Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

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Chapels of the Cruz de Arriba y Abajo

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The Chapel of the Cruz de Arriba was recently renovated. It has a single nave with only one entrance decorated with modern blue and white tiles. The Chapel of Cruz de Abajo, located in the lower part of the village, was built in the mid-20th century and also has a single nave.

The Festival of the Crosses at El Madroño hinges on the symbolic subdivision of the village into two halves. The festival takes place in May in the upper half of the town, and in July in the lower half. Each side worships its own cross. This tradition is typical of the district where El Madroño is located, bordering the province of Huelva. There is evidence that this festival has taken place since the 18th century, although it could have been much earlier from a Christianised pagan festival. 

The Confraternity of the Cruz de Arriba holds its multitudinous pilgrimage in May, while the popular Confraternity of the Cruz de Abajo does so in July. The locals, known as “madroñeros”, live with passion and joy the festival. The Confraternity chooses a male and female steward from among its members, who, dressed in their best clothes, lead the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage ends at night with dancing and fireworks.

Both the Cruz de Arriba and Cruz de Abajo are decorated for their pilgrimages with silver reliquaries owned by the Confraternities or individuals. These unique silver objects are from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Some of them were made by renowned silversmiths such as Caro, Quesada, Cárdenas and Vázquez.

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