José Jimenez Aranda, Holy Week in Seville, 1879

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Holy Week in Seville (Semana Santa de Sevilla) is an annual festival, with origins in the fourteenth century, lasting from Palm Sunday to its culmination on Easter Sunday. The scene painted by Jimenez y Aranda takes place in the Patio de los Naranjos (Patio of Orange Trees), next to the Giralda Tower. Floats, processions and sermons took place throughout the entire city during the ancient ceremony.

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As Professor Antonio M. Rueda has observed: 

“Holy Week in Seville is a feeling. For each person it represents something completely different. It is a cascade of emotions in which everyone in the city has different memories going back from when he/she was a child and used to go to see the processions accompanied by his/her parents or grandparents to when he/she is the one who shows the floats and parades to his/her own friends, sons, grandsons.”

Most of the participants seem to pay reverential attention to the words of the preacher. However, there are some whose attention seems elsewhere:

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The Skeptic

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The Giralda Tower and Patio de los Naranjos today

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For an imaginative tale (told by Ivan in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov) of a religious incident in Seville at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, click HERE.