Standing on one side of the sprawling Madrid Rio Park, along the Virgen del Puerto road, you will not miss seeing the beautiful hermitage of the same name. In my case, I never fail to appreciate its beauty whenever I ride the C2 autobus, which passes by the vicinity. Indeed, it is such an impressive edifice that the first time that I saw it from afar, I mistook it for a small castle.
Declared as a national monument in the year 1957, Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto is found inside the Madrid Rio Park, along the street of the same name. While many hermitages in Spain are simple and austere, Virgen del Puerto can be described as impressive and solemn at the same time. I often cast glances at the hermitage every time I pass through the paseo, along the length of Madrid, and I must say that it is one of the most stunning building within that area.
Virgen del Puerto hermitage was one of Spanish artist Pedro de Ribera’s edifice-masterpieces, the architect who is also responsible for the creation of other major Spanish Churches such as the San Jose Church, San Cayetano Church, and Nuestra Señora de Montserrat Church.
Every year in the month of September, devotees perform a pilgrimage to the hermitage, where many of the participants are city residents of Galician origin. People from all over come to the site of Virgen del Puerto primarily to sell melons. It is for this reason why the pilgrimage feast is also called La Melonera.
Buried within the premises is an important Spanish royalty, the Marquise of Vadillo, who was the mayor of the place during the early 17th century. It was during his term that the hermitage was constructed. The beloved virgin is also recognized as the patroness of the District of Arganzuela.
Nearby Madrid Attractions you can also visit
1. Principe Pio commercial center and Madrid Metro
2. Palacio Real de Madrid: The official residence of the Royal family of Spain.
3. Jardines de Sabatini: A large, beautifual garden nearest the Palacio Rea.
4. Plaza Espana: One of the main squares of the city, near Edificio Madrid and monuments of Cervantes and Don Quijote.
5. Real Teatro: The Opera House of the Spanish capital.
How to go:
The hermitage is easy to reach since it is set strategically within the central area of the city. Its exact address is at Paseo de Virgen del Puerto 4 Madrid. Take the C2 autobus and you can get off at the stop located right in its front. Other EMT Buses that pass through the paseo are 25, 33, 39, 41, and 50.
If you’re not in a hurry and would like to enjoy some leisurely promenade, you can take the Metro Train, and via Linea 6 (Circular Line), alight as you reach the Legaspi station. From here, you will have to enter the Matadero. Here is where you start your trek of the Madrid Rio until you reach the hermitage, which is located more or less halfway thru the park. You may also opt to take the Linea 10, and get off at Principe Pio, which is on the opposite side.