The small town of Burgui is the southern gateway to the Roncal valley
after crossing the gorge formed by the river Esca between mounts Borreguil (1,420 m) and Virgen de la Peña (1,294 m). Its frontier location with Aragon meant it had a very important castle for the defence of the valley, and the town still contains remains of the Benedictine monastery of Urdaspal, which was visited by Saint Eulogio in the 8th century.
The Roman bridge at the entry to the town is a real picture-postcard structure. It still conserves its four original arches and its ancient camber and cutwaters that slice through the river Esca. Just a few metres upstream is a small dam or 'port' where almadías (rafts) used to 'jump' loaded with timber, the other main activity of the valley together with stockbreeding.
The farmhouses at Burgui are grouped together on the right bank of the river Esca one above the other. The village is characterised by its cobbled streets and large houses with curved tiles, pointed roofs and protruding eaves.
Nearby are important natural resources such as the ponds of Sasi or the gorge of Burgui, declared a Nature Reserve
. It has one of the biggest vulture colonies in Europe, together with several rock-dwelling birds that nest in its cliffs.
Nowadays the almadía (log raft) has become a symbol of identity for the people of Burgui thanks to the efforts of the Asociación Cultural de Almadieros Navarros in celebrating the Day of the Raft
in recognition and tribute to the ancient craft of river rafter.Burgui, the village of trades
In an era in which technological progress is a common feature of our daily lives, Burgui offers visits a delightful encounter with the past
. It has a 'trade route', a circular 4-kilometre-long path along which you can get to know the trades and implements that were part of daily life in the past. The itinerary includes the mediaval bridge
representing the trade of quarryman, a life-size raft
, a bread oven
, a charcoal pile
, a mediaeval stone 'fridge'
, a lime kiln
and an old sawmill
. Elements that have been recovered with a view to preserving the identifying features of the area.
The breadmaking furnace
and the coal cellar
are covered by a wooden hip roof with typical tiles from the area. The roof also pays tribute to the century-old trade of roof maker. The charcoal pile is laid out in such a way that you can see the interior chimney that profiles the wood. It is also covered by branches and earth in the traditional manner.
The mediaeval fridge
is really an underground well where the snow could be kept clean until the summer. Its structure recalls the Celtic pallozas and is very striking. The bottom is made of ashlars, covered by a large conical tiled roof supported by trunks of timber. Then there is the limekiln
, a dome-shaped limestone furnace to produce lime for whitewashing house fronts.