Guide to the Semana Santa Museum
in Velez-Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
The Semana Santa Museum (Holy Week Museum) of Velez-Malaga is located in the 15th century church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion in the historic old Moorish quarter of the town.
After several years of planning and following a major restoration project the church and its new museum were finally re-opened to the public in early 2007.
The concept behind the Semana Santa Museum is to offer its visitors the chance to find out more about the history and traditions associated with the town's annual Easter celebrations. This is achieved through a number of exhibits and audio visual presentations, which help to bring to life and capture the atmosphere of the most important week of the year in the Velez-Malaga cultural calendar.
The museum, which is open all year and free to enter (donations greatly appreciated), is made up of five permanent exhibits plus a temporary exhibition area. These are located in and around the main church building and make for a pleasant and interesting way to while away an hour or so during your visit to the town.
Below is a guide to the Semana Santa museum exhibition areas plus some photos of some of the exhibits on display.
Sector 0 - Vestibule
The first exhibition area is an introduction to both the Semana Santa museum and the church of Sanata Maria de la Encarnacion. It provides some historical background to the 15th century church that is now home to the museum.
Sector 1 - Living and Feeling Semana Santa
Here visitors are able to experience the celebrations of Semana Santa through an audio visual surround show, which reproduces the sensations, sights and sounds of being at the very heart of the religious spectacle of Holy Week in Velez-Malaga.
Sector 2 The Town, the Stage for the Passion
An exhibition of the essential elements required in order to stage the Semana Santa processions in Velez-Malaga. An important part of the exhibition is devoted to the artistic heritage of the Brotherhoods (or Cofradias) of Velez-Malaga. Displaying a selection of the artifacts and artistic treasures including carvings, paintings, embroidery, gold and silverwork, and liturgical dress.
Sector 3 - The Gastronomy of Semana Santa
In the outer gallery of the church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion visitors can see one of the more curious collections in the exhibition - the different dishes to be enjoyed in Velez-Malaga at Easter. The rich cuisine of the area is represented here by a selection of succulent recipes, especially fish dishes, traditional sweets, chick-pea stews, torrijas etc.
Sector 4 - A Historical Legacy
An interesting audio visual exhibit explaining how Christian liturgy takes the Jewish Passover as it reference, when the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place. The history of this universal holy celebration and its evolution over the centuries closes the permanent exhibition.
A multi-purpose area where exhibits include one of the spectacular thrones which are carried along the processional route through the streets of Velez-Malaga every Easter.
For more information on the Semana Santa processions and celebrations please see our Semana Santa Page