Navarrese society in the 16th and 17th centuries
was characterised by cultural and political differences, by its belief in myths and legends and by the ancestral wisdom of women who used the power of nature to cure illness and disease. These factors favoured accusations of witchcraft
, which were usually unfounded. Nevertheless, mediaeval history links Navarre to witchcraft, covens, potions, exorcisms and persecutions.
operated in more than 60 towns and villages in Navarre, mainly in the mountainous north
, the heart of occult beliefs. The isolation of the area favoured the conservation of devil worship theories and natural remedies, as can be seen from documents of the time. Nevertheless, it was purely malevolent imagination that attributed simple folk healers the power of flight or having encounters with the Devil. This fantasy was heightened by the isolated, woody and often inaccessible places where the herbalists collected plants.
The map of witchcraft
in Navarre draws a line from Sangüesa and Lumbier to Amezkoa
(north of Estella), with the odd isolated site near Viana and Bargota
. The Witchcraft Route is divided into four itineraries
to provide a logical way of visiting the main scenarios of this phenomenon. They are places of great beauty that are impregnated with a mysterious halo that invites the visitor to enter the enigmatic world of the occult while enjoying gastronomic traditions
and the authenticity of something that has been able to preserve its essence.The Witchcraft Route:
- Itinerary 1. The first persecutions of witchcraft in Navarre: Roncal and Salazar valleys and the Orreaga-Roncesvalles area (Auritz-Burguete, Orreaga-Roncesvalles, Ochagavía, Burgui and Vidángoz)
- Itinerary 2. The frontier, superstition and witchcraft: Urdazubi/Urdax, Zugarramurdi, Baztán, Bertizarana, Cinco Villas (Zugarramurdi, Urdazubi-Urdax, Arraioz, Bera and Doneztebe-Santesteban)
- Itinerary 3. Mountains and caves, among mythology and witchcraft: Anocibar, Larraun and Araitz valleys, Leitzaran (Anocíbar, Alli, Areso, Intza and Olagüe)
- Itinerary 4. Witches in the area around Estella: Tierra Estella (Bargota and Viana)
Itinerary 1: Roncal and Salazar valleys and the area around Roncesvalles This route takes you through one of the areas where witchcraft was repressed most strongly. Documents witness a major raid on witches here in 1329. Auritz-Burguete : in the 16th century, Licenciado Balanza, "the Navarrese Torquemada", extended the enquiries he had star ... [+ info]