A Telling Moment in Vejer

Some things are not really talked about publicly in southern Spain. Official plaques, tourist pamphlets, and the like make no mention of the Civil War, Franco’s long dictatorship, or the Spanish Inquisition. But of course such things live in the memory of townspeople.

By the main plaza of Vejer de la Frontera, there is a decorative old doorway on what is obviously a very old building. Now it houses a slightly upscale hotel and restaurant, but no signs say anything about the building’s history. Our host in town said that according to rumor, that building once housed the Inquisition, which executed supposed heretics in the plaza.

We have no way to know whether that’s true. But during the Good Friday procession, the floats stopped in front of that door for a few moments of honor, as they do at each current or former church or convent along their route. Perhaps traditions recognize what isn’t spoken aloud.

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