In Madrid there is a black Virgin, the Virgin of Atocha and although it is not one of the best known worldwide, it is nevertheless one of the most beloved and revered by the people of Madrid, of whom she is patroness, and by the members of the Royal family. Its original image is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha, on Avenida de Barcelona, near the train station. The Virgin, seated on a throne, holds in her right hand an apple and on the left the Child Jesus, who raises her right hand in an attitude of blessing the people. It is a wood carving without policromar of small proportions, 64 cm high, placed on the main altar.
There are also very different opinions about the origin of its name: some believe that it would derive from its city of origin Antioch; Others think that it comes from the word of Mozarabic origin "atocha", plant whose leaf is the "esparto". This version is also supported by the fact that, according to legend, it was precisely in a stall or field of esparto where the Christians found the carving.
A road plagued by atochas or esparto, olive groves and canyelles led to the sanctuary of Atocha, where a door is located through which enter the carts full of esparto with those made by Madrid artisans baskets, baskets, ropes and esparto paper, so the door is called Atocha.
Very close to the Basilica we find the Atocha station which in its original origin was called Embarcadero de Atocha was inaugurated on February 9, 1891, the name jetty was customary at the time to define the primitive railway stations. This jetty is located in the vicinity of Atocha, located outside the walls of Madrid, where the absence of built land simplified its construction, was chosen the nearest depopulation to the center of Madrid at the exit to Aranjuez, the engravings of the The first season was a simple building that gradually adapted to the transport of travelers and where there were numerous fields where the esparto was collected, in this sense we can affirm that on this place existed the esparto and the plant of The one that proceeds, the atocha common name of the grass plant Stipa tenacissima, autochthonous of soils and semi-desert climates.
Data and photos obtained from the National Library.