Located just outside Málaga’s historic quarter, the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria has a relatively plain exterior. Don’t be fooled by its modest façade — it conceals an interior that’s considered to be one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Andalusia. Inside, the church is filled with plaster decoration painted with gold accents, and laid out in the shape of a Latin cross. Two chapels come off the central aisle and a cupola tops it all off.
The exhibition hall houses the treasure of the Virgen de la Victoria in a space adjoining one of the chapels. Here, the patroness of Málaga's trousseau is displayed. Among the paintings and sculptures is a noteworthy Virgin of the Sorrows, the ‘Dolorosa’, by Pedro de Mena. At the basement of the church’s tower, a small museum houses the Pantheon of the Counts of Buenavista. This pantheon is considered one of the most unique in Spain because of its macabre decoration, intended to provoke thoughts of mortality (one of the frequent themes of the Counter Reformation).
Insider’s Tip: Certain elements of the basilica, like the crypt, the impressive “heavenly tower,” and the convent hospital gardens, are only accessible by guided tour. The 20-30 minute tour costs 2€.
The Basilica of Santa Maria is located in the area of La Victoria, close to the Plaza de Merced. Certain elements of the basilica, like the crypt, the tower, and the gardens, are only accessible by guided tour. The church is closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays.