Calagurritana Devotion: Holy Week in Calahorra
The Easter holidays have become a foretaste of the long-awaited summer holidays for Spaniards. Many are those who will be able to enjoy these days and many are the destinations, plans and options that are presented to us.
While many opt for the seclusion of such dates, for their processions and for travelling through any city or town in Spain to the rhythm of silence, only occasionally disturbed by the sound of drums and trumpets, others decide that it is the best time to go skiing, especially after the latest snowfalls. For many others, the best destination is still the beach.
We would like to offer you an original destination with a Unique Easter Week, Calahorra.
Festival of National Tourist Interest (2014)
Calahorra is the second most important city in the autonomous region of La Rioja after Logroño and according to 2012 data, it has approximately 30,000 inhabitants.
It stands out for its important agricultural production and for its antiquity, as it was an important and outstanding Roman city, Calagurris Nassica Iulia; it was also the birthplace of the great Roman orator Marco Fabio Quintiliano.
In 2014, its Easter Week was declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest, for being able to bring together history, tradition, variety and originality. This declaration will mean that Calahorra will be able to promote itself abroad as a tourist destination, and in addition to placing it in a prominent place on the map, it will be an important source of economic and tourist income for the whole city.
Every effort has its reward and recognition and this is what has happened with Calahorra, based on work, persistence and struggle, it has been able to keep its tradition alive over time, improve it and share it with everyone, which in the end is what it is all about. And it has been worth it.
Easter Week in Calahorra
It is clear that the driving force behind all this is citizen participation, in which the Brotherhood of the Vera Cruz, present in Calahorra since the 16th century, and the Asociación Cultural Grupo Paso Viviente must be highlighted.
Both organise a full programme for these dates that includes processions, the Easter Week proclamation, the performance of the Auto Sacramental, the National Concentration of Processional Bands, workshops, exhibitions, talks, etc.
Among its most outstanding events is the recreation of the Roman Market MERCAFORUM, which has been held since 1995 on Saturday of Sorrows and Palm Sunday, and which allows visitors to travel back in time to ancient Rome, as it perfectly captures the atmosphere, the buildings and all the participants are perfectly characterised.
Procession of the ENCOUNTER
It takes place on the morning of Maundy Thursday and is one of the most emotional of Holy Week in Calahorra. This procession dates back to before 1540.
Staging of the PASSION
The Asociación Cultural Grupo Paso Viviente performed the first representation of the Crucifixion and it only lasted 15 minutes, but it was the beginning, the start of this incredible staging that it has become. Nowadays the performance begins with the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and over the course of 1km and different scenes the Passion of Jesus Christ is completed, until it reaches its climax with the scene of the Resurrection.
For more than two hours, visitors follow the entire route through the different scenes, allowing themselves to be enveloped in the magic of light, sound and spectacle that have made this event unique and singular in Spain for its realism and quality.
Magna Procession of the SANTO ENTIERRO (the Holy Burial)
The most important procession takes place on the afternoon of Good Friday because it involves 16 floats and more than 2,000 people. It is considered the largest and most impressive in northern Spain. It takes place through the imposing old quarter of Calahorra and it is fair to mention different carvings for their historical-artistic relevance, as many are from the 16th and 17th centuries, such as the Ecce Homo by Gregorio Fernández (Castilian school, 1610), the Cristo d Medinaceli by Juan Fernández de Vallejo, 1580, the Cristo de la Veracruz by Guiot de Beaugrant, 1560, the Cristo de la Agonía by Juan Bazcardo, 1628, the Cristo Yacrente from 1630...and others.
The other pasos belong to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Alternatives to religious events. Other plans
In parallel to these religious events, the city is holding a number of original events such as the Borregos Game and the Roman Cooking Days.
Calahorra also offers its visitors a wide range of cultural activities, with visits to the Museum of Romanisation, the Museum of the Easter Steps, the Vegetable Museum, the Interpretation Centre of the Holy Martyrs San Emeterio and San Celedonio, the Cathedral Museum, etc.
However, it is also a great opportunity to visit the village of Harowhose old quarter was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1975, a town known for one of its festivals, "Fiesta de la Fiesta", also distinguished as a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 2011.the Wine Battle"also distinguished as a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest in 2011.
Just 50 minutes by car from Calahorra we have another obligatory destination once you set foot on Rioja territory, and that is Briones. Vivancoin Briones. Its wineries and Museum of Wine Culture, wine tastings, vineyards, restaurant and endless experiences are the most complete way to experience La Rioja.