"Mariquelos"

November 6, 2014

Our family along with Hannah's parents, Chuck & Sandy, were able to witness one of the many traditions that takes place in Spain. 

On October 31, 1755 a great earthquake took place in Lisbon, Portugal in which an estimated 100,000 people died. Salamanca was close enough to feel the effects, and very frightened people went to seek refuge in the New Cathedral. The Mariquelo is the family that lived in the catedral and was charged with reviewing the structure of the tower after the earthquake.  He is dressed in a traditional charro costume carrying a drum and bagpipe as he climbs up the side of the cathedral to reach the bells vane, 100 feet high, interprets a charrada, then plays the bagpipe and drum.
 

The catedral chapter of Salamanca led to what would later become a tradition, stating that on the eve of All Saints' day someone will climb the catredal to see if the tilt was increasing or not. He would then ring the bells and thank God and ask that the earthquake would never happen again.

"¡Viva Salamanca!"

 

 

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