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Corpus in La Orotava route dates from 1536

Corpus Christi Flower Carpet outside the Casa Monteverde, La Orotava, Tenerife

A member of the Monteverde family, promoter of the tradition of carpeting the route of the Blessed Sacrament with flowers, found a document that confirms that the route of the Corpus de la Orotava dates from the 16th century.

Agustín Monteverde, representative of the family that began the tradition of making a flower carpet at the door of their house, Casa Monteverde, in the 19th century to celebrate the passage of the Corpus Christi procession in La Orotava, announced yesterday that he had found a document from an ancestor of his in which it was recorded that the current route was established in 1536.

“On February 14, 1536, having observed that the procession did not pass by his house, he sent a letter to the Bishop of the Canary Islands complaining about it and he issued an edict addressing the parish so that from that date and forever, the Corpus Christi of La Orotava had to go past the house on its route”, the same one that is currently done, he said.

"I think this date is important because it marks the birth of the current route, and if it weren't for this, it would go somewhere else and what happened next might not have happened," said Agustín Monteverde. Specifically, he referred to the fact that if the route had not passed the house of his great-great-grandmother, Leonor del Castillo, she would not have been the promoter of a tradition that began in 1847 and is preserved today: the carpets of petals of flowers and volcanic sand to adorn the town on its big day of Corpus Christi, which this year commemorates its 175th anniversary.

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Association of Carpet Makers has prepared an ambitious program whose president, Leo Rodríguez, detailed at a press conference. Between the months of April and June, it includes the making of a carpet 'for solidarity with La Palma', a tribute to the first board of directors of the Corpus of La Orotava, as well as a cooking show, a flower and craft fair and the exhibition '175 years between petals', among other events. In the long term, the Association is working with other groups to launch the Canarian Federation of Ephemeral Art.

Councilor for Fiestas, Alexis Pacheco, assured that the City Council "works intensely" so that in 2022 the carpets return to the street after two years suspended due to the pandemic.

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