Saints of Spain; David Suchet Footsteps of St. Paul; Michelangelo In Florence
Whether you're looking at Michelangelo's magnificent statue of David or you get caught up in a ruckus crowd at a street festival in Spain or even if you just listen to the wind whisper. What life was once like among the sun bleached ruins of the Mediterranean? Your travels can lift your spirit in many ways. Hi I'm Rick Steves in just a bit. We'll take a closer look at the world. Michelangelo lived in influence. Five hundred years ago and actor. David Suchet tells us how he retraced the route that Saint Paul traveled through the eastern Roman Empire. Nearly two thousand years ago. Let's start the hour with a look at how people in Spain honor the lives of important figures from their past. There are actually hundreds of national and regional saints in Spain. And you'll find that many of them get a festival that brings their communities out into the streets to celebrate to explain the role of Saint in the culture of Spain. We're joined now by tour guides or hate Roman from Madrid and Francisco Gloria from pump. Lona or Hey in Francisco. Happy Easter Thank. You thank you so. Spain is a Catholic country in in the church is a huge part of the political and spiritual past. To what extent is the Catholic Church? Still a big part of Spanish society. Today it is. I mean now. The government that we have now is very conservative and they relates a political issues with the church. Not Everybody is happy about that but still part of it and also the most of the celebrations in Spain national holidays. They advocated saints. Lady's name names. I think a lot how. How does the naming of children work compared to the Catholic faith? I mean you're or hey your Cisco do they have any with your parents. Passion for Saints a Whole Mike. As many Ms Francis Xavier because your middle name is executive because for some frantic savior was born in my town so and he was the first Jesuit Right. He was one of the founders of Jesuits Yep okay main signatures which is a very common name. Ignatius and Francisco Xavier. That's a common name where you come from pump loan and actually my name is the ACLU into English degeorge and is the only saint in the Catholic Church actually wasn't a saint also warrior that killed the Dragon Saint George killing the Dragon. Yeah it wasn't saying actually but so there are a lot of festivals when you travel in and almost all of them seem to be related to the church. Talk about a couple of the the great festivals in the Saints Days. That are important in your life in your travels Francisco I am from component the running of the Bulls on what we celebrate. The death of Seinfeld mean so. It's like huge huge celebration. That week starts July six hundred ends July fourteenth saint for me and I. You wouldn't even know who saint for me unless you went to. The running of the Bulls and pump. Lana developed comes from employees. They don't even know who he is attacked because everybody wears the red Kerchief around their neck and when people go to the running of the Bulls they wear this red neckerchiefs symbolism planet. We are under two hundred thousand people. I didn't know we. We welcome one million people and everybody's wearing white unread and nobody knows why like. Excuse me you do get excuse me. I'M A tour guide. I want to explain to you why. You're wearing this red handkerchief. That was the first person that was baptized employees and they cut his head for the recent. So what we represent the white outfit Represents Holiness and the Redmond nights the blood coming out of his neck so he was an early Christian. Pump Loner who was beheaded. Yes he was. We hit it. We say that he was beheaded any Pamplona although history tells us that he was beheaded in France. But Hey ho hey. From Madrid what festivals would impact a traveler when that we should know about quite Madrid? Not Maniacs you say but there is one very close which is Toledo the Corpus Christi is the big the there in Corpus Christi in Toledo is and that's the the corporate the body the body of Christ that's correct. Yeah and that's the Big Day in Toledo and they do bring some things to parade around. And he's part of a could be the equivalent of the beaches. Pelton SPAIN LIKELY. You have here states them. They're very conservative in there. That's interesting because in the United States We've got a region called the Bible Belt in Spain. Is there a region that would be the Bible belt get could be the political? Be One of them if you go around. Let's say like half Mouche from Madrid to the West from Madrid to the West Toledo Arbella. Salunke that part of your Browning what do you? What is your image of being? We'll have to think that we had the Muslim heritage Muslim heritage started to come down of it from the north down. Thanks Community Santos on James. Drake has just for the historic context. The Muslims came in and took over Spain and Portugal in from the eighth century until fourteen. Ninety two a good part of Spain was ruled by Muslim overlords. And then for centuries there was the RECON keystone reconquering has finally fourteen ninety two. The last Muslim was pushed out of Granada and back into Africa. What I make the difference that the Community Santiago okay. The origin was by the coast and it was the beginning of the Spanish reconquista. So this is the Camino Santiago. This is the big pilgrimage trail that cuts across from France all the way across north Spain the major city in the north west of Spain Santiago de Compostela. They'll go and How what's the historical roots for this pilgrimage? Because thousands and thousands of people make this high out there still do it people at the beginning they did it by the coast so those kingdoms those ancient kingdoms there the realize that whatever was going there were no Muslims so th would they decided to push it south and south and south and south until the Camino we know today so I am from the north in the north we barely have any Muslim heritage. We were more Christine. Must time before. But if you go down to under Lucia there you find. Churches generally built upon a mosque. Correct and mosque was built upon a church than they destroyed. If you go to civilian you see them at Nickerson Tarver. A Cathedral Tower actually was the minaret of the old mosque. So there's this layering of history. And what's very poignant to me? Is We hear about people. Being beheaded today in this struggle of fanatic Islam and Christians and so on but if you go to a church in southern Spain it's very common to see a man on a horse with a big sword cutting off the heads of Muslims and at the feet of the Horse. There's six or eight heads of beheaded Muslims as correct. Lose this man that is son James. The son teams we're representing three ways bishop as more slayer the more slayer so his. His nickname was saint. James the slater the more killer. Well enter the Moore's for the Muslims. Yeah most of our lives and today's politically incorrect. So we're beginning to cover those heads on the floor seriously. Some of those old statues and paintings are getting with put flowers well enough so you hide them so you hide you see a guy on a white horse with a sore but every time a Christian is just so disgusted by a Muslim fanatic. That cut off one of his people's heads we've got to remember. This is nothing new in history Spanish. I consider myself Catholic. We've been the worst ever I mean. We've inquisition the request. We have expelled. The Jews I mean with excuse of religion with Don's much bad. The inquisition is Sort of gift of Spain to the rest of Europe. What gave yeah. I poisoned gift. Would you describe the The inquisition you see the palace don't you out l. escorial that's right correct. What is the inquisition? Mean to to church history It's a sad episode. I mean this might personal opinion. Very site I mean also gave us practical thing. But it's a very very sad history. Every time I talk to them to my travelers about inquisition unites ties with Catholic moral and they kept going on.