El Rocío, Parque Nacional de Doñana, near the town of Almonte has a permanent population of about 700 people. A village made for the horses, The end of the route, village of devotion and pilgrimage that attracts every year about one million pilgrims next to the to the Hermitage where “la Blanca Paloma” is waiting every year.
The traditional pilgrimage can be traced back to the 15th century when a hunter from the local village of Villamanrique discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary ( "Virgen del Rocío") in a tree trunk near the park. The wooden figure of the virgin is kept in a big church (the Sanctuario de Nuestra Señora de El Rocío). This church was destroyed by the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 but completely rebuilt fifty odd years ago.
Since 1758 the event has taken place on the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday. The pilgrims, known as Rocieros, arrive with horses, wagons and elaborate flower-bedecked carriages. Most of the female pilgrims are wearing bright flamenco-style dresses with their male counterparts having the short riding type jackets (traje corto).
The procession lasts until the evening and is accompanied by masses of followers chanting, clapping and beating drums with the playing of tambourines, flutes and guitars.