Religious celebration declared of tourist interest

Semana Santa 2016


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History of the Holy Week of Ronda

The origins of the celebration of the Holy week in Ronda have to be found in the conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs, being one spectacular religious event and one of the spiritual, cultural, artistic and popular traditions causing the deepest feelings among the population.

The first existing news about that celebration date of 1538. There are documents proofing that at may, 29th of that year, the Rules of the Holy Fraternity of the Cross, Blood and Injures of our Lord Jesuchrist where signed and authorized by the bishop of Malaga, Sr. Fray Bernardo Manrique.

At 1574 the rules of the Royal Fraternity of the Holy Funeral of Christ and the Virgin at her Loneliness. were also signed and authorized as legal.

Another important new is linked to the Fraternity of the Holy Christ at his Blood, appearing at several documents and at reports about Ronda at 1568. Anyway, the most important new about that fraternity appears at the History of Ronda, written by Moretti (19th century) where is told this brotherhood being located at the church of San Juanico de Letrán el Real at 1683.

There can be seen the letter sent by one member of the fraternity of the Virgin at her Sufferings, demanding one certificate at september, 4th, 1690. By its side, the fraternity of the Holy Christ of the Remedios was re-organized at at 1844, being added to the mentioned fraternity of the Virgin at her Sufferings (Hermandad de las Angustias) at 1959.

Dated of 1713 have been found one bill for the payment of ten Requiem mass for the soul of the member of the Ecce-Homo's fraternity D. Diego de Chaves. This makes us think that the mentioned brotherhood existed since some time ago, which has rested alive and arrived to our days. This also happens to the fraternity of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno y de La Soledad (Jesus of Nazaret and the Virgin of the Loneliness), whose first documental new appears at 1698 with a list of the people belonging to that brotherhood taking part at its annual procession, which shows that considering that date, the fraternity existed since some years before.

In addition to all these examples of our fraternities' age, which means also, of the celebration of the Holy Week, we can talk about the Fraternity of Virgin of the Loneliness (Soledad), founded at 1721 and reorganized at 1948.

At the 20th century, and, to be more accurate, at the 40ies, the popular fraternity of Nuestro Padre Jesús en la Columna y Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza. (Our Lord Jesuchrist beaten tied to a column and the Virgin of the Hope) was founded. At the 50ies is founded the brotherhood of the Holy Entrance at Jerusalem, known as "La Pollinica" (the little donkey, refering to the animal at whose horseback Jesus entered Jerusalem) and the brotherhood of Jesus' Prayer at the Orchard, which has celebrated recently its 50th anniversary.

It is important to remark that, nowadays, the following fraternities are at its legal constitution process: The Cofradía Sacramental y Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús del Prendimiento y María Santísima del Rosario en su Misterio Doloroso.(the fraternity of Jesus being arrested at the Orchard). The great gypsy family of Ronda wants also to put into practise one idea, coming from the 50ies, which is to found the Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús de la Salud en su Prendimiento y María Santísima de la Amargura, known as the gypies' fraternity.

To end with this little report about the History of Ronda's Holy Week, we have to tell that, since 1990, are the Stations of the Cross organized with the images of Nuestro Señor Cautivo y Nuestra Señora de la Salud (our Lord Captive and the Virgen of the Health), belonging to the fraternities of las Angustias and Nuestro Señor Orando en el Huerto. (the Virgin of the Sufferings and Jesus' Prayer at the Orchard)

It's usually told that the famous writer Miguel de Cervantes (author of the world wide known "Don Quixote") visited oft Ronda, due to his work as Royal Tax Collector, coming from Seville, and that he had the chance of knowing and seeing the Ronda's fraternities of the Holy Funeral of the Christ's Cross.