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Holy Cities in Spain: Three of the world's five are here
Monday, April 18, 2022 @ 10:35 AM

WHEREVER you are in Spain at Easter, it's hard to miss the multiple references to one of the key moments in the Christian Bible – that of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection – and, including if you're of a different faith or even an atheist, the re-enactments of the tragedy and joy are powerful, moving and fascinating.

It's not only Christians who find biblical legend intriguing and enigmatic, of course. Modern literary thrillers themed on Church-based mysteries and symbolism have long topped the bestseller list in book stores: Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code was an instant hit; in Spain, too, where his female counterpart, Alicante-born Matilde Asensi, has kept book-lovers gripped for decades with her most famous works such as The Last Cato, Checkmate in Amber and Everything Under the Sky.

The first of these, still her most widely-acclaimed, centred on a fast-paced detective trail unleashed by the discovery of pieces of the original cross, or vera cruz in Spanish, upon which Jesus was crucified – and the author would have had plenty of inspiration and sources of research in her home country, especially given that a fairly close to a popular coastal tourism, expat and second-home destination is reputed to house to one of these very pieces.


Pilgrim magnets for thousands of years

In the Christian tradition, five cities worldwide are officially considered 'holy', and have been the end goal of pilgrims for centuries; once, through the pull of the faith alone, and now also for hikers, tourists, history-lovers and culture fans.



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