Image by Melissa Alvarado Sierra

Over the centuries, tens of thousands of penitents have come to pray for miracles at the Capilla del Cristo, the tiny sanctuary at the end of a pedestrian street and adjacent to Parque de las Palomas. You can view the chapel and its ornate gold and silver altar at any time, but the iron fence across the front is only open on Tuesday afternoons and on religious holidays.

One story claims the church commemorates a miracle: during the city’s San Juan Bautista festivities, a participant in a horse race was carried by his galloping horse down Calle del Cristo, off the top of the wall and into the sea, and miraculously survived. Over the years, believers of the legend have left hundreds of little silver ornaments representing parts of the body – called milagros (miracles) – on the altar as thanks for being cured of an infirmity.