The beginning of Holy Week sets off the beauty of Badajoz. The city is draped in faith thanks to the members of the catholic brotherhoods who, with the constancy of their centuries-old devotion, offer up the most intimate part of their spirit by participating in processions to teach us about the Passion of Christ and transform our neighbourhoods into the backdrop of a uniquely beautiful spectacle charged with emotion.
Holy Week is an experience that allows us to reconcile with our city and invites us to return to those places that have become memorable by virtue of our customs. Each person chooses their own locations. Tourists look for the most emblematic locations that guarantee the perfect photo, an unforgettable moment, while the locals return to their usual spots.
To reach them, we climb uphill streets, claim a spot hours in advance or ask a family member or old friend to save us a space on their balcony or let us peek through their window.
The more introspective and private the experience, the harder it is to reach or keep our spot, the fonder we are of that part of the city – that will be our little corner during Holy Week.
And then the paso comes, telling us a story – and it’s all about a rite, a symbol, a belief. The procession is announced by the sound of the mournful trumpets and thudding drums. Gradually, the fragrance of the melted wax and incense reaches you, and the dim lights of the processional candles come into view next to the dull glow of the old lampposts, finally fading from view at the end of the alley or disappearing into the church. Only the traces of the many feet that were walking in unison are left behind, a testament to the effort behind the mystery. These are the feet of men and women who, in the anonymity of their humble and solemn fervour, are as mysterious as the Nazarenos with their faces hidden under velvet hoods. On their shoulders they lift up the weight of a religious manifestation that makes the invisible visible and allows us to understand the incomprehensible.
There is much to tell about a Holy Week that captivates everyone in Badajoz, believers or not. Because Holy Week is, above all, the exaltation of a cultural phenomenon that, beyond its religious significance, also fascinates us with the weight of its artistic expression. Each paso is a treasured part of our heritage, each procession is the popular recreation of a work of art. Our Holy Week is packed with elements and customs that we want to share with the world, and that is why we will not give up on the commitment set by this City Council to achieve its recognition as a Holiday of International Tourist Interest.
We invite you to behold the splendour, the majesty and the sensitivity of our Holy Week through these photos, which record for posterity a festivity full of meaning and life.
Francisco Javier Fragoso
Mayor of Badajoz