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Andalusia protects the Pilgrimage of El Rocío y la Virgen as an Asset of Cultural Interest

Ermita Rocío

The Regional Government of Andalusia has declared the protection of the Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora del Rocío y laVirgen del Rocío as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC in Spanish), acknowledging its symbolic and ethnological value as a representation of the Andalusian identity. This declaration highlights the importance of this popular festivityfor society in Andalusia and its roots within the region.            

The Pilgrimage of the Virgen del Rocío takes place annually in the village of El Rocío, in the municipality of Almonte, during the days before and after Pentecost Sunday. It is one of the most important Marian pilgrimages in Andalusia and extends beyond the geographical limits of the community, having special significance in the eight Andalusian provinces.

The origin of this pilgrimage dates back to the 12th century, after the Christian conquest, and is associated with the legend of the apparition of the Virgen del Rocío. Since then, it has become an iconic manifestation of Andalusian religiosity.

Its declaration as a BIC includes the protection of a number of elements related to the pilgrimage and the Virgin. These include the carving of Nuestra Señora del Rocío y el Niño, an anonymous image from the 12th century which is of great artistic, historical and ethnological value. The collection of costumes of the Virgin is also protected, including the costumes of the Montpensier family also called the Coronation, and the costumes of the Apostles. It also includes iconographic accessories, jewels, a set of processional litters and the treasure of the Matriz de Almonte Brotherhood, which consists of insignia, banners, pictorial and metallic ex-votos, and other objects of great value.

The protection also includes places relating to the Pilgrimage, including the Chapel and the village of El Rocío, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2006. These places are of great importance when the pilgrimage takes place and represent the coming together of the cultural and the natural.

In addition to the Pilgrimage of Pentecost, the declaration as a BIC includes other related events, such as the Rocío Chico, a celebration that has taken place every 19 August since 1813, and the Fiesta de la Luz or Candelaria.

With this declaration, Andalusia seeks to preserve and promote the cultural and traditional wealth of the Romería del Rocío and devotion to the Virgen del Rocío, consolidating the region as a unique and attractive tourist destination for visitors interested in learning about and experiencing this festivity of great significance in Andalusian culture.