The stories that start with a premonitory dream are always exciting, and the one of the Virgin of Victory is not an exception. You’ll see…
The Catholic Kings were long maintaining the siege of the Muslim Málaga, which was proving much longer and harder than it was expected. But when doubts about the company were starting to plan on the Royals heads, something happened.
King Fernando kept in his tent an image of the Virgin that Emperor Maximilian had given him. And, according to the legend, one night he dreamed with an old man who was kneeling before that same image, praying for the victory of his army.
Almost at the same time, some monks of the order of Minims arrived at the camp with a message for the monarch. It was the founder of the brotherhood, Saint Francisco de Paula, who announced the King his imminent triumph and the taking of the city, things that, indeed, would happen a few days later.
Fernando attributed the victory to the Virgin and identified the ancient of his dream with Saint Francisco, so the image became known as Saint Mary of Victory and a temple was ordered to welcome it. That church was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century, but at the end of the following century, it had to be demolished and build another one in its place.
So, what you are facing now is a Baroque building from start to finish, inaugurated in 1700, and where you can find in its spectacular side-chapel the image of the patron Saint of Málaga. But in addition to eternal glory, that dark age also liked to underpin our dark and brief passage through the world.
By that, we mean that in no way should you miss the crypt, one of the darkest places you can imagine. You will find yourself in the middle of a festival of bones, skulls and skeletons of all kinds, all made of plaster and placed on a black roof and black walls for the visitor’s most significant impression. The terrifying scenery reminds us of the macabre dances of the Middle Ages, those that became so popular when wars and pestilences made life seem like a daily lottery.