History of Semana Santa/Holy Week

August 18, 2008 by  
Filed under What is Semana Santa

History of Semana Santa

“As with any cultural celebration, Spain’s elaborate Semana Santa was for centuries a work-in-progress. The starting point for its extensive history is the death of Christ; however, the celebration that we see today is the result of centuries of evolution.” 

“A significant point in Semana Santa’s history is 1521, when the Marqués de Tarifa returned to Spain from the Holy Land. After his journey, he institutionalized the Vía Crucis (Stations of the Cross) in Spain, and from that moment on this holy event was celebrated with a procession. Over time, the observance of the Vía Crucis eventually broke up into the various scenes of the Passion, with the incorporation of portable crosses and altars. This would eventually lead to today’s elaborate processions.” 

“Check out any map of Seville’s Semana Santa routes and you will see the official route clearly marked. This original route, while it has evolved since 1604, continues to serve as the backbone for the present route. The final major step took place in the 17th century, when Seville’s various cofradías (brotherhoods) began dividing and organizing themselves into what they are today.”



Thanks to http://www.enforex.com/culture/semana-santa.html for quotes and information on the history of Semana Santa.  For additional information, please also visit http://www.turismo.sevilla.org/paginas_en/consejosSemanaSanta.asp


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