Declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest, twelve brotherhoods, 23 floats and 6,000 members take part in the Holy Week processions every day, starting on Palm Sunday and ending with the Easter Sunday. The streets are busy on these days, crammed with activities and fervour as the brotherhoods pass by.
Holy Week in Motril dates back to the year 1600, the year when the Cofradía de la Vera Cruz was created. Later on, in 1635, the Jesús Nazareno brotherhood was created, followed by the Santo Sepulcro in the 19th century. During the 1940s, and particularly the 1980s, the other brotherhoods started participating in the processions.
After the Spanish Civil War, the ancient brotherhoods were forced to build up their wealth again. The artists of Granada, makers of religious images, are responsible for the images adorning the churches of Motril. Martínez Olalla (Nazareno y Virgen de la Esperanza) and Sánchez Mesa (Jesús Preso, Gran Poder, Cristo Yacente, Buena Muerte).
During the 1980s, six new brotherhoods were formed to reach the total number of twelve: Virgen de la Misericordia y San Juan Evangelista, by González Ventura from Seville; Cristo de Pasión by Barbero Gor; Cristo Resucitado by Dubé de Luque; Dulce Nombre de Jesús y Virgen del Valle by González Jurado from Córdoba; Cristo de la Expiración, by the artist from Malaga, Raúl Trillo…
The progress of the processions with their particular way to march, and specially those of the float with canopy of la Victoria, the Gregorian Miserere “a Perdón y Misericordia” on Tuesday are unique, as are the massive adoration of the Cristo Agustino de la Salud on Holy Wednesday, the sober (and possibly the best of its extensive production) image of Jesús del Gran Poder, by Sánchez Mesa, or the silent, heartfelt procession of the Silencio, during the early hours of Friday.
Also on Friday, exquisite because it is so ancient, was the first and most cared for, is the procession of the Santo Sepulcro, with the beautiful Virgen de los Dolores de Antonio Illanes; and the prestigious presentation of the Archicofradía de Vera Cruz along the streets on the morning of the Resurrection, with the float of the Dulce Nombre.
The procession that takes place on Easter Sunday, that of the Dulce Nombre de Jesús, is truly special. The group consists entirely of children who carry a beautiful statue of the young Jesus giving a blessing, on a magnificent golden, carved float, accompanied by an organised chaos of other children carrying white clay bells.