The Santa Clara de Balmaseda convent, strategically situated on the path to Burgos, was built with a large endowment from D. Juan de la Piedra Verástegui. Originally from Balmaseda, he died in the Panama de Indias in 1643. He left three thousand ducats to found and maintain the convent for the Sisters of the Order of Saint Clare. The first abbess María Jacinta de la Puente arrived 31st October 1666.
The church's nave forms a cross with the choir stalls and the communion boxes at its foot. The facade of the church is simple with the main entrance underneath a semi-circular arch. Above there is an alcove that holds the image of Saint Clare, with a coat of arms on each side. Inside there are magnificent baroque altarpieces with works from the 17th and 18th centuries. They are all of imaginative design and execution. In the choir stand there is an organ from 1777 which is one of the oldest in Bizkaia.
Today, the church houses the Interpretation of the Living Passion of Balmaseda Centre. Visitors can come here to learn all about the celebration at any time of year. The museum has a permanent display of the vestments, 'pasos', images and recordings of the procession. The church also acts as a space for workshops, and houses the headquarters of the 'Asociación Vía Crucis Viviente de Balmaseda'
The book entitled 'Balmaseda. Its Living Passion', and the DVD of Balmaseda's Interpretation of the Living Passion are both for sale. The book contains 144 pages of the Passion's entire history as well as some of the excellent photos taken of it. It comes in large format.
Send an order to our email address firstname.lastname@example.org, orders will be dispatched upon payment into the Association's account.
PROMOTION: When you buy your ticket for this year's Interpretation of the Living Passion, you receive a significant discount on purchases of books and DVDs:
The official hours of the Interpretation Centre are:
The Museum will remain closed in the run up to Easter because some items are used for the event.Telefono: 946801438
The clothes and props used in the procession are kept in the association headquarters. This includes the Roman helmets, lances and armour, and the other participants' turbans and sandals.
It is also used as the location for rehearsals and there is a studio for sewing, cleaning and storing materials. Association meetings are held in this complex which is not open to the public.