Mouthwatering Morsels from Málaga, Andalucia, Spain
Well, I knew that title would get your attention! Here we are approaching Semana Santa again in Málaga and we just want to share a little local knowledge. Málaga is a special place at all times of year, but probably takes on its “most special” aura during Holy Week (as opposed to “party hat” for the Feria in August). Whatever your religious views, one just cannot fail to be moved by the incredible “tronos” (floats) carried by so many men through the streets for hours on end. To witness pure devotion, at times, a hushed silence amongst the multitudes (they reckon the city has a million visitors during the week) is a truly incredible experience. There are those that like Sevilla, Granada or other cities, but having experienced them all there is an intimacy in Málaga that is unique to this city. It is always difficult as an “outsider” or a tourist to know where to go, at what time etc. during the week. With many years of experience of the city at this spectacular time and having been dragged round by a local (Laura’s Mother-In-law) – I mean seriously dragged round too – you cannot imagine how she can get from one place to another with all the best viewing points along each route in such a short time! Be prepared for huge crowds and some very late nights (if you want to see the processions at their best). Remember that all the processions eventually go down the Alameda Principal and Calle Larios. Antonio Banderas (Málaga’s other “famous” son, after Picasso of course) always comes to Malaga for Semana Santa. In fact, he is an honourary member of several “Cofradias” (Brotherhoods) and is often seen carrying a “trono” or two during Holy Week. He reserves an entire floor of the Hotel Room Mate Larios on a yearly basis. Laura and I work with the Hotel, our favourite one in Málaga, and many of our Tapas Tour clients stay here and consequently, we often get a bird’s eye view of the processions from within the Hotel (on the floor below Antonio’s Suites – hence we do actually spend a couple of hours under him…. so to speak!) Here are our favourites (amongst many!) for the week – remember that there are many different statues of The Virgin and Christ taken out on the processional route every day from about mid-day onwards and lasting until 3 or 4 in the morning (sometimes later!!): Palm Sunday : “El Huerto” and “El Prendimiento” arrive in Calle Larios late at night – really wonderful “tronos”. El Huerto with the olive tree is especially spectacular: El Huerto
Monday Definitely “El Cautivo” – probably Malagueños favourite “Trono” – followed by thousands (seriously thousands!) of penitents (who follow it throughout the eight-hour journey – you will notice some are barefoot, some have shackled feet and some are blindfolded and led by friends. The cries of “Viva El Cautivo” all along the route are spine chilling. El Cautivo and Penitents.
La Sentencia in Calle Larios.
Wednesday The Virgin of the Paloma – one of the most magnificent (largest and heaviest) “tronos” in my opinion – carried by almost 400 men! Thursday Is the day of The Foreign Legion – a truly amazing spectacle as they march along the route with the congregation of “La Mena” and their statue of The Virgin and Christ. Video link to The Legionnaires parading the Statue of Christ before placing it on its “trono” ready for the processions.
Friday Another late night if you want to see my favourite – The Christ and Virgin of the Brotherhood os the Santo Sepulcro as it parades down Calle Larios – this is rather sombre and is accompanied by Chopin’s funeral march and the city light go off in each street as it passes. The silence is rather incredible from the masses of people. Santo Sepulchro
Saturday There are no processions today (that said, many people will not have been to bed until 4 or 5am from the parades that finished in the early hours of this morning. Sunday Just one procession that parades along the Alameda about mid-day – worth getting a seat for in the official stands as it is a long procession with representatives of all the Cofradias (Brotherhoods) taking part – “The Resurrection”. The Resurrection
I feel sure that if you care to visit during the Semana Santa processions you will come away feeling equally “fulfilled” as you would have been if you had spent a couple of hours with Antonio! Now all we have to do is hope the weather plays its part!! (if not, you will still be able to visit all the tronos in their casas!). So looking forward to it!