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.