Hermitage Virgen de los Remedios
Cerro de San Cristóbal, Velez-Malaga
Last week I attended a city guided tour in Velez Malaga - the capital of the Axarquia- and I was blown away by the not so hidden, but unknown (by me), secrets. The tour started at 10 am at the ‚Cerro de San Cristobal‘, which is a hill overlooking the whole city of Velez. That was the first 🤩 wow-Moment. Clear blue sky, still a bit chilly middle of April, overlooking Velez right down to Torre del Mar and the Mediterranean Sea. Can it be a better start in the day?
First stop: we visited the Hermitage Virgin de los Remedios. Not a church, but a chapel/monument. Historic books say: „The chapel’s existence dates back to the 16th century when the Virgin appeared in the town and news broke of a plague epidemic. While she was being paraded through the streets, the disease subsiding shortly afterward - and she was named Virgen de Los Remedios.“
I must admit, I am not religious and not the biggest fan of churches, even when they are not allowed to call themselves ‚church‘ but monument or chapel. Ok. History dates back centuries (like they all do), it underwent various significant changes (like they all do) and it has got lots of beautiful and not so beautiful but holy decorations (like.... you know..).
So, a church is a church - or in this case: a monument is a monument? No!
The 🤩wow is on the walls. On all walls throughout the entire building. Usually, walls are white, right?! Not here. Every centimeter is painted. Every inch tells a story. The story of Velez Malaga. The story of the people living in Velez Malaga. The farmers. The fishermen. And the family members- dead or alive - of the painter 👨🎨 Evaristo Guerra. He started the project in 1994, and it took him almost 20 years to finish. The painted walls show so many details, that I didn’t know where to look first. It’s truly amazing.
An elderly Spanish couple is living in the building and taking care of the chapel. At the entrance/exit, you find some souvenirs and I bought a bracelet thinking ‚this will protect me and my loved ones, as there is such a positive energy here‘.
I highly recommend visiting the Hermitage! It was the first stop on our city-guided tour in Velez, I'll report about the other stops in the next few days. If you are interested I recommend you go with Elena from Plan A Malaga: the tour is 3,5 hours and cost 18euros including taps and vino at the end. It’s packed with information! You will see Velez in a different light afterward, I promise.