Thursday, 6 April 2023, 09:59
It is a most original conclusion to the events of Holy Week, at least in the province of Malaga, since the custom of making giant models to mock and then burn is an unusual occurrence in the south of Spain. The event known as the Burning of Judas, therefore, is one of many reasons that make the village of El Burgo, in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, an ideal place to visit this Easter Sunday.
It seems that this tradition was established more than 70 years ago in the village thanks to a priest from the Basque Country who took advantage of his time there to import this unusual way of ending Holy Week.
On this day, while there is also a procession, the main attraction is to see how this huge figure, packed with rockets and sawdust, burns and explodes. It is around noon when this enormous Judas, a symbol of all things bad, is burned in the Plaza de Abajo.
Each year the Judas bears a resemblance to some nefarious character or other. The figure is usually around six metres tall, which gives an idea of the importance assigned to this custom by the village.
With the firecrackers and the bonfire, the effigy will meet its end while the townspeople celebrate the resurrection and the victory of good over evil. This traditional event has been declared a National Festival of Tourist Interest in Andalucía.
As the clock strikes twelve this Easter Sunday, hundreds of residents will gather in the vicinity of Plaza de Abajo to see and listen to the crowd in uproar over Judas. For safety reasons, barriers are in place around the square and the surrounding streets.
This rather unusual tradition in El Burgo is a good excuse to set aside some time for a weekend getaway, or even longer, and get to know one of the most important villages in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park.
The village is surrounded by a unique, ancient ecology, including rare pinsapo fir trees, and beautiful landscapes wherever you look.
To enjoy all this nature, visitors just have to walk out of town along some of the many marked trails that run close by. Among them is the path that leads to the neighbouring village of Yunquera via the recreational area of Los Sauces with its protected pinsapo trees.
El Burgo also links to the town of Ronda via one of the key trails on the series of footpaths called the Gran Senda of Malaga province.
This walk takes you through the Turón valley, then on to the Lifa valley, passing by beautiful riverbanks and forests and even a ruined castle (Lys).
In addition to these longer routes, there are several shorter, easier walks, such as those along the Turón river, Los Megellines or one that goes to Puerto de la Mujer from Fuente Platero, among others.
Thanks to these itineraries, visitors get to know some of the natural water features around El Burgo, such as the source for its spring water, the dam and the Turón waterfall.
There are several, spectacular viewpoints, the best being Guarda Forestal, located next to the road from El Burgo to Ronda. This viewpoint, which has been declared a natural monument of Andalucía, overlooks the town centre and its surrounding mountains.
Within the village, the most important historical buildings are in the upper part, where you can visit the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación.
Nearby, some remains of the old Miraflores fortress can still be seen.
As a historic building, it is also worth mentioning the old convent of the Virgen de las Nieves, built in the mid-16th century and located near the aforementioned Los Sauces recreational area.
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