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Salou / Information / Tortosa, city of three cultures

Interpretation Centre of Holy Week of Tortosa

C/ Montcada, 21 (Antiga església de St Antoni)
43500 Tortosa
Telephone: 626 500 921
Interpretation Centre of Holy Week


  • Tuesday to Saturday 01/10 to 30/04: 11.00 to 13.00 / 16.00 to 18.00 01/5 to 30/09: 11.00 to 13.00 / 17.00 to 19.00
  • Sundays and holidays from 11.00 to 13.00
  • Monday Closed
  • Closed 25-26/12 and 01/01 and on Palm Sunday.


Interpretation Center of Holy Week is located in the old church of San Antonio Abad, largely destroyed during the last civil war and rebuilt recently purposely in order to receive it. It houses the most significant elements of the famous Easter Tortosa. Outstanding the steps, called misteris, mysteries. For the most part are the work of sculptors such winners as Innocenci Soriano Montagut and Enric Monjo i Garriga.


The history of the church of San Antonio Abad is closely linked to that of the brotherhood namesake of the farmers, the oldest of Tortosa. This brotherhood, documented since 1358, was designed to circumvent the prohibition issued by Les Costums, which prevented the various professional sectors organized into guilds. Devotion to the Holy land of Valencia reached from here, from the hand of the bishop Dertosense, early fourteenth century.

The first known location of the entity must be considered within the monastery of Santa Clara. After the different historical events was changing but always based site far and wide Montcada Street, a major arterial roads of the fifteenth century Tortosa, where he built the first church in San Antonio in the year 1446 .

Of old, the patron of peasants had been San Amado Tortosa but the fact that San Antonio Abad was counsel against the devastating effects of ergot poisoning (colloquially fever or St. Anthony's fire) it established itself as the main protector of our peasantry . Hilari Muñoz disclosed as to the daunting reached, the Brotherhood is in a newly unfolded under the patronage of Santiago in the early sixteenth century. Surely the new ownership is explained by the fact that the only remedy known in medieval times to cure the ergotism was to go on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Interestingly, it is in the parish of the apostle of Hispania which today continues to celebrate the feast of San Antonio in Tortosa. In 1652 the fraternity was placed permanently in the place of the present building, former home of the Boteller and Oriol. The church was built in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, respecting the lower part of the façade, 11 meters wide, making it possible that we have reached the original doorway arch and large segments. The main entrance is topped by a tondo showing us San Antonio Abad as a bearded old man with the habit of St. Anthony and the tau, or Egyptian cross (one of the most magical and oldest symbols of humanity). The holy hermit carries a bell in his right hand and a book in the left. Also remains the gateway to the former home of the farmers, which has recorded a lawnmower in abut and an inscription denouncing the existence of a well inside one of the chapels.

The altarpiece was due to the canons of fashion in the High Baroque. It was chaired by the patron saint, in the central street of the first body, flanked by San Isidro and San Lamberto. The first was canonized in 1622 and the second, in addition to peasant, was involved in the miracle of the jaw at Adrian VI, Bishop of Tortosa and Pope of Rome. The second body was chaired by Preserved. The guild's celebrated on the Sunday after the feast of San Antonio to commemorate the vow he had made to defend, if necessary regardless of the sacrifice of life, purity of Our Lady Immaculate, two hundred years before being proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Both sides had the Saints Abdon and Senen, Catalan employers of gardeners. Presiding over all, true to the typology of the altarpieces of his style, stood a Calvary.

In 1896, the architect and painter Juan Abril and Antonio Cerveto conducted restoration work in the church. In the month of July 1936 saw the desecration and destruction of the temple. The revolutionary assault behaved while the disappearance of valuable file union and the destruction of liturgical furniture. Then also perished step of Prayer in the Garden, and worked by Ramón José María Beltri Cerveto (probably replaced a smaller one described in 1781). During the war, the guild was able to recover and processions in just two years the new step carved by the sculptor Carles Riba tortosino. Secondary aim was to restore the union church for worship, but the interest of the bishop for the new seminary Bastir prevented it (however, for several years continued to hold to the devastated temple traditional acts fiesta: collecting, dancing jacks and barracks of San Antonio). The building was used as a carpenter shop and warehouse of Devastated Regions and, presciently, ended up pocketing here the steps until its ruined state stopped him in the early nineties.

Finally, in 2009, the diocese and the city agreed to convert the building into Interpretation Centre of Holy Week, the first Catalan museum of steps. In April 2011, the workers of the company García Riera culminated 12 months of rehabilitation based on a design by architect Tomas Homedes. The building is on the list of buildings of historic character of the city of Tortosa. The church of San Antonio Abad is a singular milestone in the section of religious tourism Tortosa.

The temple is ennobled by the presence of
San Francisco Gil de Federich, Santa María Rosa Molas, el Beato Manuel Domingo y Sol and, above all, by San Enrique de Ossó, who, his good friend and priest Juan Bautista Altés says " You could say that in this church have germinated and flourished most of their works of zeal. " Indeed, the remains of the borders of the murals in Cerveto have identified the chapel where the altarpiece looked borne by St. Henry, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, and which also saw images of San Jose, Santa Teresa and Child Jesus of Teresa (devotion closely linked to the Camino de Santiago, inspired surely the Divine Infant which accompanied the Saint of Avila in his travels founding, St. Henry revived in this temple as Pastor of the little flock, in 1876).

Again the holy temple was inspired to found in 1873, the Confraternity of Mary Immaculate and St. Teresa of Jesus, later today Archconfraternity TA and MTA, Teresian Movement of Apostolate, today extended worldwide.

Tags: delta del ebro, tortosa, tortosa, ebro river, renaissance festivals, jewish tortosa, tortosa easter week, interpretation centre of holy week

Related links: The Royal Colleges of Tortosa | Tortosa Cathedral and the permanent exhibition |
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