the facial characteristics of the Baroque.

Ermita del Rocío
Virgen del Rocío.

Pilgrimages have risen since the image was discovered. The devotion took root very strongly. In the 17th century was declared Patron Saint of the village of Almonte.

The pilgrimage has changed through the years. Thus, in 1887 the Rosario on Sunday night was incorporated as a new act of worship.

The pilgrimage is celebrated on the Whitsun with more than 60 brotherhoods participating.

Location: everyday, from daybreak to nightfall.
Admission fee: free.
Phone: +34 959 45 03 76

If you would like to enjoy the area of El Rocío and Almonte, here you have some recommendations on where to eat and where to sleep around. 

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