Hermitage of the Virgin of Grace
The Hermitage of the Virgin of Grace is a special place that combines religious devotion, natural beauty and serenity. Its location, modest architecture and religious activities make it a significant site within Belmonte, where worshipers and visitors alike can find spiritual inspiration and tranquillity. The hermitage dates from the 13th century, as does the carving of the patroness saint of the town, the Virgin of Grace.
It is located in a picturesque natural environment, on the outskirts of the town of Belmonte. It is situated over the well where the virgin appeared to a shepherd when he went to collect water, according to legend. It is a place of pilgrimage and devotion, especially during the festivities in honour of the Virgin. It presents a modest and simple architecture and is built with local materials, such as stone, with a discreet but charming façade.
Various religious celebrations are held in the hermitage throughout the year, especially in honour of the Virgin of Grace. These festivities include processions, masses and other religious activities.
Gastronomy in Belmonte
Belmonte's gastronomy is a delicious fusion of traditional Castilian dishes and Manchegan influences, which invites one to savour the authentic flavours of the region – always accompanied by a good typical Belmonte wine.
The star dish, about which tourists rave when visiting this municipality, is the roast lamb prepared in the oven with aromatic herbs. The lamb is cooked slowly until it is tender and juicy.
Furthermore, the La Mancha region is famous for its cheeses, and Belmonte is no exception. The town offers a wide range of possibilities in terms of Manchego cheeses, all made with sheep's milk. They are characterized by their intense flavour and creamy texture.
The pastry in Belmonte is also remarkable. Among the most popular sweets are the Manchegan flowers, fried donuts sprinkled with icing sugar, and the drunken biscuits, small sponge cakes soaked in syrup.
As if that were not enough, the region has a fairly extensive wine production.
The wines of the area, such as reds, whites and rosés, are appreciated for their quality and can be tasted in local wineries.
Many visitors to Belmonte's restaurants ask for a glass of local wine to accompany their meals. The experience is unique because the combination of flavours with this liquor offers a sweet, bitter, unique and beautiful tasting experience – words that many tourists express.
Festivals in Belmonte
In Belmonte, various festivities are celebrated throughout the year. During them, residents and visitors can enjoy traditions as well as cultural and religious events.
One of the most outstanding is the Virgin of Grace Pilgrimage, which is held on the second Sunday of September in honour of the Virgin of Grace, patroness saint of Belmonte. The devotees accompany the Virgin in a procession from the church to her hermitage, located on the outskirts of town. It is a religious holiday full of devotion and tradition..
Similarly, the August Fair, in honor of Saint Bartholomew, is one of the most anticipated. It is a festivity that combines religious and playful elements. During the fair, attractions are mounted, popular festivals are organized and sports and cultural activities are carried out to entertain attendees.
The Corpus Christi festival is also celebrated in Belmonte with solemn processions, which go through the town, decorating the streets with carpets of flowers and coloured sawdust.
These festivities provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the culture and traditions of Belmonte, as well as enjoy moments of fun and spirituality.