On the last day of our stay in Toledo, we witness the highlight of the Fiesta Nuestra Senora de la Estrella, the solemn Procession Virgen de la Estrella through the neighborhood.
The Plaza Estrella, where one celebrated the evenings before, is decorated with flowers and flags. After a look into the church, we recognize that the Madonna has also moved. She is wearing a brocade dress and a veil in her hair. Flowers decorate the appearance.
There is already a slight nervousness among the helpers. It is no easy task to carry a 316-kg statue for hours over stairs and uphill and downhill. At least 12 strong men, usually even 16, are necessary to cope with this task.
In the meantime, the music band has arrived. Mothers take care of their daughters dressed in white. They will walk at the head of the procession.
In the church, the incense kettle is filled before the statue is shouldered. In the morning one had already moved it from the altar to the stretcher.
For this purpose, one created a separate device to transport the statue down as well as upwards, like on an inclined lift. The first steps are taken on command. It shows whether the community harmonizes because the move must be in sync.
A challenging task follows immediately. The men have to lower the statue so that it can pass through the church portal without damage, then a 90 ° turn to the left and one step down. But the men solve this task without any problems.
The procession starts. The girls dressed in white follow the cross at the top. Selected men carry the statue of the Virgen de la Estrella under the proud glances of their wives. Then come the priests and dignitaries, followed by the band at the end.The procession circles around the Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal, before it moves along Calle Real de Arrabal. Then we lose sight of it, but we suspect he goes along Calle Azacanes to Puerta del Vado, then Carrera, Calle Honda and Calle Trinitanos to the Hospital Tavera. Again and again one has to insert small breaks to relieve the bearers.
Then the procession reappears in the Parque de La Vega and passes the Puerta de Bisagra and we accompany it with the camera again. After passing the Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal, it arrives again at the Plaza Estrella.
Here, one has to carry out a turn of 180 °. Then one brings the statue one step up and has to master the difficult passage of the church portal again.
As the statue of Virgen de la Estrella arrived in good condition on their location again, the spectators honor it with a loud applause. The people hug each other and are happy that everything worked out so well.
After that, the participants dissolve and we try to get something to eat.
The restaurant Valinor Cafe, right next to the Puerta de Bisagra, just wants to close. But we’re lucky and get some tapas.
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