The image of Nuestra Señora del Buen Retiro de los Desamparados del Saliente is a baroque carving of 58 cm of linden wood and richly polychrome. The exact date of its creation is unknown, but it is assumed that it took place at the beginning of the 18th century. Due to its size it is popularly known as “La Pequeñica” and is the object of great veneration and affection by thousands of devotees.

The iconography includes the vision of chapter 12 of the Apocalypse. The tradition of the Church has seen in this apocalyptic image the figure of Mary or the Church, associated with the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death.

Virgin symbolism

A great sign appeared in the sky: a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head; and she is pregnant. And another sign appeared in the sky: a great red dragon. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her son. And she gave birth to a male child, who is to shepherd all nations with a rod of iron. Her son was caught up to God and to his throne.


Every September 8 the religious pilgrimage takes place that goes from the Plaza Mayor of Albox to the Sanctuary of El Saliente.

Thousands of pilgrims walk following the course of the Rambla to reach the Sanctuary, located on the slopes of the Sierra de las Estancias on Cerro Monterroel, about 19 km from Albox. The festival was declared of Andalusian Tourist Interest in 2002.


Built during the last decades of the 18th century, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Buen Retiro de los Desamparados del Saliente is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in the southeast of Spain. It is located in the municipality of Albox. It houses the well-known Virgen del Saliente, an eighteenth-century image that enjoys great popular devotion in the nearby regions, both in the province of Almería and nearby. The Sanctuary was declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest in 1992 and is one of the largest monasteries in Eastern Andalusia.

The temple was built on the old hermitage erected in the prehistoric settlement of Monterroel, a privileged enclave for the first human settlements, due to its location on the historical route that led from the Velez region to the Almanzora Valley.

The plan of the Sanctuary is rectangular, forty-six meters long by fifty meters wide. It is in the baroque style, in transition towards the neoclassical. The main façade, open on the esplanade of the Roel and bordered by retaining walls, consists of two doors open to the atrium of the temple and to the portal of the cloister. Two windows that overlook the gallery frame the empty central niche. Attached to the temple are the old chaplain’s rooms with their artistic wrought-iron balcony.

The center of the patio is occupied by a polygonal well that gave water to the monastery. Nowadays, he is a participant in many legends such as that of adding as many grains of wheat as people to whom you wanted to wish strength and health; and the most widespread, which is the one in which a wish is made first and then a coin is thrown into the well.

The east façade, thanks to the unevenness of the land, has two floors. The first, originally dedicated to the stables, is today a comfortable inn. A series of windows, as well as a graceful balcony, provide light to the uneven rooms on the upper floor. The north façade has only one door to access the back patio. To the west, the original windows of the Sanctuary are preserved. On the roofs, the transept dome and its three adjacent towers stand out.

The temple has a Latin cross, with a tribune in the background. The pendentives under the dome house plasterwork referring to the Lauretan Litanies. Six chapels, empty since the Religious Persecution, line the nave and those dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Archangel Saint Michael in the transept. The grandiose altarpiece was burned in 1936, currently there is a carving of Don Jesús de Perceval and some valuable belongings that surround the niche of the dressing room. There are two doors from the main altar, one leading to the sacristy and the other to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

Located in the Sanctuary, the Hospedería del Saliente, with 13 rooms, is a unique place, surrounded by nature, serenity, stone and history. Over time it has become a very attractive tourism alternative for friends, families and couples who opt for a quieter vacation, walks in the countryside, outdoor sports … as well as enjoying a certain exclusivity and, above all, more nights. cool and placid.

Being in the Sanctuary, the rooms are considered as national heritage of cultural interest. All rooms have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a desk and a wardrobe. Some have a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a bath or shower, while others have access to a shared bathroom.

The Virgen Del Saliente restaurant has a capacity of up to 180 diners and serves traditional regional dishes. It has an outdoor terrace with stunning views of the mountains. The terrace is open in summer. The property has a games room and conference rooms.

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