Holy Week in Seville

Tips for getting to know Holy Week in Seville 2024

Last updated on February 19th, 2024

Recommendations for visitors in Seville during Holy Week.

In this section, we would like to offer a quick guide for tourists who want to get to know the tremendous religious and cultural spectacle that is Holy Week in Seville.

 


In this feature, we will explain the Holy Week in Seville in a simple way so that you can enjoy it without any great knowledge of the religious brotherhoods.

At first glance, this great Sevillian celebration can be intimidating. The whole city takes to the streets and tourists fill the hotels, so that masses of people or “bullas” occupy every corner, making it difficult to get close to the processions.

Brotherhood of the Great Power

As in everything, information is power. In this section, we will present some tricks and tips to see charming moments of Holy Week in Seville with a certain degree of comfort.

This guide is designed to help you see the brotherhoods of Seville as comfortably as possible in the most accessible places, with the least amount of waiting time and the shortest possible journey, always within the historic centre of the city.

Holy Wednesday in Seville


General tips

– The Holy Week processions in Seville are organised by Brotherhoods or Cofradías. Each brotherhood holds a procession on a specific day, time and itinerary, and no two processions have the same route.  Processions are basically made up of Nazarenes and one, two or three “pasos“, which are religious images that are placed on beautifully decorated structures and are carried by a group of people called “costaleros” (bearers).

– There are brotherhoods that take very long routes with thousands of Nazarenes and others that do not leave the historic centre and involve more modest numbers. There are also more popular processions with a more relaxed atmosphere and other very serious ones in which silence and recollection catch the visitor’s attention. In general, the darker the robe of the Nazarenes, the more serious the brotherhood, notwithstanding that seriousness and respect for religious rituals and symbols is the norm throughout the week.

There are brotherhoods with serious and severe tones while others have a more popular and relaxed character.

– The processions usually take place in the afternoon and evening, with the peak time being from 7 p.m. to 1 or 2 a.m., except on the night of the “Madrugá”, which starts at around 1 a.m. and ends at around noon the following day.

– The value of a brotherhood is measured by its tradition, by the quality and antiquity of its images, by the skill of the team of costaleros and by the mastery with which they coordinate with a good musical band. Good Holy Week fans seek out the special moments and the most picturesque corners.

There are true masterpieces on the ‘pasos’ of Seville, some of them hundreds of years old and signed by the great universal image-makers of Seville. The museum takes to the streets

– We recommend that inexperienced visitors take it easy, avoid the narrower areas and enjoy the processions in the wider avenues.  We have compiled a list of streets and recommended times to easily see the processions (see each day below). If you want a deeper immersion it is almost essential to go with a Sevillian aficionado or at least seek advice. We recommend that you follow the tone of the procession. There are times when the processions take place in absolute silence. In these cases we recommend respecting this circumstance, switching off or silencing mobile phones, not eating or drinking and controlling children as far as possible.

A “capillita” is a Sevillian character who is passionate about Holy Week

The ideal person to ask is the so-called “capillita“, who is recognisable for his formal attire (jacket and tie), for displaying a symbol of his brotherhood and for his impeccable hairstyle. The capillitas are the greatest fans of Holy Week, as good Sevillians they are very friendly with visitors and will be delighted to share their knowledge and advise tourists on their city’s most important festival, as long as it is at an appropriate moment outside the solemn passing of the brotherhood.

Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazareno la O

– If the visitor comes with children we recommend looking for the less formal processions, which are well known for having many child Nazarenes or for taking place in the afternoon. Children can stand in the front row and ask the Nazarenes for sweets or stamps. They will be very entertained.

– Holy Week is a period of maximum influx of visitors in Seville. If you want to visit any of the great monuments it is essential to book a guided tour or a skip-the-line ticket. Beware of the processions! Access to certain monuments such as the Cathedral, Giralda or the Alcázar may be restricted.

Brotherhood of the Carretería

How to move between processions

– As a general rule, if we want to see a Brotherhood in a narrow street, we should enter it before the Nazarenes begin to pass, avoiding the areas where the streets cross.

If the Brotherhood is already in the street, we recommend following the last paso, usually the Virgin, and entering the street behind it, and when possible, getting as close to it as possible.

Brotherhood of Montserrat

– The charm of the brotherhoods is not just watching them pass by. It is advisable to follow for 200 or 300 metres if possible in order to listen to the marches, saetas or enjoy the turns and rhythmic movements. The most exciting and popular moments are usually the coordinated movements of the pasos and the music of the bands.

– To cross the ‘Carrera Oficial’ (Plaza del Duque-Catedral) there are several signposted crossings: 

Calle Sierpes Street, towards Calle Cerrajeria-Cuna and Sagasta-Plaza del Salvador.

Plaza de San Francisco, towards Plaza Nueva or Plaza del Salvador

Avenida de la Constitución, towards Calle Hernando Colon.

Calle García Vinuesa (el Arenal), towards the Catedral.

-You can cross a Brotherhood in the street, if there are not too many people, politely asking for passage.

Sometimes you have to accept that you can’t go through certain areas. That’s OK, you look for alternatives.

– To travel between the Cathedral and the Campana-Plaza del Duque area, due to the passing of the Brotherhoods, a detour is normally necessary. The recommended routes are to the North, Calle Don Remondo Corral del Rey, Plaza de San Isidoro, Plaza del Cristo de Burgos, Plaza Encarnación, Plaza de San Andrés, Calle Amor de Dios, Calle Trajano until arriving at Plaza del Duque. To the south, continue along Calle Mateos Gago, Alcazaba, Plaza de Triunfo, Av. Constitución, Calle Santander, Paseo Colon, Reyes Católicos, Calle Marques de Paradas. Alfonso XII – Plaza del Duque.

– Typical gastronomy: The most typical dishes of Holy Week in Seville are: spinach with chickpeas, cod with tomato, pavías or cod croquettes, fritters and torrijas.



What to see day by day

Preceding days: Friday of Sorrows and Passion Saturday

Seville begins to move its pasos into the streets in the days leading up to Holy Week. The Friday and Saturday before Palm Sunday offer several popular processions, somewhat more modest than the “official” ones, which take place in less central areas of the city.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is one of the big days. Holy Week begins and the Sevillians wear their best clothes to visit the churches in the morning and to see the first brotherhoods in the afternoon and evening.

Holy Monday

A sober day but with magnificent brotherhoods to enjoy in the streets of Seville. In the evening, the number of visitors decreases somewhat and it is easier to enjoy such charismatic images as the Veracruz or the Museum’s pasos.

Holy Tuesday

A day of processions with a great tradition and following in the city, such as the Bofetá, with many children in its ranks, the Candelaria or the beautiful Cristo de los Estudiantes, which sets off from the University.

Holy Wednesday

A very popular day, on the eve of a public holiday, the streets are packed with people. Holy Wednesday in Seville offers processions with beautiful figures of the Passion of Christ and scenes of great visual impact.

Maundy Thursday

A day of great affluence of people, the eve of the exciting ‘madrugá’. The streets are full of atmosphere and the processions are highly venerated. The women wear the traditional black mantilla attire.

The Madrugá

The most intense night of Holy Week in Seville, with some of the most popular and venerated processions. El Gran Poder, La Macarena, La Esperanza de Triana and others, make up one of the most exciting and longest evenings in the city.

Good Friday

Another big day of Holy Week in Seville. Central Day of the Mysteries, which offers processions of enormous beauty such as The Christ of the Good Death, La Carretería or Las Tres Caidas among others.

Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday

The sad day that anticipates the end of Holy Week. A day of solemn processions and smaller crowds, at least of Sevillians, many of whom take the opportunity to leave the city.