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At the batán of Villava

Today I have the pleasure to invite you to follow us in a very simple, but nice visit to the Batan of Villava. A visit that is linked to the ethnography , brotherhood, ancient jobs and economy development tha occurred in towns close to rivers.

A batan was a machine used in other times that worked with the power of water and was used to beat textiles and prepare them for different uses. The evidence of the ancient use of this machine is its mention and protagonism in one of the famous adventures of Don Qujote de la Mancha.

Villava is a nice village that is just a ten-minute drive away from Pamplona. You can also go walking and enjoy the beauty of the river park of Pamplona. Click here for further information

Landscapes, history, World heritage sites, and industrial heritage, all together in just one morning. Right next to the Batan (the building which has inside the machine has the same name: batán) is the Arre bridge , crossed by all the pilgrims coming from Zubiri and hading to Santiago, and the old Romanic apse from the church of Trinidad of Arre.

The Batán has more things to show. We saw with Ekaitz the map of the waterway around Pamplona, and we learned the history of the batan, how it worked, and indeed how it works today. Ekaitz set in motion for us the machine . We had information about the people who worked there, and watched a video about the history of Pamplona and its relation with rivers and water.

Another important point of this visit was to understand how important are rivers and water for habitability and civilization. Romans who founded Pompaelo, shepherds, timber merchants, pilgrims… a great history of people, masters, and culture around the river

If you are in Pamplona or nearby, you can go there, the visit is free and is held in Spanish or Euskera, however, you can also visit it by yourself. Not far away is the San Andrés mill, another nice place to see. In summer you can also enjoy an open air cafetería, right in the middle of the nature and on the Way of Saint James.

Either in winter or in summer, we can always go around and know more about our heritage. The big one, the small one, but always our heritage.

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Walk through Pamplona

Some years ago, the Chicago Tribune published an article about the city of Pamplona. The article went beyond the traditional topic of Sanfermines and talked about another interesting places around the city. If you want to read the complete article, please click here

Having this article on mind, I am writing about the last morning we went for a walk around Pamplona. We may have not seen all the city since it took us just one hour, and we visited just some streets, but it was totally worth it, so follow us and take a look of what we saw.

 

We visited some buildings of an area of Pamplona called I Ensanche. The word Ensanche could be more or less translated to “expansion”, therefore, it was the first expansion of the city. Now you may ask yourself why are we talking about “expansion”? Well, because of the walls surrounding the city. Until the last century, Pamplona was a city completely surrounded by a stone fortress. Nowadays despite it still has some remaining walls, the city has grown out of those edges. So, back then, the city was completely different from what we can appreciate today.

The first expansion was the first area where wealthy people could build elegant houses made by the most important architects of the  end of XIXth Century and beginnings of the XXth Century. A public building, the palace of justice, was built at the same time as well.

Regrettably, some of those houses were demolished and today we can´t enjoy watching all of them. However, around this area there are still some amazing examples of the detail-oriented and versatile styles that define the architecture of that time. For example, it’s impossible to avoid looking at the beautiful buildings by Manuel Martinez Urbago in Modernist style. The team was astonished by the beauty of the gantries and overwhelmed by the delicacy of every little piece that decorated the room. The details and harmony in those spaces suddenly let us delightfully experience an atmosphere from other times.

We also enjoyed watching at the only house of Pamplona that is built in neo-mudéjar style. In the case of this particular building, materials are essential, since bricks are not only for used construction, but also for the decoration of its facade. With contrasting colors, geometric shapes and a harmonic combination of the bricks with the rest of materials, this is a beautiful creation that effortlessly stands out from the surrounding houses.

In the end, we spent such a nice morning contemplating all the ornamental details, admiring the sinuous beauty of each façade, balcony or hall, reconstructing the ancient majesty of those houses in our minds, and chatting about the historicist and eclectic style in Spain, that the time passed so fast we didn´t notice.

Each of us also learnt a little more about the city of Pamplona. We realized that knowing well a city is not as easy as it sounds. It does not matter if it is a small city or even if we have been living there for several years, there are always secret spots or hidden treasures that need just a little of attention to be discovered and admired.

This morning walk was totally worth it. It was a morning for learning to look at the beauty of a city. Cities do not need to be enormous nor monumental to please our sight with lovely spaces. Each of them has a past that defines it, a need for beauty that decorates it and a will to become a nice place to live in that shapes it. With this walk along the secret beauties of Pamplona, we learned that each city possesses a charm, a history and a heritage that must be enjoyed, preserved and given to the next generations for their own delight.

 

 

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Good morning Vitoria!

There are cities in Spain with a kind of magnet for foreign people. A magnet generated by their fame, product of their world reputation and a great marketing strategy perhaps, that create on you the need to tell you have been there.

Nevertheless, there are amazing cities, secret treasures well worth to visit that don´t get the attention they truly deserve.

Vitoria is a nice, beautiful place that’s worth the time you need to walk around its streets. It counts with great promenades, an interesting old town, the great Basque cuisine to delight all tastes, two cathedrals (an old and a new one) and a great offer of public museums.

At the beginning of January, we went to the Fine Arts Museum of this lovely city and we had a morning full of fun, not only in the museum but along our way as well: the road to the museum is through a great park surrounded by beautiful houses with rich ornaments, like one known as “Casa de las Jaquecas“ which translates to “the House of Migraines” due to the body expression of the sculptures that decorate its facade.

Once in the Museum, we had the opportunity to appreciate its interesting permanent collection, with paintings by Dario de Regoyos, Antonio Maria de Lecuona, Zuloaga, Madrazo, among many others, and an area dedicated to Fernando Amarica.

What makes this place even more interesting, is that the museum itself, is a stunning building. “…A grand residence commissioned by husband and wife Ricardo Augustin and Elvira Zulueta, and designed by the architects Javier Luque and Julian Apraiz in 1912 and finished at 1916“as it’s explained on the Museum´s brochure. It is a sumptuous and elegant construction in a historicist style with many details to be appreciated. If you want to know more about the museum, click on this link

Our visit to the Museum this time was focused on the house and the historicist style. Everybody enjoyed exploring the rooms, contemplating the chapel and got stunned by the beauty of the fine joinery all around the rooms, on ceilings and floors, that can´t stop calling for your attention.

Then, in order to make our visit more dynamic, we formed groups of three or four people, each group had to select two paintings from all the collection and afterwards, explain to the other groups the reasons of their choice

After we were done with our visit, we went to eat some “pinchos” or “tapas” and later we visited the great new cathedral, an impressive example of Neo Gothic construction that just like the museum, emphasized the protagonist role of historicist architecture in this trip.

During this year, at Patrimonio para Jovenes, we will be talking again about historicist style, an architectonic style loved by some people, and very despised by others. Feel free to choose by yourself, but in the meantime, don’t forget to visit Vitoria!

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Integration through cultural heritage

sello-mec-v2-smDuring the summer our association kept in touch with Core, a foundation located in Pamplona, Navarra. The purpose of Core is to help integrate the emigrants in the region of Navarra.

Our proposal was an collaborative activity: a trip together to the famous “Venta de Ulzama” .

 

 

                                 What Ventas de Ulzama is:

Along with its beautiful surroundings, it is a typical country house which was built in 1840 by the Town Hall of the Ultzama Valley. Its aim was to host all those tired and hungry travelers that would stop for a rest. Read more here.

Today it is famous for its deserts, Cuajada and Canutillos. There is a kind of custom of going to the Ultzama with family or just with friends for a supper and sweets.

So it was interesting to offer this visit to the cooking class at Core Foundation. It was an occasion to discover landscape, local architecture, and gastronomy. It was an experience of cultural heritage in a very nice way.

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We decided that autumn would be a good time for the visit so we went at the beginning of November.

 

                        The trip and the supper

It was such a pity that it was raining! Anyway, the half an hour we had from Pamplona to the Ultzama was nice. Children were so excited on the way watching cows, sheep and deer. The colour of the forest and the great smell of wet earth were also a nice experience.

In spite of the rain, everybody enjoyed some time feeding the deer. Though niether me nor Borja could take good photos. It was raining a lot and the water was dangerous for cameras. In any case, here you have an example.

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Inside the restaurant we test first the Cuajada.

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The Cuajada is a dairy product made of ewe’s milk. Inma, the lady in charge of the Venta de Ultzama explained to everybody in a very friendly and simple way the recipe and the origin of this dessert.

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We also tasted Canutillos, with a delicious custard cream. During the supper we had the opportunity to talk each other and get to know about the countries that everyone was from.

During this week, the people who attended the cooking course at Core are going to prepare cuajada and canutillos by themselves. Here you have the team at Core Foundation

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At Patrimonio para Jovenes, we had the job to introduce to our gastronomy, customs, and culture to all these new friends who have arrived to Navarra.

And this bring us to the end of the blog until January. Have a good Christmas Holiday!

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Again on the Way of St James

   Before finishing the year 2016, we have two activities you can read about on the blog. And today, you have our visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a charming village at the Region of La Rioja, on the Way of Saint James.

Santo Domingo is famous because it’s on the Camino, and for its markets, cultural events and of course the cathedral, Domingo the Saint, and the legend of Hen and Rooster Miracle . Click on the link and you can read more about it. In fact, in Spain we say “donde cantó la gallina después de asada” “where the roosters crow after being roasted”.

The Henhouse inside the Cathedral keep the attention of visitors and is fun for the children.

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              A stunning altarpiece

At the beginning of the trip we weren’t thinking of visiting all of the cathedral, but at least, the most interesting things. But the awesome altarpiece made by Damian Forment kept our attention most of the time. It doesn’t matter. It is a good excuse to come back only to visit the Romanesque capitals and presbytery.

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In any case, I asked some questions to the boys in order to have them observe and come to conclusions by themselves.

Faces, bodies, characters, the way sculptures are painted, and all the story told on the alterpiece made us spend so much time just looking carefully at it.

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                      What a pity the light!

The inside of the cathedral is not an easy place for photos. Here you have some nice ones, but perhaps next time Víctor has to use a tripod in order to have a good illumination all around.

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             Thanks to Father Merino

We thank Father Merino who helped during the visit. He also gave us the opportunity to visit the sacristy and some details of the sculptures of the doors. And then we had a very nice surprise: because Christmastime is not very far away, we had the opportunity to enjoy the Great Christmas Nativity scene, with hundreds of little sculptures, dressed on typical costumes, masters.

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If you have the chance to visit Santo Domingo during Christmastime, definitely take it! And don’t miss the nativity display which is also great for children.

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Looking at an altarpiece through the fashion

sello-mec-v2-smThe story of this post has its beginning on Internet. I’d known Consuelo Sanz de Bremond and her blog Indumentaria y vida cotidiana en España  on Twitter and Facebook. Then we were emailing each other, and finally, I met her last summer in a village close to Madrid.

I wished the team of Patrimonio para jovenes could take a special visit to the stunning altarpiece of San Julian de Ororbia.

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Ororbia is a village located just 15 minutes from Pamplona by car. And the altarpiece is one of the most interesting in Navarra. It was a pity that there was poor lighting which made picture taking difficult this time

The way we chose ( Consuelo and I ) to see the altarpiece was through the point of view of fashion – fashion at the beginning of the XVI century. The alterpiece of Ororbia offers great information not only about dresses but also about the way of life of the people from this time.

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During the morning we visited the altarpiece at Ororbia. There, everybody had time not only to understand the artwork, but to take their own photos as well. This is very important. Taking photos, even if they are taken with the mobile phones, means that they offer a personal point of view about the art.

In the evening, we had an informal dinner and chat. Consuelo, with a Power Point presentation, talked to us in a very friendly way about fashion and showed us how the old times have their influence on fashion today.

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To prepare this power point, Consuelo had the great help of Borja Centenera. This summer he went to take photos very carefully and with plenty of detail of the caps, hats, and shoes that Consuelo asked for.

We also had a workshop with fabric swatches. By touching silk, sheep wool, mohair, velvet and other swatches, the team could think and experience different textures and imagine their uses.

At the dinner, we were joined by the very nice people of Ororbia, that during these past months had helped us prepare this activity.

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If you are coming to Pamplona, don’t forget visit this area. Orobia is close to the interesting church of Santa Maria of Gazolaz, and the Otazu Winery, an area with a great landscape, heritage and lots of fun.

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Wow the horreos in Navarra!

            What does the word horreo mean?

  sello-mec-v2-sm  It is a word well known in some regions of Spain such as Asturias and Galicia which, being located in the north, are very humid areas. Long ago, the horreo was utilized to keep food preserved from humidity and animals, especially, mice

In the region of Navarra there are some horreos as well. Nowadays, we can visit 22 of them but some years ago there even were more. Modern times, new ways of living, and emigration from villages to cities has resulted in the destruction of some horreos.

In the 70s, they began to be preserved as rural heritage. In Navarra, they are most commonly found in Valle de Aezkoa.

                      The horreos that we visited

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We haven’t visited Valle de Aezkoa yet. But we did visit some very interesting horreos.

The first one, is the oldest in Navarra: The Hórreo of Iracheta. From the XI century, it is the one farthest along the Pyranees area. It is in the area called “Valdorba.” It is an area with a very rich heritage, interesting romanesque art, and very cute villages plus it is located not far from Pamplona.

The Hórreo of Iracheta is made of stone, it is big and impressive. We used it for a great video and photo session with Borja Centenera and Clara Frago.

It was a sunny day of the beginning of June, a great day for shooting, and for a very nice talk about old constructions as well.

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                              Conjunto Monumental de Santa Fe

And at the beginning of September we went to the Valley of Urraul Alto. This is an area of Navarra full of beauty. Today it is almost depopulated and very unknown. Being interesting and unknown are two great reasons for the team of Patrimonio para jóvenes to go for a visit.

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This horreo was the first one some people from the Americas had seen in their life.  We also visited the interior of the Conjunto, the cloister and the church. Some people even had the pleasure of climbing the bell tower

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During this visit I announced another one: our workshop about old clothes apropos of the altarpiece of St Julian of Ororbia. This will be the topic of the next blog post. Have a nice week and visit Navarra at least online!

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European Heritage Days in Genevilla, Navarra

sello-mec-v2-smAt the end of May, when we visited Genevilla, I knew we had to come back. Its heritage, landscape and friendly people are well worth visiting again.

But I never imagined that the visit would come so soon.

               A newspaper advertisement  

I was reading a local newspaper when I came across news from the government of Navarra. They invited the city halls of the different villages of the region to participate at The European Heritage Days. One of the conditions was to present the program with a cultural association.

Patrimonio para jovenes had kept in touch with the people of Genevilla and offered our proposal: A workshop about the altarpiece of the parish. An awesome, stunning piece of art from Renaissance.

                    And the day arrives! 

And the 1st of October, there we were. And we couldn’t believe how many people came. It was a joy. But we were certainly dealing with a challenge: to talk to such a big group with a range of age we are not used to.

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Everybody was very interested and some of them looked carefully with bicoulars. So they appreciated the details from sculptures and how they were carved and polychromed.

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             The children  

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For children we prepared some big papers with the designs from the friezes of the altarpiece. Kids were looking at the altarpiece first and then they colored in the way they preferred. They had fun. By the way, thank you to the team that came as volunteers to take care of them.

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                      And the party 

After visiting the altarpiece, we had appetizers courtesy of the village council. It was a great time to talk, find old friends and make new ones.

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Here is a picture with some of us. It was such a cute, nice, friendly morning at Genevilla.

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And here you have the links to some websites that can be helpful if you want to visit this area :

http://www.turismo.navarra.es/eng/home/

http://www.turismotierraestella.com/

 

http://www.turismo.navarra.es/esp/organice-viaje/recurso/Localidad/2670/Viana.htm

http://www.alavaturismo.eus/index.php/es/

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Gallipienzo with friends

TRY ON GOOGLE

sello-mec-v2-smIf you want to find information that is very new, specific , and so on, this website is not the right one for you. If you want to visit Gallipienzo , a stunning village in Navarra , here you have some interesting links, and the tourist office for a guided visit. And for more..try look for Gallipienzo on google and you’ll see how much information you can find.

THE ART AS AN EXPERIENCE FOR TEENAGERS

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If you want to know about the experience of a team of teenagers who got to explore this place, you are on the right website.

This visit took place at the beginning of last June. During the summer I don’t write on the blog and given that we’ve had so many activities, I have not had much time for writing…but little by little, here we are!

THANKS TO THE HELP OF AN ARCHITECT

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We arrived to Gallipienzo thanks to the help and advice from José Luis Franchez an architect who works on restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings.

Such a big responsibility!

He talked about the history of Gallipienzo, why the people who were living there had to move and begin to live at “Gallipienzo Nuevo”- we were visiting Gallipienzo Viejo (Old Gallipienzo) . He even explained the criteria for restoration of a bulilding. If you are someone reading this in Europe, it is not such an unusual topic but perhaps it is if you are from States.

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The history of Sapin and its heritage is tremendous. That means is very difficult and also so expensive to haver everything in good condition. So many times hard decisions must be made.

                   INSIDE OLD TIMES

José Luis talks in a very sweet way, as a person who is used to working with measure and proportion. He is so friendly that everybldy felt as if they had known José Luis for a long time. It was really funny when Victor, a boy of 16 years, dedicated his first novel to Mr. Franchez. Here you can see the photo

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Guided by José Luis, we discovered the secrets of the church of San Salvador plus we got to experience the light, the silence and the magnitude of a medieval building.

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At the end, “Patrimonio para jóvenes” gave a present to David and Victor. Now the two of them are in States and Canada. They received a book about the Gotic Art in Navarra

I hope they can read this post in America as they work as “ambassadors of Spain”

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We finished the excursion eating a typical Spanish dessert, “torrijas” made of bread, egg, olive oil, sugar and ground cinnamon. It is such a pity that I don’t have any photo of this. Borja Centenera and Clara Frago the people in charge of photos and video, were eating with the other people. It’s not easy to eat and hold a camera at the same time!

If you come to Navarra , discover the little and hidden villages of this region!

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Victoriana, in Memoriam

Victoriana, in Memoriam

A journalist named Nerea Alejos wrote about this story in the regional newspaper “Diario de Navarra” on 22 August.

 

sello-mec-v2-smUsually we are looking for stories, that are somehow or have something new. But sometimes just the opposite happens: stories are looking for us. For example, there was last year in Burgos with the matter of the “monster or Ravenna” at the Burgos Cathedral and now, we have Victoriana Arizaleta and in her memory, the yoke of a small bell on the bell tower of the parish of St. Roman in the village of Arellano,  Spain.


            1878

Arellano en memora de Victoriana

“In Memorian of Victoriana Arizaleta” and the year 1878. And nothing more, just ‘Jesus and Mary.’ A bell with no use nowadays but with the name of a lady.

At the beginning of the research, we asked the old people of the village.  Alvaro de Goñi, has also been looking at the archives there an we  supposed 1878 was the date of the Victoriana death. But to our surprise, it was the date of her birth.

 

          Perhaps a well off woman, a kind of “patroness’?

 

We also worked with this theory, but it doesn’t quite fit. At the archive of the parish we’ve found the expenses for her funeral, which were quite normal. If she was rich,  she (or her family)  didn’t like putting  on a show of her capabilities.

Libro de cuentas, funeral

 

Things that we know

 

            Born in 1878, she married a barber from the village of Salinas de Oro. The wedding was in Estella in the year 1901.

She had at least three children and worked as a midwife in Arellano and other small villages around. One of her boys, Santiago, had been the mayor of Arellano for years.

Victoriana took care especially with the birthing of very poor ladies and  gypsies. This was reported to us by her granddaughter who now is more than 70 year old.

Victoriana cooked cheese just for the family, and liked to make artisanal works, crafts, and the very typical Spanish “Encaje de bolillos” that consist of making lace in a special way.

Pascasia Arizaleta

Devoted of the Heart of Jesus, we also found that Victoriana’s mother  has a silver heart dedicated to the Virgin Mary,  in the very same church. A fact discovered by Alvaro de Goñi, a young man from Arellano. In any case, we don’t know who paid for the bell yoke with the name of Victoriana. It is supposed be done by herself.

 

                 … And things we propose:

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           Births, wars… love and death… a work in the silence of the small villages isolated without the communication of today ( Internet, motorway, mobiles and so on )… a woman, a bell, a name. A bell that perhaps would be appropriate to ring again,  at least once every year, in memory not only of Victoriana but of all rural women of Spain.