The Santxotena Museum stands in the town of Arizkun
in the north of Navarre in the Baztan valley
. This is a land in which legends of witchcraft abound in the nearby cave of Zugarramurdi
, and ancient stories of pilgrims who entered via Dantxarinea to pick up the Baztan route of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago
This is an open-air sculpture museum that houses the ethnographic and cultural research work of local artist Xabier Santxotena. In an area of 31,000 square metres, next to the NA-2600 road leading to France via the Izpegi pass, a park has been planned in which nature not only is the framework for his works but it also melds together with them. This organic artist takes the natural medium of wood
and transforms it into art through his sculptures.
A pedestrian circuit suitable for wheelchairs will take you around the eight huts that house the wooden sculptures by Santxotena, constructions that reproduce the ancestral shepherds'
refuges typical of the Pyrenees. Their themes relate primarily to Basque mythology. Many of the figures in the collection are lamias, women with the bodies of fish, and mikeldis, totemic characters.
During your tour you can also admire the sculptures out in the open while listening to the sound of the irrigation channel that runs through the south-east corner of the museum.