Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Green Cross or better Cruz Verde in La Paz

There’s a nice, little street in La Paz called Calle Jaén, which is visited by tourists as there isn’t any other remaining street of colonial architecture. Though the houses are painted colorful, the old architecture prevails. The original name in the seventeenth century has been Calle Kaura Kancha, which was a market for indigenous people to sell and buy llamas, alpacas or vicuñas for instance. Calle Jaén refers to Don Apolinar Jaén (1776-1810), a revolutionary, who was sentenced to death and executed. His remains were buried in the atrium of the San Francisco temple.

This little, slightly crooked street has produced a lot of stories and legends of yore. Most stories are about ghosts and strange noises. They have been collected in documents and books of Sanjinés.

One of the stories tells about a student, who scared the neighborhood in disguising himself as a ghost.

Another story is about a prisoner, who fled because he was to be shot and who fell on his knees as he passed before green cross, imploring Jesus Christ to save him from the gallows. It was believed as a miracle that the head of the figure of Christ fell off.

The green cross can be seen, where two priests lived formerly with their concubines. Two crosses were placed there to ward off the devil. Later these two crosses were removed, but a large crucifix was placed on the wall of the house, which was called the green cross.

Translation: The tradition tells us that in the days of the colony, the alley of Cabra-Cancha, today Jaén, was a dark place because of the constant appearance of supernatural beings and phenomena (ghostly elves, souls in pain, infernal noises of horse-drawn carriages and chains dragged over the ground), but above all, highlighted the presence of a doomed widow, who seduced all the men who passed by drunken in the late hours of the night to take them on a mysterious adventure. Then the neighbors of this street, heirs of an ingrained Catholic faith decided to place the "Green Cross" to drive away all these evil creatures that frightened them.



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