Hermitage Virgen de la Cabeza
Antas - Almería

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The Virgen de la Cabeza, chose one of the places with the best views of the whole of Eastern Almería. This enclave has been a very important settlement for many of the civilizations that have passed through Antas and also an important communications hub for our ancestors because of its strategic location, including the hills of Espíritu Santo of Vera and Mojacar la Vieja. They have been declared a site of Cultural Interest (BIC) because of the importance of the archaeological finds they contain, ranging from the Middle Bronze Age to modern times.

So, the hermitage that sits on top of Cabezo María hill is situated in the place where the Antas patron appeared to a shepherd named Manuel, married to María Toribia, as recorded in the Marian Shrines of Eastern Andalusia guide. It was on August the 12th, 1427, when the pilgrimages started and the decision to build the hermitage was taken. The temple was built in 1507 and since then, has had a continual and renewed devotion. The building, originally only had the hemispherical dome chapel and the entrance room, that became the main area. With the increase of visiting pilgrims adjoining rooms were added.

The older folk from the area still remember the hermits who took care of the temple and the image. Today, the pilgrimage to the house of the Virgen de la Cabeza has become one of the key dates of the patron saint festivities. On the other hand a visit is a must on the traditional Día de la Vieja.

But the image of the patron saint has not always been able to be taken up to the temple. However the devotion to the saint has not prevented the passage of time and it has been the local neighbourly collaboration, solidarity and hard work of the people from Antas that has made possible the restoration and enhancement of the building, as well as the adaptation of a new path. The 12th of August was also chosen, but in 2012, for the blessing of the shrine by the Bishop. That day the Virgin returned home in a massive pilgrimage walk from the church that also bears her name.