Sunday, 13 November 2016

Corredera number 2 - renaissance of a house.

Fascinating things have been sleeping behind the front door of Corredera number 2

One of the things that most fascinate me about Vejer is the wonderful and sometimes mysterious old houses in the historic centre, many of which have stood empty for years. I can’t resist wondering what happened inside their thick walls, and what stories those walls would tell if they had voices. 

The most familiar view of the house: the corner of Calle Retiro and Calle Corredera
 The houses built by the wealthy in the nineteenth century had not changed much in plan or purpose from traditional dwellings like the Casa del Mayorazgo. The rooms were still arranged around a central patio which was left open to the sky, though this was sometimes smaller than in the older houses.The patio had an important function in allowing light into the rooms and creating an upward current for warm air in the summer. Storage and housing for animals, especially the ubiquitous mule, were provided on the ground floor, while the living accommodation was situated on the first and second floors in rooms lit by long, graceful windows. 

One of Vejer's restored houses
 As wealthy families declined and their large properties became old-fashioned and hard to maintain, some were left empty, growing less inhabitable every year. Local families were not always willing or able to take on he expense and responsibility of repairing and maintaining them, and some drifted into semi-dereliction. Complex inheritance laws don’t help the efficient transfer of property and for some, the bureaucratic mountain ahead of them was insurmountable.

Ingenious renovation - the old aljibe made into a pool.
 You can see plenty of these grand old properties on websites like Idealista, priced at up to and beyond a million euros. Some have been carefully maintained by their owners and are now as sturdy as when they were built, while others have been beautifully restored. Others still languish in a state of dilapidation, waiting for a loving owner to bring them back to their former beauty. The job of rescuing big old houses often falls to incomers from other parts of Europe, and this is where Alexander Netze and Bernadette Rutges, the new owners of Corredera number 2, enter the picture.

Alexander Netze and Bernadette Rutges enjoying their roof terrace
 I met Alexander and Bernadette, who recently moved to Vejer from their native Holland, when photographer Marcel Snyders, knowing my interest in old buildings, asked if I would like to meet the new owners of Corredera number 2 and have a look around the old house. I couldn’t have been more delighted. There’s been no activity in the house for as long as I’ve lived in Vejer, and I’ve often wondered what would finally become of it. Now at last it’s getting a makeover and a new lease of life. The couple are planning to convert part of the house into their own personal accommodation and the rest into a set of ensuite rooms to be offered as luxury bed and breakfasts. 

Many old houses have been beautifully kept
by their Spanish owners
 Corredera number 2 was built in 1860 and so predates most, though not all, of the buildings on the Corredera. It stands on the corner with Calle Retiro, the downward road once named ‘Calle la Cantara’ (Quarry Road), which led to the quarry it was named after. It’s possible that the house was built for the quarry owners, and it may at one time have had a garden which was subsequently built on. Local gossip claims that it once belonged to a member of the Domecq sherry-producing family. Whatever the truth of the matter, the house has not been lived in for many years, and has recently presented a sad spectacle with its closed, shuttered windows and dusty front door.

 Alexander and Bernadette met us on the street as we tried knocking on one of the three doors which give access to the house. We made our way in through what would have been the servants’ entrance. Because the house is built on two levels, the utility area, traditionally on the ground floor, is accessed from a lower door while the formal front door opens onto the Corredera and leads to the first floor. The lower floor consists of three stables, a grain store, a laundry room, still equipped with the typical ‘lebrija’ earthenware wash bowls, and other store rooms, most of them with traditional Tarifa flagstones on the floors. The aljibe, which collected water from the roof, is still in place. There is a coach house and a third exit onto Retiro, which was once used for horses and mules, and a tiny stable beside it which may have been the home of the family burro. These spaces are in the process of being converted into guest accommodation, and will eventually provide a characterful breakfast room and bar. 
The old floor tiles will remain

 It was hard to drag myself away from the mysteries of the lower floor but the upper rooms, with their arches, tiled floors and exposed beams were a revelation. One long, shuttered room followed another, and though some of the floors are in need of repair, Alexander and Bernadette are hoping to save the tiles, which are probably as old as the house itself. I could have stayed all morning, relishing the mellow light filtered through the old blinds, which the couple are determined to restore and re-use, but there was another floor, with more graceful and elegant rooms and then the big roof terrace, with its astonishing views. 

Two-storey frontage onto the Corredera
The size of the property isn't apparent until you turn onto Retiro.
The house is built into the hill, creating a third storey.
Plenty of work still to do, but these elegant arches and beautiful tiles will soon come into their own.
The cool green window blinds will be restored and re-used
We took advantage of the sunshine to linger and talk about their plans for the house, which represents for them a new and exciting phase of life. The couple, who have plenty of experience in restoring old houses in their native Holland, are determined to preserve its original character and conserve its original features, and have appointed a local building expert to supervise the work. Ugly modern windows around the patio stairs will be removed and replaced by a glass cover on the roof which can be opened in the summer. There will be six beautifully designed and furnished rooms for visitors, each one with its own bathroom and plenty of space to meet and socialise, as well as a shady sitting-out area on the terrace. 

One of the many large and beautiful rooms now undergoing restoration
Alexander and Bernadette aren't stressing yet about furniture and decorations. They know they want to conserve every feature of this historic house while at the same time creating a warm, modern and efficient interior. They're keeping the old doors, windows, even the window blinds. The fun comes later. They talk about their project with the enjoyment of people who know what they want and know how to go about achieving their aims. There's no doubt that their B&B will be a joyful and welcoming place.

Spectacular views from the roof terrace
 I would love to know more about the history of Corredera number 2, and when the new library has finally brought its local history section up from the Casa de la Cultura, I plan to find out more. Meanwhile, I’m hoping to visit the house again next year when the work is done, and to write another blog about the finished article, when the house will have been transformed into another beautiful building that all Vejer can be proud of. 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Lomo en manteca; Vejer's speciality spread:

In October 2017 this street in the La Laguna area was dedicated to the lomo en manteca.
 Lomo en manteca, loin of pork in lard, is a highly flavoured dish prepared by adding spices to pork fat, which is then used to coat the meat for cooking. More characteristic of the Vejer area is the ‘Manteca colorá’, (red lard) coloured by paprika, which is then cooked with minced or finely
Samples of the lomo en manteca at the annual fair
chopped pieces of pork. It is usually eaten spread on toasted bread. The term ‘lard’ in English conjures images of a bland, greasy substance without gastronomic charm, but the ‘manteca’ with which this dish is prepared is deliciously flavourful. 

 Lomo en manteca has its basis in the processes used to preserve freshly killed pork, which before the age of refrigerators had to last families all through the winter. Vejer's version of this famous product is acknowledged to be the tastiest and most succulent in the area. 

 Walking along Juan Relinque on certain days of the week, you can’t help but be aware of a delicious, spicy aroma emanating from Paco Melero’s butcher’s shop. This will almost certainly be the savour of the lomo en manteca. Every Wednesday afternoon, they make at least 25 kilos of the coloured version, and on Friday morning a similar batch is created, this time without colouring. Paco Melero and his brother Manolo learned the formula from their uncle Antonio “El Viaje” Pacheco Pérez, a slaughterman who later opened  his own butcher’s shop close to the present premises on Juan Relinque. 

Paco Melero, Vejer's most famous butcher.
Preparing the lomo en manteca, October 2015
 When he took over the business, Paco was careful to follow Antonio’s formula for lomo en manteca. The first, and most important principle for creating an excellent product is to choose the best and juiciest cuts of Iberian pork, which are then added to the ‘pella’ - the fat that accumulates under the
The white lomo en manteca
skin of the pig. Then comes the master touch, the seasoning with garlic and wild oregano from the surrounding countryside. Paprika is added to make the ‘coloured’ variety. When the lomo en manteca contains thin slices of pork, this version is called ‘zurrapa’.

The red lomo (coloré) and zurrapa
The Melero brothers are highly skilled at creating traditional Iberian meat products, using only natural ingredients. Their shop is the source of many mouth-watering examples: lomo frito en manteca en pieza, butifarra, chorizos, longanizas, salchichones and morcillas. Closely related to the lomo en manteca is the ‘almuerzo campero’, the ‘country lunch’, a dish long associated with the matanza, the annual pig-killing. After the ‘sacrificing’ of the pigs, and while the carcasses are being butchered, a kind of stew is prepared to be eaten at a festive lunch. Into it is thrown everything which can’t be turned into cuts of meat - tongue, liver, kidneys and offcuts of meat. It is all fried together in lard and flavoured with garlic, dried peppers and vinegar before being enjoyed by the whole community. Vejer's matanza is celebrated in mid-January at the Caseta Municipal in La Noria, though the pigs are now slaughtered elsewhere.

Lomo en manteca has now been made and served in Vejer for more than a century, and several local  chefs and butchers are skilled in its creation. At the end of the nineteenth century, Luisa Camacho Daza, a native of Naveros, and her husband Francisco Verdugo Duarte from La Barca de Vejer opened an inn for the convenience of passing travellers. The inn still exists and is now known as the restaurant ‘La Barca de Vejer’. Luisa’s granddaughter believes that lomo de manteca has always featured on the menu among the other dishes, which originally mainly consisted of stews and game. 
Almuerzo campero

 In the Venta Pinto, opened by Juan Pinto Crespo on the other side of the highway, the story was roughly the same. Juan’s great-granddaughter, Cristina Pinto, who now runs the restaurant, believes that Lomo de Manteca was featured on the menus of both inns, served in a bocadillo, and preferably of the coloured type. In this way, the fame of Vejer’s lomo en manteca was soon spread far and wide by satisfied travellers. The dish can also be enjoyed in several Vejer restaurants, including the Bar Navarro on Juan Bueno. 

 In recent years, Vejer’s lomo en manteca has travelled all over the world and has been enjoyed by such personages as Sean Connery and Ted Kennedy. It is now the focus of an annual celebration which takes place in early October around the Muralles de la Segur, and features both sales of this iconic product and demonstrations of how it is made.

For a wonderful photographic account of the 2016 celebrations, see this album on Facebook:

Venta pinto, one of the homes of lomo en manteca

You can see how to make a version of lomo en manteca here:

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Shelly Family of Vejer

The street named after Eduardo Shelly
When I wrote my history of Vejer, I mentioned in its introduction that the presence of the English name of Shelly, well-known through various streets and buildings around the town, was something I could not explain. The name Shelley belongs to one our most famous British poets, and I couldn’t help wondering if this Shelly, though spelt differently, might have some connection with the writer.  

  Having read that the first Vejeriego Shelly had appeared in the town after marrying a woman from Valencia, I suspected that the original Shelly might have been a member of one of the naval families who settled in that area during the occupation of the island of Menorca (1713 - 1756 and 1763 - 1782). However, I could find no evidence for this, and the history of one of Vejer’s formerly most influential families remained an enigma for the time being. During a recent visit to the UK, however, I sought the help of a more profesional historical researcher than myself, and he was able to help me unravel the mystery. The Shelly whose descendants reached our town at the end of the eighteenth century was not English but Irish, and not a sailor but a soldier. 

  There are two distinct and separate ‘Shelley’ families in England, an English branch which  originated in Yorkshire and established itself in Essex and Suffolk and another which flourished in Sussex, established by Irishman Sean O Sealbhaigh, who fought alongside William the Conquerer in the Norman occupation of England. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the Sussex Shelleys, but though his uncle, Captain John Pilfold, was a famous Naval Commander who served under Admiral Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar, this does not connect the poet with the Vejer branch of the family. 

  Another possible explanation for the Shelly presence in Vejer might have been religious persecution. Manuscripts kept in the Essex records office for the period 1567-1653, during which time Protestantism was established as Britain’s only permissible religion, show that an Edmund Shelly was imprisoned ‘for religion’s sake’ and maintained links with ‘papists’. It seemed possible, therefore, that the first Shelly to appear in Spain was a Catholic immigrant seeking freedom from religious persecution. However, Spanish sources tell a different story. The Spanish branch of the Shelly family, it seems, arrived direct from Ireland in the form of Cornelio Shelly of Kilkenny, one of the Irish soldiers who left to serve in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the ‘wild geese’ as they were poetically described. Cornelio served in the Regimiento de Infantería Extranjera Irlanda nº 1, a regiment which served in Cuba as well as mainland Europe.

Irish soldiers in the Spanish army; the 'wild geese'.
  Connections between Ireland and Spain have existed since time immemorial, and by the time  Cornelio Shelly put in an appearance in the late eighteenth century, military links were well-established. Since the early 17th century, Roman Catholics had been banned from military and political office in Ireland, and those with military ambitions were obliged to seek opportunities abroad. Three Irish regiments operated in Spain and though many soldiers eventually returned home, others remained and took Spanish nationality, the best-known of whom was Alexander O’Reilly, originally from Dublin, who served in Cuba before becoming the second Spanish governor of Louisiana. Like O’Reilly, the Cornelio Shelly family established themselves in Spain, where they achieved distinguished military and political careers. Cornelio and his wife Mary McCarthy eventually put down roots in Alicante where he died in 1817, leaving behind a family of eight surviving children.

   Cornelio’s children all seem to have done well in their new country, building on their father’s distinguished record of military service. Margarita, born in 1797, married a nobleman, Antonio de Padua Castellví. Their daughter Elena Maria married a Royal infante, Enríque María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, the Duke of Seville. The Queen considered their marriage a misalliance, and the couple had to elope, finally settling in France. Once there, Enríque begain to show left-wing sympathies and was stripped of his titles and rights to the throne.  Cornelio's other children also married well or achieved high ranks in the Army. 

Enrique de Borbón, Duke of Seville.
  When Mary died, Cornelio married for a second time, to another Irishwoman, Mary Comenford. Their son Ricardo Shelly, born in 1811, was probably the most important of the Shelly tribe. He began his officer training at the age of 12, progressing from director of the newly reformed School of Cavalry under Queen Isabella to a political career as a senator, and the Captain Generalships of Andalucía and Galicia. He was regarded as one of Isabella’s most important advisors, ‘The Third Lance of the Queen.’ His career was brought short by his early death at the age of 44 when he succumbed to the cholera epidemic of 1856. He was buried in Cádiz.

Ricardo Shelly Comenford,'The third lance of the Queen'.
  With so many connections in Seville and Cadiz, it is not surprising that sooner or later, a  member of the Shelly family found his way to Vejer. Edmundo Shelly McCarthy, born in 1796, a son of Cornelio’s marriage with his first wife, became a colonel of infantry, and in 1819 married Teresa Calpena of Valencia. Edmundo’s son, Antonio Eduardo Shelly Calpena, probably came first to Vejer to run the Post Office, married Dolores Castrillón, his first cousin and member of another leading Vejer family and settled permanently. He was eventually nominated as an adopted son of the town. Eduardo was a liberal politician who had something of a reputation as a friend to the poor. A street was named after him ‘Calle Eduardo Shelly’, which rises from Jose Castrillón towards Rosario. 

 Eduardo and Dolores’ son, Ricardo Shelly Castrillón was born in 1856, presumably named after his famous uncle, who died the same year. A lawyer, senator and president of the Diputación de Cadiz, in 1896 Ricardo was appointed Lieutenant General by Queen Isabella for his distinguished service to the Crown. In 1900, he was listed as Vejer's sixth wealthiest resident, his holdings amounting to 12000 reales.

Ricardo Shelly, painted by Ignacio Castrillón
 In about 1880, the Shelley family acquired a house at Calle José Castrillón 22 for the use of Ricardo Shelly and his family, close to the road which was named after Eduardo. Formerly a ruined property owned by the church, the house had been rebuilt around 1842 and had subsequently come into the hands of the influential Mora-Figuera family before passing to the Shellys. The house is symmetrical and well-constructed and commands stunning views across the countryside towards Medina Sidonia, as well as a substantial facade on José Castrillon. It has two patios and once boasted a garden, though this is now a restaurant. For many years the building was the site of the La Janda language school, and as a teacher there, I often used to look around my classroom and wonder what family activities were undertaken there by Ricardo Shelly and his family. 

A Spanish-language website gives detailed information about the Shelly family, including original documents, though this does not relate specifically to the Vejer branch of the family.
Patio and views from José Castrillón 22

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Vejer's Mercadillo: the New Town Market

Pedro packs my bargains - 4 cotton shirts for 4 euros.

Underwear unlimited
A Spanish classic.
Fun fabrics
Jeans like a catch of fish
Winter warmers 
A treeful of teashirts.
  I love the kind of arts and antiques markets you find in most cities, but I don't wear short skirts, 'strappy tops', polyester or sparkle. I've never considered buying clothes in a street market. I usually  get my clothes from charity shops, Ebay or big department stores. But with summer coming on, I needed a cotton shirt with short sleeves, something I could wear over a sleeveless dress or top. I decided it was time to confront my prejudices and check Vejer's weekly 'mercadillo' in the new part of town. Like most street markets, this one specialises in cut-price apparel. 

Most of the stalls sell clothes of one kind or another.
Many varieties of olives are
available in the mercadillo.
  The market can be found behind 'Los Molinos' school, near the Post Office. At 10 a.m., it was still quiet, with a handful of women looking around. The first stalls sell food, and this is obviously the place to buy olives, with rows of different varieties lined up in buckets. Sweets, nuts and pulses are also on sale though at 2 euros a kilo, chick peas would be cheaper in the supermarket.

  Clothes on sale are a very mixed selection, with (as expected) a lot of polyester dresses and tops. It's surprising that artificial fabrics are so popular in hot countries, but this is probably because they are perceived as more economical. In northern European countries like Britain and Germany, natural fibres are in demand, and tend to be less expensive than they are in Spain, though cotton production in particular can be harmful to the environment. 

Beans, chickpeas and garlic.
  Nevertheless, on a hot summer's day in Vejer, a polyester dress must be both clingy and sweaty. My friend Marcel once remarked that if Andalucían women wore cotton in summer there would be fewer cries of '¡que calor! in the streets as the temperature rose.

  The delicate subject of underwear, as viewed from the perspective of the street market, is not delicate at all. I still remember Mexican street vendors around some of the nation's most respected monuments yelling 'pantalettas, pantalettas!' (knickers, knickers!) all day long.

  Street market underwear is not presented as delicate, girly or sexy, but is offered in king-sized packs, for all sizes, shapes and genders. Not much is cotton, though microfibre is easy to find. Some of the underwear on offer is formidable and would certainly increase the 'que calor' effect. 

Proudly presented underwear.
  I didn't expect to find my cotton shirt, but then I came upon Pedro's stall, specialising on shirts and tops for women and men, all at 1 euro each. Reading between the lines, these are second-hand garments selected from the many which are sold or donated for sale in the developing world, but they were in good condition and I didn't ask. A determined search turned up not one but four cotton shirts with sleeves, one by the designer Gerry Weber. 

Four cotton/linen shirts for four euros.
  Other stalls sold jeans, t-shirts and shoes. Curtain fabric was a bargain for 4 euros and 2 euros a metre and there were plenty of colourful cooking pots, bed covers and blankets. 

One of the bonuses of visiting the market was the variety of calls, cries and chants used to attract shoppers' attention. And although, like anybody else, I didn't find everything in the market to my taste, I was pleasantly surprised by the range and quality of the goods on offer.

T-shirts full of light
A popular jumble-type stall, but not as cheap as you think.
One of the many clothes stalls.
Espadrilles at 12 euros
This formidable underwear would surely be hot to wear in the summer months.

Vejer's street market takes place on Callejón Benitos del Lomo every Thursday morning. There is a small car park on Calle Ventozano, but note the one-way system.  

Saturday, 26 March 2016

A Vejer poem for Easter

For Easter, I'd like to share this poem which I wrote in 2012. Like many of my poems, it considers the relationship between art and sacrifice.

Martyrdom of an Unknown Saint; parish church of El Divino Salvador, Vejer .

Easter 2012
The chapel is bright with glowing silver and sentiment; 
The big floats rest, the friendless Christ,
With his broken face, gorgeous in violet.

And painted on the wall a different scene of passion,
‘Pero en mal estad, en muy mal estad’,
Blemished by cracks and clumsy restoration,
An unknown saint, maybe San Sebastian.

The sky darkens as the Roman heavies 
Advance on the naked man. He lifts his arms 
As though he might at any moment spin

Into a triumphant escobilla, urged on by 
Palmas and jaleos and cries of ¡alé!
From an unseen crowd; halfway to heaven,

Already almost a saint.

History tells us it was otherwise. 
And surely his stance is impossible? A small angel 
Hovers above, ready to receive his soul,

He surges forward; birds and arrows split the sky; 
His eyes turn upwards: is it aire 
Or duende, or mere agony

Which fires his limbs to ecstasy?
We do not know, and now we never will,
What we are seeing; triumph or victory?

Falling or rising? Dancing?

Or dying?

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Processions of Semana Santa

  The Easter processions, with their candles, hooded habits and swaying floats are part of the iconography of Spain, and anyone who visits will want to see them at least once. Vejer holds five processions as part of the programme of Easter celebrations which also include several special masses and the Toro Embolao event on Easter Sunday. However, not all towns are the same, and in neighbouring Barbate, there will be eight processions, each with its own special character and tradition. 
  The large floats are carried by between twenty and thirty-five people directly underneath, who are concealed under drapes. When a whistle blows, they take a break, and you will see shadowy figures checking their phones or even having a crafty cigarette.
  The processions, each of which has its own special name, commemorate different episodes in the Easter story. Each one is arranged by a different hermandad (religious brotherhood) or cofradía (a trade or professional association which now has a mainly religious function.) The different robes and hoods seen at processions belong to the different brotherhoods conducting the processions, though others are also represented. Most processions are accompanied by the town band, and like everyone else, Spain celebrates Easter with flowers, an important symbol of spring and rebirth.
  Processions  usually feature a large float carrying a three-dimensional representation of Jesus, and usually one with the Virgin Mary as well. Some of these statues are old and valuable, and each Virgin appears in a different embodiment, according to which hermandad is conducting the parade.

The Virgin of the Olives plays an important part.
Photo by M&J Night photography.
  The most important day for parades is Thursday, marking the Crucifixion, though unlike Barbate, Vejer does not hold a separate midnight parade. Instead, the ten o’clock parade continues until around 2.30 a.m.
  Here’s some information about the different processions, with thanks to Miguel Ángel Romero:

Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) 

  La Burrita (the Little Donkey) This procession, which in Vejer is celebrated by masses in all the churches of the area, commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. 
  The procession is  conducted by the Cofradía de Penitencia del Santísimo Cristo del Amor, María Santísima de la Paz y Nuestro Padre Jesús en su Entrada Triunfal en Jerusalén. The Barbate procession begins at 5 p.m. and includes many children. No hood is worn in this procession, and the participants wear brown and white robes. 

Barbarte's 'La Burrita' parade, from 2011

  Ecce Homo. This is the man).  This procession commemorates Jesus’ trial by Pontius Pilate. In Barbate, the procession takes place at 8 p.m. and the celebrants wear the official robes of the Cofradía: a light beige tunic, red cape, shoes and belt. In Vejer, the procession begins at 8.30 and takes the following route:

  Plaza del Padre Angel, Ramón y Cajal, Judería, Juan Bueno, Trafalgar, San Juan, Misericordia, Poca Sangre, Palomina, La Fuente, Plaza de España, Canalejas, Reyes Católicos, Quintanilla, Rosario, Plaza del Padre Angel y Parroquia.

Vejer's Thursday procession.
Photo by M&J Night photography.

 El Huerto. (The Orchard). The procession, which does not take place in Vejer,  commemorates Jesus’ last night in the Garden of Gethsamane. It is organised by the Venerable Cofradía de Penitencia de Nuestro Padre Jesús de la Sagrada Oración en el Huerto y María Santísima de Gracia y Esperanza. The habit consists of a bone-coloured tunic, cape, hood and belt in olive green.
The procession leaves the parish church of Barbate at 8.30 p.m.


Medinaceli. This procession commemorates Christ’s suffering while in prison. It is conducted by the  Hermandad de Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva Coronada, featuring an 18th century statue of Jesus in the Genovese style. It takes place in the new part of Vejer, beginning at 10 pm.

Iglesia de San Miguel, Avda San Miguel, Plaza de la Constitución, Juan XXIII, Mariscal Miranda, Alonso Clavijo, Avda. Buenavista, Diputación y su Templo.

Most processions are accompanied by the town band.
Photo by M&J Night photography.

Ardero - The Nazarite
The procession, which commemorates the Way of the Cross, is conducted by the Venerable Hermandad de Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno, Maria Santísima de los Dolores y San Juan Evangelista, and features a statue of Jesus from the early eighteenth century. The robes of the hermandad consist of a purple tunic, gold belt and white cape.

The procession leaves the parish church at 10 o’clock and returns at 2.15 a.m. A similar procession takes place at 8.30 in Barbate.

Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva, Plazuela, Teniente Castrillón, Plaza Juan Bueno, Altozano, Sagasta, Santísimo, Esquina de la Pita, Juan Relinque, Plazuela, Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva y a su Templo.

Some finishing touches, Vejer. Photo by M&J Night photography.

Good Friday

Amor (love). (Barbate only)
  This moving and deeply impressive parade commemorates the Crucifixion. It is conducted in total silence with no children present. The penitents are robed in black. The procession is conducted by Cofradía de Penitencia del Santísimo Cristo del Amor y María Santísima de la Paz and leaves the parish church at 2 a.m.

The silent procession of 'El Amor' (Barbate) takes place in
the depths of the night.

Soledad (Loneliness). This procession commemorates the death and burial of Christ. It is conducted by the Hermandad y Cofradía de Nazarenos del Santisimo Cristo de la Caridad en su Santo Entierro y María Santísima de la Soledad and begins at 8.30. The robes consist of a black robe, white satin hood and a belt with five knots which symbolize Jesus Christ’s five wounds.

Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva, Plaza del Padre Ángel, José Castrillón, Plaza de España, Plaza del Padre Caro, Corredera, Plazuela, Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva y a su Templo.

Christ crucified, Vejer

Easter Sunday

Resurrection. (Barbate only). This joyful procession is replaced in Vejer by the Toro Embolao event, following an ancient custom. In Barbate, it usually begins at 12 p.m., and represents all the cofradías and hermandades.

Christ reborn (Barbate) - a joyful procession.