The Virgin de la Paloma (La Paloma) Festival is one of the most well known traditional celebrations in Madrid. Its history dates back to the eighteenth century, when some children found the painting of the Virgen De La Soledad in an empty Spanish Corral. They sold the painting to a Madrilenian named Isabel Tintero from Calle de La Paloma who displayed it at her home. The crowds of people gathering to show devotion were growing and the painting was moved to a small church nearby. The painting then became known as Virgen de la Paloma. The church of La Paloma was eventually built to house the painting where it can still be viewed today. Over time, the celebration of a hymn and a mass has become a weeklong celebration of the Virgin and of Madrid itself.
One of the most popular, traditional and long standing yearly celebrations in Madrid, La Paloma festival brings some buzz back to the city and injects it with life during the otherwise quiet summer season. Some of the highlights of this festival include religious processions as well as live music performances by local artists. The area around which the festival takes place is la plaza de las Vistilllas (Vistillas Square) and the Latina, a trendy neighbourhood that can also boast of having one of the best vibes and layback atmospheres in the whole of Madrid.
This festival presents a perfect opportunity for travellers to immerse in an authentic and cultural celebration while enjoying the social events and parties that take place. Without doubt this is one of the best times of the year to visit Madrid if you enjoy cities and their highlights outside of the bustling tourist season.