Shrine of La Virgen de la Peña
Hidden away in a corner of the town, overlooking the wonderful valley leading to the coast, is the 16th century shrine of La Virgen de la Peña, formerly a Hermitage. It is built into a rocky outcrop, and nowadays looks rather out of place, with the more modern buildings surrounding it. I think there was a small entrance fee or donation required (Carmen, help!!), but it I remember correctly you can't take photos inside the Hermitage, which is now a Religious Shrine. La Virgen de la Peña is the village's patron saint., and according to legend the image of the virgin remained concealed for eight centuries, until June, 2 1586, when it appeared before two shepherd boys who had been led there by a pigeon. Another story says that; " an image of the Virgin was found concealed in a recess in the tower where it had been hidden for 500 years."
In 1656 work started on the sanctuary cave, which is nowadays always decorated with flowers and pictures as offerings from thousands of people.
Mijas Costa Beaches
The lower side of Mijas has around 12kms of Costa del Sol coastline. Beaches of the municipality include Cabo Rocoso, El Bombo, Calahonda, El Charcon, El Faro, Butijplaya, El Egido and Piedra de Cura. Little villages of Mijas Costa are dispersed between the beaches.
pose with a sign!
mijas is noted for its 'square' plaza de toros (bullring), which they say was made to recreate the feel of the original bullfighting area which was in the town square. upon entering the town, this sign greets the tourist, so of course, the gals had to pose!
mijas is a bit of a 'weird' town to me, in that it seems so geared the tourist. while it does have a feel of authenticity, and it still maintains its charm, there are things like this sign that make it reek with falseness. i have heard that mijas is overrun by busload of tourists during the day, which i guess is true, since i did see the last remnants of buses leaving. but because we got here in early evening, the masses had left, and it was nice and peaceful. if you too want to experience the 'quieter' mijas, i guess waiting til the late afternoon would be a good time.
The parish church - La Imaculada Concepción.
There are several churches in the small town of Mijas, I visited the parish church, which is called "La Imaculada Concepción" or The Immaculate Conception. It existed before 1492. It was ordered to be built in 1541-65 on the site of the ruins of the ancient Moorish castle, and one of the castle's towers was used as a bell tower. It was not finished until 1631. It was restored in 1991-92 and then they found a series of frescos of the Apostles which date back to ca 1632.
The parish church is number 7 on the map.
That's a lot of bull
For the price of admission to the Mijas bullring, you will also get admittance to the small bullfighting museum. It's worth spending some time. I enjoyed looking at the memorabilia, and what's even better, we were the only people in the museum. The bullfighting posters and commerative placques were the best. The museum had many of these on display - and as recent as 2001. Get your photo taken standing next to the stuffed bull.