The memorial of Christ’s Passion features a unique splendour in Santiago de Compostela. The Holy City’s magnificent architectural venues (medieval streets, baroque squares, churches almost a thousand years old now adorned with volutes or neo-classical elegance) give the traditional processions a particular solemnity, which undoubtedly makes them stand out from those in other Spanish localities.
The Holy Week is profoundly aesthetic and spiritual in Santiago. Compostela’s thirteen brotherhoods tour the old town carrying beautiful statues of great artistic value and highly venerated by Compostela’s residents. Believers and non-believers are overawed as they pass by in silence, only accompanied by the piercing sound of bugles and the deep rhythm of drums, which echo through the stone streets. The processions’ dramatic nature is further enhanced by the traditional garments of the brotherhood members, or by their acts of penance, such as walking barefoot or on their knees. Eyes gaze upwards at the pointed hoods under the pinnacles, the processional crosses under the towers, the flowers that almost touch the balconies and gargoyles, while the processions advance in daylight or through the night mist.