Passions and mysteries | Cultural Heritage. Goverment of Catalonia.
Passions and mysteries The major shows of medieval Catalan Theatre

The Catalan cultural sphere is the only one in the Iberian Peninsula in which there was intense dramatic activity during the middle ages. The great theatrical performances are the Passió de Crist i l'Assumpció de Maria (Passion of Christ and the Assumption of Mary).

From the 14th century, theatrical productions of the Passion of Christ were differentiated from ecclesiastical dramas in Latin. The new performances (mysteries) highlighted the human nature of Christ, incorporated the vernacular language and allowed for the participation of the people.

Nowadays, three types of mysteries are still going on in the so-called "Valley of the Passion", in Baix Llobregat: those with traditional roots, such as those performed in the theatres in Olesa and Esparreguera; the promenade performance at Sant Vicenç dels Horts; and that of Molins de Rei, a modern performance of an authored work.

The great dramatic cycle of medieval Catalan Theatre is completed with four representations of the Assumption of the Mother of God: the liturgical drama of Santa Maria de l'Estany, the Mystery de la Selva, the Assumptionist Mystery of Valencia Cathedral, and the Mystery, or Festival, of Elx.

Other medieval performances that have survived to the present day are the Chant of the Sibyl in Mallorca and Alghero, or the Dance of the Death in Verges.