Semana Santa. Holy Week In Granada.

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Semana Santa in Granada is a feast for the senses: the colours, the incense, the medieval music, the icons in all their splendour, Jesus on the cross and the Virgin Mary weeping and the crowds who cry out Guapa, beautiful, as the Virgin passes by. There are more than thirty brotherhoods, known as Cofradías, who process through the streets of Granada in Holy Week. Here are some of the highlights:

Easter Holy Week Processions, Granada, Spain

Easter Holy Week Processions, Granada, Spain

Most cofradías have two statues, Jesus and Mary, decorated in flowers and carried on floats by the costaleros, sometimes as many as 40 and recently including women as well as men. The statues are works of art some dating back to the 14th century. 

They are followed by processions of “nazarenos” in long, hooded gowns, the penitents (carrying figures of the cross on their shoulders), and women and girls dressed in black traditional Spanish costumes carrying candles and crosses. They are accompanied by brass bands playing mournful, medieval, marching tunes which mark the steps and keep everyone in time. All that is except the Silencio, the silent procession where the only sound is a drum beat and the shuffling of feet and chains scraping the cobbles. All the lights are turned off as it passes by. Children with candles run about collecting the dripping wax and keeping the candles lit. Beware the slippery streets over Holy Week especially when it rains they are covered in wax.

All of the processions pass by the town hall in the Plaza de Carmen and also the Cathedral where they can be viewed before being returned to their churches. Try to catch the statues leaving, or returning to, their churches as this can be fascinating to watch as crosses are lowered to enter or those carrying the floats have to sink to their knees to allow the statues to exit. 

PALM SUNDAY 20th MARCH

LA BORRIQUILLA

This procession, known as the Borriquilla for the little donkey on the float, is the first procession of Holy Week. The children who follow the float are all dressed in Hebew clothing and carry palm leaves.

Start:
4 pm Iglesia Parroquial de San Andrés (two floats).

Where to see it:
Going up through San Juan de Dios and by the Arco de Elvira and the Calle Elvira.

First float:
Representing Jesus’ arriving in Jerusalem. Jesus appears on the back of a donkey; accompanied by the apostles Peter, John and James. The figures that complete the scene are a Hebrew woman and a girl and Zacchaeus, who climbed up a palm tree.

Artist:
Eduardo Espinosa Cuadros (1917) and the donkey were made by Francisco Muñoz in 1947. The other figures were made by Ángel Asenjo.

Second float:
Nuestra Señora de la Paz. Our Lady of Peace.

Author of the image:
Antonio Dubé de Luque in 1974.

Penitents: 150

Assistant dressers: 80

Interesting details:
It has the highest number of children partipating in the procession in all Granada. It is also the opening procession of Holy Week.

Tunic
A cortege of Hebrew children. Penitents wear white tunics, blue masks and a sash.

Candles
White. The children carry palm leaves.

Las Maravillas

Start: 6.15pm Cathedral doors: 9.15pm; End of official route: midnight.

Itinerary

Carrera del Darro, Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos, Colcha, Pavaneras,  Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial),  Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Elvira, Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana, Carrera del Darro.

Start:
The Church of San Pedro and San Pablo (two floats), Carrera del Darro.

Where to see it:
Leaving and returning via the Carrera del Darro.

First float:
Jesus is sentenced by Pilate, in the presence of two Romans, one executioner and one black slave.

Artist:
The entire group was made by Benito Barbero (in the 1970s), except for the image of Christ, which was made by José de Mora (17th century.).

Second float:
María Santísima de la Maravillas.

Author of the image:
Pedro de Mena (17th century).

Penitents: 120

Assistant dressers: 50

Tunic
White tunics with burgundy buttons and burgundy velvet masks. Burgundy ribbon to tie their robes.

Candles
White

HOLY MONDAY 21st MARCH

Huerto de los Olivos

Starting time

Start: 7pm; Cruz en Ángel Ganivet (official stage, official start of the procession): 9.05pm; Start from official stage: 9.40pm; Cruz en Plaza de las Pasiegas (Puerta Catedral), 9.45pm; Start from Plaza de las Pasiegas: 10.30pm; Cruz en Puerta del Perdón: 10.20pm; Start from Santa Iglesia Catedral (end of the official procession): 10.45pm; Return to the Templo de la Cruz Guía, 12.20am; Paso Cristo: 12.40am; Paso Virgen: 1am.

Itinerary

Patio de la Iglesia de las Comendadoras de Santiago, Santiago, Jarrería, Molinos, Plaza del Realejo, Plaza de Fortuny, Santa Escolástica, Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial),  Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Placeta Diego de Siloé, Pasaje Diego de Siloé, Gran Vía, Plaza Isabel la Católica, Pavaneras, Santa Escolástica,  Plaza de Fortuny, Plaza del Realejo, Santiago.

Start:
Iglesia de las Comendadoras de Santiago (two floats)

Where to see it:
Due to the great difficulty when the procession passes and returns through the Realejo district, this part of the procession is very impressive.

First float:

Representing Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane praying in the presence of an angel while the disciples are asleep.

Artist:
All the figures are by Domingo Sánchez Mesa (1944).

Second float:
María Santísima de la Amargura.

Author of the image:
Anonymous (17th century)

Penitents: 100

Assistant dressers: 50

Interesting details:
The float carries relics of San Juan de Dios and Fray Leopoldo, made by Navarro Arteaga. The Virgin wears one of the most stunning garments of all the statues used for Holy Week.

Tunic
White tunics with blue velvet masks with the insignia on the chest. Blue ribbon to tie their robes (cíngulo) and white capes.

Candles
White candles.

Los Dolores

Starting Time

At 18:00 the Virgen de los Dolores  leaves the church of San Pedro y San Pablo on the Carrera del Darro. Calle San Matías at 19:30, Calle Ganivet at 20:05, arrives at the Cathedral at 20:40, leaves the Catedral from the Puerta del Perdón, at 21:10 and returns to the church San Pedro y San Pablo at 23:50.

Itinerary

Carrera del Darro, Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos, Colcha, Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Gran Vía, Reyes Católicos, Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana, Carrera del Darro.

Start:
Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro y San Pablo (one float).

Where to see it:
Passing through and returning along the Carrera del Darro.

Float:
Representing the Dolorosa attributed to the school of Granada, her hands on her chest catching the three crucifixion screws, made in hallmarked silver.

Artist:
Aurelio López Azaustre in 1962. Restored by Francisco Marín in 2007.

Penitents: 120

Interesting details:
It is one of the few brotherhoods with only one float. Their salmon-coloured clothes are easily recognisable. Another remarkable fact is that the image is one of the few wearing a tiara.

Tunic

White tunics with white masks decorated with the Cross of San Andrés on the front.

Candles
White.
 

HOLY TUESDAY 22nd MARCH

La Esperanza

Starting time

Start: 6.30pm Plaza Santa Ana; Cruz en Ángel Ganivet (official stage, official start of procession): 8.05pm; Start from stage: 8.40pm; Cruz en Plaza de las Pasiegas (Puerta Catedral): 8.55pm; Start from Plaza de las Pasiegas: 9.40pm; Cruz en Puerta del Perdón: 9.25pm; Start from Santa Iglesia Catedral (official end of the procession): 9.55pm; Return to the Templo de la Cruz Guía: 11.40pm; Paso Virgen: 12.30am.

Itinerary

Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos, Colcha, Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial),  Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Plaza de Villamena, Plaza  de San Agustín, Plaza de Radio Granada, Alvaro de Bazán, Gran Vía, Alvaro de Bazán, Elvira, Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana

Start:
Iglesia Parroquial de San Gil y Santa Ana (two floats).

Where to see it:
The departure from the church, when it passes through the Plaza Nueva and its arrival along the Calle Elvira on the way back.

Float:
Representing Jesus carrying the cross on his way to Calvary.

Artist:
Manuel Ramos Corona (1996).

Second float:
Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza.

Artist:
José Risueño (1718).

Penitents: 120

Assistant dressers: 80

Interesting details:
The insignias and standards forming the cortege are of great value and unique for the Holy Week celebrations. The float with its canopy carrying the statue of the Virgen de la Esperanza is also one of the most richly adorned floats and one of the most valuable figures taking part in the celebrations.

Tunic
Green robes and green masks. White capes with golden ribbons to tie their robes.

Candles
Purple in the section of the image of Christ and white under the canopy.

 Vía Crucis

Starting Time

Start: 6.10pm Iglesia de San Juan de los Reyes,  Cruz en Ángel Ganivet (official stage, official start of procession): 8.40pm; Start from stage: 9pm; Cruz en Plaza de las Pasiegas (Puerta Catedral): 9.20pm; Start from Plaza de las Pasiegas: 9.40pm; Cruz en Puerta del Perdón: 9.50pm; Start from Santa Iglesia Catedral (official end of the procession): 10.20pm; Return to the Templo de la Cruz Guía: 11.50pm; Paso de Cristo: midnight; Paso Virgen: 12.10am.

Itinerary

San Juan de los Reyes, Cuesta del Chapiz, Paseo del Padre Manjón, Carrera del Darro, Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos (lateral izquierdo), Colcha, Pavaneras, Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja,  Placeta Diego de Siloé, Pasaje Diego de Siloe,  Gran Vía,  Reyes Católicos (lateral izquierdo), Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana, Carrera del Darro, Paseo del Padre Manjón, Cuesta del Chapiz, San Juan de los Reyes.

Start:
Iglesia de San Juan de los Reyes, from the side chapel (two floats).

Where to see it:
The departure from Calle San Juan de los Reyes and the return from the Carrera del Darro, where you can hear the prayers known as Saetas being sung by local and professional flamenco singers.

Float:
Representing Jesus carrying the cross on his shoulders, with a sad look in his eyes. He is exhausted due to its heavy weight as he walks to Calvary.

Artist:
José de Mora (17th century)

Second float:
Virgen de los Reyes, with both hands placed together at waist level.

Artist:
Pedro de Mena (17th – 18th century).

Penitents: 70

Assistant dressers: 40

Tunic

Purple tunics and aubergine-coloured masks with a golden sash.

Candles
Sometimes there are no candles at other times there are white candles – it depends on the section of the route.

HOLY WEDNESDAY 23rd MARCH

Los Gitanos

This procession is one of the most dramatic leaving from Gran Via in the centre it reaches the Abbey at the top of the Sacromonte Hill in the early hours of the morning. Lit by flares and fires and serenaded by Gypsy saetas praising the statues it is also probably the hardest as the costaleros carry the heavy floats up the steep and narrow cobbled streets.

Starting time

Start: 4.35pm; Start of the official route: 6.50pm; Cathedral doors: 7.35pm; End of official route: 3.15pm.

Itinerario

Gran Vía, Plaza de Isabel la Católica, Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marques de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Gran Vía, Reyes Católicos (00,50), Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana, Carrera del Darro, Paseo del Padre Manjón, Cuesta del Chapiz, Peso de la Harina, Camino del Sacromonte, Puente Mariano, Carril de los Coches, Abadía del Sacromonte.

Start:
Iglesia del Corazón de Jesús in Gran Via and returning to the Abadía del Sacromonte (two floats).

Where to see it:
On its way through the Plaza Nueva, Carrera del Darro and the Paseo de los Tristes and all the way up to the Sacromonte.

First float:
Representing Christ crucified. It is the only image in all the city of a crucified Christ with four screws.

Artist:
A copy by Zúñiga made in 1989. The original was made by Joseph Risueño at the end of the 17th century.

Second float:
Virgen del Sacromonte, a bust image of the Dolorosa. She is looking up to the Heavens and has beautifully sculpted hair.

Artist:
The bust was made by the Brothers González in the 18th century. Miguel Zúñiga adapted it to make it into a Dolorosa in 1982.

Penitents: 50

Assistant dressers: 70

Interesting details:
The Brotherhood is the most popular during Holy Week in Granada due to its special connection with the gypsy people and the spectacular saetas and bonfires that you can see during the ascent to the Sacromonte, and because of the fact that it starts in the Abbey. The ascent goes on until dawn of Maundy Thursday.

Tunic

Purple with red masks and a sash. Satin golden capes for the delegados.

Candles
Red in the first section and white in the second section.

MAUNDY THURSDAY 24th MARCH

 Aurora

Starting time

Start: 6.15pm Plaza San Miguel Bajo; Start of the official route: 9.35pm; Cathedral doors: 10.20pm; End of official route: 2.05am.

Itinerario

Plaza de San Miguel Bajo, Plaza de Cauchiles, San José Alta, Grifos de San José, Cuesta de San Gregorio, Plaza de San Gregorio, San Juan de los Reyes, Cárcel Alta, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos, Colcha, Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Plaza Diego de Siloé, Pasaje Diego de Siloé, Gran Vía, Almireceros, Joaquín Costa, Reyes Católicos, Plaza Nueva, Cárcel Alta, San Juan de los Reyes, Plaza de San Gregorio, Cuesta de San Gregorio, Grifos de San José, San José Alta, Plaza de Cauchiles, Plaza de San Miguel Bajo

Start:
Iglesia de San Miguel Bajo (two floats).

Where to see it:
The exit and return to the church as a good view can be had from the plaza, and to listen to the locals shouting praise for their virgin.  It’s passage through Calle Grifos de San José is also a popular spot because it is extremely narrow but there is always a crowd and it is not always possible to see.

First float:
Representing the scene of the flagellation of Jesus, tied to a column, next to a Roman centurion and three executioners.

Artist:
The Christ is by Antonio Barbero 1982, a replica of the original by Siloam Diego (16thcentury). The rest are by Emilio Lopez, Seville (2004).

Second float:
María Santísima de la Aurora.

Artist:
Anonymous (18th century).

Penitents: 210

Assistant dressers: 220

Interesting details:
The image of the Virgin of Aurora is the most popular in the Albaicín district.

Tunic

White tunics, white masks, with red sashes and cuffs. Capes for all of the penitents.

Candles
White

EL SILENCIO ( The Silent Procession)

Starting at midnight this procession follows the river to Plaza Nueva, so lots of standing room with good views on the bridges over the river. The statue is removed from the church on its back in order to exit through the church doors. All lights are turned off as they pass and everyone is expected to remain silent. It is a dramatic and chilling sight to witness as Christ on the cross is carried through the town.

Start: midnight at Iglesia de San Pedro, Carrera del Darro; Start of the official route: 1.40am; Cathedral doors: 2.20am; End of official route: 4.15am.

Itinerary

Iglesia de San Pedro, Carrera del Darro, Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos (lateral izquierdo), Colcha, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Placeta Diego de Siloé, Pasaje Diego de Siloé, Gran Vía, Almireceros, Joaquin Costa, Reyes Católicos, Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Santa Ana, Carrera del Darro

Start:
Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro y San Pablo (one float).

Where to see it:
The entire route is spectacular, due to the general atmosphere when the streetlights are turned off. The Carrera del Darro does get crowded so it is worth it to get there early either for the exit or the return of the statue.

First float:
Representing the crucified Christ on the Cross.

Artist:
The original image is a work of José de Mora (1965), but a copy of Antonio Barbero Gor (1975) is used for the procession.

Penitents: 190

Tunic

Black tunics with trains, black mask and insignia; ribbons to tie the robes made of esparto. The responsible penitents wear black cape.

Candles
White

GOOD FRIDAY 25th MARCH 

La Soledad (Three favors)

Starting time

Start: 13:45. End of Official route: 16:00

Itinerary

Plaza de Santo Domingo, Carnicería, Plaza de Fortuny, Plaza del Realejo, Santiago, Jarrería, Molinos, Huete, Campo del Príncipe (paseo central), (Monumento al Cristo de los Favores) (14,45), Campo del Príncipe (paseo central), Huete, Molinos, Plaza del Realejo, Carnicería, Plaza de Santo Domingo, a su Templo.

Start:
Iglesia de Santo Domingo.

Where to see it:
Campo del Principe

First float:
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Artist:
Manuel González (19th century) and restored by Francisco Marín in 1994.

Penitents: 28

Tunic
Purple tunics, purple masks and red sashes

Interesting details:
This is the traditional climax of Holy Week, in the Campo del Principe, when the people of Granada ask the crucified Jesus to grant them three wishes.

HOLY SATURDAY 26th MARCH

Santa María de la Alhambra

Starting time

Start: 6pm; Start of the official route: 8.30pm; Cathedral doors: 9.10pm; End of official route: 11.50pm.

Itinerario

Real de la Alhambra, Puerta del Vino, Puerta de la Justicia, Paseo Central de coches, Puerta de las Granadas, Cuesta de Gomerez, Plaza Nueva, Reyes Católicos, Colcha,  Pavaneras, Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, San Matías, Plaza de Mariana Pineda, Ángel Ganivet (Tribuna Oficial), Puerta Real, Mesones, Marqués de Gerona, Plaza de las Pasiegas, Santa Iglesia Catedral, Cárcel Baja, Gran Vía de Colón, Plaza de Isabel la Católica, Reyes Católicos, Plaza Nueva, Cuesta de Gomerez, Puerta de las Granadas, Paseo Central de coches, Puerta de la Justicia, Puerta del Vino, Real de la Alhambra.

Start:
Iglesia de Santa María de la Alhambra (one float).

Where to see it:
On its way past the Puerta de la Justicia in the Alhambra, in the forest around it, and at the Puerta de las Granadas (Cuesta de Gomérez).

Float:
Polychrome wooden figure made in 1750. It represents the Descent from the Cross, with the Virgin, holding her dead son in her lap. She holds in one hand the head of Jesus and His hand in the other one. She slightly raises her eyes to the right, to the face of her son and has three tears on her cheeks.

Artist:
Torcuato Ruiz del Peral

Penitents: 240

Assistant dressers: 210

Tunic
Damask cream-coloured tunics, damask capes and blue masks and sashes and black shoes.

Candles
White

Interesting details:
This is probably the most unique float in Holy Week in Granada. Inspired by the Patio de los Leones in the Alhambra –reproduced to scale 1:12– and has four lights on the corners. Sculpted in silver, it has different Nasrid ornamental motifs, and depicts some chapels with silver decoration in relief. It was made in 1931 by Indalecio Ventura.

See more of what’s on in Granada here: https://www.awolgranada.com/whats-on-in-granada-march/

 

 

 

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