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Valladolid Holy Week

The Holy Week celebrations in Valladolid have been declared of international touristic interest. They combine, as do the celebrations of other cities of the region with deep courtesan and cultural roots, influences from two eras: the Semana Santa that dates back to the 15th century, and the reorganisation of 1920 that took place under the archbishop Gandásegui, evidence of historic events, were found in the basement of what was then the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts in the Palacio de Santa Cruz. The images of Christ and the Virgin were in the temples and have been better cared for and preserved, as they are cult images. The historic Semana Santa of the twenties was the consequence of a catastrophe that is still preserved by art. To reunite the pieces of this divine puzzle was a passionate adventure, and one which still engages much research into the art of religious images.

The main day of the celebrations in Valladolid is Good Friday. In the morning in the Plaza Mayor the Sermón de las Siete Palabras (Sermon of Seven Words) is held. In the afternoon, in a procession of floats with thousands of fraternity members that covers the peripheries of the old city, there are old-style theatrical representations of the most significant scenes of the Passion: the supper with the apostles, the prayer in the garden, the arrest, the Ecce Homo, the flogging, the preparations for the crucifixion, the seven words spoken by Christ on the cross, on seven floats, the death on the cross and Christ's descent from the cross, the recumbent figure, the body in the tomb and the Virgin in mourning. The Procesión General de la Pasión is made up of 31 floats, most of them constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, and organised by the 19 penitential fraternities. Together they form an authentic street museum.

One moment that makes us aware of the strange and the peculiar in Valladolid is when the float of the Virgen de las Angustias, which will have closed the Procesión de La Pasión, enters its temple and everybody sings the Salve Popular (popular worship), accompanied by all the musical bands playing the national hymn.

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