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Leisure and Culture

What to Do in Madrid during Holy Week

Written by Daniella

Holy Week is a time full of cultural activities, deeply rooted in Christianity. In addition, it is a holiday season for many Spaniards, who decide to visit the capital of Spain. For those who want to enjoy their visit to the capital and get to know the typical activities during Holy Week, the team of ShMadrid wants to give you some ideas related to this time of year in the city. If you want to see a different side to traditions in Madrid, just keep reading.

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Discover Holy Week traditions in the Spanish capital

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Holy Week is an intense week in Madrid. Processions, religious passions, sweets, traditional gastronomy, and holidays… all together it becomes a perfect mix for visitors to discover the traditions that Madrid has during Holy Week. One of the most interesting and essential things to do in the capital, if you want to know the traditions related to the Spanish Holy Week, is to attend a procession. The processions that take place in Madrid are spectacular. For example, on Holy Thursday there is the procession of Jesus del Gran Poder, which leaves from the Colegiata de San Isidro at 20:00. One of the most religious processions is the one from Cristo de Medinaceli, which leaves on Good Friday at 19:00 at the basílica Nuestro Padre Jesus de Medinaceli. At the same time, the procession of Cristo de los Alabarderos starts, which runs past the Palacio Real and the Catedral de la Almudena, where it goes all the way up to the Iglesia Catedral Castrense. All these parades are filled with devotees who demonstrate their religious passion by singing saetas, which are emotional musical pieces with religious content, that refer to the Passion of Christ and his resurrection. These songs are sung with so much feeling, that, mixed with the deathly silence that usually overflows the procession, makes it a tremendously solemn and emotional event for the people who witness the passionate singing.

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But, so much emotion must eventually be calmed down, and what better way is there to calm down, besides the comfort of food? If there is a typical sweet dish for these festivities in the city of Madrid, it is undoubtedly the torrija. The torrija is a dessert that is made with bread, milk, wine, sugar and cinnamon, although there are some variations. These delicacies are made  with pure love at different bakeries and restaurants in the capital, but if you need some ideas on locations to visit, we recommend the torrijas at Antigua Pastelería del Pozo, a charming establishment that maintains the style of its origin, which goes all the way back to 1830. You can also try the torrijas at El Riojano and Mallorca, which combine flavour and tradition, and have been serving the best torrijas in the city for a long, long time. If you have celiac disease, you can still try torrijas, as they also make gluten-free ones.

Do you have any other recommendations for Holy Week in Madrid?

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Daniella

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