The hermitages

Places of interest in Córdoba

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The hermitages of Cordoba

With spectacular views, you will find the hermitages of Cordoba.

Las Ermitas de Córdoba is the name given to the group of 13 hermitages that sheltered the hermits who withdrew to them on the outskirts of Córdoba in the area known as Cerro de la Cárcel in the Desierto de Nuestra Señora de Belén to meditate and lead a life of austerity. The first of the hermitages was built in 1703, and the first mass was celebrated in 1709. The last hermit of the Hermitages died in 1957, and the congregation of the Discalced Carmelites is in charge of it. It is worth mentioning the work of the Asociación Amigos de las Ermitas (Friends of the Hermitages Association), who, thanks to their contributions, have managed to restore 10 of the 13 hermitages in the complex since 1983.

 

History of the hermitages

At the time of our visit, there lived in the hermitages, under the protection of the bishop of Cordoba, seventeen professed hermits and only one novice. They observed strict silence and complete isolation from each other for most of the day. They meet only in the chapel, in the reading that follows mass and in the refectory. Each one has his own cell, or rather his own separate hermitage, and eats lunch and supper in his own kitchen; for meals there is a refectory in the main house. They spend five hours a day in manual and corporal work. At the hours of prayer, each one must ring his own bell while hearing the chapel bell ring, and he who does not do so is guilty of a serious fault. “They wear a habit and scapular with a chapel of brown cloth. There is a novitiate house separate from the cells of the professed, which, as we have said, are isolated and scattered throughout the whole of the holy wasteland. The novitiate lasts six months. On one of the most advanced crags of the mountain, the hermits have carved for the bishop a comfortable armchair from which one can enjoy one of the most beautiful views imaginable.

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