EVENTS to mark the 500th anniversary of the earthquake which destroyed the old settlement of Vera drew to a close with a moving ceremony to honour the 150 people who lost their lives when the disaster struck.
Last Friday November 9 marked the 500th anniversary of the tragedy. The President of the regional Government, Susana Diaz, was among the dignitaries present for the night-time ceremony staged in the town’s central square and attended by more than 500 people. Both the Junta de Andalucia President and Vera Mayor Feliz Lopez placed floral offerings under the tombstone placed against the Town Hall façade. Then, after a minute’s silence, a video recreating the terrible disaster was projected onto the front of the parish church.
The day’s commemorative events had begun with pupils from three schools planting 150 cypresses in the Rambla park, each tree representing one of the earthquake victims. Later in the day there was a solemn mass, and a conference about the earthquake given by Madrid History Institute scientist Cesar Jose Olivera Serrano.
In the evening the streets of Vera became the stage for a dramatized route featuring characters from this period of Vera’s past.
Vera has organized a series of cultural activities throughout the year to commemorate the 5th centenary of the earthquake which changed the town’s history. As well as conferences, exhibitions and guided visits, archaeological digs are being carried out on the ancient Bayra settlement which before the quake stood on what is today the Holy Spirit Hill.