SEVILLA is arguably the best place in Spain to witness the world-renowned Holy Week, with thousands descending on the city for an intense week of colourful processions and religious fervour between April 13 and 20.
Toma Tours have rented one of the largest balconies available in the city centre, allowing the perfect birds-eye view of the Cristo de Burgos procession’s church entrance and exit on Holy Wednesday.
At all times there are at least five processions – consisting of beautiful catholic sculptures of the Virgin Mary and Christ and often accompanied by music – winding their way through Sevilla’s streets.
Toma Tour’s day trip leaves from Marbella on Wednesday, 16 April and includes not only a private 33 metre balcony but drinks, tapas and an on-hand cultural expert; Manni Coe.
“It is a really intense, spiritual and dramatic experience which needs to be explained and set in a historical framework,” said Manni, who lived in Sevilla for five years.
There are 58 churches and parishes, each with their own figures of the Virgin and Christ, and Holy Week is the only time of the year they are all brought out.
“It is really tough work to get these huge statues down narrow streets, some of them take 60 men.”
There will also be a Saetero singing a traditional Easter Saeta on their balcony. The Saeta is a gypsy prayer that has become a song through flamenco. It is notoriously difficult to sing and is only heard in Holy Week.
There is about seven hours between the exit and the entrance of the procession. In this time people can get down off the balcony and onto the streets to mix in with the crowds.
“It is a big celebration when the processions return to the church but the most dramatic time is when they depart,” explained Manni.
“It is the only time I have ever heard so many Spanish people fall completely silent, six or seven thousand in complete respect.”
Semana Santa divides opinion with the locals in Sevilla. Some get as far away from the tens of thousands of visitors as possible and rent their home out, while others throw themselves into the festivities.
For more information and to reserve a place on the tour visit: http://tomatours.com/holy-week-in-seville-2014-tour/