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Moors and Christians Festivals in Benamaurel, Cúllar and Zújar

Moros y Cristianos

You can dream of travelling to a bygone era, when the dominant culture in the Iberian Peninsula was Al-Andalus, seeing what they wore, hearing their music and experiencing their traditions. Can you imagine that? You will embark on a wonderful historical journey that for eight centuries determined how we were and whose traces can still be found in the language, architecture, art and traditional music of our land.

In April you can immerse yourself on a journey back in time. In Benamaurel, Cúllar and Zújar they hold a Moors and Christians Festival, a vibrant visual celebration recreating a battle to seize the Virgen de la Cabeza. These three towns in the Altiplano de Granada attract thousands of visitors who gather to enjoy a colourful commemoration that they celebrate in unison and which dates back to the 16th century.

Joy, colour, religious devotion, troupes and music provided by drums and brass bands, come together to celebrate three days of festivities, where the main event is known as "Los Papeles" (the Papers). It is a representation of the mystical drama "Captivity and rescue of Nuestra Señora de la Virgen de la Cabeza", in Zújar and Benamaurel and it takes place on Sunday and Monday afternoon. The festivities mainly revolve around a battle between both sides, Moors and Christians, to conclude with the triumph of the Cross and the conversion of the Muslims as a result of the mediation of the Virgen de la Cabeza.

Religious dramatisation goes hand-in-hand with gastronomy, with the renowned Moorish kebabs, and popular horse riders, who play a leading role in the parades and battles. Each town presents its own version of events and, in fact, in the case of Cúllar, visitors come to the festival to enjoy big parades, consisting of numerous Moorish and Christian troupes dressed in amazing costumes and with extraordinary choreographies.  

During this festivity, which hinges on a series of eye-catching 'battles' on the last Sunday in April, together with a number of pilgrimages. Each town makes a pilgrimage to its different chapels, including the one dedicated to the Virgen de la Cabeza in Benamaurel, the one with the same name on the peak of Jabalcón in Zújar and to the Torre del Alabí in Cúllar.  

Moors and Christians Festivals in Benamaurel, Cúllar and Zújar