Semana Santa (Holy week/Easter) has been one of the most important celebrations
in Linares for centuries. The cofradías (brotherhoods or fraternities)
process in penitence through the (many narrow) streets of the city,
from their church to the Carrera Oficial and back. A public and multitudinous
catechisis is performed in the streets around the sacred images of the
brotherhoods, whose tronos or pasos (floats) represent the distinct
stages of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
brotherhoods carry two tronos: a trono with a Christ, representing one
of the well known biblic scenes, in between the Entrance in Jerusalem
and His Resurrection, and a trono with a Dolorosa (Mary the Virgin in
pain) under a canopy. Some brotherhoods carry three tronos, like the
so-called: Santa Cena y Nazareno. The Santo Entierro have four tronos.
in the eight days of Semana Santa (starting on Palm Sunday and ending
on Easter Sunday) a total of 14 brotherhoods, carry their 30 tronos
from their church to the Carrera Oficial and back, in the company of
around 10,000 brothers participating in their different appearances:
penitents, hombres de trono y costaleros (trono carriers), acolytes,
first (small) step to understanding Semana Santa in Linares, is knowing
what a procession is about.
introduction to the processions.
You can click the images for a larger view.
- La Marcha
The musical compositions accompanying the majority
of the tronos are called "marchas". A lot of them are beautiful
pieces of music, such as:
- Marchas de cabecera: Concierto de Aranjuez y Nabuco.
- Marchas de Cristo: Luz de Jerusalem y Sagrada Oración.
- Marchas de palio: Amargura y
- La Cruz de Guía
A big cross which opens the procession with two
penitents carrying lanterns on either side.
- Los Penitentes
Members of the fraternities which make up the
procession. They carry wooden cross, candels, and banners, wearing tunics,
an caperuz (the piece of cloth covering the faces of penitents) and a
capirote (the cardboard cone inside the caperuz, keeping it upright on
the head). In many cases this is still done as an act of fulfilment of
a promise to Christ.
- El trono de Cristo
A trono is a float or portable platform and all
the images and elements it contains.
The trono may carry an image of Christ, of the Virgin or a Mystery (a
set of images which represent a scene from the Passion of Christ). A paso
is carried by the hombres de trono (some 60 to 100 men) or by the costaleros
(some 20 to 30 men) from the brotherhood, who go almost unseen under the
trono. They are directed by the capataz through the many narrow streets
of city. The trono de Cristo is generally the first trono.
- El Paso de Palio
El paso de palio is the trono which carries La
Virgen, also called Amargura (Bitterness), or more optimistic Esperanza
(Hope). For the Linarenses each Virgen is different, unique and special,
although for the visiting foreigner they may all seem the same (but don't
ever dare saying that to the local people!).
This is because, unlike the tronos of Christ,
that carry different representations, the tronos of the Virgen all represent
the same moment of the biblical history; the Holy Mother crying for the
death of her son.
This one representation has many differences in
it's details, where the Linarenses know about, while foreign people may
not notice them in the first place. They might, after seeing several different
One important element that changes is el Manto,
the huge piece of rich fabrics, which are delicately embroidered and flows
from the statue of the Virgen over a hard support covering the back of
the trono. The trono itself has a canopy, supported by the varales, like
a protecting roof over the Virgin. Many of them are true jewels of silver
and gold craftsmanship and embroidery. The varales de palio are the twelve
vertical poles of the trono, which are decorated with works of gold an
silver as well. These poles are connected rather loosly, so that the characteristic
swaying movement of the costaleros and hombres de trono can be transmitted
to the float.
And last but not least, if one gets close enough,
it is possible to see the difference in the faces of each of the Virgins.
- Los costaleros.
They are men that carry the trono on their neck
(under the nape). They usually dress with comfortable clothes and they
facilitate their work with a strip and a costal, that it is a rude fabric
that protects their skin of the rude wood.
- Los hombres de trono.
They are men that carry the paso on a shoulder.
They can dress the tunic of the brotherhood (Descent) or a dark suit with
jacket and tie (Expiration). In Linares there is not occasion of seeing
them until Viernes Santo.
Información sobre España para turistas y extranjeros