The unique experience of Holy Week in Orihuela

The unique experience of Holy Week in Orihuela

The councillor for Tourism, Sofía Álvarez, has launched a campaign across the Alicante and Murcia regions promoting Holy Week in Orihuela City, a festival that was declared to be of National interest in 2010.

Holy Week in Spain is the annual tribute of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.

Álvarez said that this year she wants “to expand the focus on those municipalities where there is more density of population”. As such the campaign will include publicity in metro and train stations in Madrid, Valencia and Alicante, as well as El Altet, Valencia and Murcia airports. Advertisements have also been placed on national radio stations, where the view of the Oriolan Holy Week will be explained, “with the purpose of reaching as many people as possible and attracting them into the municipality.”

In addition, there have also been campaigns carried out with English-speaking media in the Alicante and Murcia area. “We want to fill the municipality with those who wish to become involved in one of the major religious spectacles in Spain,” the councillor said. “Come and visit our Procession of del Caballero Cubierto, or experience the singers of La Pasión. See our beloved Diablesa, the iconic sculpture ‘Triumph of the Cross over sin and death’ paraded through the streets of Orihuela,” she added.

“The publicity posters are based on an image taken by the Orihuela photographer Alberto Aragón in which the tower of Santa Justa can be seen to the rear of la Procesión del Silencio, one of the distinguishing elements of our week of Passion, “said the councillor.

Tourists will be able to enjoy a number of tourist routes, one of them, ‘The Art and Passion route,’ which takes place every day from Holy Tuesday until Maunday Thursday, will be conducted in English, starting each day at the Tourist Office in Orihuela at 11am. For more information telephone 96 530 46 45.

During Holy Week itself, one of the most overwhelming processions is on Holy Thursday held at 11pm in the evening, ‘la del Santísimo Cristo del Silencio’ in which you will see two long ranks of brothers, dressed in capuchin habits, their heads covered, walking through the streets in  absolute silence. The only lights that illuminate the route are the lanterns that they carry, as the city remains in darkness after the extinguishing of all public lighting in the streets through which the procession runs. This is the Penitential Brotherhood of Silence, which has its origins in 1940, inside one of the three Gothic churches of the city, the Church of Santiago.

One other procession that stands out is that of ‘la del Santo Entierro de Cristo,’ on Holy Saturday. It is probably the most unique procession of Holy Week combining the two features of the Diablesa, one of the most iconic Holy Week sculptures, and the Caballero Cubierto which demonstrates the power of good over evil.

In short, Holy Week of Orihuela, is an absolutely unique experience that must not be missed.

In addition, there will be a series of wind and string concerts in front of Orihuela’s five main monuments, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Monserrate, the Church of Santiago, the Church of Santas Justa and Rufina, the cloister of the Cathedral of El Salvador and the Santo Domingo School, which will be performed by quartets of music teachers from the Pedro Terol Professional Music Conservatory.

If there are a minimum of 20 people, there will be a bus service from Orihuela Costa (5.40€) and Entrenaranjos (2.70€) on the days shown below.

Bus timetable:

Palm Sunday 25th March: 5:30pm – 00.00h

Holy Monday 26th March: 8pm – 00.00h

Holy Tuesday 27th March: 8pm – 00.30h

Holy Wednesday 28th March: 5pm – 00.30h

 Holy Thursday 29th March: 8pm – 1am

Good Friday 30th March: 4:30pm – 1am

 Easter Saturday 31st March: 5:30pm – 10pm

Anyone who is interested in taking part in any of these routes or activities can pick up a brochure in English or obtain further information at either the Tourist Office in the Orihuela Costa Town Hall (96 676 00 00 ext 32) or in Orihuela City (96 530 46 45 or 96 530 27 47). Email: