Monument to the Virgin of El Rocío



The Plaza del Punto Square needed a transformation inside the Plan for the Embellishment of the City. Thus, the city hall decided to build up a monument which would be a reminder of the meeting of both religious brotherhoods of Huelva for the Pilgrimage to El Rocío after returning from the town of Almonte and at the same time a special symbol of the presence of Almonte in the city. Besides, the monument would embellish the said location.

The Development of the Project

The Commission for the Building of the Monument to Our Lady of El Rocío was created on 15 April 2005 under the command of Ms. Aurelia Cazenave, a member of the Brotherhood of Huelva. The long way, full with devotion to Virgin Mary, ended on 20 March 2011 with the signing of the document for the cession of the monument to the city. Mr. Juan Ferrer, President of the Brotherhood of Huelva, and Mr. Pedro Rodríguez, First Town Councillor of Huelva, played the main roles in the ceremony.

The Monument

The Commission for the Building of the Monument and the Town Hall confided the building of the monument to sculptor Elías Rodríguez Picón. The artist worked for six years to make a dream – both artistic and religious – come true. The Monument to the Virgin of El Rocío is a model of sobriety and harmony, with elegant proportions – 4.30 metres high, 4.50 metres long, and 6 tonnes heavy – and a fine balance. Its harmonious features depicting an Andalusian tradition show an extraordinary, aesthetical experience.

This sculptural group of patinated bronze depicts a scene of the procession of the Lily of the Marshes – a name given to the Virgin of El Rocío – during the Monday following the Whitsunday. Virgin Mary is carried on her platform as Queen of Heaven by sixty people on their shoulders. These sixty people have a religious fervour which confers them a strange charm. Observers can see that all of them show a spiritual contact with the Virgin. 

As the sculptural group has no pedestal, it seems like it suddenly arises from the ground. Thus, observers feel like there are also members of the group and this sensation invades them through the simplicity of the work of art. The most curious and impressive thing of it is the fact that Rodríguez Picón used real people to depict the characters in the group.

This work also has numerous symbols, such as the emblems of two religious brotherhoods –Nuestra Señora del Rocío de Huelva and Emigrantes. This sculptural group is crowned by a magnificent canopy.


20 March 2011 was an unforgettable date for Huelva. The white sheet covering the work of art was pulled off with some difficulty, and so appeared the sculpture depicting the sublime Monday when the Virgin of El Rocío, dressed as Queen of the Marshes, is carried by the people of Almonte on their shoulders. The attendants gave a great ovation and a storm of applause before releasing a flock of doves.

Afterwards, the speakers emitted bell rings while the citizens roared with joy and cheered the White Dove – another name given to the Virgin of El Rocío – in a sincere homage to her. Monsignor Ignacio Noguer Carmona, Bishop Emeritus of Huelva, blessed the monument and apologized for the absence of José Viaplana, the Bishop of the city, as he had another commitment far away from Huelva. After Pedro Rodríguez, Mayor of Huelva, said a moving speech, the ceremony ended with a choir singing in honour to the Virgin and the Official Music Band of Huelva flawlessly playing the anthem of the city.