Photo above - In their black robes, surrounded by silence, the members of El
Silencio form a menacing spectacle.
Penitence leads to salvation
All processions have the same fundamental elements, but they look different
depending on the character and history of the brotherhood concerned.
The Brotherhoods of Passion have their roots in the "Great Famine", the "Black
Death" and the uprisings of the late Middle Ages. These trying times encouraged
the belief that penitence and suffering lay the way to salvation. The cult of
"Vía Crucis" gained more popularity in 1521, when the Marqués de Tarifa
returned to Spain from the Holy Land. He institutionalized the Stations of the
Cross in Spain.
Photo above - La Centuria Romana (100 Roman soldiers) belongs to the La
The oldest brotherhood of Seville, El Silencio, was created in 1340, but most of
the brotherhoods were formed in the 16th century by clergy, noblemen, guild
members or racial minorities. In Granada, the brotherhoods are much younger.
Except for San Agustín, they were all established in the 20th century.
Nowadays the members of brotherhoods consist of religious laymen only. They have
their own symbols, traditions and habits reflecting their religious and social
background. Some of them stress piety while others stress festivity and
Go to page 2 of Holy Week in Spain