Image Credit: Photograph by Mark Parascandola via Huck Magazine.
Over the past ten years, photographer Mark Parascandola has been journeying through the heart of southeastern Spain, documenting the abandoned outposts that once played host to some of cinema’s most iconic productions.
Looking Like something out of the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, the city of Ronda, Spain is perched high atop the two cliff faces of the El Tajo canyon as though a fissure opened and swallowed the interior of the city.
The city of Ronda was first established in the time of Julius Caesar and has managed to survive through shifting geological conditions to this very day.
The Guadalevín River which runs down the very center of the city grounds has spent millennia slowly eroding the land and creating the deep canyon that now separates divides the historic urban center.
The walls of the canyon are sheer drops to the river over 100 meters below and the white, Spanish stone buildings are built to the very edge of the chasm.
Connecting the city are three bridges that span the expanse, the Roman Bridge, the Arab Bridge, and the New Bridge.
Each bridge is named to describe the regime that built it, save for the “New” bridge which was actually finished in 1793.
The bridges themselves are impressive feats of stonework with massive columns reaching down into the canyon and ornate roofs, giving the city the multicultural feel that its many ruling peoples brought with them.
In addition to the geological wonders the city brings,
Il Tiberio was a manuscript magazine produced in Barcelona at the end of the 19th century.
It contained articles, reviews of artistic and other cultural and political matters, and original drawings.
Contributors included such writers and artists as Marià Pidelaserra, Gaietà Cornet, Ramon and Juli Borrell, Emili Fontbona, Filibert Montagut, Josep Victor Solà Andreu, Joan Comellas i Viñals, and Ramon Riera Moliner.
They were all members of a group that had formed in the classrooms of Acadèmia Borrell and the tavern El Rovell de l’Ou, located on Hospital Street in Barcelona.
The Catalan painter Pere Ysern Alié received the magazine in Rome, where he went in 1896−98 to further his artistic training.
Through it, Ysern kept informed about Catalan current affairs and about the activities of the group of intellectuals and artists of which he was part, and who were his friends and colleagues.
The magazine was so named because Il Tiberio was the nickname that Riera Moliner used for Pere Ysern.
In all, 35 issues plus five special issues of Il Tiberio appeared between November 15, 1896 and May 1, 1898.
Whereas most Catholics are baptized into their religion as infants by being gently dunked under cleansing waters, absolving them of their innate original sin, in the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia fresh babes are laid in the street as men dressed in traditional devil costumes run around jumping over them, terrorizing onlookers.
The yearly festival known locally as “El Colacho” takes place during the village’s religious feast of Corpus Christi.
No concrete origin for the bizarre ritual exists, but it dates back to at least the early 1600s.
During the holiday parents with children born during the previous year bring the little tikes out and place them in neat rows of pillows spaced out down a public street.
Then, while the excited parents look on, men dressed in bright yellow costumes, and grotesque masks begin filing through the crowd, whipping bystanders with switches and generally terrorizing everyone.
But this is all fun and games as the main event is when these “devils” run down the street jumping over the rows of babies like Olympic hurdlers.
Once the little sinners have been jumped over they are considered absolved of man’s original transgression, and they are sprinkled with rose petals before being taken away by their (likely very relieved) parents.
While there are no reports of injuries or babalities caused by the flying devils, the strange practice is frowned upon by the clergy of the Catholic Church with the Pope going so far as to ask the Spanish people to distance themselves from the ritual.
However El Colacho continues to take place each year.
No one can tell this village that they can’t send their devil-men careening over helpless infants.