|Del Panteon De Los Condes De Buenavista|
People search far and wide for a glimpse of a scull and cross bones in a church. If they are lucky they may find one hidden away, a secret relic of past mysteries. Occasionally, for example in one or two churches in Scotland with Templar connections, there may be more than one in evidence. But there is a place in a church that has more scull and cross bones than any other church in existence. It is the Crypt below the Church de la Virgen de la Victoria, known as Del Panteon De Los Condes De Buenavista or the Graveyard of the Counts of Buenavista, in Malaga, Andalucia, Spain.
The place is not well publicised. I spotted a small picture whilst flipping through a Spanish language guide to Malaga. Three years later whilst on holiday in Spain I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in Malaga and check out this mysterious looking place. Having left the packing for the holiday until the last minute, as usual, I forgot to put in the guide book that I had held on to for so long, and could not remember the name of the place. So my first port of call in Malaga was naturally the tourist information office. The lady had obviously sent her brain out for an early siesta, leaving her body behind at work to catch up later. However much I attempted to describe scull and cross bones and skeletons she just looked back at me blankly. Undeterred I headed for the Cathedral, a fine building with some interesting art collections and suprisingly, in 3 separate places, representations of the all seeing eye on a pyramid with sun god countenance radiating from behind, I thought slightly odd in a Catholic church. There I found some more English speaking guides, eventually after speaking to 3 or 4, with the aid of diagrams and wild gesticulation on my behalf, a wonderful young lady understood what I was looking for, and knew of it. Even after explaining to her colleagues in their native tongue, they still had no idea what it was I wanted to see. I found this very odd, tour guides in a not very big city, not knowing of such a wonderful place. It certainly appeared to be not very well publicised. Anyway my wife Annette and I set off, now knowing where the church was located.
Once at the church the trick is to find a way in, all of the doors are barred. It certainly seems that tourists are not openly invited in. I had been warned though by the guide at the Cathedral that the church usually only has organised tours into the crypt, and if the main doors were closed to try the side door and ask for the priests assistant. We found the side door it was open and we walked in. A man studiously typing a form, half looked up from his type writer and waved us in, muttering something in Spanish, which I thought I made out to be "the crypt is downstairs, the sanctuary upstairs". We walked past him and set off to explore. The crypt first, I couldn't wait, and what a fantastic sight it was when we got there. Even Annette, who is wonderful at summoning up interest when I drag her round churches, was stunned by what we found. I don't think the pictures do it justice, it is just the most unusual place you could ever walk into, without exception.
The ceiling is just covered with scull and cross bones like these, all slightly different.
See what I mean!
Just covered. Oh and don't forget the skeletons. loads of them everywhere you look.
More Pictures on next page
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