The Ermita de las Angustias
Visit the Lovely Ermita de las Angustias in Nerja✝️ While you're taking a stroll through the Nerja old town, pop in for a brief visit to the Saint Angustias Chapel (Hermitage of Our Lady of Sorrows), another one of Nerja's 'top sights'. You will appreciate the beautifully painted murals that adorn its walls and ceilings... as well as a quick respite from the sweltering summer days along the Costa del Sol...
The recently renovated sanctuary of Saint Angustias is known for its brightly colored and inspiring scenes of the Pentecost, a holiday which takes place on the 50th day after Easter Sunday commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. You will also find wonderful paintings of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Ermita de las Angustias ➜ Where is it?You will find the Ermita de las Angustias in the Plaza de La Ermita along one of Nerja's busiest roads, Calle San Miguel (here). The chapel is also just a 1-minute walk to the Sala Mercado, a multicultural space that holds art exhibitions and was once home to the towns local municipal market.
|Balcon de Europa||➜||La Ermita de las Angustias||9 min (600 m)|
|Church of El Salvador||➜||La Ermita de las Angustias||9 min (600 m)|
|Sala Mercado||➜||La Ermita de las Angustias||3 min (300 m)|
|Chanquete's Boat||➜||La Ermita de las Angustias||8 min (600 m)|
** Ermita de las Angustias - Portico & Nave
|Weekdays||8am - 2pm||4pm - 8pm|
|Weekends||8am - 2pm||Closed|
The History of the Ermita de las AngustiasThe history of the Ermita de las Angustias dates to the 1700's, when it was built by a wealthy family from Granada. And, it has been recently discovered that the chapel's benefactor was tried and convicted by the Holy Spanish Inquisition whose aim was to rid heresy and suspected heretics from the Catholic Church.
Historical facts about the Ermita de las Angustias:
- The Ermita de las Angustias was bult in 1720 by Bernarda Maria Alferez, a wealthy woman from Granada and part of the noble Lopez de Alcantara family.
- The chapel is currently located in the center of town, but at the time of its construction it would have been in the outskirts of Nerja... surrounded by green grass, trees, and nature...
** Ermita de las Angustias - 1720 Rendition and Later
- It is now known that Bernarda Alférez was a 'crypto-Muslim'. After the Battle of Granada in 1492,
led by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand,
all of the remaining Moors were expelled from Spain by 1614... or so it is thought...
... Unbeknownst to most, a group of people remained in Granada who secretly practiced Islam while living a normal life within Catholic society. These people were known as 'crypto-Muslims'.
- Because of her family’s wealth and her substantial dowry, and regardless of her Muslim background, Bernarda Alférez married Luis López Enríquez de Alcántara (a local Christian business owner).
- López Enríquez de Alcántara was able to expand his property holdings with the money that Bernarda Alférez brought to the marriage and the businesses he already owned. He rented the Mill in Maro and bought the sugar factory “San Antonio Abad” in Nerja.
** The Ermita de las Angustias Today - Nerja, Spain
- The Ermita de las Angustias was built and maintained with the money provided by the Nerja Sugar Mill and received its first blessing in 1720 (shown on interior paintings). López Enríquez died in 1713, before the completion of the chapel.
- In 1727 the Holy Spanish Inquisition uncovered evidence of Bernarda Alférez's Muslim leanings. An investigation and persecution followed that lasted for more than two years. In the end, Alférez was ordered to relinquish all of her property, wear the sambenito (a cloak to mark those condemned by the court), was sentenced to four months in prison, and was banished from Granada. Due to her status in high society, she did not receive the punishment of death.
- Bernarda Alférez later confessed and felt the sorrow for her sins of misleading the Catholic Church and received a Catholic funeral and burial upon her death.
- In 1853, the City Council of Nerja accepted ownership of the Ermita de las Angustias.
Estimates of the number killed by the Spanish Inquisition, which Sixtus IV authorized in a papal bull in 1478, have ranged from 30,000 to 300,000. Some historians are convinced that millions died...
The Ermita de las Angustias ➜ The Design
- During the last 300 years the Ermita de las Angustias has gone through a series of renovations (two of which can be seen above).
- In its most recent transformation, the ermita was overlaid with masonry and brick, the bell tower was updated, and a modern portico was added. The small chapel has a single nave with a semi-circular dome and arches.
- Inside, a niche can be seen with the image of 'Our Lady of Anguish' (Nuestra Sra de las Angustias), the patron saint of Nerja and the patroness of Granada.
** The Ermita de las Angustias - Our Lady of Anguish
- The vivid murals, painted in oils in the small dome, portray themes from the Pentecost and highlighted within each of the four triangles below the dome are the four evangelists. These paintings are originals created by a painter from the school of Granada in the 1730's.
- At the alter you will find a likeness of the 'Blessed Virgen'. She is used during various religious ceremonies in Nerja, including processions to the Church of El Salvador in the Balcon de Europa.
- The Roman Catholic Church is currently working to promote its designation as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC).
** Ermita de las Angustias - Interior Murals & Dome
The Virgin of Sorrows (Our Lady of Anguish) represents the moment when Mary holds the body of Christ descended from the Cross and before being buried...
The Ermita de las Angustias ➜ How to Arrive - Directions
|To the Ermita de las Angustias ➜ on Foot
From the Balcon de Europa, walk northwest towards the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). Pass under the building and into the Plaza de España. At the end of the square, take a left onto Cruz Street and walk to the end. You will find yourself in the Plaza de la Ermita and the Ermita de las Angustias will be on your right.
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