Oral tradition attributes the origin of the representation of the Via Crucis to the penitential pilgrimages that were held throughout the sixteenth century to Mount Kolitza, to pray to St. Roch to rid the town of the pests that plagued it during that time.
Without denying this version, the analysis offered by history and existing documentation allows us to deduce that the Vía Crucis was born in the second half of the 19th century along with the traditional processions; that is, with steps, to give greater veracity to the representation of the Passion of Jesus and it evolves into the current reality.
Every year during Holy Week, under the organization of Asociación Vía Crucis Viviente and with the collaboration of the Kolitza Choir, more than 650 people recreate the last hours of Jesus of Nazareth.
People from Balmaseda who, being non-professional actors and actresses, have a passion beyond the professional scope. The historical centre becomes the stage for the period, the town’s people are united by tradition and the feelings are really unique.
Such an attractive show brings together thousands of people every year. In fact, even if they live in far away places in our geography, these people come to see this performance on Good Thursday and Good Friday. But the Living Passion is not the only procession we can find in Balmaseda. During these days, the Procession of the Steps, of the Burial and of the Silence also form part of Balmaseda’s Holy Week.
In addition, the following weekend the Children’s Procession of La Magdalena and the Santo Domingo’s Vía Crucis are celebrated, in which the characters are embodied by the children of Balmaseda.
Currently, the Santa Clara Convent Church houses the Living Passion Interpretation Center of Balmaseda. It has a permanent exhibition that includes clothes, steps, objects, images and sounds belonging to the Representation that allows the visitor to know the different aspects of the Vía Crucis Viviente throughout the year. Visit the website