After passing through the small town of Elciego we continued on our roadtrip through the Basque wine region in the province of La Rioja. The valley was green and wide and rimmed with mountains. It was a lovely drive and in the distance I noticed a town high on a hill, something out of a fairy tale. I didn’t know if we were on our way home or if there was another stop planned and then Lidia turned the car toward the hilltop.
Lidia explained that the Semana Santa procession was a popular event in San Vincente and was scheduled for that evening. When we arrived there were cars parked everywhere.
There were a lot of families and groups mingling in the plaza mayor
We followed them up there and discovered that the Santa Maria La Mayor Fortress Church was built built in the Gothic style, within the walls of a castle and is a National Monument.
Just as we arrived the choir entered the Church as a service for Semana Santa was about to begin.
We stepped inside for a moment and quietly stood in the back while the choir sang. It was beautiful and moving and truly memorable.
After the service locals would carry the floats down the narrow street to the Plaza Mayor while spectators lined the streets to watch.
It was getting late and we needed to drive back to Vitoria so we did not stay for the procession but it was a treat to see San Vincente as it geared up for this big event.
Next post: On the road to the Basque Coast