The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias Hermitage in Nerja’s Plaza de la Ermita is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year with a programme of events over the coming months. The first act last month brought together civil and ecclesiastical authorities from across the province of Malaga.

The hermitage was dedicated on May 18, 1720. It was funded by a member of the López family of Granada who also owned the San Antonio Abad sugar factory in the town. Profits from this factory, situated close by on the bank of the Chillar river, paid for the building’s construction and initial upkeep. On August 1, 1853, it became the responsibility of the municipality.

Inside the Ermite is a picture of Our Lady of The Sorrows, Nerja’s patron saint, while in the small dome superb murals painted in oils can be seen. These are now attributed to a painter from the school of Granada and have been dated between 1730 and 1750. Work in 2004 to resolve problems of leaks and dampness also uncovered previously unknown paintings.

For some time, Nerja has been calling on the regional government to declare the Ermita a site of cultural importance. A photographic exhibition of its history will open on March 18 at the Nerja Cultural Centre in calle Granada.