Location in Spain:
Semana Santa (holy week - easter) has been one of the most important celebrations in Seville for centuries. It's origins may date as far back as the 14th century!
Dates 2016: March 20 - 27
During holy week the Cofradías (Brotherhoods or Fraternities) process in penitence through the, many narrow, streets of the city, from their church to the Cathedral for a sacred ritual and back, taking the shortest possible route, as decreed in the rule of the ordinances in the 17th century. In these processions they carry floats with the representations of Christ and Mary.
Many sevillians wait unpatiently for this yearly event, as they do for Seville's April Fair.
Accommodation for Holy Week
It is recommendable to book your hotel or apartment for Holy Week in Seville with more than two months in advance to make sure you find lodging to your liking.
Also, it's worth to plan a stay during the beginning of the week, because from thursday on it is holiday in Spain and the city gets (over)crowded. The chances to find flights, good lodging and enjoy better views over the processions and the city itself are considerably higher from sunday to wednesday.
Holy week - day by day
Starting on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), and ending on Domingo de Resurrección (Easter Sunday), there are almost 60 brotherhoods that pay the religious visit to the Cathedral of Seville.
Routes of the floats
- Domingo de ramos
- Lunes Santo
- Martes Santo
- Miércoles Santo
- Jueves Santo
- Viernes Santo
- Sábado Santo
- Domingo de Resurrección
Processions and floats
Most brotherhoods carry two floats:
- A float with a Christ, representing the distinct stages of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- and a float with a Dolorosa (Mary the Virgin in pain) under a canopy.
Some brotherhoods even carry three floats, like the so-called: El Amor, La Cena, San Benito, or la Trinidad, others have just one like Santa Marta, La Quinta Angustia, la Soledad de San Buenaventura, or la Soledad de San Lorenzo.
Resuming, in the eight days of Semana Santa, a total of almost 60 brotherhoods, carry their 116 floats from their church to the Cathedral and back, in the company of around 60,000 brothers participating in their different appearances:
- Nazarenos (Nazarenes)
- Costaleros (float carriers)
The number of spectators may rise up to the impressing number of one million people during the most important moments of Semana Santa for the sevillians.
The early morning of Good Friday which is when the brotherhoods of el Silencio, el Gran Poder, La Macarena, El Calvario, La Esperanza de Triana and los Gitanos set off for their processional penitence to the Cathedral of Seville.
Dates of future Holy Weeks - Semana Santa
- 2016: 20-27 March
- 2017: 09-16 April
- 2018: 25 March - 1 April
- 2019: 14-21 April
- 2020: 05-12 April
La Carrera Oficial
"La Carrera Official" is the route (see map) that all 50+ processions from all over Seville have to take, for their access to the Cathedral. Starting at "la Campana" through calle Sierpes, plaza de San Francisco and Constitución up and into the Cathedral itself. On this route chairs are placed that people rent for the week, some at rather striking prices...