Ronda - Cave Chapel of the Virgen de la Cabeza
The cave chapel of the Virgen de la Cabeza (Virgin of the Head), from the 9th-10th century a.d., also called as Caves of St. Anton, is enterely digged in the rocks.
After the arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula (711 A.D.), lots of the Spanish-goths communities, defeated by the conquerors, continued living at their ancestor's land, keeping, at the same time, their beliefs and traditions. They are the so called "Mozarabs".
There can be found three different areas. The first of them is used for the religious worship, the second was used as home for the religious men and the third one as warehouse for food as well as for cattle's stable.
At its beginning, at these cave's chapel lived a litle community of monks, of less than ten people. The building was occupied through the time as worship place till more or less the 18th century, when the cave's chapel was left. At the eighties and due to the efforts and activity of the Virgen de la Cabeza's fraternity, its use as religious centre has been continued and it ends with its restoration made by the city council of Ronda (1.997).
The church's zone occupes a surface of 272 square metres, consisting of one main nave where an altar is located. Next to this nave there can be found a smaller space identified as sacristy. There can be seen also two side naves, each of them with an altar and one of them with an access to the crypt. According to the scholars, the crypt belongs to a later age (17th or 18th century).
The zone used as home consists of four rooms that could have been used as cells.Outside those spaces, and beside the tajo's edge, is located one wide balcony digged in the rock, from where can be admired a wonderful view of the flat surface where Ronda is located.
Outside the worship zone and the home zone is locate one big warehouse used for keeping the food and also another space with multiple uses among its history: cattle's stable, press, etc.
All these cave's buildings have attached one baroque chapel where the sculpture of the Virgen de la Cabeza is worshiped. This sculpture is the reason for one traditional procession celebrated each year in the month of june.