Can you learn about the lives of the saints by playing Parcheesi?

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03/12/2022
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The Pamplona Cathedral in Spain has transformed the traditional Parcheesi game into one called “Claucheesi,” that highlights saints from the region.

The original idea for “Claucheesi” is based on the designs of the 18th century Spanish artist, Ventura Rodríguez. 

GONZALO GARCÍA ESCOBAR
General Manager, Pamplona Cathedral Museum

During the night visits we do [at the Cathedral], where many people sign up, we usually show the plans for the façade made by Ventura Rodriguez, a famous Spanish architect. He made his plan and directed the work. But, there is a very curious thing in the original plan. That is, the work took longer than expected and more money had to be spent on it. And they obviously ran out of money.

This explains why there are currently several empty spaces on the façade of the church.

Two of them, next to the door, are dedicated to St. Peter and Paul. And in the upper part, four pedestals, today empty, were made for the four saints of Navarre, Spain.

GONZALO GARCÍA ESCOBAR
General Manager, Pamplona Cathedral Museum

One was intended for St. Fermin; another was for St. Francis Xavier. With these, we already have the co-patron and patron saints of Navarre. On the other hand, we had one made for Saint Saturnin, the patron saint of Pamplona.
And the figure of St. Honest also appears, the fourth saint of the region. Well, from there, there are four saints like the four houses of Parcheesi. It is just a matter of changing it around. So from there we make 'Claucheesi,' which comes from the words cloister and Parcheesi.

“Claucheesi” is a twist on the traditional family friendly board game. But for those interested in the saints and architecture, it becomes a game that reaches beyond a single generation.

GONZALO GARCÍA ESCOBAR
General Manager, Pamplona Cathedral Museum

The truth is that stores that usually sell board games tell us that Parcheesi is one that has survived it all, but with an amazing advantage. Above all, the difference is not so much digital, but material—I would dare to say even analogical. People want to play with the pieces and, above all, it can be inter-generational, which is our goal. It works for the grandma and it works for the grandson; it works for the granddaughter and it works for the grandpa. The whole family can play.

The Cathedral of Pamplona hopes that “Clauchessi” can help many people learn about these four saints, especially the most often forgotten, Saint Honest. The game can be a source of fun and education for people not only in Spain, but throughout the whole world. 

CA
TR: MG/KG

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